But my life as mom to Ryley, for all of our sleep challenges (and honestly pretty much 99% of our challenges revolved around sleep, the rest is pretty golden right now) is incredible and more wonderful that I could have ever imagined. I love being a mom. I look forward to her waking up in the morning because I miss her (and she sleeps next to me for the second half of the night, talk about being a mom who is creepily obsessed with her child). On the nights she has slept in the crib for several hours, in the midst of the relief and joy and happy dancing, I have also felt this weird loss, knowing she is getting more and more independent in the world, that she doesn’t have to be held by or around mama 100% of the time anymore.
It is a beautiful contradiction, being a mom. And even as I look forward to our next stage, even for all of the challenges of the fourth month, there are also so many things about right now that I love deeply and impossibly, that I want to inhale and soak up and remember always. And these aren’t even the big, mushy, life altering things that make being a mom so great. Just ten of the countless little details that are so wonderful right now. In no particular order:
1. Watching her try to figure out the world. Ryley has the most amazing startled/puzzled face.
2. Her smiles.
3. Her complete and total lack of short term memory. It’s like living with a gently demented person. Or the guy from Memento only with less tattoos. It doesn’t matter how many times I’ve given her a bath, every time I put her in her little bath seat in the kitchen sink, she widens her eyes in horror and shock, clenches her little fists, and starts to work herself into a full blown cry. And then after a beat or two, she remembers that mommy is not trying to drown her and that she in fact enjoys baths. Same goes for putting any type of clothing over her head. It is endlessly entertaining.
5. Chunky little baby legs. For some reason I can’t get enough of her legs. I have become a weird baby leg fetishist. They’re just so chubby and short. And bow-legged. When we put her in the jumparoo it’s the best because her little legs stick out the bottom and it is just. so. cute. It is everything I can do not to bite them.
8. Her noises. Ryley has been a big fan of making noise for a while, but just in the last few days she has discovered that she has the ability to scream. And crow. And now that she knows she has that ability she is OWNING it. She will be in her jumparoo and let out a crowing/screaming type noise and hold it for like 60 seconds. I had her in the stroller in Nordstrom’s the other day and she let out a constant series of interesting feral cat type sounds for the entire store to hear. She has found her voice and she likes to contort it in as many weird sounds a possible. The best is when she makes noises while also making definite eye contact, because it’s very obvious she is speaking fluently in baby language and fully expects you to understand her. And then she gets disappointed that her parents are such dumb dumbs that they didn’t brush up on baby tongue before having a child.
9. Her little fuzzy baby hair. My daughter has the craziest hair. She was born with a pretty thick head of dark hair but a lot of that has fallen out and new lighter fuzz is growing in. But currently from a distance all you can really see are a bunch of bald patches and then the hair she does have sticking up in every possible direction. She has constant baby bed head and the receding hairline of a middle aged man. It is incredible.