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January 11, 2014

On Seven Months

IMG_20140106_171400As it was when Harriet was  a baby, seven months has been a turning point. The baby has become vertical. She sits and eats her dinner with us in her chair. She has a sense of humour. I can put her down and she can play by herself, thereby ensuring that dinner gets made. She and Harriet are beginning to play together. We have found equilibrium as a family of four. And yet seven months is turning point in another sense, such as we’ve turned a corner and smashed into a wall. It would be more troubling if we hadn’t been precisely here before, but it’s still exhausting and frustrating. Six nights out of seven, she won’t be put down to sleep in the evenings, and then we take turns sitting on the sofa drinking wine by ourselves while the other is upstairs trying to get her to settle. Because we’ve been here before, we know enough not to turn it into a power struggle, we know that baby needs what she needs, and that “sleep habits” are indeed something a child of 18 months can indeed acquire out of the blue. I always expected that we’d end up here again, but oh, it’s not a fun place, even if you’re only visiting. (She is upstairs, screaming right now, and just spat out her soother and it sailed down the stairs.) We know we know we know, and it could be a million things–she is teething (or just evil?), and on antibiotics since this morning for cellulitis. I spent 4 hours last night at the emergency room having that cellulitis diagnosed, so you can see why I had hopes for having earned a more enjoyable way to spend my time tonight than the screamy baby relay. When I am refreshed enough to be philosophical about the whole thing, I know she is little, in need, that I love her, and these days are fleeting (and it’s the nights that are the trouble; the days themselves are fine, and I’m not even really tired because once I come to bed, she is happy enough to sleep beside me), but more often on these nights, I’m just impatient and angry. There is nothing like a baby to take one to the limits of herself. My own limits, as I learned very early in my mothering days, are closer than I’d like to admit.


3 thoughts on “On Seven Months”

  1. I appreciate your candidness. Regards to the wee ones. 🙂

  2. sheree says:

    Motherhood has been the best and worst of me. xoxoxoox

  3. Kristin says:

    I used to say my middle child was a wonderful day time baby. She was pure evil at night though. Hang in there. Lack of sleep is a terrible thing.

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