Photo dump! Emily is getting more mobile every day. She can now sit on her own for several minutes at a time, and can scoot with great agility. She has started getting up into the crawl position and rocking back and forth a bit. No real crawling yet though. She can also support her entire weight while standing, and seems very interested in trying to pull herself up.
We’re getting much better at having a good routine for the day also. Feeding solids, going for walks, and bath time are now basically daily events. I can’t remember why it was so difficult to make sure these three basic elements happened every day, but I think life with a newborn can feel like a blur of naps, play, changing, and feeding. I feel so much more sane now that we have some rituals and structure to hang the day on. The great thing is that Emily enjoys all of these things, which is the most important part. It’s no good to have a ritual that both of you sort of dread. So we’ve been easing into everything, dipping our toes in, figuring out what works and what doesn’t.
Here’s what it is. Parenting involves acquiring heaps and heaps of intuitive knowledge about your specific baby. You go in knowing nothing. But they all have their little preferences, and as their faces get more and more expressive, you get flashes of insight. So, something like bath time can start out confusing for everyone. Baby seems worried. Does that mean the temperature is too hot? Too cold? Am I soaping too fast? Too slow? What exactly can I do to help her relax? It’s unknown, but you try this, and you try that, and eventually you reach this amazing point where you have a baby in a bath tub, looking up at you and smiling, closing her eyes as you pour water over her head, and looking relaxed and happy as ever, and knowing that she knows that soon it will be time for lotion, and then the hair brushing, and then getting wrapped up in a cozy blanket, and then, bed time and sweet dreams. And it takes months to get to this blissful state, but when you figure it out – Aha! The pieces begin to fall into place, and you’ve got another ritual in your pocket.
So no, there’s nothing inherently difficult about a day in the life of a Mom (or a Dad). Walking. Dressing a baby for the cold. Feeding a baby. This is all incredibly easy stuff. But there’s an art to doing it well. Doing it in a way that feels like you’re on vacation rather than a battle. To be fair, I have one particularly easy-going and generally very happy baby. I don’t want to brag that I’ve got it all figured out, because I know that not all babies are this easy. But, I believe it’s possible to make progress with any little person. Even if your days are generally miserable, there might be just that one or two things that work like a charm, every time. You and your pre-verbal babe are a great team, working on a very big project – the most important project of all. You got this!