Posted by: rocketbride | January 17, 2012

dance her up to the skies

Here I am. Slightly ashamed by failure, but willing to try again.

I went to a Baby Time gathering today at the local Early Years Centre. There’s two per week, and this is the third week I’ve been able to get there. At first I was just getting out for Maggie’s sake: I needed to be out of the house, where I couldn’t find some way of keeping myself busy and away from her smiles. Going out forces me to concentrate on her, which makes everything else easier. I’m starting to be so in-tune with her that it’s almost scary. This is paying off in longer periods of independent sleep and less crying in general. (Especially now that I’ve mostly given up trying to take her out into the evening.) It’s a pretty awesome superpower, but sometimes I catch myself wondering how I can know what she wants. The flip side is that if, God forbid, I have my hands full with cooking or Blake, I know exactly how disappointed she is in my lack of timely response.

Anyway, Baby Time. I stay pretty quiet there, since I seem to have one of the youngest babies and generally seem to be parenting differently than the moms with burning questions. After the first time I thought that it was nice, but the most benefit was for Maggie. Then the next week rolled around and I realized I was counting down the days until I got to sit in a circle on the floor, listening to everyone talk about solid foods and sleep. Even if I’m not doing the same things as these moms, I’m not terribly bothered by it. For one thing, I’ve already done this, so I don’t lack for confidence. For another thing, it lets me hear other points of view, so I can be sure I’m doing the right thing.

Today I noticed how often I hear of the baby’s growth expressed as a series of projects, as in, “we’re working on vegetables/sleeping through the night/taking a sippy cup instead of a bottle.” Maybe it’s just because Margaret is still so young, maybe it’s because she might be my last baby, maybe it’s a matter of personal style or maybe it’s because I have fairly low expectations of her other than be delightful (which she fulfills daily); but we have no projects. I’m thrilled that she takes long regular naps in the day time, naps that I can look forward to and which make the both of us happy. But if she didn’t, the way Blake didn’t, I’d be content with it. Blake resisted scheduling so I don’t bother with her, and it amuses me that she’s found her own rhythm despite my indifference. She also enjoys brief periods of independence, which Blake never did. I hesitate to say that she’s a better baby, but she’s certainly easier in some ways.

While I’m not using my leave to work through a series of baby goals, I do seem to be working through a series of domestic goals. Last month I noticed that Mason wasn’t using his dresser at all: clothes cycled between the hamper and clothes baskets with no down time. He moved in piecemeal, which meant many temporary solutions for his stuff and not a lot of thought spent by either of us as to where everything should ultimately go. (It was only 4 months ago that I cleaned out half my closet for his use.) So this week I’ve been straightening out the chest of drawers a drawer at a time. It’s strangely fun working on someone else’s wardrobe because there are no decisions to be made, just classifications. Next project: the overflowing bookshelves of the basement, or possibly the howling mess that is Sage’s room/the second office/my yarn closet/where everything went before Christmas.


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