Sunday, May 20, 2012

Sick Baby Blues

Poor Ladybug has been sick this week with a slight fever, cough, and an unsettling raspy wheeze in the mornings.  Thursday night was worst, with coughing leading to projectile vomiting and multiple clothes changes for all.  Badger and I took turns sleeping on the floor of LB's room for fear she would choke on her own vomit and at one point around 3:30am we were down to our last clean crib sheet.  Fortunately, she seems to feel better today and is definitely less fussy.  I think I feel most like a mother when I'm rocking a feverish, listless little baby who brings out that mix of tenderness and worry.  However, when LB has been awake and inconsolable, it has been very hard to be patient.

Motherhood has been unexpected in its sublime and excruciating moments.  Who knew I would love to hold a sick baby, but hate to push a swing in the park (so boring).  Before LB, I couldn't know how quickly she would change and that I would have to change as well.  At around nine months LB when from being a sweet, cuddly babe in arms to a curious explorer (even though she could only get places by rolling), it was hard to have our quite post work cuddle replaced by a kicking, straining, pinching race to get out of mama's arms.  But, one night as I was rocking LB I was struck by the understanding that she was not part of me, that she was her own person with her own wants and her own agenda.  It was so weird to realize that I had still been thinking her as an extension of herself, and just that realization made it so much easier to accept the new explorer LB.

It can be hard to be all things as a mother-the mother who will sleep on a baby's floor and listen to her breathe, and the mother who will let a baby do her own thing.  Today I really wanted to get some pictures of LB in a little cap made by one of my mother's friends.  It is part of a beautiful layette and I know LB won't be able to wear it for much longer.  Of course, the pictures were a fail and I tried to remember how lucky we are to have an independent little fighter.

But this agreeable baby,

has become this feisty toddler who won't wear a hat.

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