Six months marks the point half way through baby-hood. Sigh. Seriously, how did this happen?
Up until a week ago, when I handed him a teething cracker as a form of entertainment and tried to shove some sweet potatoes in with a spoon, I have grown this chunky 17-pound baby up entirely through my body's own nourishment. No wonder I am always starving.
This third time around with a baby in the house I realize how much I have grown as a person over the past five and a half years, since I first entered the world of parenthood with little Annike. So tiny, and yet somehow she managed to occupy so much of my time. Every minute that had previously belonged to me was suddenly devoted to mundane and repetitive things like changing diapers and sheets and doing laundry and making ridiculous facial expressions for entertainment. I couldn't go anywhere without consulting my infant's schedule and every errand included a helpless child on my hip.
Life felt so slow when I first made that transition into staying home full time with my baby. How many times did some well-intentioned older person tell me to "treasure up each moment because it goes by so fast"? I wanted to punch them in the face. That season felt anything but fast to me. I was physically exhausted from jumping into a baby's rhythm of waking all night long. I was mentally exhausted from processing all that had changed in my life. Someone had ripped the rug out from underneath all I understood about myself, forcing me to redefine my entire identity.
I remember that season so clearly. Yet, here I sit now with three of these little buggers. Life must be so much harder now than it was then... but I am not struggling in nearly the same way. There are more piles of laundry to do and diapers to change and overall chaos in the house than ever before. Instead, life is going by quickly. So quickly. Too quickly. Those well-intentioned people were right.
This third time around I am treasuring up each moment I can catch. In a different way, I understand that this does not last forever, and may not even last through tomorrow. Sometimes that is a very good thing. Sometimes it is woefully sad.
I keep thinking about how sure I was to bottle train my first baby right away because the thought of never being able to leave her for an entire year of breastfeeding put the fear of bottle-training in me. This third baby has not even seen a bottle, because, well, I don't have time to mess with extra things like that. And, reality tells me there isn't anywhere I can leave him because even my husband doesn't want to watch three kids yet. Mostly, I haven't given him a bottle because I know this year already feels so short. Plus, if I get to go some somewhere with only one child, it is almost like being on vacation anyway. Boy have things changed.