As Nathan starts to approach that 9 month milestone I'm remembering what it's like to have a mobile baby at my feet again. I find myself constantly saying, "Not for baby," "Don't touch that!," "No, no, no! Nathan!" I remember being so excited when John started showing signs of crawling until he crawled to the phone, dialed 9-1-1 and then hung up. That was the beginning of the end of my fascination with mobile children. With Nathan - I find myself dreading the thought of a crawling baby. He's mobile for all intents and purposes; using the army or inchbug method to get anywhere he wants and many places he shouldn't be. And we've already made one trip to the hospital to have his GI track x-rayed when I couldn't find a magnet that belongs to one of John's toys that Nathan was using a teething ring.
It's important for me to remember that daily household living isn’t always as intense as when there is a newly mobile baby on the scene. Getting out the door doesn’t have to produce a cold-sweat. Going to the store doesn't have to seem like the impossible dream.
Babies are wonderful and there are a lot of extra challenges when they are very small. In the very early, very challenging weeks with a newborn, the best lifelines I had were words of encouragement from my husband and from trusted friends. In those sleep-deprived days and nights, what I needed to hear most was “you’re doing great, you’re going to make it, this too shall pass.” I needed an opportunity to laugh a little and love a lot. Looking back, I appreciate every friend and family member who was quick to offer those things to me. But the fact of the matter is - I tend to find my groove pretty quickly. Those first few months when the baby is nursing and carried around in a sling are relatively easy for me. I feel like I can pick up and go at just about any time with little notice. After all, the baby will sleep anywhere, I'm his only food source, and as long as I have a diaper with me - the rest we can fake!
However, I seem to struggle with the "newly mobile, on some sort of a routine/schedule, prefers to sleep in his own crib" stage. I feel like there isn't time to run errands between naps and meals (at least not by the time I fill sippy cups, gather snacks, wrangle the kids into coats, buckle car seats, and run back in to grab my cell phone). Playdates seem next to impossible to schedule when I'm juggling John's therapies and two naps schedules. It’s not that things have been terrible, or I've been pushed into the pit of despair. However, reality is that I would love to have a helping hand about now. I need someone to do a quick sweep of the kitchen floor so I can set Nathan down while I cook dinner or a friend to gather the half-empty drinks from the coffee table before the baby struts over in his walker and dumps them on the floor. I need someone who is willing to come over and chat in my living room so that both my boys can sleep in their own beds at their regularly scheduled times.
Now that I’m on this side of things, I am trying to remain mindful of all the encouragement I received at the beginning. I am doing great. I am going to make it. This too shall pass. This stage, like all the stages, is short lived and one day soon - I'll be wishing I had it back.