“Harmonious” Teething

Charli’s first teeth cut almost one full year ago. We were at my Dad’s house for Thanksmas. I didn’t understand why she was spitting up so much, and that was the first occurrence of the infamous “blow out.” If you don’t know what that is, consider yourself lucky!

The next morning, we found two shiny, pearly daggers protruding from her bottom gums. Charlotte wasn’t quite four months old.

I guess it’s somewhat harmonious that she is cutting her last teeth 12 months later.

Now, you recent mommies and daddies are probably thinking that I am mistaken. Charli is not quite 16 months old, and the “final” teeth are the second molars. These second molars are not supposed to arrive until closer to 24 months. But the kid cut teeth 13-16 a couple months ago.

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Image courtesy of http://health.state.tn.us/oralhealth/howmanyteeth.html

Regardless. I wasn’t certain. I spent hours researching the symptoms that have been plaguing my sweet baby for nearly a week. Everything pointed toward teeth, BUT, like you, I knew second molars were supposed to be a ways off.

Nevertheless, I couldn’t ignore the sharp decline in appetite, excessive drooling, waking up screaming in pain, diarrhea and severe diaper rash. HOS checked this morning and found signs of teething. And tonight, we made the terrible mistake of trying to brush her teeth…

(If your babies are ever teething, hold off on brushing the rest of their teeth until the cutting is over!)

I’m not sure if this post was intended as means to vent about a difficult week with my hurting baby or as a lesson to other parents. There are exceptions to every rule – even the scientific ones. Trust your parental intuition. You’re probably right.

Why?

Because no one knows your child better than you do!

A Lesson in Overwhelming Responsibility

Parenting is hard.

Some of you are laughing. Some are smiling knowingly or nodding in agreement. Others are rolling their eyes, shaking their heads or sighing heavily.

Me? I’m crying.

If you know me well, you aren’t surprised at all that I would get emotional. But you may be surprised that it involves my parenting.

I LOVE being a mom. Charlotte finally started giving kisses, and now she gives them without being prompted.. Just because she loves me! (Or so I tell myself)

She also wraps her arms around my legs and buries her face into my shins.

Charli smiles and toddles as fast as possible when she sees me.

And she snuggles!! *sigh* I waited a year for those snuggles.

Loving my daughter is the easy part. Being overjoyed in her, and feeling blessed by her love is the easy part.

But parenting isn’t just about love. It’s about teaching your child. And I am terrified that I don’t know a single thing about how to teach my daughter.

HOS asked me the other day what Charlotte’s next milestone will be.
Without batting an eye, I responded with “talking.” Well, shoot, that sounds simple…

Right?

Right?

As I sat thinking about how I could even attempt to teach Charli how to talk,
I started thinking about all the other things, the small things, that I need to teach her.

How to use dining utensils.
How to brush her teeth properly.
How to write.
How to read.
How to do math.
How to drive.
How to handle a break up.
How to be a good person.

And then I start to cry.

I’m overwhelmed by the shear magnitude of all of it. I’m terrified of failing her. I worry that I will be the reason for any issues, mistakes or problems she will ever experience in her entire life.

All of this before the girl can even pronounce bye-bye correctly.

You’re a parent, right? How do you handle the responsibility this gift of parenthood?

And while you’re at it, do you any tips on anything of the other thousands of things I’ll need to teach her?

Thanks in advance!

There She Goes Again

A lady today told me that if babies stayed itty-bitty, cuddly, babies for a longer time period, people would have fewer kids.

I agree.

Charli has changed so much, so quickly.

Just when I start to feel like I have a handle on Charlotte’s new stage, and I’ve stopped pouting about how old she looks, everything changes again!

I’m still reeling from her first birthday. I keep looking at the hundreds of pictures we’ve taken since July 26, 2012. Teary-eyed, I force HOS to participate by shoving pictures into his face and asking if he removes the time she did this or her first that. *sigh* I’m not ready to accept that my precious baby is one, and she goes and does this …

Don’t get me wrong! I’m so proud of her. I’m amazed at how quickly she learns, and how strong she is. I’m so happy for her. … I just feel bad for myself. My baby isn’t a baby, baby any more.

And I’m too out of shape to chase this little walking machine!!

2 Going on 3

I’ve heard people talk about their children always wanting to grow up much faster than they should. And up until about 11 months ago, I had no idea what they meant.

Why?

Aside from the obvious fact that I became a mama, 11 months ago, I was still one of those children. I was always wanting more, looking to the next “step” in life.

While on a much, MUCH smaller scale, I’m experiencing the same struggle my parents had with me. Charli just wants to grow up too darn fast!

I mean, the girl thinks she is 2 going on 3 or something! 😉

But seriously. Charlotte demanded that we let her eat her whole sandwich and not little pieces.

I’m sure today is the first of many instances like this that will only get more and more difficult. I just don’t know that I’m ready for this!

Don’t have much of a choice, though, do I?

Do parents always feel a stressful combination of pride, fear, happiness and self-doubt?

My baby girl eating her big girl grilled cheese!

Miss Talkative

My daughter is talkative, animated and waves her hands around wildly while speaking. … She must have gotten those from her daddy. 😉

Moments To Remember, And Those to Forget

We all have moments in our lives that we hope to never forget. Moments that touch us so deeply, and fill us with so much joy. We wish we could capture the memory, like if it were a home video – something we can replay again when we need a smile. Sadly, these happy moments often get lost. We cling to then like tattered old photos, hoping to regain a glimmer of that moment.

We also have those moments we wish we could forget. And no matter how hard we try, or how many happy memories come after, we just can’t forget. These are the memories that become like home videos.

Last week, Charlotte needed a bath so I brought her into the shower with me. At one point, she placed her little hand gently against my cheek and looked up at me with her big blue eyes. She looked at me like I was the most beautiful, amazing thing she had ever seen. And seeing her look at me like that made me feel like the most beautiful, amazing woman.

I pray that I never forget that moment for as long as I live.

Tonight, the exact opposite happened. I ran downstairs to grab some clothes and forgot to close the gate behind me, knowing that HOS was a couple steps away from Charlotte. It was an awful, terrible, heart-wrenching mistake. Charli has been following me every where lately, so I should have known she would try to follow me downstairs.

I heard a thump on the stairs and then I saw my precious, beautiful, innocent and unprotected baby fall. She fell all the way down our stairs. My heart stopped. In a split second, I envisioned every possible tragedy. And all feelings of being a beautiful, amazing women were gone and I was left feeling like the worst mother in the world.

Charlotte didn’t cry for more than a few minutes. She wasn’t even bruised. All I know is that God protected my baby girl in a moment of my own failing. And while I am forever grateful that she wasn’t harmed, my mind keeps replaying the image.

A constant reminder that every good memory is tarnished by any bad memory that can’t be erased.

Despite it all, Charli still gets excited when she sees me and cuddles into my arm when she’s tired. She still looks at me like I’m the best thing in the world. And I feel a little better.

Still Amazed

Every day I stare at my daughter in wonder.

It’s been nearly nine months, but I’m still amazed that HOS and I created that precious little girl. And I feel so blessed that God gave her to us, happy and healthy.

Each day, I learn new things about her. She frustrates me at times – when she gets into the shoes, pulls on cords or eats Bear’s fur – but I’m mostly overjoyed.

I don’t know if I’ll spend my whole life looking at her, knowing that she’s my greatest accomplishment, and being surprised that she is mine, or if I’ll some day find some feeling of … acceptance … or peace. I don’t know the right word for it.

But right now, it feels like I’ll spend my entire life looking at this beautiful girl in complete and utter amazement, thanking God that she’s in my life.

Do you share this same feeling of wonder when looking at your child(ren)?

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