First and foremost, your father and I would both like to tell you something very important. Well, not so much tell you as politely ask, beg even, that you please, for the love of God and all that is holy, SLOW THE HELL DOWN!!!!
Within the span of about 9 days this month, you decided to hit about 10 baby milestones all at one time. First, you started to crawl, which is great! I mean, aside from the fact that we have to baby proof the house now, which I have been lamenting for awhile. The writing had been on the wall for the crawling thing. You’d been scooting around like a pro for weeks, and you had done a few “steps” by themselves already, just not in sequence. We knew the day was coming, so we were all really proud when you finally figured it out! And so far you don’t really venture off the rug in the living room when you’re at home. I guess you can sense the implied boundary and feel you shouldn’t wander off of it. (And let me tell you, I’m in no rush to tell you otherwise. But I did let you crawl down the hall yesterday until you got to the laundry room door and the ever-present dusting of kitty litter that Ringo leaves because he cannot go to the bathroom until he’s done his best impersonation of someone in a desperate attempt to dig – quickly! -to China.)
So you’ve started crawling, and that’s fine. And about the same time, you also started sitting up. You had been a supported sitter for awhile, but hadn’t developed your core enough to sit on your own. The same day you really got into crawling, you also started sitting up. And you can go from crawling or laying down to sitting all on your own! For a few days, I would watch you because you had a tendency to fall backwards, so I was always there to keep you from konking your little noggin. I mentioned this to your Papi, and he reminded me that you’ll never learn not to fall backwards if you don’t feel the consequence. And he was right – I let you fall back one time (on carpet! And I was right there to snuggle you in case you cried! I swear I’m not the worst mother on the planet!) and you have not done it since. I would watch you start to sway backwards, and I could see you physically keep yourself from falling back. You would tighten your little ab muscles and pull yourself back to straight up with such a deliberate action. It was amazing to watch how conscious you were of how to keep yourself from falling. But now you don’t even think about it. You sit up like it’s second nature to you. And you look like such a big girl when you do it! It’s sooooo precious!
So you can crawl and you can sit up! That’s great! But, you didn’t stop there and that’s where the trouble starts. Since you could hold your head up, we’ve been sitting you in your Bumbo. (If you don’t know what that is, look here.) It’s nice because it lets you sit up like a big girl, and it also keeps you from squirming around. In the mornings, we would sit you in it on the bed and let you play with your spoons and things while we get ready for work. Your Grandma Fran sits you in it on the counter and you help her fix lunch. I feel very confident when you’re in the Bumbo that you will stay put, especially because you kind of have to be pried out of the thing because your thighs are so voluptuous.
(For the record,and to be fair to the Bumbo people, it says very clearly on the Bumbo seat that you should never use the Bumbo on an elevated surface. So sue me.)
Last Wednesday evening, you were in your jammies and ready for bed, and I sat you in your Bumbo on our bed with your spoons and your sippy cup, and I was standing in the hall talking to your dad. I’d look in at you regularly to make sure you were okay, and everything was fine. Until I heard a loud THUMP! and Ringo darted out of the bedroom. I assumed he had knocked something over. But then I heard you cry. I don’t know how you had done it, but you had gotten out of your Bumbo and fallen off the bed. You were flat on your stomach and bawling your little eyes out, and it was heartbreaking. It took about ten minutes to calm you down, and we gave you some Tylenol and checked you all over to make sure you didn’t have any bumps or swelling. And you are one tough little cookie! You didn’t have a single mark on you! You may have had a little bruise on your cheek, but it’s hard to tell because you’re so light-skinned that some parts of you always look a little blue. Like between your eyes, there is a little blue blood vessel that you can clearly see.
So, crawling, sitting, and escaping from your Bumbo. That’s plenty for one week, don’t you think?
Next, you figured out how to pull yourself up on your knees in your crib, and then on the tables in the living room. In your crib, it’s not as big a deal because you have a nice, cushioned surface to fall onto. And you look like the cutest prisoner on the planet gripping those bars and smiling out at us when you wake up from your naps. But it’s not okay in the living room, because you like to pull yourself up to gnaw on the table, and you get distracted from the pleasure of the nice, cool surface on your gums and have a tendency to fall down. Falling down from kneeling is a lot different than falling down from sitting. We try to keep you away from the tables when we can.
So now you’re crawling and sitting and escaping from your Bumbo and pulling yourself up on your knees, all in the span of about 5 days. But you’re not done. Friday, at your grandparents’ house, we were gathered around their staircase discussing where and how to install a baby gate for your protection and how we’ll be able to leave two steps open for you to play on later. LATER. Apparently, like 5 minutes LATER. I was sitting on the third step, and you were playing on the floor in front of the stairs. Then you pulled yourself up to kneel with your hands on the bottom step. Okay, seen that. Then you push up with your fat, strong little legs and you’re standing up. YOU’RE STANDING UP! You started crawling a week ago, and now I’m watching you stand and all of a sudden I’m feeling like I need some sort of anti-anxiety medication.
BUT YOU’RE NOT DONE. Oh, no. You slowly move your hands up to the second step. Then you take your chubby little legs, and one by one you pull them up onto the first step. You are 6 months, three weeks and five days old, and you are climbing up the mother fudging stairs! I could see your life flashing in front of me! Next week I’ll be taking you to Kindergarten, then you’ll be in High School and making bad choices (because Karma has a lot to pay your dad and me back for), then we’ll be buying you a wedding dress and I’ll be 60 and your dad will be 100 and we’ll be staring at each other wondering, “What just happened here???”
I have mentioned at least 1,000 times that I don’t want you to get bigger, and I know that’s not really true, but I enjoy the stage you’re in so much when you’re in it that I don’t want it to end. I know what’s coming. I started taking Samantha to school this week on the mornings I drop you off in Havana. She’s just my little sister, and it’s still so hard to realize that she’s grown up this fast! I can’t imagine what it will be like when it’s MY baby that’s going off to school! (I also realize a little bit that I probably shouldn’t have made as much fun of my mom for always hugging me and swaying back and forth, whispering, “My baby, my baby” whenever I would leave her after a visit. I am SOOOO gonna be that mom!)
But for now, you’re still a sweet little baby who still loves to be cuddled and kissed and doesn’t pull away when I squeeze you tight, so I can handle all these other milestones. And I’m so proud of you and how quickly you’re learning new things (really, I am!) But can you maybe not learn any new things this week? Mommy’s emotions need some rest.
I love you so very, very, very much!