Exhaustion and elation

One of the things that never ceases to floor me is the ongoing cycle of exhaustion and elation that is parenthood. Yesterday, I felt like any moment I was going to collapse into the fetal position and cry (some sleep regression going on, coupled with—caused by—teething, because the dude has nine teeth now, and also my own sleep cycles are out of whack…forever?). And then suddenly we were in the Harbor, the early fall wind in our hair, cracking up laughing on a blanket as we rolled into each other, as he pulled himself up to stand on my pant leg, a tree, the stroller, the playground fence, as he crawled steadily through the bright green grass, his adorable bottom lip stuck out in concentration. I find myself continually reaching points of falling apart from epic fatigue only to find myself filled with cry-ey joy from a secret, amused look of his, a new sound he is uttering, a new discovery he has made as The Scientist of All Things.

He says “ca” for “cat.” “Da.” “Ma.” “Ba.” A month ago, at eight and a half months, he learned the sign for “milk.” He waves—with one hand, and with two, shooting his arms up in the air as if to say, “Victory!” He dances by bouncing up and down and flapping his arms. He loves to strum my guitar while I hold down a chord. He has continued to be the sweetest baby…everyone comments on his sweetness! He loves people. He loves hanging out. He will crawl right up into another adult’s lap and smile and make friends. He will rally and stay in good spirits no matter how little sleep he has had as long as there’s a gathering of people or playing going on—he does not like to miss out on the fun. He still of course gets upset like any baby, and teething can really hurt his little mouth, but I think at this point we can safely say that he has an extra-sweet, funny temperament, an insatiable curiosity, a love of movement and music, and also a love of inspecting something closely and carefully. He has become the most careful eater—after months of craziness that defies description. He’s still messy, but he really enjoys inspecting his food and trying to eat it in different ways, chewing, sucking, biting in half, mashing. He likes to make my hands clap, and he will even sometimes give people “five.” He also likes to fist-bump. We have a play area set up that is spongy flooring and gates all around with a tiny tent in it, and toys. It takes up most of our living room and some of the kitchen! Both DH and I get in there with him. He still does not like to be in there alone for very long, and no matter what has piled up, I can’t resist playing…

Yesterday, DH came home, and I was crouched inside the tent with a clown puppet on one hand and toy telephone to my ear. I was deliriously tired and looked it.

“Oh no!” DH exclaimed to our baby. “What have you done to Mama??”

“Hello? Hello?” I said into the purple plastic receiver with the scarecrow on it, dazed as a cuckoo. “Is anybody there? This is Mama. Ma-Maaaahhh…”

Ah. The sweet boy cries awake. Off I go.

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  1. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Isn’t it amazing how you can be so done one minute and so elated the next?


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