Earth babies are easy

Happy earth day!

Things just get more amazing by the day around here. Declan’s cruising, babbling syllables that appear to mean something to him (including a few clear ones, like “dog” and “ball”) and picking up every speck of flotsam he can find on the floor to put in his mouth.

Right after he was born, there must have been dozens of friends and strangers alike who told me: “don’t worry, it will get easier!” The truth is, sleep deprivation notwithstanding, I basically felt that having an infant was a blast. It was the perfect excuse to live like a retiree – nesting into as complete a measure of domestic comfort as possible, napping at will, going on leisurely outings with the sling or the stroller, and shopping for needs that seemed trivial just to get out of the house.

And when I put my boy down, he’d just stay wherever I put him, smiling sweetly at me, content as long as we cooed at each other before he dropped off to sleep. Now he’s crawling like lightning, crying with frustration as he tries to lift things like this week’s favorite book – a collection of Mother Goose Nursery Rhymes – onto beds or couches. We’re trying to teach him baby sign language for useful things like “food,” “milk,” “more,” “hurt” and “help,” but he either hasn’t grasped them yet, or we aren’t picking up on his cues.

This is the heartache of motherhood I’ve been dreading – trying to figure out how to help him through the frustration of knowing what he wants and not having the tools to fully express it.

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