Mommyhood – Month 3

Now don’t get me wrong – I certainly won’t be writing these every month! As much as I love documenting Gwen’s growth (as well as my own – and not in a literal sense , I was hoping to be done with that when I gave birth!), I have my limits. Well… they’re mostly time constraints. And I don’t want to write “she’s so cute” every month and leave it at that (although she most definitely is).

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Gwendolyn has become more adept at grasping objects (mostly small rattles and link toys) and holding them. When I place her on her play mat, I put her near low-hanging toys; she reaches for them with one hand while bringing the other to meet it. It’s fascinating! You watch her expressions, and the concentration plays out on her face; you can tell she’s trying to figure it all out.

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This thought process is especially noticeable when you put her in front of a mirror – she studies her face, looks at my reflection and gives me a grin, then looks back at herself. I think she thinks she has two mommies who look alike, and that there’s another baby in the house!

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It has been hard for me to let her “cry it out” when it’s time for her to sleep.  Her little tired cries are SO sad and pathetic – sometimes she puts so much inflection into the cries that it’s almost humorous, but she’s so upset!  There are times when only Mommy can calm her down – when I want to go to sleep myself, it can be discouraging; mostly it melts my heart to be The One she needs.  She has gotten better at self-soothing, and sometimes I don’t need to calm her down at all.  She has even slept all night on a few occasions!

One evening I was rocking in my glider, feeding Gwen, rubbing her back, reading a magazine, while “petting” the cat with my unoccupied foot.  I thought, “now this is multi-tasking!”

I had a… an “incident” to share, which in my mind exemplifies why I haven’t run very many errands solo lately.  The other day, I went to the grocery store.  I fed Gwen first so she would be content.  Well… I ended up sitting in the car for about fifteen minutes until she stopped crying and fell asleep.  I had her in a sling, and was bending myself in all different directions while putting things in the cart so as not to wake her.  The whole time I was peeking at her sleeping face, making sure her eyes were closed, pacifier still in her mouth, that she wasn’t about to cry.  I kept readjusting the sling, since it was putting straing on my neck – then had to check again to make sure I hadn’t jostled her awake.  Finally… I get to the checkout lane, and that’s when she decided to wake up.  She started fussing, then screaming – the kind where she starts choking and can’t catch a breath – and I’m trying to soothe her while “calmy” unloading my items and paying.  To make matters worse, I got the bagger who bags all of one item the whole time, so I have to wait for the cashier to assist.  There’s a line forming behind me, and the cashier tries to sympathize with me… but I just want to get out of there!  I make my way out of the store, screaming baby attached, and throw the bags into the trunk.  I put both of us into the back seat, take her out of the sling – and find that she’s pooped through her outfit.  GREAT!  There’s not much room on the seat what with me and her carseat back there, so I attempt a diaper change with the changing pad on my lap (which, of course, is not a smooth surface).  I’m holding onto Gwen’s legs, lifting her bum while her head slides off the other side, trying to contain the mess.  I put the dirty diaper in one bag, the soiled clothes in another, and halfway through she’s screaming so hard I hug a half-naked baby to me, trying to calm her.  That works for a bit.  I finally get her undressed, and then ensues the attempt to put a clean diaper on a baby who’s scrunched up into almost a sitting position.  This is followed by the Putting On of a Clean Onesie (which I have to dig out of the diaper bag, along with some clean pants), then into her bunting and – finally – the carseat.  Phew! 

Let’s not think of unloading everything when we get home…*sigh* That’s just one errand, and now you understand why I don’t have as much food on hand these days!

I go back to part-time work next week, and am sad at the thought of Gwen waking up to Someone Who Isn’t Mommy, missing her gummy grins, hearing a new “word” she may utter… just not being there.

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