Seven months have passed. More than 210 days since I last had eight hours of uninterrupted, blissful sleep. Since I went to the movie theatre and munched on some popcorn. Since I idled over a meal while watching the television, unafraid of things abruptly ending because of a beep from the nursery.
Taking care of a baby can be excruciating. Sometimes, it seems harder now that my son is seven-months-old as opposed to when he was a newborn. Dressing him is a daily battle; I have to sing and jostle and recite poems to keep him from being a nudist. Getting him to nap is an Olympic event. He may yawn incessantly and rub his eyes from exhaustion, but hey, won’t sleeping take away from his enjoyment of the world? What if the lion on his pillow leaves for the jungle when he naps? Preparing meals requires elaborate recitation of the recipe and constant “hey, mama’s now doing this” from the kitchen. Encourage independent play, they say. My baby loves his own version of playing-by-myself-as-mama-sits-next-to-me-on-the-dratted-playmat. It is his favourite kind of play, next only to biting-mama’s-boobs-during-the-third-lunch-of-the-day.
Not too long ago, R and I were worrying about NST reports that depicted his breathing rate. We discussed labour and induction and mode of delivery for hours on end. Today, we discuss solid foods, how our baby is learning to sit up, how he giggles and squeals when we meow and woof. How time flies!
Today, my baby is seven-months-old. I have been a mother for seven months. Have I adapted to it? I don’t know. Will I ever? I don’t know. On some days, all I want to do is lie on the bed and read a book and drink a huge glass of wine. On other days, I spend hours gazing at my baby as he chews his rattle, babbles nonsensical sentences and tries to get my attention with little squeals of delight. When he is such an angel, it doesn’t infuse me with a sudden surge of maternal hormones or a gallon of energy to face all that parenthood entails. But it does make me feel warm and loved. A better person than I give myself credit for. A more hopeful person who anticipates greater gifts on the horizon, never mind the greater challenges.
Maybe, just maybe, I got this.