Everyone tells you how fast the time goes. “Enjoy each moment… It goes by so fast.”
For me, it sure did. My pregnancy was pretty smooth, at least until the last 8 weeks or so when I got the flu, broke ribs from coughing, and then ended up in premature labor at 33 weeks. Then I was pretty miserable and ready for the baby to show up, so of course time started to drag… But prior to that, it honestly seemed to fly by. 9 months, gone in a blink.
And then when the baby arrived… Those first few weeks were such a blur. Recovering from an emergency c-section. My husband and I, getting to know our baby. The visitors and guests. Diaper, nurse, sleep, repeat, all through the night and day. And then, suddenly… I felt fine. I wasn’t ridiculously tired. I wasn’t sore anymore. The baby weight was gone. My body felt like mine again. We established a routine. We found our rhythm. We found our groove.
And then our son was smiling and beginning to make sounds. He lost his wrinkly newborn appearance and started to look like… well, himself. He was lifting his head up during tummy time, and much to our amazement, sleeping through the night pretty easily. And then somehow, without realizing it, a few months had slipped by.
Before we knew it, our son rolled over. It was like once he figured it out, there was no stopping him.
Same thing with crawling. One day, all he could do was turn himself around in circles on his belly. The next day, he was up on his knees, rocking to and fro, and suddenly scooting forward in an army crawl.
Now, I sit and watch my son haul ass across the carpet, under the coffee table, out of the living room, and into the dining room on his belly, where he stops and pushes up into a sitting position, smiling at me and clapping his hands.
Where the hell has the time gone?
He’s now eating three meals of solid foods a day. The kid is a better eater than I am. I don’t like peas, but he gobbles them up. He eats everything under the sun, except peaches. He picks pieces of fruit and snacks up off of his high chair tray and maneuvers them into his mouth with ease. He drinks from a sippy cup and gets excited when he sucks water through a straw.
A straw? A straw. I wash bottles and nipples and think about how we only have a few more months left of bottles and formula. How is that even possible?
I’m sitting in our home office, trying to write. My husband calls me into the living room. I hesitate, trying to finish my sentence, to get my complete thought out before it vanishes, and eventually head into the living room. I stop in my tracks.
Our son is in the pack and play – standing up, hanging onto the edge, beaming his huge goofy smile and blowing raspberries.
He got to his feet all by himself, while my husband watched in awe.
We don’t know if we should be proud and excited or fucking terrified. We start babyproofing. Every day, we find some other area that I end up worrying will hurt him. Is he going to bump his head on that end table? What do we do about the brick fireplace hearth? Then again, there’s only one way he’s going to learn about stuff like that…
Suddenly, I’m more tired now chasing after this kid than I ever was when he was a newborn. I can hardly keep up with him and he’s only eight months old.
Only eight months old. At the same time, I think, how is he eight months old already?!
And, if these eight months have gone by so quickly, what are the next eight years going to feel like? I am so am excited to find out, and to watch our little guy grow up. But I’m so sad that this time is slipping right through my fingers.
Don’t get me wrong. We’ve had some trying moments and difficult phases that have definitely sucked. The “witching hour” phase sucked. Growth spurts sucked. Diaper blowouts suck. Sleepless nights suck. Teething sucks. At the time, those moments seem like they drag on forever. I’ve had times where I’ve been exhausted and in tears, wishing I knew what the hell else to do to fix things. I’ve sat and cried right along with the baby crying in my arms because I have no idea what else to do to comfort him. I’ve counted the minutes until his bed time so that as soon as he’s down, I can go to bed myself – even though it’s only eight o’clock.
And then there are the times where we’ll be sitting on the floor and my son will crawl over to me and lay his head down in my lap. Or the times where I’ll be carrying him somewhere and I’ll feel his chubby fingers curl into the loose hairs on the back of my neck. My heart melts instantly. All the lousy, trying times fade away and all that matters are the moments like this. These are the moments I want to hang onto forever… because I swear, it feels like my baby will be grown up before I know it.