As a very independent person, used to being on my own schedule, becoming a Mom has in certain ways been quite the adjustment. There are days that are just plain hard. I feel guilty for even thinking that, knowing how "easy" I have it compared to some people out there (having an amazing husband helps emmensely). Some mornings it's extremely difficult to drag myself out of bed at 7am, especially being a night-shifter.......and a born sleeper. For years of my adulthood leading up until I actually gave birth, I openly admitted to being terrified of the personal sacrifices accompanied with parenthood, particularly the loss of sleep part. But with all that being said, none of it out weighs the renown joy and unconditional love associated with being some one's Mother.
It's an undescribable feeling when you wake up one morning, walk into the living room, and your baby looks at you smiling, and immediately starts crawling (for the first time) across the once vast space of floor between you, closing in on the gap of distance until there's nothing left to do but cuddle. It's a considerable reward to be actively seeked after, making the several months of being the one putting forth all the effort totally worth it.
That moment happened 8 weeks ago, but in so many ways feels like yesterday.
At first Dillon's crawl was Clydesdale-like, sloppy and slow. I jokingly referred to him as my baby elephant. You could hear him coming from a mile away, stomping with utter might on all fours, almost vibrating the floor. Two weeks into crawling from one toy to another, to the base of our legs, his world expanded as did his endurance, and he started to discover the living room was actually connected to a house, composed of many other rooms, filled with loads of interesting gadgets, like a noise making piano and creaky puppy crates and a pantry door packed with crinkly packages and kitchen cabinets hiding clanky gems.
Cruising and crawling happened almost simultaneously; virtually nothing was off limits. The boy was pushing anything and everything from point A to point B with a mission! His DOC Band was starting to come in a great deal of handy, easily doubling in purpose as a barrier between his noggin' and any obstacle he accidentally bumped or fell into. Sure, we still had our ouchies, like the time he crawled to see me in the kitchen, used the frig to stand up, and reached out to grab my leg so he could be picked up (all AT LEAST an hourly ritual), only this time I was moving quickly and before either one of us could comprehend what was happening, his face directly met the hard uninviting tile floor. Screams and tears flooded the air, met with intense guilt on by behalf for lacking the intuition of expecting him to reach for me. My first instinct after swooping him up was to check and make sure his only 2 teeth were still intact; they were. Whew, that was a close one!
Things slowed down for almost an entire month when our Sweetness seemed to be even more cuddly than normal, accompanied by a great deal of fussing. His first ever ear infection would prove to be a doosy and require not one, but two rounds of gut wrenching antibiotics to conquer. It was a rough patch, for sure, and everyone faced the consequences. Our hearts were ached for our little boy, who is always very lovie (one of my favorite qualities about him), but for this stretch way more love was in order.
Eventually routines got back to "normal", if there ever really is a "normal" with a constantly changing baby. Growing like a champ, as evidenced by his already snug sized-18-month wardrobe that we thought would last him through the summer (it's not even officially summer yet, according to the calendar), a stellar report from his DOC Band appointment that his head was filling out to perfection, and a decreased interest in milk with an increased interest in anything he can pick up to eat (forget spoon-feeding; he's been refusing to be fed with a spoon for 2 months now), and back to babbling like a teenager, our baby took his first witnessed unassisted steps 1 week ago after spending an entire hour sprinting around the living room behind his walker and crying every time he came across a road block. He wanted to GO!
On May 11th, at 10.8 months old, while being completely engulfed in the process of devouring some sauce soaked pizza crust, Dillon walked from one side of the recliner to the other, ALL BY HIMSELF. He had no idea. The only thing on that boy's mind was pizza. A few minutes later, still completely distracted, he walked from the recliner to his toy cabinet. A half hour later, when Patrick got home, he did it again, this time with nothing but his new found confidence to fuel him forward. And then again in the kitchen.
There's something tremendously satisfying about watching your mini gain wisdom through daily experiments and eventually the confidence to tackle a new skill. He makes the ordinary things in life feel exciting. He fills the once dull moments with giggles, hugs, big open mouthed slobbery kisses, and occasionally an accidental (I hope) punch in the face. Besides crafting, working out, sleeping in, and cooking, whatever did I used to do all day without that little butterball full of cuteness?