Tuesday, October 25, 2016

9 Months...OR When the Miracle Eats Dog Kibble

Matthew...my little ball of energy is 9 months old!!! He's been outside as long as he was on the inside (literally, since he was 3 weeks early plus had a bonus week on the outside in a petri dish...).   What a crazy 18 months it has been.

Matt is just funny.  His personality is really beginning to come out, and I think we scored in that department.  He's pensive and introspective.  He studies new things carefully.  Yet he loves to have fun and enjoys being silly.  He's not a pleaser.  He does things on his own time after much thought and consideration.  He seems to be a little introverted, which I totally get. He's also pretty chatty with us, but less so in public. In fact our babysitter asked me if he was talking yet, and I was floored, because he's not usually quiet for very long.  I asked him to tell her "Bye-Bye" and he immediately said bye-bye. She was just as shocked as I was when she asked me if he was talking yet...*sigh*  This does not bode well for school, I fear.

He FINALLY clapped yesterday for the first time.  We actually took a rare and ever elusive nap and he woke up before me because I found him lying on his back studying each of his hands.  They were approximately a body width apart and had assumed an appropriate pre-"pat-a-cake" position.  He carefully brought his hands together and pulled them apart, then tried a little faster and got a little sound. I'm so very proud.  He refuses to clap for BJ, however...

His other skills include finding toys hidden under a blanket. Chasing kitties and golden retrievers. French kissing golden doodles. Speed crawling, waving bye-bye and feeding himself are also much more precise than they were during his 8th month.  Precise but not always accurate...

I make most of Matt's baby food because it kinda skeeves me out to eat 3 year old bananas. So anyway, I'm happily buzzing around the kitchen steaming this and blending that into some concoction for my toothless miracle when I hear his palms happily slap across the kitchen in a speed crawl.  He loves to splash in Emma's water bowl, so I make my way over there and try to distract him with a toy before returning to blending.  I don't hear anything for a while, so I glance back to Emma's bowls to see my little miracle baby eating dog food while I'm making homemade, hippie-approved baby food because Gerber is poison...So anyway...Gerber's probably fine...

We've also enjoyed eliciting those baby belly laughs.  Matt is not a free laugher....

It actually takes work. And things he found funny a couple of days may barely muster a smirk today. So when we do find something that evokes those throw his head back baby giggles, IT.IS.AMAZING!  It's definitely one of those 'we could have missed this' moments.

The pain of infertility is erosive to your soul, yet having a child after going through infertility is truly inconceivable. After over 5 years, I had no idea I could not hurt this much, or be this happy, or have so much to look forward to in life.  So when Matt giggles, the heavens open up and my heart fills with a joy I had no idea could exist.  And then I become overwhelmed with the thought of 'Wow, we could have missed this.' It is entirely possible that all of this could have eluded us, and my heart fills again.

So when people say Matt was worth the wait, they honestly have no idea.  He's not just worth it, he exceeds all of that pain with a sense of peace.  A peace that soothes my soul, and helps me look back with a sense of understanding.  He's an answer to so many prayers, hopes, desires. He's simply a miracle.  I couldn't appreciate this as much as I do without having gone through such an arduous journey, and I would never want to have a child without that level of appreciation.

And that same miracle...well, he eats dog food sometimes, too. :)

Matt Facts:

Height:  2' 3 1/4" for 13th percentile
Weight:  16 lbs, 13 oz... 8th percentile
Teeth: 0
Fave Food:  Cheerios are amazing...and Lucifer the kitty likes them, too!
Fave Toy:  Wheels...or anything that spins: squeaky frog toy
Fave Word: Bah-Bah-Bah (Bye); dew-dew-dew (No translation), La-la (Yadda-yadda); din-din-din (no translation);
Fave Activity:  Playing in a water table, AKA Emma's elevated water bowl; readjusting the wine fridge settings; Petting the kitties; playing in his tunnel.
Favorite Comfort Item: Mama & Dada...Wubba Nubs be out (Matt's choice...no parenting credits to us)
Future Career:  Wine connoisseur. 

Thursday, October 13, 2016

I'm a $&^t Mom

I'm a ****ty mother, and I'm perfectly okay with it.  I own it, even.

My friend, who also struggled to conceive, and I were having a conversation about how we spent so much time and energy and studying on how to conceive, what should be happening to our bodies, what shouldn't....and then we finally became pregnant and we poured through every possible scenario, read every article, and second guessed everything we knew even as experienced women's health nurses...

So when we finally gave birth to our children, and they lived through the squishy not doing much stage we were completely burned out.  Well, I'm burned out...and over it.  I've done everything in my power to get Matt here...at some point the whole thriving thing is going to have to be on him...cuz I just want to enjoy him.

This, for me has translated into having no clue what my baby is supposed to be doing when.  Hell if I know what milestones Matt is supposed to be achieving.  I'm not even sure if what he's doing sometimes is considered a skill.  Like is downward dog position a milestone?  It's not that I don't care...but honestly, I don't really care that much. I have thought about purchasing What to Expect the First Year, but then I don't buy it because....meh....  Matt is healthy, thriving, doing new things occasionally, and HAPPY. So he doesn't clap yet, but he gets excited and bounces up down and smiles when we clap at him and thinks he's just great.  That seems more important. But dammit, why can't he clap?

He really wants to eat, but he has no teeth, but he also hates thicker purees...but he screams at me when I eat and paws at the food within his reach, so he gets a little chunk.  Allergies be damned.  He even had she crab soup when we went to the beach a few weeks ago and he loved it...and he lived. So shellfish, dairy, and alcohol all in one shot...Mom of the year, right here!!!!  Most of the food we give him ends up in Emma's stomach, so it's win-win-win.  Matt scores "real people" food, Emma score's "real people food", and Mom and Dad score on the clean-up. #parentingtrifecta

I'll think Matt is developing fine, even maybe a little ahead, but then I get a questionnaire from our pediatrician that asks things like "Does Matt follow commands?"  Well, um, I don't know what kind of life other people lead, but I don't have very high expectations as far as my almost 9 month old performing tasks at my request. I just don't live that life.  Matt is precious, but I'd hardly call him reliable, so I don't plan my day thinking "What could I have Matt do?"  Along those lines, I've not asked him to do a lot.  I mean he has about a 50% chance of coming when I call his name...But seriously, 9 month olds are supposed to follow commands? Really?

Another of these "tasks" was "Will Matt play nursery games like Pat-a-cake or So-Big or Peek-a-boo at your prompting, but without you gesturing?" All I can picture is Matt staring at a blank wall playing peek-a-boo and thinking how creepy that would be.  I mean I'd be worried about him if he did...isn't that how Poltergeist started? Also, have you ever gone up to another human or even a dog and said "High Five" w/out extending your hand.  So why would Matt just spontaneously play Pat-a-cake?  Apparently Matt is woefully behind in communication skills, and it's my fault.  I've not asked him to fetch, clean his room, make dinner, plus I didn't even know So Big was a "nursery game", but then again, I am a shit mom...

I am kinda getting worried about Matt not being able to clap.  Or "pat-a-cake" as they call clapping in babyland.  It's super frustrating. We're in intense clapping training, but the closest we've gotten is waving both hands in a parallel fashion, thus never making contact with each other.  I'm not asking for perfection here, but honestly I'm starting to worry about his corpus callosum...

I say I'm not asking for perfection, but I really want Matt to get a perfect score on this questionnaire...It's a direct measure of my parenting skills.  And apparently anything less than perfection to me is basically shit, hence the clapping training camp.  But as my best friend, Matt's godmother, kindly reminded me...does Matt really need to be able to clap to be a Wal-Mart greeter?

No, no he does not...so I guess even if he doesn't make a perfect score...he'll at least still have opportunities thanks to Sam Walton.  #Mericuh

Peace, Love and Wal-Mart Greetings from Matt,

Mary Katherine