It is 12:19am as I am sitting here writing this post and I am in the process of hand washing cloth diapers.
That’s right. Hand washing.
Because our washer isn’t currently working and JT doesn’t have time to fix it until this weekend. So, in an attempt to salvage diapers from mold, I’m hand washing them.
As in doing so, I’m taking note of how wonderfully absorbant charcoal bamboo inserts and my cheap flour sack towels are. I’m also equally impressed with how well my homemade detergent cleans.
In the back of my mind, I’m also comparing and contrasting what I am doing now as opposed to what I would possibly have been doing a few years ago.
This time on a weekend several years ago, maybe we would have just gotten to a club a couple hours earlier. I would’ve probably been on the dance floor waiting for my friends’ drinks to kick in so they’d join me. Or, maybe, we’d have several friends over for a rock band party or a late night jump in the pool.
Now, though, I’m writing a blog post in my head about my 9 month old daughter.
Not better and not worse. Just different.
I’m thankful for the life I had before Roree, just as I am thankful for the life she has given me. Yes. she gave to me. Ours is a symbiotic relationship.
I’m content with this upside down world of mine. Maybe it is because I adjust well to change or maybe because I needed it.
Either way, here it is, the post I wrote in my head while washing cloth diapers by hand and reminiscing about the past. So, you’ll understand why it may be a little disjointed…
So far, with every month, I find new things to adore about the age that Roree is… and new things that drive me a little nutty. There is always a balance. Some things get much easier, while others get much harder.
These days, Roree is so explorative. I find myself just watching her as she plays in our living room.
She concentrates as she comes across a toy or some random item on the floor that she finds, turning it around in her hands, scratching her thumbnail on it to find out it’s texture, shaking it to see if it makes noise, chewing on it… and sometimes throwing it at the dog to see how Lunah or Oz reacts.
Everything is a jungle gym. Everything is a challenge to see if she can either scale it or knock it over. She’s strong. And strong-willed.
She gets frustrated when things don’t happen as she expects or intends them to. Her little fists ball up and she raises them in the air, then slams them down in frustration while letting out a fierce grunt. Or she just looks at me and howls as if it is my fault.
Because, clearly, it must be. I’m the mama, after all.
She dances to music. And by “dance,” I mean she rocks back and forth to the beat. Whether it is me singing or it is coming from the TV or radio. And she still sings herself to sleep.
She loves food, especially anything with a tomato base. Spaghetti, pizza, fresh tomato. She loves feeding herself, even if she has to use utensils. Especially if she has to use utensils. It’s messy and it takes 10 times longer to clean up than it does to actually finish the meal, but it is worth it to watch her face as she tries new foods.
We got her a high chair that she absolutely adores, she sits with us at the table, lounging, talking and eating while playing with her food. Most of the time, she throws one foot up on the tray, leans back, and stuffs her face. All while examining each piece before putting it in her mouth. As if trying to identify each compound.
She loves when I read to her, but I’m only allowed to read certain pages. If I start on a page she doesn’t want me to read, she quickly turns it. A lot of times we read books backwards.
She’s inquisitive and smart, but she is still a baby.
Night time is difficult lately. Once 6pm rolls around, she starts getting tired and cranky. I try to get dinner prepared during her late afternoon nap (which is usually around 4pm), so that when she is super cranky, I’m not trying to cook AND tame her.
Food usually calms her down for a short period, as does her bath she gets at 7pm. She used to go down easily at 7:30pm or 8pm, however, lately, she’ll nurse, fall asleep, then be wide awake once she done. We’ll play and she fusses, fighting sleep until close to 12am.
She’s only been sleeping OK, lately. She wakes frequently to nurse, but luckily, I can fall asleep once she’s latched.
Despite going to sleep later, she’s been getting up earlier and earlier. It went from 7:30am to 6am to 5am.
On the days she wakes very early, I let JT sleep in for a couple hours, then we trade off. He watches her and I grab a couple more hours of sleep before he is off to work.
I honestly would lose my mind if him and I didn’t work so well together with her.
Again, though, worth it.
Worth it to watch her just before she does finally fall asleep while nursing. She plays with her hair and her ears, tugging on them, realizing it hurts, then tugging on my shirt or the nursing necklace I’m wearing instead. Her eyelids start to flutter and her long dark eyelashes look like butterfly wings against her cheeks. Her face relaxes and soon she’s asleep… still sipping. And I’m high on it all.
I’m proud of her and myself through all of the sleepless, exhausting evenings. Because even though I get frustrated, it passes very quickly. Ultimately, I’m happy and in a constant state of awe over her.
I love everything she does and how she does it. Even when she’s fighting sleep and whining, I still hold her close and sniff her hair… cover her in kisses she doesn’t really want, but tolerates… for a little while at least.
I’m proud that she’s so good about playing by herself during the day so that I have a few moments here and there to get things accomplished. I’m proud that she takes pretty good naps for the most part. I’m proud that she is usually very good when we are out and about. I’m proud that she’s gotten so much better in the car seat.
I’m proud that I am continuing to breastfeed her – and enjoying every single second of it. I’m proud that babywearing and cloth diapering has worked out so well for us.
I love that little girl, even though she frowns more than she smiles, because she makes ME smile more than I frown.