Those Bittersweet Milestone Blues
I remember being around 33 weeks pregnant with a big belly and a baby inside that kicked me all day and night. I remember speeding up the process in my head, counting down the days and preparing for his birth. I remember talking to him while he floated around and telling him that once he was earth-side time would slow down for us. I remember thinking when he arrived we’d get lost in a bubble of mama and baby, time would stand still and we’d spend our days cuddling and gazing at one another. I knew he would grow up fast, like everyone says, but I didn’t think it would happen before I had a chance to blink. With every new development, new personality trait busting through and new milestone hit, I would feel my chest tense up each time as I tried to hold onto those fleeting moments.
The first smile made my knees weak. Baby and I were cuddled up in bed. It was a cold winter morning, December 19, 2016 to be exact. Logan was 13 days old. We had just finished a morning breastfeed and after a little burp I had put his head in my hand. In the quiet of the morning I sat there staring at the curves on his face and the wispy little hairs on his head. I didn’t expect this to happen but he curled his big baby lips and held the sweetest most satisfying smile. Maybe he was pooping, who knows, but I marked it down as smiling for his mama for the very first time.
I will admit I was excited for the rolling over milestone. My guy loved to belly sleep during his day time naps but I couldn’t put him down in the bassinet that way for night time. I figured if he could roll over on his own and knew how to turn his head back and forth, I’d have a little bit of ease in the night. For the longest time he’d throw his head up and back and would twist his body but never got anywhere. He did this for over a month. He wanted to turn over so badly but needed a little more strength to do so. We’d plop him on the floor for tummy time and let him work it out. On April 1, just about 4 months old, he rolled over while playing on his “I Love You to the Moon” mat. Chris and I could see it coming so we had our cameras ready. Once he flipped there was a lot of cheering, clapping and overall happiness. That was a tough moment for me though because I knew what came next – rolling would lead to crawling and crawling to walking and then all of a sudden he’s graduating college and getting married and stops calling his mother!
Logan wasted no time once he learned to roll back and forth. Around 6 months he started to army/worm crawl and this quickly turned into real deal crawling and sitting up on his own. This part of his development happened in a matter of weeks. No longer could I lay him down on the couch with me and let him observe his surroundings. The convenience of tummy time and sky watching was over. He wanted to be on the ground, moving and grooving, touching this and playing with that. This really sunk in when I was baby food shopping and saw the “Crawler” and “Sitter” symbol on the puree pouches. I remember standing in the store staring at that symbol giving myself a few seconds to let it all sink in. My baby is growing up, just as he should, but that didn’t stop the tug in my uterus.
As soon as he was able to pop from sitting position to crawl position and move across the floor with no problem, he realized he loved to be standing up as well. Before he was 7 months old he started pulling himself up on everything and would stand proud with a big smile on his face. I kept telling him to please slow down, give mommy a few more seconds of infant bliss, but he had other plans. I’m not sure where he learned it, but he figured out how to use his hand to lower his body back down to the floor and up again without falling. Day in and day out this ambitious little dude is up and down, using one hand to wave at me and the other to guide himself. All I can do to mask my emotions is smile big and tell him how proud I am of his sweet independent butt.
My baby boy will be 8 months old very soon and with that comes another set of milestones to hit and another set of reasons I have to try and relax with the self-imposed busyness and cherish all of our minutes and seconds together. As happy as I am to watch my Logan flourish, healthily and happily, a small part of me aches each time we say goodbye to these precious little phases.
But for right now, we are clapping hands, and it’s the best part of my day.