Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Teething, Tantrums, and Toddlers

The past few weeks of dealing with the little one have proven to be quite the adventure. Wesley and I were both excited to be out of school and able to spend more time with the little one. Good thing, too. Because exactly one week from the day we got out she started to do big girl things. And I mean just about everything... In a 24 hour period little Aimee taught herself to clap, crawl efficiently, pull herself up, and wave goodbye. Though she's crawling at a point that many would consider late, I am thankful that she waited. Others have babies her age tat are already toddling along, wreaking havoc among everything they can touch. The fact that she's taking her own sweet time only gives me more opportunity to enjoy her baby-hood and watch her grow.

These new developments, however, have brought along a few issues with them. Her excitement at her new found talents grants us a trip back in time to a period where we never slept. Taking turns throughout the night watching her and wondering how she could stay awake for as long as she did left us feeling exhausted and helpless. Well we're back to that and wondering how long we will wait this time before she decides sleeping will not force her to forget how to do all those awesome things. It's proving to be just as exhausting as before, and even more frustrating. Her crankiness is at an all-time high due to her never ending teething and lack of rest. The two put together equal a baby who has learned both independence and how to show defiance, resistance, and throw a complete fit. Don't get me wrong here... I feel completely helpless at the thought of not being able to console the little one during this uncomfortable time of constant teething. I can only imagine how painful it must be to have pressure on your gums for 5 months straight. But now she's learned the art of tantrums, and is experimenting with throwing one as the main alternative to a much needed nap. This, in turn, brings about a new level of crankiness in both her and me. It seems to be a never ending battle between sleep and this monster I like to call 'baby adventure.' Her thirst to explore has created a beast not to be defeated by something so childish as an afternoon nap. So, once again we are left to what little patience we have left in hopes of repeating the cycle and gain victory for the nap.

Occasionally sleep overtakes her and I am left to my own thoughts and future strategies against the beast of sleeplessness. It seems as though I've tried everything possible. We've made car trips around the block at 5 in the morning and tried stroller rides in hopes that fresh air might encourage relaxation. Some techniques bring about even more problems, others work occasionally. The goal is sleep, for both parties. I'm sure there is a light at the end of the tunnel, however, I don't think I've worked myself far enough in to see it yet, which is hugely discouraging. But everyday brings more discoveries for little Aimee and I can't help but smile when she looks at me with her smug little grin when she's pulled off something new. It seems funny that in the midst of complete exhaustion we still find humor and light in the simple things the baby does everyday. Her transformation into a toddler is both exciting and terrifying. I am a neurotic first time mom and everything scares me. But she's taken a couple dives off the couch and I'm glad I don't know what else she's got herself into. I've realized through the whole endeavor that babies are pretty sturdy and seem to have a heavy layer of armor that we as adults have forgotten about. I get more and more excited everyday about what she will surprise me with next and look forward to seeing her take her first steps.

So bring it on, universe. This baby ism heavily armored and heavily guarded. Teething and sleeplessness won't defeat this fighter... Her mother, however, well that's a different story. You can pick me up off the floor when she's out of this crazy stage. I'll pick up where I left off I suppose! For all moms who have been there... Kudos to you.

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