I will be the first to admit it, I don’t want Eku to get any bigger. I’ve said this every, single, step of her life, but as she is now RAPIDLY growing, learning, and developing – I’m even more set on the fact that I refuse for her to get older. Grow bigger. Leave me.
Two days after Eeks was born, we had a nurse come to check her out at our home. She did the usual nurse type activities – scrutinized Roy and myself, checked out the thermostat, looked at the where the baby would sleep, checked over her body, and weighed her. Proudly she announced, “Wonderful, she’s gained two ounces!”, and handed her back to us.
I promptly burst into tears.
Who did this little asshole think she was? Growing on my watch, oh HELL no! She had to stay itty bitty. Teeny weany. That’s how she was first delivered to me, placed upon my chest the most scrunched up, red faced, little bean of a baby. She was small, 6.11 ounces, and she was as perfect as I knew what that meant at the time.
And then she started to grow. Slowly, at first. And coupled with the appalling loss of sleep and general irritation, I missed some obvious milestones, at first. When she started to become CHUNK, and her little body filled out with so much chub, so cute you could die. Then she would wiggle, on her back, back and forth, just feeling comfortable in her space. That led to the rolls, the head lifts, sitting up, the caterpillar scoot, and finally the crawl.
Then in February, she started walking.
And then – just.like.that. I suddenly felt that my little baby was gone. In one year and one month, my tiny person, the same tiny person place upon my bosom at moment zero, was no longer that little being. She was a big girl. And no matter what person rolled their eyes and noted, “she’s still a baby, chill out, CL”, I knew in my heart that it was not true.
So, maybe it was weird when I solemnly asked my two WONDERFUL daycare providers to just gently shove her over as she took her first tentative steps. Not hard! Not aggressively! Just a slight bump so that her uncertain legs would be unsure how to support her wobbling weight and she was topple over, like a small Jenga tower. They laughed, thinking, I’m sure, that my joke was exactly that, and not the pleas from a first time Mom to stop her baby’s process in its tracks.
Maybe stop reading to her too, just in case.
And let’s put the kabbash on teaching her new words and sounds – that feels like getting bigger too.
But mostly, let’s just keep her from getting that confidence on her own two feet so that the first thing she does is run away from Mommy.
My heart is breaking.
But things I’ve learned since those first steps in February. She may run from me. A lot. But there are also the days when we will play hours on end, the Running-Back-To-Mommy’s-Arms game, which involves squeals of joy and countless smiles every time she returns to my embrace. And embrace her I do. So tightly, with such need.
Because she is my baby. My first born. The first true light in a life that never know what brightness could be until she came to me.
And as she lay sick last night in my arms, cuddled so close, and her body heat swelling with mine, I felt my baby again. But this time I didn’t want her to stay small. I wanted her to be the fighter she’ll have to be to survive this INSANE, INSANE world (Trump for President????). She’ll have to walk. She’ll have to run. Forward and backward to meet all the exciting and critical parts of her life.
No more gentle bumps, no more little taps. No more stalling her progress, no matter how hard it is for Mommy.
Eku needs her strength and her power – and as her mother, that is what I’ll strive to give her everyday.
Always with love, CL xxxx