A list of thoughts from my tenth month of being a mother.
For the first time, I’m really sad Leo’s getting bigger. Don't get me wrong, it’s super fun that she's getting older and doing fun tricks and being a person. But it’s the first time I feel like she’s not really a baby anymore and it makes me a little sad.
Her hair is growing, but only in certain places and it looks hilarious. She has these weird side wisps that make her look like one of the Three Stooges. They stick straight out and it’s amazing.
She still has no teeth. And I’m hoping she doesn’t get any until she’s at least a year old because once she does, I’m pretty sure our breastfeeding journey will be over. I want no part in that.
Two of the most traumatic incidences of my life happened this month. I will try to share them with you as accurately as possible.
Traumatic incident 1:
There was a bird in my room. A BIRD. INSIDE MY ROOM. On the one night that Ben was out of town. I had told Ben about a month ago I thought there was a bird living in our attic but we didn’t know what to do about it so we didn’t do anything. It turns out, the bird could take care of itself. It escaped our attic through the un-drywalled section of my closet, bursting forth from the insulation with obvious malicious intent. It took over my bedroom and bathroom, pooped all over my sink, crawled under my bed, and tried to murder me multiple times (it didn’t SAY it was trying to murder me but I could tell that was its goal). I did end up getting it to fly out of the window (while wearing Ben’s shoes, a hoodie, a coat, a hat, and gloves while wielding two tennis rackets and using the window screen as a shield) but it wasn’t without a fight. It may seem funny now, but it freaked me out so much I couldn’t even walk into my closet for like a week.
Traumatic incident 2:
Last Sunday Leo was sleeping in super late. We’d been at my parents’ house for the week and her sleep schedule had been way off, so she was exhausted. She’d gone to bed at 6:30pm and was still sleeping at 9:45am, so I decided to go in and check on her. I walked in and put my hand on her back to make sure she was breathing, but I didn’t feel her moving. So I (gently) shook her a few times and she didn’t wake up. And I FREAKED OUT. I picked her up and shook her again and she finally woke up and started crying. I realize she was never in danger and she was just in a really deep sleep, but there were about 3 seconds where I thought we’d lost her and it was the most awful, upsetting 3 seconds of my life. It really shook me up. I was on edge and crazy anxious for like, 4 days after that. Again, I realize she was never actually in danger, but in my mind she was and it was awful. It was a weird, slow-motion, out-of-body kind of experience. I have no funny or insightful thoughts on this. It was just awful and I hated it.
I realized I must seem super old to teenagers. I was sitting by a group of high schoolers at a restaurant with Leo and I realized they see me as like, a real adult. Also our babysitter called us Mr. and Mrs. McKain. I’m basically elderly Rose at the end of Titanic to these kids.
All of my fashion-energy now goes into dressing her instead of myself. I spend about twice as much time picking out her clothes as I do my own. Lots of people would say “You should take time for yourself and put that energy into your own outfits so you feel good about yourself!” Well spoiler alert: I kind of secretly love it because this is the best excuse I could have for being the under-dressed slob I’ve always dreamed of being. Before Leo, if you saw me at Target and I looked like I hadn’t showered in 5 days and I was wearing dirty leggings and a tank top you’d say “Oh my goodness, are you ok? Are you sick? What’s wrong with you?!” but if you see me looking like that WITH a baby people say “Oh you must be such a good mom! You take such good care of your baby! Look how exhausted you are, she must’ve had a rough night!” Nope, she sleeps great. I just hate showering. I’m working the system.
When Leo wakes up she rolls around in the crib and talks to herself and it’s adorable. Sometimes she’ll spend an hour just hanging out in her crib talking and making noises. And every time you go to get her out of bed she smiles real big and giggles. It’s the best.
Turns out, I really love key lime pie and blueberries and cherries. Having Leo eat new foods has taught me I also like new foods! Who would’ve thought!
Now that Leo eats solid foods she poops like 3 times a day. But it’s like, real poop. I do not like this development.
The gross diapers were followed by her first real diaper rash. It was super sad.
I wore real jeans with an actual button for the first time since 2017. It felt great for a minute, but then I missed my stretchy pants.
She started crawling and then started walking like, 2 weeks later. I feel tricked. I thought I’d get lots more time between those two things. We did a lot of baby-proofing very quickly.
Now that she’s more mobile and independent her personality is really coming out. She is SO brave and has zero fear. Once she decided she could walk she kept trying to do it by herself, she’d just let go and sprint toward her goal (and by sprint I mean take a few very fast steps then fall down). She’s also super funny. Anytime we try to go get her she crawls away as fast as she can while laughing to herself. It’s very amusing.
We had our first instance of name shaming this month. The checkout lady at Home Depot asked what Leo’s name was and we said her full name is Leonora but we call her Leo. The lady said “Leo!? That’s a boy’s name, that’s not a cute enough name for a pretty girl like you. Maybe they should call you Nora instead. That’s a pretty girl’s name.” I had a lot of issues with this for lots of reasons that I will not go into now, but it made me realize we need to have a plan for when this inevitably happens again. Plan A is to punch whoever says that in the face, but I realize I may need a Plan B for legal reasons.
Let me save you some terrified googling: if your baby eats a lot of blueberries their poop may look black but it’s really ok and your baby does not have some sort of weird intestinal disease.
I really like this baby. She’s super fun and funny and cute and I’m really glad she lives with us.