Some things about child development just amaze me. When Olivia was a newborn, every waking moment was about experiencing something brand new. And it was all so overwhelming to her. I can understand why infants get overstimulated so easily. Imagine knowing nothing but dark, warm wetness for your entire existence and then suddenly being thrust into a world full of bright lights and strange noises and big shapes. Babies quickly begin to recognize those two people who are always hanging around (a.k.a. Mommy and Daddy) as the providers of all their survival and comfort needs, and they start to trust them. But for the most part, they really aren't very social. They just sort of exist and get their needs met.
Gradually, they begin to interact on a more social level. And before you know it, you have an intelligent little 8-month old who mimics words that you say (or at least your inflection), understands meals and naptime, claps when she's excited and follows Mommy around when she's doing household chores (because, you know the laundry is so much more interesting than any of her musical, talking or moving toys).
She's developing her own wake-up style and her personal preferences for naps and play and eating. She teaches us how to be parents as we grow together. And every day, there are moments when she just amazes me. When I go in to get her out of her crib after a nap, and she's sitting in the corner playing with her doll, and she flashes me that famous smile the moment she sees me...pure joy. I'll never fully understand how we got so lucky as to be blessed with this amazing child.
I think we are slightly spoiled. Although Olivia has her bad moments, the amazing moments completely outweigh them. I'm not sure how a second baby is going to stack up...although something tells me that whenever and however he or she appears on the scene, it will be different, but just as amazing and miraculous as Olivia has been for us.