Here we grow again

03/16/04

Volume #15

Six months is a landmark date in any babies development and oh how far we’ve come in such a short time. She’s still reliant on us for everything but she’s so much more durable and mobile than she ever was. The first thing that hit was another growth spurt like we saw around her third month and at first we were mystified at what was going on. I mean come on it was only three months ago so you’d think we’d recognize the signs but we were for a couple of days wondering why her schedule was off and she was so grumpy. Nothing seemed to please her and she did nearly everything contrary to the way she’d always done things. Here I thought I had at least ten years before her first rebellion against us. All the signs were there we just didn’t see them for what they were. She was restless and cranky, wanted to eat non-stop and didn’t want to go to sleep at night. No she’s not a teenager but she’s acting like one.

 

When JoAnn took her to be weighed and realized she’d gained 14 ounces in a week we knew something was happening. As recommended JoAnn was taking the solid food one step at a time first trying one grain cereal than another always monitoring her to see if there was any allergic reaction. After that first week of solids when she hadn’t filled her diaper in over a week she struck back with a vengeance. I was never so glad we’d just moved her up to the next size of diaper because there was no way the old ones could have contained her new solid output. The shriek from her room when JoAnn first discovered our little girls first adult looking poopy mess got my attention and I came to see what was the problem. The situation was made worse with the fact Katie and her newly discovered opposable thumbs were really good at undoing diapers. We both knew it was coming but here it was staring at us the fullest diaper we’d ever seen. My years of cleaning up after the dog were finally going to be put to use. Never before had so many wipes been required to clean her up but on the up side this stuff wasn’t so runny that it leaked out forcing a full wardrobe change. So you’ve got to look at all the positive aspects of this new reality no matter how ghastly they may seem at the moment. She’s so good at teaching us. Now that we know what’s happening when we see her make the strange concentration grimace face followed by a happy smile we know its time for a change.

 

The feeding frenzy finally leveled off but her intake sways from morning to lunch to dinner and we never know how much she’ll want. On the doctor’s recommendation we just keep shoveling till she says enough. Her repertoire of baby food products increases from day-to-day as we keep introducing her to new flavors more based on what we like but so far there’s very little she doesn’t like. I think beef stew is the first real dud but when she’s hungry anything will due.

 

As this second major growth spurt tailed off we were also left with the first inkling of things to come when we found two nubs on her lower gum, teeth were on the way. We had no way to gauge when they might break through but we prepared ourselves with any supplies we thought we might need for this next hurdle. We got the Ambasol cream and freezer bound teething rings and waited and watched.

Meanwhile our doctor thought an exercise saucer would be a good idea for Katie, as she always wants to stand. I was wondering if our doctor was getting kick backs from Toys R us because every time she recommends something it means a hundred bucks out of our pocket. But this is for my little girl so anything she needs she’ll have even though our living room was beginning to look like a proving ground for new child corralling apparatus. This exo saucer was truly amazing I must admit and Katie took to it right away getting her spit on every toy around her in record time testing each one to see how they fit in her mouth. The being able to turn 360 degrees was not lost on her and she goes around and around chewing on everything even changing direction to see us if we call her name. This is very cool as either she knows her name or she just wonders why were yapping behind her back no matter her hearing is working fine. She gets this saucer really bouncing using her feet to get some serious air and she can entertain herself quite nicely giving JoAnn a needed break that is provided she doesn’t leave the room.

No matter how much fun she might be having with daddy playing with her toys if Mommy leaves the room her alarm goes off. Sometimes I can distract her but more often than not she wants to know where her mommy is.

 

I know she is the milk machine but honestly little girl she’s just gone to pee, we don’t all go in our shorts now do we? The power of the Mommy was never so apparent when one evening while Katie and I were having such a good time playing that JoAnn for a change took the dog out for her nightly walk. Daddy and daughter were left alone to bond on the floor but no sooner had the front door closed that a realization came on to Katie’s face “Where’s my Mommy?” She tried a pensive call out cry to get her attention. She waited to appropriate amount of time but when mommy did not show herself it was time to ramp things up. Me I’m just Daddy and it took me a minute or two to realize I wasn’t going to be able to appease her. I went through the normal steps I would to calm her but everything I tried seemed to make her madder as what she wanted was her mommy not some psycho babble from her father designed to chill her out. I thought walking her around would help and I patted myself on the back as a good parent as it did not realizing that this was what she wanted. I was suckered and as I thought to return to the living room to play she’d make a little wail and force me to move onto another room. Upon her careful inspection as I moved from room to room she soon realized her mother wasn’t not in the house and then she got serious about the crying. I’d never experienced this sort of outburst and at first I laughed a little at her drama and did what I always do to calm her only everything I did made her worse. We now had real tears streaming down her now turning red face. She was having trouble with her breathing as her wailing and I mean wailing made it hard for her to take in deep breaths and she gasped for breath between screams. This was a full-out code red defcon 5 alert and something was going to blow and I just hoped it wasn’t going to be her. I had a true feeling of ineptness and despair, as I was just as anxious for JoAnn to return as Katie was. There was nothing I could do or say and my own emotional level was peaking as I was now afraid for my daughter’s life worried that her irregular breathing was going to adversary affect her, worried I’d damaged her and just wanting her to calm down. When JoAnn finally came back after being away almost ten minutes we attacked her at the front door not letting her get her coat off before I handed Katie to her. Joann’s reaction was one of surprise and inconvenience barely getting in the front door, Katie’s was one of joy and satisfaction mommy came back and mine was of anger at her taking so long on the walk. I was yelling at her but I was upset at myself unable to console my daughter and no doubt jealous at the bond the two of them share. At this point we both needed a cookie and a good hug.

 

The rest of the evening my nerves were shot and I was afraid to hold Katie till hours later when I finally calmed down. She got over the whole episode rather quickly as soon as her mother came home but I took a lot more consoling. It was a traumatic moment for us both and it just taught me such a valuable lesson that I really know very little about what makes my little girl tick and I have such a long way to go. It also gave me a huge appreciation for the job JoAnn is doing as a stay at home mom. I knew she was good at this whole mommy thing but this really opened my eyes as to just how far she’s come as a mother. She was made for this and I stand in awe of her ability and power as our child’s true caregiver. Dad can be fun and entertaining but mom is it right now in Katie’s life. I wonder if she’ll ever like me in the future?

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