Friday, May 17, 2013
Michelle is cruising. It almost makes me want to set up furniture at her level all over the house to give her a path to move from one piece to the next. I know that this is the first step in her walking on her own. She is still very wobbly and looks like an old man stumbling home from the bar but it's a start! She tends to lean forward a lot so if I wasn't there to grab her she'd fall flat on her face. She seems to like to walk on her tiptoes as well. I tried explaining to her that she'd have better balance on flat feet. Maybe she'll be a little ballerina. My Mom said I loved walking on my toes as a baby. (Incidentally I always wanted to take ballet but Mom said we couldn't afford it. When I was older I learned that it was too late. You pretty much have to start when you're 4 years old to be a dancer for real. If Michelle wants to dance I'll do everything in my power to make it happen.)
Michelle has even started standing up in the middle of the floor sometimes. Pushing herself up without holding on to anything. She gets up on her feet and looks quite proud of herself but then she goes to move and falls forward. I'm always there to catch her. Sometimes she'll take off like she wants to run and I can barely keep up. I've gone from bending over and holding her tummy (which is MURDER on the back!) to having one finger in each of her little hands lightly as she runs along. She seems more confident and more stable all the time but I don't know when she'll actually be able to walk completely on her own. It could be any day now. I read that babies can start walking anywhere from 9 months to 12 months and are usually walking well by 15 months. Some babies are a little sooner and some a little later. Each child is different. In my family we were early but we had walkers back then as training. (And of course they were dangerous. My sister left the basement door open one day and I apparently landed face first at the bottom of the stairs in my walker. I'm not sure when they started banning them. I guess after one too many babies was seriously injured in them.)
Some days I'm so stressed out with everything going on that I don't know how I'll cope. My sister is always the best person to talk to -- the calm, nurturing, supportive voice of reason when I feel overwhelmed. She should have been a social worker or motivational speaker or something. She always helps me to put things in perspective. She reminds me -- one thing at a time. One day at a time. I'll start worrying about things months from now and that on top of my daily stresses just puts me over the edge.
I can't believe we're halfway through May already. I know I must sound like a broken record but time really is going by way too fast. I want to hold on. It's heartbreaking. I've been trying to wean Michelle gradually. I've gone from nursing her every two hours to three and now even increased it to four. I know that I will have to have her almost completely weaned by July when I return to work. I still can't imagine how I'm going to survive it. I don't want her to feel like I'm abandoning her. She's used to having me there 24-7. Soon I'll be gone all day. She's used to nursing all the time. Soon I'll be cutting her down to 1 or 2 feedings a day or none at all (I don't want to cut her off entirely. I know there are so many benefits to breast milk. I may even try to keep pumping milk even after she's completely weaned so she can still get the nutrients.) The doctor said I can start giving her whole milk in July. I may try to introduce cow's milk gradually as my Mom suggested, in cereal etc. I'll have to sleep train her in June so she's ready for when my Mom is watching her on the nights that I won't be there. It's overwhelming. I don't want to leave her. I'm afraid it will be hard on her and on my mother but it may be worst of all on me. As challenging as it is to care for her all the time on my own, I am so attached to her I can't imagine not being with her every second. It's tearing me apart.