Ten months and on the move. Seriously, you rocked back and forth for a couple of weeks...gaining steam, and then you took off crawling like crazy.... never to sit contentedly on my lap again.
Why would you want to sit on my boring old lap when there is so much to explore? You've found dust bunnies in places that I had forgotten exsisted and ordinary household objects loom large and dangerously over your precious body. After you went to bed the other night, daddy and I sat in the quiet great room making a sort of list of everything that needed to be nailed down, bolted to the wall, put away, given away, etc. You seem to have a radar for that which you aren't supposed to touch. You could be in the middle of the floor surrounded by a million dollars worth of primary colored toys and you'd head straight for the electrical outlet instead. In fact, you are quite fond of anything that is black and/or has buttons. Forget ToysRUs...you'd like a shopping spree at Radio Shack, please. If you could communicate at this stage of the game, I know for sure that you would ask Santa for a stocking full of remote controls (that actually work because you are not to be fooled by old ones with no batteries), cords, cell phones, and calculators. You'd ask for a laptop, too, if the stocking would hold it. We can't figure out if you really enjoy playing with/looking at these objects or if you are picking up on the invisible yellow tape that surrounds them... Maybe you are going after them because you know you aren't supposed to have them? Surely not! I would be lying if I didn't tell you that daddy and I are exhausted this month! You were sick for the first time ever and that took a toll on both of us. The worry and the heartache of seeing you so miserable was hard...and combined with your back-to-newborn- sleep schedule, we thought we might not make it. One night, in some sort of feverish drunkeness, you woke up at 2am and thought for all the world that it was morning. Daddy and I had just gone to bed an hour earlier and were just getting into that good, satisfying sleep. When trying to soothe you back to sleep in your crib proved pointless, we put you in bed with us (I know! I know!) because we couldn't hold our eyes open and we knew that you'd fall right to sleep between us. It's a fail safe method we've used a handful of times before when we've found ourselves, say...up a creek without a paddle. Well, suffice it to say, the pitch black darkness and two snoring parents did not convince you that you were a bit off your schedule. You laughed an giggled and tried to climb over our tired, wet noodle bodies. You repeatedly sat up and fell down, knocking unsuspecting sleepers awake with what felt like broken noses and busted lips. You said "momma" and "dada" one thousand times each. It was half hysterical and half maddening. At different points during that night both your dad and I said, or rather moaned. "I can't take it anymore!" But we both kept on taking it...falling in and out of sleep...peeling you off of us and laying you back down. You finally gave in to sleep and gave us a break from the Jack Bauer style torture. When the morning came, there you were, splayed out and sawing logs...covered in the thin lines of sunshine that sneak through the blinds. You were so beautiful that I forgave you on the spot. (We got a good laugh when we saw our reflections, not so beautiful, in the mirror that morning. Neither of us weather a rough night quite as well as we did back in Richmond.) No one told us how exhausting taking care of a crawler is (or if they did, we forgot to listen!) I feel like I am going to need knee replacement from getting up and down, up and down one bazillion times! If I pick you up and take you back to an approved area of the house once, I do it 40 times. You never get discouraged and will head right back to the unapproved area with gusto! Pit pat, pit pat, pit pat...your small hands slap the wood floors...across the kitchen you go, stopping only to look at (and think about eating) a bobby pin that I have accidentally dropped. You move stealthily over to the basket of fake apples on the bottom shelf of the island and dump them over your head just as I say, "Nooooooooooooooooo!" You look at me with a twinkle in your eye and turn to leave the scene of the crime. Pit, pat, pit, pat...over to the stove where you make a Picasso with your little sweaty palms. When the picture dries and fades away, you trek over to the dishwasher to peer at your reflection. You cock your head to the side and smile. "Too cute," you seem to say. I have given up on cleaning the appliances but am still putting the apples away several times an evening. I suppose one of these nights I'll get smart and move them out of your reach. But for right now, I'll keep playing along. I'm thinking of replacing my morning coffee with Similac. If it gives me half the energy that you have, I'll be in good shape! The fact that you are mobile now, crawling from one room to the next before we even notice that you've moved, makes the morning journey from your room down to the kitchen one of the sweetest walks we'll ever take with you. You reach up from your crib with tiny open arms and a smile that speaks volumes about love. When I pick you up, you rest your head on my shoulder (your head fits perfectly there) and pat me gently on the back all the way to your highchair. Each time I see you in the morning, I try always to talk to God about how thankful I am that you are my child. I started this ritual when you were just days old because I kept feeling so amazed that the dawn brought with it the realization that Yes! I was indeed a mother! I was not dreaming at all, it was real! You were real! I was so full of love that I felt it appropriate to make it a daily time of thanks. When you are old enough to listen, I will say these prayers out loud so that you will start your day knowing that you've made mine.
Dearest Nurse Thomas... Sorry that I spent the majority of Ella's bout with sickness perched an inch away from her germy breath and have now infected myself with this horrible bug. You warned me and I didn't listen...and here I am, dare I say it...more pitiful and needy than our ten month old? (seriously, i think last night was the worst sick i've ever been) Anyway, if you really were a nurse and I was really your patient, I would fill out a glowing comment card for you. I would thank you for running baths, for refilling tea, for fetching cold washcloths. I would add something about how you don't even roll your eyes even though I have the uncanny ability to ask for something just about the very second that you sit down. I would say that I think you should get a major raise...and that you go above and beyond...and that it was all really appreciated. I would thank you for thank you for making my plate and then taking it back to throw most of it away. I would also thank you for not getting grossed out when the sound of me blowing my nose makes the walls bulge out. I might even say thanks for not wondering aloud where on earth my make up bag and brush went? I would certainly thank you for the leg and back massages and wouldn't mention a word about the inappropriate comment you made about taking my temperature. I wouldn't forget to thank you for the 4 pound bag of lemon drops you brought me to soothe my aching throat and I also wouldn't forget to say that you offered me a whole sleeve of Zestas. I would probably say that I think you should win Nurse of the Year or something. And then I would probably say that I loved you....(and I would hope that wouldn't weird you out since you were just my nurse and I was just your patient.)
Fingers crossed that you stay healthy. It's no fun...whatever this is...no fun at all.
We made it ten whole months without getting sick....but now this:
watery eyes and a runny nose
only one red rosy cheek
trying to keep cool under a cold washcloth (she was not a fan)
We're all exhausted...but only two of us want to sleep. We were up half the night in a luke warm bath, changing cool compresses, taking a rising temperature, wondering what else we could do. A trip to the doctor today revealed little, except that she may have an ear infection. Her fever is persistent and her eyes are sad and pitiful. It's amazing how much it hurts to see your baby miserable and feverish. Pray for a speedy recovery for Miss Ella Bella Boo Bear.