Monday, June 28, 2010

Babies Bounce Back

As I'm sure all you smart readers were able to surmise from the recent posts, E has decided to both sit up on her own. And pull up to standing on her own. Both, in the same weekend. Well, as a matter of fact, her first attempt to pull up was only minutes after her first attempt to sit up. Although, her attempts at sitting up were far more successful than her first attempts at pulling up. In fact, the first attempt to sit up, resulted in, well... sitting up. Her first attempt at pulling up resulted in falling on the floor and crying for a long time. Oh well. Such is the world of babies.

And it is the world of babies, we have now moved on to the phase that I will refer to as "babies bounce back". There is nothing short of amazing at how much they cry when they get to this just barely mobile phase. She's constantly getting overly excited about one thing or another, forgetting to keep her balance, and falling over backwards. Or forwards. Or sideways. She cries. Bloody murder mind you. And 15 minutes later or so, she's back off exploring the world. It's an adjustment as a parent. You go from being the protector. To the... well... "run around behind them, fighting every urge to protect them, and let them figure it out on their own." Shortly after E decided she had "mastered" pulling up, I left her in the living room, on the floor. Ran up the stairs to grab her school outfit, and came back down. Not even 30 seconds. When I got back to the living room, E was standing beside a laundry basket full of towels. She was clutching the towel on top with one hand, and the side of the laundry basket with the other, as though the world would come to an end if she let go. Well the whole world probably would not have. But her little standing world, most certainly would have. And in that moment, I had this intense urge to run over, scoop her up, and say "NOOOO my little precious baby, you will hurt yourself if you fall." But I suddenly understood she was moving into a realm where making sure she had a relatively safe environment to explore in, was NOT going to prevent her from ever getting hurt. And so it began.

I keep learning, and chanting in my head, my new mantra "Babies bounce back." And she does. She has such determination, that she will fall down, go boom, cry for what feels like for ever. And then go on as if very little had happened.

Enter this weekend. Enter - bad mommy moment.

We went to a company picnic this weekend. It was fun, it was hot. I think E had a good time. What was to not like, wheeled around in a shaded stroller, people filling your cups as needed, and passing you little bits of yummy food. So it went well. Even the long drive to and from the picnic went well. But 2 blocks from our house. I look in the mirror in time to see E take a sip of her bottle, turn pail, and proceed to throw up on herself. GREAT! On the positive side, we were only 2 blocks from home. On the negative side... well really... I'm sure I don't have to explain it! But back to this weekend. And my bad mommy moment. We get home 2 minutes later and I scoop E out of the car seat and bring her into the house. I put E down in the bathtub for just a second so I could put some other things down and get ready to give her a bath. There was no water in the bathtub. And, she was covered in vomit. Seemed like a good contained spot for her. WRONG. First, she starts to crawl around the tub. Ok. Not so bad. I mean she can't get far right? WRONG. Then she slips, puts her hand in the drain. REALLY?!?!? Come on kid! I didn't think to put the plug in the drain, again, NO WATER, and she was OBVIOUSLY too big to fall in the drain. But I didn't think she'd be shoving her hand down it. So anyway, AGAIN, back to the bad mommy moment. She slips in the drain, and BONKS her head on the bathtub. HARD. I was in the room, I saw it happen, my heart sunk, I felt horrible. And I couldn't move fast enough to get to her. Not fast enough to prevent her from panicking and whipping her head to the SIDE, and then conking herself on the SIDE of the tub. Bad Mommy moment is in full swing now! I finally get to her. Scoop her up, and kiss her bumps. Trying to calm her down. She's still soaked. So we both climb into the bathtub, full clothes, and I turn on the water to clean her up. As if her world was not already spinning. The shower flip was still on, so instead of coming out in the tub, the water starts pouring down from above. E starts screaming bloody murder. At the top of her lungs. ABUSE! It was as if it was the straw that broke the baby's back. Daddy had come into the bathroom before I had tried to turn the water on. I sat on the floor of the tub, with E in my arms, fully clothed, soaked, and just looked up at him. I wanted to cry like E. But I'm mommy. So I pulled myself together, pealed her out of her dirty clothes, and finally accomplished filling up some water in the tub and cleaning her up. Daddy was able to sweep her up and take her to the living room, where, with a new diaper on, she decided it was safe to move on. And off she went. Back to crawling all over. Sitting up. Falling over, standing up, falling down.

It was when I realized my new mantra... Babies Bounce Back.

E has a big bruise on her forehead. And my heart still aches when I look at it. But E is still moving on. Even took her bath in the tub without any seeming leftover dislike for it, given the previous days disaster. So as I said. We've moved into a new phase. One which no matter how hard I try to protect her, I can't protect her from everything. She will get her fair share of bumps and bruises, cuts and scrapes. And I'll just have to try to limit what I can, and try my mommy magic to heal the rest.

To all the Mommies and Daddies out there, keep your heads high as our little ones start to fly. And as always, who dropped the pacifier!

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