Life is absurd. And life is precious. Family is a lot of both.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Perfect 10

Contrary to the adage, I have never forgotten the pain of childbirth. I can conjure up those memories no problemo. Obviously it didn't keep me from having another, and another, and another, and another. And another.

What I do seem to forget are the details of life with a 10-month-old. It has taken me by surprise each and every time how all those new skills will affect my daily life. This time I am writing it down so I will not forget again. And also so I can easily remind my teenagers why they owe me. Forever.

Pulling up. This is so great. So cute when little ones figure out how to grab hold of the couch cushion and heave themselves up to their feet. Not as cute when Babycakes pulls up on the side of his crib at bedtime and cannot get down. Then starts the "pry little fingers off, plunk little bottom down, kiss little cheek goodnight and walk out all over again" dance. Also not so cute when the pulling up skill coincides with Mama wearing pajama pants in the kitchen. One big tug makes for two surprised people! More if others are already up and waiting on breakfast.

Self feeding. It's adorable when chubby little fingers try so hard to make squishy little vegetable bits connect with wide-open bird mouths. Not as endearing when the squishy stuff ends up in the hair, under the tray, down the diaper (how do they do that?) and all over Mama too. Am currently doing as much laundry for Baby as for all his siblings combined.

Learning to push buttons and pull levers. It's fun when Baby can finally play with all those colorful plastic toys that have been perpetually scattered across the living room floor since his birth. Watching him mash the flashing buttons and push the little cars is cute...for the 15 minutes or so that he is interested in toys. Then it's on to the kitchen cabinets and bathroom drawers. Why, Baby, why are electrical cords and glass jars so much more appealing than the latest must-haves from Fisher Price?

Smiling on cue. Click, click, click. We take dozens of photos of that adorable open-mouth grin with crooked new teeth and bright pink gums. Bright pink because there are more teeth coming in. There are always more teeth coming in. I finally got the spit-up stains out of my favorite shirts only to have them soaked now with drool. And again with ignoring the bright plastic teething toys. What works best, apparently, is Mama's shoulder and the tender skin of any unsuspecting family member's ankle.

Loving the pets. It is so sweet when your little humans recognize and develop an affection for your little animals. Less sweet is the "petting" of little animals by the over-enthusiastic, usually-sticky-fingered Baby. "Gentle, gentle!" we chide as the dog looks at us like she's been betrayed. Again.

Babies are a mess. They're sticky, whiny, unsteady, needy, rough on the skin, and did I say sticky? Putting up with them takes a whole lot of patience and energy. Which is why, I suspect, God makes it so easy to forget everything. Everything except how darn cute they are with their bright eyes and squishy soft cheeks and little pink mouths that babble "Mama". When a long day ends with a downy head burrowed into my neck as I sing that same old lullaby, I can't help but look forward to more of it tomorrow.

Why did I do it again and again? Now I remember.

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