“She is actually a really sweet girl.” Although my father’s remark was a joke, it made me think. Am I too negative about Maria? Do I complain too much?The last thing I want is to be that mom. The one who always moans about and to her children. Who doesn’t see how blessed she is.
I do realize I am blessed with Maria. She is a wonderful baby, though needless to say, I am utterly biased.
Apart from some sleep issues (which are peanuts compared to some of the stories I hear from other moms) she is a very easy girl. She enjoys playing on her own with her toys. She smiles all day long – to us as well as to new people she meets. She loves being with other people – adults, kids and babies – and likes to show off her skills when others are around. When I take her outside in the stroller she either falls asleep or stays quiet, patiently waiting until we reach our destination.
That said, Maria gave us a scare when she cried inconsolably for over two hours last week. She had been different the entire day: clingier and not feeding well. Settling her at bedtime had been challenging. But when we thought the worst had passed she woke up around 1 a.m. and cried for what seemed an eternity.
Two long hours – during which we had done everything we could think of to calm her down – later I took the phone and called the Plunket parent helpline. The nurse’s friendly voice on the other side of the line calmed me down immediately. She advised me to feed Maria while walking up and down the apartment. Until then, Maria had refused any feeds, and we suspected teething to be the culprit.
Without any expectations I did what the nurse suggested and miraculously, it worked. Maria nursed and fell asleep in my arms. She stayed quiet when I put her down in her cot and we went back to sleep as well.
At seven months, Maria is busy moving around on her tummy, exploring new foods and textures, teething, and finding new ways to attract our attention. Every day, she looks more like a toddler and less like a baby.
In the weeks to come, we are enjoying my parents’ company, who arrived here last Sunday. I am delighted they finally got to see Maria again; she changed so much since last time they saw her.
This weekend we will be visiting Sanctuary Mountain Maungatautari, an ecological island fenced off from the rest of the country to protect its native wildlife and forest. On Sunday, my dad and I will be participating in the Round the Bridges 12-K run. I will make sure to write about these soon.
Photo credits: Petri van Beuzekom