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.