Wednesday, 20 October 2010

Quinzieme mois avec Mademoiselle Eloise

Eloise -

As I write this you are sleeping in your crib. This of course is nothing out of the ordinary, except this time it was not me that put you to bed, but your father. Oh what a break through! While we've had nights when you've struggled to let me send you to sleep and I had to call in reinforcements this was the first time your father did the final bedtime routine all by himself. We're trying to move away from me nursing you to sleep. Your father and I have been meaning to make this bedtime routine change for a while now, but by the time we get to the hand over point we're both so tired that we just go with what is tried and tested to get you to sleep.

After 15 months of putting you to sleep I am thrilled at the liberty of no longer being the sole person who can. And of course as I have quickly found that motherhood is full of contradictions, I also feel slight melancholy. It seems that just as I have come to terms with the idea that I am a slave to your every need - you stop needing me as much.

The biggest change this month has been getting the hang of the one-nap-a-day routine. We're taking full advantage of the many morning play groups our town has on offer. It is really interesting to see the difference between your private and public persona. At home you strut and dance and blow raspberries on any part of my body you can access. At home you explore the house on your own, singing to yourself. In playgroup you are reserved and observant. You hold my hand and watch the other kids play before cautiously choosing where to join in.

It is frustrating and exhilarating watching you learn to communicate. When you want your doll you say 'Mama' in a spookily accurate imitation of how your doll says Mama. You make the sign for 'eat' when you're hungry and say 'mmmm' when you like what you're eating. You sing little snippets of songs to let me know you want me to sing to you (my favorite is when you say 'up above' which sounds more like 'uh buh buh' for me to sing Twinkle Twinkle). The frustrating part though comes when you vaguely point in some direction and keep repeating 'dat! dat!' with increasing intensity which sends me on a scavenger hunt at the whims of a tiny dictator with a very short attention span and limited vocabulary.

This past month I've had a few "down" days as I deal with future career decisions. I assume you have been none the wiser to my change in mood. Not because I don't think you are smart enough to know when your mother is upset about something. Children - even 15 months old - understand a lot more than adults give them credit for (one of my favorite quotes of late: One of the pitfalls of childhood is that one doesn't have to understand something to feel it). No, I think you are none the wiser because it is practically impossible to let things such as a job or money alter my mood when you look at me with our shade of blue eyes, smile and lean your head into the crook of my neck.

I know I've said this before but you are so much fun to be around. I am just so excited at the fact that I get to be your mother. Imagine that you are say, 6 years old and you get a seal puppy for your birthday. A baby seal! All for you! Can you just picture how eye-poppingly excited that 6 year-old is? This is what being your mother feels like. Like I'm the only 6-year-old on the block to have a real live baby seal as a pet.

Je t'aime


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