The Best and Worst of Each Baby Stage.
Before having my baby, I had visions of my future.
I knew my baby would wake up at night, but I imagined lying peacefully feeding her, feeling relaxed and calm, both of us drifting off to sleep.
I knew my baby would cry, but I imagined that my gentle cooing and rocking on my (very stylish) rocking chair would calm her back to sleep.
I knew I’d be tired, but I imagined that a strong pot of coffee in the morning would revive me.
But as a friend once said about parenting, “Each stage is both wonderful AND difficult.”
Let me explain.
OMG. Listen to that little squeaky cry. Is that not the cutest thing you ever heard?! She sounds like a baby kitten! Look how she gobbled up all that milk! How cute are those teeny, tiny little diapers.
Listen to that squeaky cry. Will it ever end?! I’m going psychotic from lack of chocolate. Sleep. I mean SLEEP. Can someone please bring me some chocolate? She gobbled that milk so quickly! Did she get enough? Is she hungry? Are we starving her? Do those tiny nappies even fit?
She’s talking! Listen to her say mama and baba! She’s a prodigy, a genius! And she’s eating already! Look at how she opens her mouth for her apples and pears. What a clever little girl. And she’s almost crawling. Someone call Harvard and lock in her application for 2035.
She’s talking! But shouldn’t she be making more sounds at this age? Jenna’s little boy is making more sounds. What if her speech is delayed? Should we call the doctor? Do you think we should be doing baby-led weaning? I don’t want her to have a bad relationship with food because we spoon-fed her moosh till she was one. But I also don’t want her to choke on a chicken bone. And pick up the batteries and the knife off the floor! SHE IS CRAWLING!
Later Baby Stage
Look at her playing with the other children! So social! Much adorable! They’re totally interacting, and it’s the cutest thing I’ve ever seen! And she wants to feed herself sandwiches now! Practically ready for kindergarten. When did this baby become an adult? Sunrise, sunset honestly!
Ashira, you can share your toys... No, you don’t need to hold everything that she has... Don’t pull her hair… Ash, it’s really nothing to scream about... Please don’t smear vegemite all over the cupboard, darling, and try to avoid getting yogurt in your hair. Again I know you want to feed yourself but can mummy help you, just with the chicken soup? PLEASE?!
As corny as it sounds, I feel lucky to have both the wonderful and the difficult (on a good day) (when she’s slept) (and eaten) (and let me sit down for 30 seconds).
Having a child is not what I imagined.
It’s filled with more love than I ever imagined.
While no pot of coffee could cure the perpetual exhaustion, no rocking chair could soothe my overtired, won't-stop-screaming child and the idea of co-sleeping now gives me the shivers, I’d take my reality over my envisioned parenting any day.