I’ve often heard months six through nine described as the “golden age of babyhood.” Baby is old enough to interact with and to be curious about their environment, they are sleeping longer and more consistently, and are generally just a joy to be with. That has certainly been true for my Sweetness. I’ve loved the past few months, and have been reluctant for this stage to end.
But end it must. Baby Girl has quite literally moved on into the stage of mobility. It happened so fast. She went from purposeful rolling to scooting and army crawling to full on hands and knees crawling in a span of about three weeks. In a way I’m super grateful that it didn’t take too long, since her lack of mobility was making Sweetums very frustrated and cranky (and thus determined to master movement faster), but I’m also so sad that my adorable baby has already made her first visible move away from me. She doesn’t need me as much anymore. I’m surprised at how bittersweet the knowledge is. I expected there to be a sense of relief when she could move herself where she wanted to go instead of depending on me to do it, but not a sense of loss.
I suppose this is how motherhood will always be, simultaneous pride and excitement as my child masters more skills and accomplishes new goals along with grief and pain as she moves farther and farther away from me. I didn’t think I would be the kind of mother (how many times have I said that) to want her baby to stay little and helpless, but a part of me really does wish for that. I’ve even had the thought that it might be nice to have a new helpless bundle of joy to dote on, until I slap myself upside the head and remember the sleepless nights, breastfeeding pains, recovering from labor and delivery, all with a toddler to deal with too? Yeah, pretty sure I can wait for a bit on that one.
Enough introspection. Here are a few lessons I’ve learned about having a mobile baby:
1. Power cords are fascinating
One of the first steps we had to take in baby proofing the house was to move all the cords we had dangling from outlets out of Sweetums’ reach. It meant moving some things into our room to be charged, getting our laptops off the floor and onto a side table, and rearranging monitors and laps to be less accessible. All less convenient, but certainly much safer. Plus, I’ve been wanting to deal with that tangle of wires for years, so it’s really a win win. 🙂
2. Baby proofing is necessary, but annoying
My hubby had the vacuum out this weekend to clean up some paint he’d scraped off the door frame (isn’t he a gem?). As he tried in vain to pry one of the outlet covers out so he could plug in the vacuum he remarked, “So how are you supposed to get these out once you’ve put them in?” Ah, therein lies the rub. Child locks, outlet covers, doorknob shields…when will they ever invent something that will be impossible for baby to use but possible for parents? I guess that’s like asking for a delicious fat-free butter substitute, or a cheap car that runs on water. Not likely to every happen.
3. Dog food is still very tasty
Yes, despite my best attempts, Charlotte did manage to get into the dog food bowl. Again. Our sweet puppy dog is so very willing to share with her younger sibling that she will bring mouthfuls of food into the living room where Charlotte is playing and leave them there for Baby Girl to munch on. So Gross. And also offensive. Little Britches gagged on the homemade baby food carrots I lovingly prepared for her, but chows down on dog chow. Maybe I should start feeding the dog pureed carrots. We’ve had to institute drastic measures to prevent it from happening again. Elphie no longer has access to her food bowl unless Charlotte is asleep or being held by one of us. So far it’s worked, but I will be happy when I can explain to my darling child the difference between her food and that of her furry sibling’s.
I’m told the next stage is pulling up on anything and everything. Time to get out the straps and anchors and start bolting everything to wall…starting with the TV and the ladder bookcase that is just the right height for assisting Sweetness into a stand position. Heaven help us.