Nearing the end of babyhood
We’ve all been sick now with what Theresa had, and A and I are so ready for the snot factory and hacking cough to move elsewhere and return us to our regularly scheduled life. I don’t mean to sound ungrateful to the universe for our collective good health. There are no sick days for parenthood, though, so I’ve been (barely) surviving rather than thriving. Alan took today off from work because our nanny came down with what we’ve had–some sort of flu-ish thing, I think–and was able to go grocery shopping so that we can at least have more than a quarter avocado and some egg whites in the refrigerator.
Our babies turn one in three short weeks. Audrey’s signing is increasing; she has “all done” and “milk” down. She has been the sickest this week, and is therefore exhausted, so some dinners end with her in the “giccups”–giggles and hiccups from being loopy-tired.
Theresa has five teeth and has learned to clap (and is hugely pleased with herself whenever she does), and with that has come the “more” sign. She loves using my hands to pull herself to standing, and then she “walks” around in a funny half-bouncing, half-staggering motion.
Jamie’s top two teeth have come in, and he has started cruising on furniture a bit. He seems really close to being able to stand on his own; one of his favorite things to do is pull up on something with a flat surface (a chair, a shelf, the diaper pail…) and drum on it, arms straight out and palms flat. He’s steady enough to drum vigorously.
With all of this skill-building, another transition / milestone / end of an era: due to the illness, the last nursing baby refused a week ago. One year had been my goal, so I thought, fantastic! I don’t have to feel bad about weaning someone who’s not ready, and I still get my body back.
Today I got my period. First one since September, 2010. And maybe it is the accompanying hormonal shift, but it made me so sad.
It was a reminder of all the months of disappointment, when those marks meant another loss, another failed attempt. And it means for me, nearing the end of my babies’ babyhood. I had thought I was ready to be done with nursing. I hadn’t expected to grieve it.
I love where we are, in this moment (okay, except for the sickness). I love what our babies can do and who they are becoming. Still, this is the first of probably many Janus-type moments of looking forward and back, appreciating the new and mourning the loss of the old.