The magic of your sweet, innocent baby pulling up on the furniture lasts for about 24 hours. How do I know this? Because yesterday morning we started our day with me (STUPID IDIOT) turning my back on my daughter for 30 seconds. In this short span of time (I was three feet away, by the way) she managed to pull herself up our ottoman with a coffee-table-top, fall, and bash her face on the wood on the top on the way down. When I turned around to the THUD she was lying on the floor on her back with a look of bewilderment that soon escalated into a four-alarm FREAK OUT. I picked her up and comforted her, thinking she'd just scared the beejezus out of herself as babies sometimes do when they're experiencing new things. Only? A gush of blood came out of her mouth and I soon realized that she had a HUGE cut on her top gums from her bottom teeth smacking into them.
(Insert me screaming for John and crying and FREAKING OUT here. Because that's what happened. It was the most awful moment of my life as a mother thus far).
After we all got mostly calmed down I called the pediatrician who soothed me with words like "this kind of thing happens all the time" and "she'll be fine" and "just give her a cold washcloth to suck on and maybe some Tylenol" and "babies' mouths heal quickly and they're used to it because of all the teething." BUT NONE OF IT MADE ME FEEL ANY BETTER. Because?
My little girl got hurt. She bled. It was entirely awful and she is entirely wonderful and I don't want her to ever, ever experience unnecessary pain. She's fine (and as you can see from the photo is SMILING and LAUGHING like her normal self just hours after injury) but finding bloody drool in her crib? Seeing her little swollen lip? MAKES ME WANT TO CURL UP AND DIE.
The worst part about it is that around 1 p.m. I had to leave and go on with my duties for the day: track practice and then Young Life. Every Wednesday I am gone from 1 p.m. to around 10 p.m. (last night, however? It was 11 p.m. And that was only because I bailed on some things that I needed to get done). I go back and forth SO MUCH about working part-time. Right now Wednesdays and Thursdays are full days for me and I only see my daughter in the morning (and she naps for two hours in the morning, usually from 9-11). In the grand scheme of things, it's only two days. I need activities and responsibilities outside the home to be the best mom (and person) I can be. But on days like yesterday when I have to leave her? When she's hurt? Even though I'm leaving her in the capable and loving hands of her grandmother? It about kills me.
I can hardly believe that my Sydney is nearly 9 months old. She crawls, she pulls up. She babbles and sings to anyone who will listen. She says, "HI!" and waves! She can feed herself. She (and her DADDY, dangit) has made a fun game of yanking off eyeglasses as many times as you'll put them back on. She splashes and swims in the bathtub and has all this crazy body control (well, some, not A LOT as you can tell from the whole whacking her face on the coffee table bit). She rides in the stroller WITHOUT the car seat in it. She laughs when we read to her. She has been holding her own bottle for months and months. I come into her room and find her sitting up in her crib waiting for me. She reaches up her arms to me in her Excersaucer when she wants OUT. She leans to people that she wants to hold her. She throws things on the floor so we can pick them up AS A GAME. Now when I go to the bathroom I have to take her with me and she happily crawls around and plays with the extra toilet paper rolls. Next? Oh man, let's not even go there.
When she was a few weeks old – even a few months old – I never, ever thought we would get to this place. I had no idea what it would be like (and I also probably imagined myself stuck in the glider nursing an infant at all hours of the day and night FOR-EV-ER). It is wonderful and mind blowing and sad all at the same time. I get all teary when I think about how she will only be little like this once. I can't miss a single thing, I can't forget a moment of this. My little baby. My sweet little girl.
(And now I know why people put themselves through multiple pregnancies.)
All children grow up. Except one. -J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan and Wendy