Friday, June 3, 2011

The Independent Dependent Stage

The 9 months mark is here, & we are just barely getting into the swing of things, I've come to the realization that Scarlett is no longer a little baby.  To me 9 months feels like almost a year - only 3 months to go.  Yesterday I think she realized it too, as she discovered a new game...let's see how far I can crawl before mommy comes & gets me.  Panting with excitement, she exaggerates her movements, slapping each hand on the floor as if it will make her go faster.  Every few strides, she stops, peeks over her shoulder to see if anyone is following her & grins.  Then off she goes again, heading towards the next room.

I think she just discovered that she can travel from room to room at a faster than ever speed, realizing a new Independence.  As long as I am watching or following her (& not sitting down) the game continues. The minute I sit or lay on the couch, she comes motoring back & insists I pick her up, burying her head into my shoulder, grinning away.  This is a fun stage, but simultaneously exhausting (for me, not so much for her). I suppose that explains why I've been so tired lately.  That & the new "good morning!" routine introduced this week.

In one way this independent dependence can be a good thing.  If she chooses, Scarlett can entertain herself for longer periods of time (with constant supervision also happens to be a clumsy stage as well).  Yesterday I managed to get ALL the dishes done, while she kept busy pulling herself up on the fridge, then the stove, then the cupboards - door goes open, door goes closed, door goes open, door goes closed.  At that point I really did appreciate this in dependant dependant stage.

Then there are 'those days' when the squirt cannot get enough of her mom, particularly when she is feeling under the weather.  Sure I love that she loves me, but some days personal space is not even an option, & although it can get overwhelming after a while, you have to go with it.  Finally, after a 12 hour shift, "Daddy" comes home, also tired, & I am probably more excited than anyone to hand her off, but as soon as he picks her up & I make the slightest notion of leaving the room, she gets upset & reaches out to me.  Then her dad gets upset.  & so we are all upset. Depending on how stubborn I feel that day, I either leave the room or take her back.

One of the best lessons I've learned since motherhood has taken over my life, is to lower my expectations of getting any sort of work done when I am with Scarlett.  Some days things get done, but if they don't I work really hard not to get frustrated, & this has taken a huge load off my shoulders.  Still trying to work it out, I have had to lessen my workload (obviously) & make my clients understand that their pictures may take a bit longer to process.  I have to become much more disciplined during the delegated work time so that I can take a load off for the times I need to focus on raising my daughter minus the stress of what I haven't got done.  This is a process in development.

Maybe this sounds like a lot of complaining, but I must say each month she becomes more fun, fascinating & funny (& challenging) than the one previous.  There have been easier phases in the last 9 months, but I wouldn't choose to go back to any of them.  But I must give her credit, the kid has been pretty darn good to us.  Let me explain: she may be a little busier than most, but I'm sure we've had fewer sleepless nights than the average young family (the kid can sleep), no problems with food or drink (the kid can eat), & no full blown freak outs in public (that I can remember), overall, Scarlett is a pretty happy & healthy child.  In fact, there are rainy days that I don't even notice, because Scarlett brightens up the room.  So....I suppose this would be a good time to confess to my followers that I've been known to exaggerate some of her tendencies in the past, but in my defence, it makes for a much more interesting read.  So, you're welcome.

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