I’ll be honest: most days I don’t really think about the whole “How I Became A Mother” bit.
One day I was single; the next, I went on a blind date. That took care of the whole “single” thing.
One day I was unmarried; then we got a license. The following day, we got married. And then we did it again three months later.
No biggie, really. Just one day I was unmarried, and a couple of days later, I was.
But this whole mother thing has way too many levels of kicking my ass in new and exciting ways. Although one moment I was just heavily pregnant and the next I had this tiny little bundle with the swollen upper lip and who looked –as observed by my husband– like a Simpsons character, I didn’t feel like it was a *POOF!* and it’s done kind of deal. For one, it moved very little. And it slept a lot.
And I was a little scared of it.
I remember a friend telling me about just staring at her firstborn in fear and wondering what she should do next and wondering if I’d have the same reaction (Okay– honestly doubting that *I* would ever have the same reaction. Mmm…. humble pie!).
Back then, motherhood was more primal: learn to breastfeed without killing yourself or the baby. Learn how to bathe the baby. Keep feeding the baby. Attempt to get some sleep.
These days, I find myself realizing that this stage of motherhood is kind of the surveying stage. Maybe I should get myself an orange vest to go with my new title.
About two months ago, Herr Meow started to try to crawl. It was this funny thing that went nowhere: we called it the Zamboni crawl– butt high up in the air, forehead down, not moving very much but pushing forward with much determination nonetheless. The day we were handed the keys to our house, he had a little welt on his nose from all the “Zamboni crawling” that had given him a fabric burn.
It was safe to leave him on top of beds.
The baby could spend all day on a small area of the room and just be.
He couldn’t really sit up well. He didn’t really care. His world was small and cozy and circular, and it suited him just fine.
But he did practice things. Little things, like his then-new ability of rolling over in a full revolution around his own axis. And figuring out that there were these delicious appendages below his waist that could be flailed or eaten. He would practice pulling his socks off and eating his big toes.
And so, to last week: fully cross-crawl enabled, and goo-gaing and trying to pull himself up the stairs.
And generally trying to give me a heart attack at every turn.
I know that this is what happens when babies grow up, but I just find it puzzling and terrifying that I have to worry about his little head possibly getting impaled onto furniture and sharp edges or my own head; that shoes have become a favorite snack, and an object I must strive to hide or keep clean; that bed-jumping and couch-diving are favorite activities until gravity takes care of stopping the fun; that there is no greater current thrill to this seven-month old than to figure out how much to bend his legs to sit himself down on the floor without scaring himself or losing his grip on the piece of furniture that is helping hold him up.
Honestly? I’m just exhausted, albeit being extremely happy and proud. And it’s only day 225.