Emerson turned five-months-old on Friday and she seems more like a person and less like a baby to me every day. She decided to start sitting up at four and a half months, which I was not at all expecting. Alex and I were literally discussing this milestone and how it wouldn't happen for a little while and an hour later, while I was reading her a book, Emerson sat up. Pow. I felt so excited and proud of her in that moment, but also a little terrified, because sister is growing up (and becoming mobile) so fast. In the past month her repertoire for moving herself around has grown enormously—scooting, wiggling like a worm, sitting up, reaching, arching her back to free herself, jumping, rolling, pulling herself from place to place. She is On. The. Move. And I'm so not ready for it.
It's incredible to watch a child development, and incredible to watch them behave exactly as a book tells you they will behave. The good old Dr. Sears Baby Book warned me that Emerson would become excessively clingy and fussy just before hitting major milestones, and that she'd have to come back in (to me) a little more as she goes out into the world (in exploration) a little more. And right on cue, so it was. I had the most horrendous week with baby girl (the week before last), so much so that I took her to the doctor's office sure that something was truly bothering her. I got the you-are-such-a-first-time-mom half-smile from her doctor and was sent home with my baby still whimpering non-stop all day and waking up sobbing at night. But, the next day, she sat up. At the same time she seemed more aware, made new sounds, became much more independent and just seemed "grown up" in some new way I can't put into words. At that point, the (maddening) all day fussing stopped just a day shy of me completely losing my mind.
Now I have this new grown-up baby who currently needs to cuddle extra close at night, sometimes sleep on my chest like she hasn't done since the first few weeks of her life, and wants to nurse connnnnstantly. And you know what? I will let her have all those things. It's exhausting to be "on" for someone else all day (and night), to give more than I thought was possible to give, to try to fill as many needs and wants as possible (not my own, of course). But, I cherish the exhaustion, cherish the opportunity to do all those things, because Emerson won't always need me. She's already growing more independent at five months and I know it will continue to infinity (it may seem contradictory that she is newly independent and desperately clingy, but that's how it goes). I'm not saying that I don't break down at times or get frustrated, because I do. Oh, do I. But, I always return to a place of enjoying this closeness I have with my baby right now. This phase of her life is so short in comparison with any other. Even when I'm overwhelmed by the needs of my child, and motherhood in general, I still never feel like I want things to be any other way…..I still know with every bit of my heart, that I will cry when she's not a baby anymore. I will miss these (exhausting/stressful/chaotic/messy/confusing/long) days. Always. And forever. I will miss the enormous give-a-thon that is my life right now.
Other new developments: Emerson has quite a few obsessions. One is turning the pages in books. If she sees anything resembling a book she will launch herself in its direction and sit there until she has turned every last page. We read to her all day so it only makes sense that she wanted to become more involved in the process. The only problem is she obviously has no idea when to turn the page so we either have to be able to recite the book from memory or continue to tell it with large chunks of the plot missing. Emerson doesn't seem to mind. She has a job to do, and takes it very seriously.
One of Emerson's other obsessions is teeth brushing. She loves to watch mama brush her teeth and will break out in giggles at the sight of it. Then she will reach for the brush, which I let her hold onto so she can "help" me brush. She loves it. I don't get it. She is, however, very upset by Alex brushing his teeth (perhaps because he doesn't let her help?). This girl continues to crack me up. Children are so curious and engaged in life and love to help, even at five months!
|This is the nightgown Emerson wore home from|
the hospital. I put her in it the other night and
was hit with nostalgia….
and how incredibly different she looks today.
|Action shot. She's mid-roll.|
Look at the concentration of that face.
|Annnnd, she's over.|
|A ruffled bum is just the cutest thing ever.|