Fair warning: this post is not about food. If you’re not into reading about another mom gushing over her baby, I promise my next post is dessert-related. However, I’ve been lucky enough to share some of the important events in my life on this site with you, my lovely readers, so I hope you enjoy this little piece I wrote (have been writing for the last month!) for Isabelle as she turns six months old.
I read this oft-forwarded piece about not carpe diem, which hit me at the perfect time because at
five six months, Isabelle is seriously accelerating in all her developments (she can sit up! and hold things!) and I’m getting all teary-eyed about the end of her first year approaching. Silly, right? To already be thinking of her 1st birthday? But when you can virtually see the changes in her from day to day, and you have everyone telling you, “Enjoy this time while you can!” I kind of enter a panic mode instead. Am I enjoying this time enough? She’s my first child, and I don’t know if she’ll be my only. What if I miss out on something and I never have the chance to experience it again? Should I be photographing more? Should I have the video recorder on all the time? Why was I on the computer when I should have been playing with her? Look at all these other moms who’ve documented every step of their children’s development! Why didn’t I do that? Where’s the freaking pause button on life? All of which leads me into a spiraling frenzy of agitation and guilt that certainly guarantees I’m not enjoying anything, at this moment.
I guess I’m starting to sound like one of those crazed parents: probably true, but I think it’s the pragmatic planner in me that would like to know the precise roadmap of my child’s life so I don’t miss out on anything at every stage of her development. It’s human nature, I guess to want good things to last forever. I know that she will continue to grow and change, and that every age will hold its surprises and joys, but it’s hard, when I’m enjoying this time so much, to not want to stay suspended in this period, and not think that she is just absolutely perfect, right at this instant.
Confirmation of why I’m loving this time so much: here’s another quote that I found online, in an article where parents were asked about their favorite age. One parent replied, “That run up to 18 months is stupendously gorgeous, like watching the buildings of a city light up at night, a million light switches being flipped on.The other ages beyond that were cool and beautiful but 18 months was a fantasy.” Yes, precisely. I feel like these days it’s constant astonishment at all the things she’s starting to do. At five and half months, she virtually changed into a different baby over the weekend. Whereas she had rolled from front to back before but seemed to lose interest in doing it, now she rolls front to back and back to front with aplomb. She was doing the wobbly-sitting-in-mom’s-lap-for-30-seconds thing, now all of a sudden she can sit up by herself – and gets mad when I try to lay her down! Instead of just reaching for her hanging toys, now she grabs for everything within reach – watching her manual dexterity develop is fascinating. She actively looks around to see what’s going on, seeking me, Dad, or Snickers out – when she sees me walking away, the expression on her face morphs into full-on betrayal and the cries of dismay are, well, loud.
A couple weeks ago I noticed she was watching me eating an apple. I held a slice near her mouth, and she started licking away at it like she’d been dying to get started on solid food! When I took it away, she started squawking angrily and very clearly gave me a look that said, “I want it back!” At that moment I felt an almost physical thrill that I had truly communicated with my baby and we were moving to the next level of understanding each other, followed by an immense wistfulness that she was really, truly, no longer my tiny little newborn. Up until the last month, with life mostly revolving around the simplicity of eating, sleeping, pooping, and making her smile, it’d been easy to sometimes think of her as the world’s cutest little doll. But with this recent developmental spurt, I can now see her becoming her own little person, exploring her big new world and developing her own little personality. It feels like my heart is unfurling and expanding with a mix of awe, terror, and joy until it’s about to burst from my chest.
What’s next? Well, as a first time parent of course it’s all a rollercoaster ride in the dark. While there are ups and downs (I’ll be the last person to ever try and claim 100% bliss all the time with a 100% perfect child), I am always mindful how lucky I am that she’s been a relatively sweet, easygoing, and problem-free baby so far, and it carries me through all the trickier moments. So maybe not so much the frenzied focus on carpe diem, but rather a thoughtful harvesting of all those kairos moments every day.
Because holy moly, do I ever love her.
Here we are celebrating six months for Isabelle with a little something from b. patisserie!
The cleaning and scrubbing will wait till tomorrow,
for children grow up, as I’ve learned to my sorrow.
So quiet down, cobwebs. Dust go to sleep.
I’m rocking my baby and babies don’t keep.
– Ruth Hamilton
Thank you for sharing your sweet little baby with us. She is precious…and you are a wonderful mom.
Thank you so much Diana! I feel very lucky to be her mom:)
Isabelle is an absolute cutie pie! <3 Happy 6 months!
Thanks plumbunnie! Six months went by so fast!
Mr. & Mrs. P says
Too cute!! Adorable!
Thanks Mr. and Mrs. P!
how cute is she?
what a wonderful post.
Thanks so much! I’m so glad you enjoyed reading the post, as much as I loved writing it!
This is a lovely post and I’m glad you shared it with us.
Baby/toddler hood is so delicious. I remember feeling almost giddy for those first 18/24 months. (Probably helped along by the fact that we had waited so long for our son.)
Our son is now almost 6 and still delicious albeit a different flavor. A flavor with perhaps more sour sprinkled in. 😉
Thanks Colette! I’m so glad you enjoyed reading it! I’m so happy you have such wonderful memories of your son’s first years as well. I am sure many challenges lie ahead of us, I’m just treasuring all these good times now!
Aunt LoLo says
Love it, love it!!! My Ying-Ying was born on 1/30, so I think our two bugs are about the same age. (We gave YY some watermelon triangles to nosh on last night. HILARIOUS. She got so mad when she accidentally threw them on the floor! She didn’t want to stop sucking on them. haha)
Thanks Aunt LoLo! Yes, Isabelle is just about the same age as yours! They get more and more fun every day. I love that they don’t get when they throw things on the floor it’s their fault!!
Your little girl Isabelle is so adorable! Love her rosy cheecks and that sweet smile of hers! She’s precious!
Thanks so much Faithy! I love her rosy cheeks too – I think they’re from her dad!
She is adorable!
I love the second part of the first year, the light goes on in their brain. I taught hand signals to my kids because by 8 months they are able to understand words but they won’t be able to speak for another few months. This way they can communicate hunger, thirst, and other needs by 10 months. This makes them less frustrated, as many of the tantrums they experience I believe are due to their frustration because they can’t communicate verbally.
My kids are teenagers, and while I miss their first years and would like to be able to go back in time, I have to say that I truly enjoyed every age, the challenges and the developments. Teenegers are fun, they become independent thinkers, and that is a gift on its own.
Enjoy every second, and live in the moment.
Thanks so much Laura! Sounds like you’ve loved motherhood and raised some great kids:) I am thinking of teaching Isabelle signs as well, as it’s becoming so obvious that she has so many things she wants to communicate! It is amazing watching her trying to make sense of the world all around her:)
She’s absolutely gorgeous.
My daughter is 15 months and this has been the most amazing, and tiring, year and a few months I’ve ever had.
You’ll continue to have these thrilling moments and she’ll continue to amaze you. Having a child is the most awesome thing.
Thank you so much Jessica! Glad you’ve been enjoying motherhood too! I’m glad to hear that I have so much more to look forward to. Every day she grows a bit more!
Allison Daugherty says
What a wonderful post Anita! Thank you for sharing. It is making me even more excited (although I’m not sure it’s possible for me to be more excited right now) to meet my own little girl in just a few days’ time.
Absolutely adorable! Life is about the little things 🙂
My little one is just over 1 year old… you are right: every single day is different from the one before and truly funny. They learn things overnight… I’m starting to feel “slow” in doing things if I compare myself to her 😀 Enjoy every single day (I try my best but sometimes things needs to be done anyway) and relax: you won’t miss a thing if you will be there with your little treasure. She is really gorgeous, beautiful eyes
Anita: Your have a lovely baby, she is so pretty. You’re lucky.
Cute little girl.!!
You can’t never take to many pictures, we have a son that’s 11 and a small baby girl she is 16 months. And we have about 5000 pictures of our son from birth to now and more than a 1000 of my daughter, so take all the pictures you want she will love you for it when she gets older.!
My favorite age is from 16 months to about 2 years, it’s here they really start to figure everything out for example it’s first when they are about 15 months, that they realize it’s them in the mirror.
When that happens try filming them doing things, you will have a laugh I guarantee it.