If I have learned nothing else in the past seven months, I have learned that parenting requires heaps and heaps of flexibility.
Case in point. After several weeks of glorious, sleep-through-the-night joy, Olivia has started waking in the middle of the night for no apparent reason. This has only happened a couple of times, but it has sent me into flashbacks of middle-of-the-night feedings. Only this time, she doesn't want/need to eat. I pick her up, cradle her and give her a pacifier, and she is completely still and calm. It takes 15 or 20 minutes to get her to close her eyes and go back to sleep, but when she does, she's down for the count. In fact, she's been sleeping later in the mornings.
Some say she's teething, and that could be true. She is more drooly and spitty than she's been in awhile. I can't imagine what a nuisance that teething thing must be for little ones. Imagine, as an adult, having a hard sharp pointy thing protruding slowly through your solid gumline. Pain.
We seem to have made it past the crawl-out-of-the-crib terror. It has become evident that she can't actually accomplish this (yet). And we've gone back to the former "don't enter her room for ten minutes and see what happens" approach to mid-nap or mid-night crying. Even though she can (and occasionally does) stand up and move around in her crib, she's getting better at locating her pacifier and putting herself back to sleep. In fact, she found her sleep sheep during yesterday's nap and successfully pressed the "heartbeat" button before laying back down and letting the rhythmic beating lull her back to sleep. She's getting back to sleep sooner and sleeping longer when she is left alone, so I think that's a good thing.
Flexibility applies to the nap thing too. I've decided that there's no such thing as a "nap schedule". She can do the exact same thing for two weeks and then BAM!, it completely changes. The best way to schedule our day (if we absolutely need to go somewhere) is to wait until she's ready to go down for a nap and then put her in the car. Accomplish whatever you can in the remaining time before she decides that she's DONE, and then be OK to drop everything and go home.
Random subject change. New moms, do any of you have problems with your knees? I have always been careful to protect my back by lifting with my legs, but it seems to have backfired after seven months of doing this with baby. In the stage between stationary and mobile, I hauled Olivia all over the house and would clean or cook with her on my hip. I still do this when she's fussy. This has resulted in a lot of deep knee bends to pick up toys, pans, whatever. Now my knees pop and crack and HURT. Maybe I should do some muscle strengthening exercises, but still I'm a little puzzled about these hurting knees. I've never been overweight and have never had problems before. I guess it really puts into perspective how an extra 17 or 18 lbs can really put stress on your joints.
Of course, she's totally worth it. On Saturday, she spent the day with her godparents and cousin while we went to a meeting. When we returned, they were all playing outside with the water table, and she was having the time of her life.
Between the splashing and playing and being outside and with her cousin (whom she LOVES), she was oblivious to the fact that we were even gone.
We MUST get one of these water tables! Olivia is quite the water baby. I can tell we are going to go through quite a few swim diapers this summer.
She is such a happy baby. And totally worth every ounce of flexibility required to keep up with her.