Tuesday, April 17, 2012


My little boy is nine months old today.  Nine months.  He has been out of my belly as long as he was in it.  Here are nine things I have learned in the last nine months:

1)  Naptime is a precious commodity.  And naptime does not necessarily mean that the baby sleeps as much as it means that the baby is not assaulting my eyes and ears for approximately 90 minutes.  Coincidentally, Finding Nemo is 90 minutes long.  And there is a strange magical silence that happens when Nemo is on the TV.  Nine months ago I would've thought to myself, "What kind of lazy mother lets her child watch a movie to give herself a break?".  Today I will tell you that this mom does it almost daily and it is the only thing that keeps me out of a mental institution.  I want to kiss the feet of the Pixar employee who created that magical little fish.  Judge me if you must.

2)  Babies learn at their own pace.  Some babies will crawl at six months.  Others will drive their mothers crazy by choosing to spend tummy time laying on their faces and whining.  Some babies will hold their own bottles.  Others will let the bottle sit in their lap and scream until someone puts the bottle in their mouth.  Unless that someone is Aunt Velvet.  Then some babies will grab the bottle with both hands and use a foot to prop up the bottom of the bottle.  Some babies are self-motivated and ambitious and attack life with vigor and purpose.  Others are content to just soak in life and let it happen around them while happily sitting still.  And when people say, "Oh he's nine months old.  I'll bet he's crawling everywhere and pulling up on everything.", the mommies of those "other babies" shouldn't cringe inwardly and try to explain their baby's "lack of development".  They should smile and say "Well, he does things at his own pace.  I'm sure he'll get there soon."  And then they should talk about the other awesome things their baby does.

3)  Awesome things babies can do include taking daily Prevacid like a champ, enthusiastically feeding themselves finger foods, clapping wildly when happy about things like dogs or Elmo, and playing a mean game of hide-the-yogurt-melts-under-the-hollow-blocks.

4)  Baby boys grab certain "equipment" when the diaper comes off.  If the diaper happens to contain more than urine Mommy better be on her toes to prevent the grabbing.  Either that or be prepared to disinfect the wall, changing table, and any other nearby surface.  <heavy sigh>

5)  Music soothes the savage baby.  "If I Were A Butterfly" gets a smile every time.  And "You Have Been Good" makes a fantastic lullaby.

6)  19 pounds, 9 ounces doesn't sound heavy.  Until you try to carry it around while doing other simple tasks.  Then it gets heavy awfully quick.

7)  If your child's head makes a big jump on the growth curve from month six to month nine it's possible that the pediatrician could call him a "melon head".  And if that same head sports a bunch of blond hair that stands straight up like a baby bird's people will stop you at every trip to the grocery store and comment about how cute his hair is.

8)  It doesn't matter what happens during the day, Daddy is ALWAYS more exciting than Mommy.  So is Nana.  And Aunt Velvet.  And the hyper-spastic dogs.  And the persnickety, self-absorbed whiner you call a cat.  And the checker at the grocery store.  And basically anyone who is not Mommy.  Mommy is ever-present.  Mommy is a constant.  Mommy doesn't get a big excited reaction when she enters a room.

9)  Despite the above statement, Mommy knows things that no one else knows.  Like that look in his eyes when he's just starting to get sleepy and really wants to be held and sung to.  Or the difference between his "I'm hungry" cry, his "I'm scared/hurt/uncomfortable" cry, and his "I'm mad and pitching a fit" cry.  Mommy also gets big smiles with two glowing bottom teeth each morning.  And she gets to carry him down the hallway and tell him who everyone in every picture is, and then take him to go pet the puppies, and then snuggle in the recliner for precisely 4 minutes before the morning bottle.  Mommy gets the little moments that no else gets.  And Mommy thinks that is the best part of her job.

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