Sunday, November 16, 2008

On the Run

Anna started walking when she was 13 months old. Really, she started just after her first birthday, but she didn't start walking on a regular basis until a couple days ago, when walking became her ideal mode of transportation. She quickly learned the value of walking upright and how it eclipses crawling both in speed and convenience.

My little girl. She's walking. She toddles along, straight legged and clumsy, falling often, but able to get up now without having to pull up on something.

When Shiloh was a baby, Angelina Jolie got a lot of flak for calling her a blob compared to the sparkling personalities of her other children who she didn't meet until they were older. She called her infant a blob? How terrible. Well... not really.

I loved Anna desperately even while she was still in utero. After she was born and began growing, I was delighted and enamored with every new squeak, every new gesture, every spark of the special personality developing. But honestly? It's not until these last couple months that she's less "my baby" and more "my Anna." She has distinct likes and dislikes. She calls me "Mama." She plays hide and go seek with her toys. She claps and giggles and loves petting the dog. And now she's walking everywhere, suddenly with much more access to mischief.

She's becoming fully formed now. It's so difficult for me to remember Ben when he was still a baby. He's come into his own now, and he's my buddy, my entertainer, my shadow. This is who he is, more himself now than when he was a wailing infant.

So I'm feeling like I'm getting to know a new friend now, as Anna throws her first tantrum when I won't let her play with my cell phone, as Anna runs to greet me at the door when I get home from work, as she yells, "Mama!", when she wants my help.

My brain is fuzzy in the mornings, my eyes bleary, after yet another night of frequent wakings. Her sleep apnea keeps us all up at night (or at least the two of us) as she's stirring awake every hour or two in a hacking cough. I barely wake up now when I'm summoned into the dining room to feed and cuddle her again. Every night, I consider sleep training again, night weaning, so I can share the burden and lighten my load. But nearly every time, my heart goes into protective mother mode, and I go hug her as she yells and cries for me. So I resolve that when she has a clean bill of health, when the doctor tells me that she's fine and there's no reason for her to not sleep through the night, that is when I will start sleep training again.

In other news, Molly survived her spay surgery on Thursday. She slept most of Friday and yesterday. She's very cuddly and sensitive, and I hope she's not in much pain. That first day and night that she was home, she had diarrhea, and there was much ... um ... "leakage" where she was lying down and sitting. It was horrendously stinky, but luckily that resolved quickly.