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Sweet and Strong - Elizabeth Unexplained
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Sweet and Strong
I had forgotten just how sweet a baby Margaret is. This past weekend she was super sweet most of the time. Clearly the Great Milk Betrayal and subsequent cold were pretty bad, because now that she is mostly over both she seems to be back to being herself, which is wonderful. I don’t blog very much about what a joy she is to be around and just how much I enjoy spending time with her. Partly it’s that it doesn’t seem like interesting blog material, and partly it’s because I am still adjusting to the complete lack of personal time. This weekend was a good reminder.

The MIT Ballroom Dance Competition was this weekend. We went in to watch the advanced & open smooth and the pre-champ and championship standard. We were at the competition for a total of four hours, and then went and had dinner at Mary Chung’s afterwards. That’s right, four hours in a large, loud, crowded space with a baby, followed up by dinner in a small, loud crowded space. She cried only once, which was when she got hungry at the competition, and she shut up promptly when she saw me mixing the formula for her. She spent the entire time either sitting in my lap and watching or playing on the floor at my feet. Actually she did get a little dancing in during the general dances; we’ve developed a three person waltz. We’re so lucky to be able to take her places and have her behave so well. It’s not just that she was well behaved, though. She seemed to really be enjoying the fact that she was out doing things with us even though it was a fairly adult activity. It was truly more fun to attend with her than it would have been to leave her with someone else and go by ourselves. We’re very lucky.

I keep meaning to write something about the fact that we are co-sleeping. Warren had a post a while back about how our doctor recommended that we use the Ferber method to get Margaret to go to sleep on her own at night. I had been pretty pro cry-it-out methods going in, so I was a bit surprised when this turned out to be an unqualified disaster. She now hates the crib. I’ll leave her in it now only if she is fast asleep when I transfer her and she stays that way. If that doesn’t work (or if I’m tired enough anyway), I go to bed when she does. If she’s in the crib when I go to bed I generally transfer her the big bed with me. Our bed is a California king-sized bed, there is room for three people even if the small one in the middle chooses to lie crosswise with her arms and legs stretched out. She’s old enough and active enough that I don’t worry too much about SIDS (though I am careful with the bedding). I suppose a lot of people would see a baby who needs to sleep with you as a problem to be solved, and it does have it’s down sides, like a lack of alone time for me in the evenings, but it has some serious up sides too. I truly like having her in bed with me. She’s warm, she cuddles, and having her right there reminds me in the dark hours of the night that she’s real and alive and mine. Warren likes having her there too, even though she sometimes leaves him with less room that he’d like. (Warren comes to bed later than we do and is less willing than I am to shift the sleeping baby.) She’s always so happy to wake up with us in the mornings too. Even Warren doesn’t seem to mind when she gently head-butts him as a signal that she is awake now and ready to play. Personally I vastly prefer a baby happily trying to climb over me to an alarm clock as a means of being awakened for the day. If we bother to tell him about the current arrangement our pediatrician will no doubt scold us about how it’s harder to change habits the older the child gets, and since we’re thinking of having another we should address this sooner rather than later blah blah blah. Yeah. Our pediatrician has not been through four years of infertility hell. As I see it, in the best case scenario I will have several months to worry about how it’s not safe to have a toddler and an infant in the same bed and come up with something else that works for all concerned. In the worst case I will never have to worry about this and Margaret can sleep with us for as long as she wants to. Given that everyone currently likes sharing the bed I see no reason to expend energy on changing it until such time as we see a fetal heartbeat for a potential sibling.

In other news, Margaret took her first independent step on Thursday. This seemed to have been an accident on her part and she didn’t seem to realize that a handful of my full skirt does not actually offer any support. She’s been a bit more cautious recently after a series of spills. Still, independent steps (without falling down) at ten months… we are in for it. My strategy of dressing her in long dresses to hamper her crawling speed is about to become obsolete. It’s going to be much harder to prevent her from playing with things that are not toys. Still, I would be fibbing in the extreme if I said I wasn’t insanely proud. According to my parents, I started walking at ten and a half months, so it’s nice to see her hit this milestone ahead of me. That’s my girl.
7 comments or Leave a comment
chenoameg From: chenoameg Date: April 28th, 2009 02:47 pm (UTC) (Link)
I just bought an excellent new book about sleep training, you're welcome to borrow it from me. (it's called Bed Training, and alas it's only available from Canada)

The gist is, there are good times to change sleeping arrangements (like 5 months) and bad times (like 9 months). As long as you do something before 3.5 years old, you should be able to find a non-excrutiating way to do what you need.
enugent From: enugent Date: April 28th, 2009 09:37 pm (UTC) (Link)
I came in here to post a link about that book! Do you also read Ask Moxie? I haven't read it yet, but I have poked around the author's blog, and I've requested that the library acquire it.
chenoameg From: chenoameg Date: April 28th, 2009 10:09 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yup, the first time I read Ask Moxie (a few weeks ago) I was instantly addicted.

One of my hobbies (well before getting pregnant) is collecting good parenting books, so I took the leap and bought this one so I wouldn't have to wait for it to be findable in the US.

I can't remember if you're local; if you are would you like to borrow a copy from me? (Because I actually bought copies, because I know a lot of pregnant women right now, but it won't do any harm to have some of them be pre-read.)
enugent From: enugent Date: April 28th, 2009 10:16 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'm not local any more - I'm in Seattle now. I probably should just bite the bullet and buy it. Thanks, though!
psychohist From: psychohist Date: April 28th, 2009 10:40 pm (UTC) (Link)
Before getting pregnant is definitely the best time to read those books. After having a kid, reading time becomes extremely limited!
jaedian From: jaedian Date: April 29th, 2009 01:27 am (UTC) (Link)
ooh, can I borrow? I am reading this with a cosleeping 2 year old falling asleep next to me. Some parts of cosleeping are fine, but I would like other people than me to get her asleep. And I want some time in the evenings again, given how little she let's me get done during the day now.

Edited at 2009-04-29 01:28 am (UTC)
jaedian From: jaedian Date: April 29th, 2009 01:32 am (UTC) (Link)
I am pro cosleeping. I say ignore the pediatrician. I don't think human babies evolved to sleep by themselves, so even though now we have safe houses with cribs and baby monitors, babies aren't yet so
wired that way. Not that they can't learn to adapt, just that you are fighting an uphill battle.
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