Infancy is such an amazing time. My daughter’s teacher, Khyati, commented to me how Ainsley’s brain is growing at an incredible rate. I agree. It grows so fast I think I can see the synapses firing and the nerves connecting.
Like being able to hear the corn crackle as it grows in the hot sun, I can see Ainsley learning. She will be cruising around her furniture, little hands on the edge. But the toy on the edge is just out of reach. She thinks, processes, and finally gets it right (the toy always ends up on the floor). Success! Two minutes later, she encounters the same obstacle. With a thoughtful look, she reapplies her solution. Success again! Watching the intense concentration on her face is a joy.
She took her first few steps before she was even nine months old. As I watched her, tears welled in my eyes. I saw my infant becoming a little girl.
And by little I mean tiny. Her weight, long an emotional issue for me, is trending lower. Her doctor is completely confident that she’s a healthy kid and my rational brain agrees with him. But when I see her weight is in the bottom 1% of kids her age, I have an irrational, emotional reaction that I’m somehow starving her. I had an epiphany of sorts a couple of weeks ago. My baby eats broccoli, cauliflower, parsley, carrots, brown rice, oatmeal, quinoa, applesauce, strawberries, custard, scrambled eggs, olive oil, whole grain bread, all kinds of summer and winter squashes, tofu, cheese, and of course, mommy’s good milk…she has a wonderfully varied diet full of vitamins and healthful fats. So what if she’s small? Her brain is growing. I started to feel really angry and indignant about it until I realized that the person with whom I should quarrel was me. Throw away the stupid chart, Mommy, and just love your baby.
Love her, I do! I relish our time together and try to give her freedom to explore. On the evening of her becoming ten months old, we went outside to play in the grass. The breeze was blowing in her growing wisps of hair and she explored leaves and grass. A little spider scurried through the blades and she watched intently. I realized that these are the moments. These are the ones where I’m not trying to teach her a skill or feed her a new food; we just are. We are. We are together and enjoying being in each other’s space.
These posts are going from bewildered to crazy happy to content with the thread of love connecting all of them. So I’m sorry for the sap but it’s the unvarnished truth.