I didn’t get a lot of pictures this week, so I guess I’d better talk more. Maria can now take up to twelve steps without falling or even squatting to regain her balance, and is navigating better; she can change direction slightly when taking a step without falling down. Is it just because she’s my first that I count steps and notice all these details? No doubt by the fourth child or so I’ll be relying on her to count for me.
Stephen had a super busy week this week; two full-length sermons (not counting daily homilies), two addresses for the pre-Advent retreat, a message for the church newsletter, and the complete compiling and formatting of said newsletter, in addition to normal weekday services, reading, etc. We spent Wednesday and Thursday nights working late (I wasn’t able to work much during the day because Maria was pretty clingy, and I needed to do some cleaning and rearranging in addition to the daily cooking and dishes-by-hand, thanks to the creepy black stuff growing in our dishwasher (which will soon be replaced, thanks to awesome landlords)), so we decided on Friday to have cocoa and play a game after Maria fell asleep (which, the last few nights, she’d been falling asleep around 7 and finishing nursing by 9 and then not needing another long feed for a couple of hours). Ha. She fussily almost fell asleep, then was wide awake. I took her potty, and we tried again. This time, as she almost succumbed to slumber, she woke in great and terrible sadness. So we took a hot bath, and she sat on my lap and gnawed my toast while I drank my cocoa and ate my peppermint ice cream (which she miraculously did not care for), then she played a bit before I finally got her to sleep around 11 so that we could have a deep discussion about work. So much for a date night. But Maria slept in until 7:30, so we decided we’d keep her anyway.
Parenting fail: put clean clothes on toddler and hand her a spoon of avocado. When she gets fussy, put her in the sling while you chop up an onion. When she looks up at you with moist eyes, you will realize how scatterbrained you’ve been and apologize profusely while drenching a washcloth in cold water for her. And she forgives you. Over and over and over again…
Her half of the cupboard has lids and Tupperware measuring cups and towels and wash rags. The other side has mixing bowls and storage bags and such. Maria very politely only opens her side, but after she rearranges it, she reeeeeeaches in and pulls out the more fun things. She loves stacking bowls. The more precarious, the better. Mommy quietly freaks out and puts away the glass things and reminds her that the pans in the next cupboard are just as noisy, but not as dangerous.
One of Maria’s favorite things right now is a door. Any door. Doors are wonderful. They open and close and open and close and open and close and MOTHER I CAN’T GET THIS DOOR OPENED! Another favorite is exploring under the covers in bed. Stephen introduced this one to her a couple of weeks ago, mentioning that he has fond memories of undercover chases (see what I did there? Ha) with his parents when he was tiny. I think it’s pretty cool that he can remember that far back, seeing as I only have a smattering of vague memories before the age of 8 or so. That was when I started becoming aware of how awkward I was, and it would go against the laws of nature to be able to forget humiliating public interactions, so my memory finally kicked in. But anyway. Maria will remember this delightful game when I’m putting her down for a nap, but she’ll get halfway under the covers and forget how to have fun and fuss instead. Games can be so sad when you’re tired. And speaking of sad, she’s been becoming much more sensitive. On the one hand, this means more affection (spontaneous hugs and kisses are awesome), but on the other hand, any kind of change distresses her. It’s not surprising, as change is kind of a big deal, at least for us, but it’s hard to remember to manage changes in such a way that she can participate and accept them a little more fully.
After a few weeks of intense teething (i.e., Maria wants held all the time, will not take naps unless she nurses the whole time, and puts on a brave face for anyone other than Daddy and Mama and is twice as exhausted and whiny when they’re gone), I found this post quite helpful. Being a peacemaker is something to strive after, even if only in small ways.
I love these parenting comics! They very aptly give a picture of what pregnancy, postpartum, and beyond look like, and it’s nice to have a little laugh about how crazy our lives really are.
These images are heartbreaking. As I snuggle and feed my baby, who has never known much fear, if any, on our clean(ish) bed in our snug, warm, safe house, I wonder why. Why them, not us? Why so much pain, so many hurt, so many scars that will never disappear? And I cry and pray, so hard.