Wednesday, December 31, 2008

To Paisley: Eleven Months Old

This past month has been a whirlwind of dinner parties, cleaning, cooking and other Christmas related activities. Your Dad and I have been thinking, and talking, a lot about families, traditions and what we want Christmas to look like for you as you grow up. We definitely don't want the focus to be on material goods which is partly why we didn't really buy you any presents this year. That and the fact that you have everything you could ever need or want and routinely snub toys for the packages they came in. We want Christmas to be about family, and spending quality time with the people you love. Getting together at Christmas really brought it home that you are the newest member of a great group of people. Everyone got so much joy from seeing you and spending time with you and it felt good to see you being so loved. I am glad we have so many more Christmases to look forward to.

I weaned you this month and I was so, so sad about it. I had every intention of nursing you until at least a year and probably much longer. Until you bit me or said "Mom, really, I would prefer a peanut butter sandwich if you don't mind" - whichever came first. I've been having all kinds of issues with my thyroid since you were born and as a result have been really struggling to lose weight. Another side effect is that my milk production dribbled to almost nothing and you were starting to lose weight. When I realized what this meant for you, and for me and our precious, warm moments together I was so upset. I didn't feel ready to give that up yet and I felt like a failure. It was hard for me but the idea that you were going to bed hungry was much harder yet. So, I moved you to a bottle and you never looked back. You took to the bottle so quickly and the rejection stung a little. But you're happy and putting on weight and HALLELUJAH!! sleeping through the night consistently. I wish I could have nursed you for longer but the first rule of motherhood has been learned: I am not in control.

This month I bought you some super shoes. They are designed for babies learning how to crawl/walk and they have been great. The laminate flooring in our house is nice and all but it offers no traction for your tiny little socked feet. Once you put on your shoes you can climb the stairs, and have even started crawling like a "normal" baby. I always loved your little army crawl but had a hard time with the holes in the bellies of your sleepers. Now, you use a hybrid of both, crawling for the most part but when you need to get somewhere fast, you drop to your tummy and drag yourself like a slug on crack. You have also started making this very funny/ugly face and I don't really know what it means. It's definitely happy and although it may not be cute in the traditional sense, I laugh every time you do it. Which might be why it isn't going away.

You are standing up on everything still and love your walker. The walker provides you with independence, options and the ability to actually, well, walk. A couple of weeks ago you stood up against the electric fireplace in the living room, which unbeknownst to me, was on. I was in the kitchen and as soon as I hear that cry, I knew something was wrong. I ran in, scooped you up and put your little hand under cold water. You wouldn't stop crying and I didn't know how to help you. I gave you Tylenol, I cuddled you , I fed you, I talked to you and while you tried heroically to be happy, I knew you were in pain. By the time your Dad came home we were both in tears. Your tender skin blistered and I felt like the worst mother on the planet. That night you whimpered in your sleep but by morning you were back to normal. The whole episode gave me a fright - being a mother is a huge job with a lot of responsibility and sometimes it scares me. Sometimes I would prefer to abdicate to someone else...someone with advanced medical training, a PhD in both child psychology and Nutrition and who can fly around the room using only an umbrella.

I remember putting up the Christmas tree this time last year - it was romantic, peaceful and full of expectation for the things to come. This year it was the three of us. You ripped the box of ornaments to pieces and ate a part of the tree. I'm so glad you're here.


1 comment:

Spring said...

Caroline, I love reading your letters to Paisley, your SUCH a good Mom and she is gonna adore you forever!