Little B is now three months old!
She becomes more active and aware of her her environment and the people around her with each passing day. I realized today that we should really start thinking about childproofing our house because it won’t be long until she is trying to get into the kitchen cabinets and lift up the toilet seat.
Now that she has pretty good control of her head and neck, she is able to do a lot more. She can roll over onto her back when we place her on her stomach. When she is lying on her back, she rolls up onto her side or lifts up her head, like she is doing a sit-up. We started using her Bumbo seat a couple of weeks ago, and, she really likes sitting in it and watching everything that is going on around her.
One of her favorite discoveries during the last month has been her hands. She grabs for her toys and bats at the ones that are suspended from her playmat and car seat. In the middle of the night, I sometimes am woken up by an ungodly slurping sound that I assume is the dog, but is actually Little B sucking on her hands. She has also figured out how to bring her toys and the collars of her shirts up to her mouth so she can suck on those too. So, basically, everything is a big, slobbery mess.
I’m pretty excited that she really seems to enjoy music. If she is fussy, I make up a goofy song and it seems to calm her down. We have gone to the Lara and Joe Show a couple of times and she watches the guitar and drum playing pretty intently. One of her favorite toys at the moment is the Fisher-Price Kick and Play Piano. If it’s on the auto-play mode, she will stare at it for a good 15 minutes as it lights up and plays the same three songs (that are now permanently stuck in my head) over and over again. She has started to make her own music by pounding on the keys with her hands and kicking at them with her feet when we put it on the floor. Maybe, she’ll be inspired to take up the real thing someday and will make use of my old piano, which currently lives at my mom’s house.
Over the last month, I’ve also started to experience the more rewarding parts of being a parent. Although she still is at the stage where she will smile at total strangers (particularly if they tell her she is pretty), I can tell that there are special expressions and sounds that she reserves for the people she likes best. It melts my heart when she flashes me her big toothless grin or shrieks at me when I tell her that I love her.
One of the best parts of the last month has been celebrating her first holidays. Although she won’t remember anything, we’ll enjoy telling her how much she hated her bumblebee costume on Halloween and how much she enjoyed watching the brightly colored balloons in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Given her love of anything that lights up, I can’t wait to see how she reacts when we put the Christmas tree up in the living room later this week.
“Um, seriously, mom and dad?”
She isn’t eating solids yet, but she enjoyed sitting at the table with all of the adults and smelling all the food at Thanksgiving dinner.
The only bittersweet part of her three month birthday is that it has also coincided with my return to work. Yesterday was my first day back, in fact. I have so many mixed feelings this transition.
I’ll be honest and say that I had quite an internal debate over what I would do once my maternity leave was over. On one hand, I wanted to stay home with her so that I wouldn’t miss a thing during this early part of her life. On the other hand, I enjoy the work that I’m doing and have put quite a bit of effort into developing my career so far. I didn’t want to give that up, either. Plus, there were definitely times during the last three months where I missed interacting with adults.
In the end, I decided to go back. I kept thinking that I would feel like something was missing if I chose to stay at home. I worried that this feeling would end up negatively affecting my relationship with Little B and that perhaps continuing to work would in fact make me a better mother.
Which isn’t to say that I don’t still feel conflicted. Sometimes, I feel guilty for choosing to go back over taking care of Little B full time. But, I’ve also been trying to look at it as quality over quantity. Although our time together will be a bit more limited going forward, I feel like that will help me to make the most of the hours that we do have together.
I tried to focus on the more positive view as I got ready for work yesterday, but still, it was hard to walk out the door this morning, even though I was able to leave her in the capable hands of my mother. I missed her all day and got a bit teary at times. It helped to scroll through the photos that I have collected on my iPhone over the last few months.
I managed to hold it together until I came home tonight, when, instead of being her happy, smiley self as I expected her to be, Little B went into full on meltdown mode when I picked her up. It made me think that she had forgotten about me already.
I know that I’m probably just being overly sensitive and that this is just a transitional time, just like after she was born and I felt all out of sorts. Still, I can’t help feeling a little bit sad that we won’t be together 24/7 anymore.
Everyone tells me it gets easier. Here’s hoping they are right.