Love your choice.” —Thomas S. Monson
Love your choice.” —Thomas S. Monson
Beatrice decided to bring the most dramatic side of her personality to today’s 9-month checkup. When we laid her on her back to get measured, she totally fell apart. We sat her on the scale and she waved her arms frantically while screaming, turning red, and trying to get into my arms. She calmed down after that, but then cracked her head on the wall while trying to look out of the window. More tears. The doc tried to check her heart and ears unsuccessfully, so I had to hold her during the rest of the routine which didn’t really help to calm her down. Then it was time for the dreaded shot, but Beatrice was so upset about being put back on her back, that you couldn’t even tell a difference in her screams when the shot happened.
As we made our next appointment, she put her head on my shoulder and blubbered sadly away, making sure that everyone in the vicinity was aware of just how hard her day was. The nurses called her a “character” which I think is short for wow-we-don’t-normally-have-kids-freaking-out-about-getting-weighed.
Maybe next time we’ll try and get a good nap in her before visiting the doc. Just sayin.
Anyway, here are her stats:
Head: 44.6 cm – apparently this is nice and big. I read that the longer you breastfeed, the bigger the brain becomes, so I’m pretty convinced that Harvard is in our future.
Height: 26 ¾ inches (10-15th percentile)
Weight: 16 pounds, 3 ounces (5th percentile)
Yeah, she’s skinny – even skinnier percentile-wise than in all of her past appointments. The doc says that a drop like this is normal for breastfed babies and it’s no big deal. I wasn’t surprised about the drop in the least – Beatrice is a wildcat and crawling just made her wildness even wilder. She is ALL OVER the place and doesn’t have time to eat.
We learned the milestones that she should be conquering between 9-12 months and she’s pretty much checked off every single thing on the list already. Proud parents? I think yes.
Now for the question of the day – do you think Harvard is accepting applications for the freshman class of 2030 yet?
After weeks of multiple nighttime wake-ups and lots of Bebe tears, she has finally slept through the night without crying. Apparently we are SO good at sleep training that it only took 1 night to fix her habits.
Or maybe the whole thing was just a phase and she got over it just as we lost our minds.
Either way, there is now sleep in our lives, and that is a very good thing.
There is nothing I hate more than being taken advantage of. I used to be the most shy kid you’ve ever seen, still have a little pushover in me, and have been taken advantage of many many times.
Bebe loves to take advantage of me. She went from sleeping through the night, to waking up 3-4 times, to refusing to go back to sleep without me. Her sleep habits have taken over our lives and we walk around like zombies, only thinking and talking about her sleep while she snickers behind our backs about how easy it is to control us.
Last night, she went too far. We went through our normal routine, she fell asleep in my arms, I put her in the crib, and BAM freakout. I left the room as usual to see if she’d get over it. Fifteen minutes later I went back in there, picked her up, tried to nurse again, and she wouldn’t have it. She wouldn’t calm down, wouldn’t lay nicely in my arms…. she wanted to be STANDING UP, and bedtime is not for standing.
Then I got mad. BEATRICE VALLEE I am trying to avoid making you cry it out and you behave like this to me? I’ve been arguing with your dad about our differing views and you go and throw my niceness in my face? I’VE BEEN WAKING UP OVER AND OVER EVERY NIGHT WITH YOU FOR YOU TO TREAT ME LIKE THIS?
I don’t think so.
So I put her in her crib and walked away from all of her fury. John asked me what our plan was for the night and I said that there was no plan, we’re done with this, and Bebe is on her own. He spit back the best reply ever:
“You know, if we stick an air mattress in the kitchen we’ll hardly be able to hear her…”
That’s what I’m talking about.
So then we started the dishwasher and dryer for further effect and hung out in the kitchen, ignoring our child. It was awesome.
Now before you go calling CPS on us, we did listen to her periodically to make sure she was still alive. Her fury turned into her normal loudness, which eventually became sleep. At 2:30 she woke up, we discussed who would get her, but neither of us did. At 4:30 she woke again, I fed her, and put her down, much to her dismay. She cried for 5 minutes before she was sleeping once again. Sweet, sweet success.
I really am against crying it out, but sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do. John and I got some time together and more importantly SLEEP. Beatrice is a strong little girl and will carry on.
And by golly, there can only be one boss around here, and it’s going to be me.
At 9 months you are… exciting and exhausting. You pick up a new skill every day - some good and some not so swell. You are as sweet as can be and have figured flirting out nicely. You love to grin at older men, and then shyly bury your face in me, only to peek out with a coy little smile. You point at everything. Your range of noises gets broader every day. And my, how you move! You do a series of crawls, scoots, and slides to get to wherever you need to go.
You’re also discovering the art of the tantrum, you don’t like to sleep, and you cling to me.
You adore your dog and always want to be watching and touching him. This stresses me out because your version of touching includes large handfuls of hair, but so far he has exceeded my expectations.
You are SO good with your hands. You can maneuver objects and pick up the tiniest things without any problems. I feel as though you may have an artistic streak in you.
You are a petite little girl with awesome rolls of baby fat. You only weigh 16 pounds - at 6 months you were 14 pounds and 11 ounces, so I’m afraid of what the doctor is going to say about your slow weight gain these last few months. You seem healthy and happy though, so I guess there shouldn’t be anything to fear… right? You are still breastfed - exclusively. You’ll have a few bites of solids when we offer them to you, but we’re talking half of an ounce AT MOST in a sitting.
You have had a regression when it comes to sleep. You went from sleeping through the night, to waking up 3-4 times, to refusing to sleep without me. I might be dying from sleep deprivation. You are also a terrible napper and will only nap when held. Letting you cry it out only makes you more determined to stay awake.
Beatrice, it makes me proud to see your spunk and energy. I may dwell on the challenges this brings on occasion, but I want you to know that I wouldn’t change anything about you.
Bebe has been on the verge of crawling for quite some time and she finally conquered it yesterday with John. I felt a twinge of sadness that I missed it – I mean come on, I spent the last 10 days with the girl and the FIRST moment she was away from me, she decided to go for it. However sad I felt though, I was excited for her that she finally figured it out, and let’s be serious, I knew that there was more of a chance that John or the nanny was going to catch this milestone before I would. Beatrice didn’t crawl for the rest of the night, so I kind of felt like it was a fluke and didn’t think anything else about it.
But then today I received a text from John containing a video of Beatrice crawling.
In front of his parents.
I know it’s stupid to be upset. I know it’s not a contest. I know I should be happy for them that they got to experience this on one of the few occasions that they’ve spent with her. But I still spent the rest of the day with a lump in my throat. I hear she had the best day with them - didn’t cry once and was full of movement and giggles. Tonight with me, she’s clingy and crying constantly as usual.
I’m really struggling with my situation these days. I love my job, have the best bosses ever, flexibility to make my own hours, and have had a series of downright lucky breaks that have brought me to where I am with my career today. I’m blessed to make enough money that Bebe can have the best childcare and John can pursue a PhD if he so decides. I feel like a jerk for complaining about working when there are so many people out there who don’t have jobs.
BUT, it is hard to watch everyone else catch Bebe’s milestones before I do. It’s hard to be too exhausted to want to play with her and to consider just sitting her in front of the tv every night. It’s hard to only see my husband in passing as a result of our opposite schedules. And it’s hard to know that she’s happy and chipper with everyone but me. I feel like her moods probably stem from the fact that I am her food source, but even that little bit of justification doesn’t make me feel much better.
I need to count my blessings.
I need to remember that the job I have today will benefit my little family in the future.
I just wish that I didn’t feel like my job away from home was causing me to be a mediocre mom who was missing out on my only daughter’s only childhood.
I sometimes feel like I would suck at it. Bad. I have no patience, I can’t handle making stuffed bunnies talk all day, and CAN I SERIOUSLY NOT EVEN GO TO THE BATHROOM WITHOUT YOU COMING WITH ME???
But after straight up losing my mind at 5:30 this morning after Beatrice’s 4789382 wake-up of the night I had an ah-ha moment - maybe I suck at being a mom BECAUSE I work! Because you know, there is no napping-when-she-naps when I’m in an office getting paid specifically not to nap. And the only time I have to clean the house or make dinner is when there is a wild child trying to break her face open with her acrobatics. I’m under-slept and over-stressed, with a chaotic house and a daughter who clings to me during the few hours we spend together each day, so of course I suck at motherhood.
And then again, maybe I would still be lacking patience with my bathroom companion even as a stay-at-home mom.
For sanity’s sake, we’re going to go with this mornings epiphany and blame my early-morning guilt on my job.
You heard it here folks, Beatrice is having the worst week ever. This means John and I are also having the worst week ever (more me than John, but who’s counting? Not me. Although it makes sense that my week would be worse than his since I’m the one plagued with 4:30 feedings… just saying…).
She’s developed some serious separation anxiety and wants to be touching one of her top 3 (me, John, Nanny) at all times. I left her sight for ONE SECOND the other day and she lost her mind. Since then, she’s been attached to me while I go to the bathroom, while I make dinner, while she plays… it’s exhausting.
Beatrice has developed some sleep issues, which John thinks are related to the separation anxiety. Naps que meltdowns instead of the other way around. Bedtime is a joke - she’s been waking up in the middle of the night and then again at 4:30 all week. Putting her back to sleep is an even bigger joke because she’s bound and determined that I will NOT be leaving her side. I’m resorting to putting her in our bed after the 4:30 wake-up - not a habit we want to get into - so that I can get ready for work.
This morning I actually tried to give her a pacifier. Girl was not impressed.
Oh, and diaper changes? Forget about it.
She’s also throwing mighty temper tantrums, screaming a crazy scream, and is hard to calm down once she get’s worked up.
I hope this is teething related so that there is an end to the madness at some point. I hope she reacts to our vacation like she did the last time we went to Florida and turns into a calm, chill little beach girl. And ohhh man I hope we all survive the drive there and Bebe doesn’t protest the car seat the entire time. I’m scared, so very scared.
There comes a point where you have to stop letting your baby control you. For some, this might start at day one. For others (like myself) this happens later, when the little dictator’s cries go from being instinctual to manipulative.
Beatrice has definitely started knowingly trying to control us with her cries. She’ll scream her little head off while I’m pushing her around Target in the shopping cart until I pick her up and carry her on my hip. If we’re feeding her, she’ll start grunting and hitting the table if she feels like there has been too much time between bites. She loves anything electronic and will throw a tantrum until what she wants is in her hands… and that is why we end up letting her play with laptops and and $70 playstation controllers.
Our remove-and-substitute and distraction methods aren’t working very well these days. I feel like she’s just a little girl with a whole lot of spirit, but aren’t these tantrums only going to get worse if we don’t nip them in the butt right now? And on that note, how are we supposed to keep her from doing these things at this age anyway?!
I feel like there is a fine balance you have to find when it comes to discipline. I don’t want her to hear ‘no’ all of the time. I want her to feel free to explore and exercise her curiosity. But I also don’t want her to throw tantrums to get what she wants and we need her to respect authority.
If you have any advice on keeping pint-sized dictators under control without stifling their spirit, we would love to hear it!