Everything is happening at once around here.
First there was this:
Tessa woke up from her nap and the fuzzhead was GONE. Since then she’s occasionally had some bedhead, but her pointy baby mohawk appears to be kaput. I am sad.
Goodbye, best baby hair ever. I will miss you. And I will miss everyone who waved at the baby and said, “Look at her HAIR!” with delight.
Just a day or two later I picked a super-smiley Tessa up out of her highchair to see two little teeth just starting to make their way up through the gums. She is days away from her first birthday and these are her first teeth. So she’s a little bit of a late bloomer.
Her new favorite position: pulling up on her knees. True to form, our Tesser is pretty chill about her milestones. Standing is not currently on her priority list though she’s tried pulling up on her feet a few times. Mostly she just likes to get a look at what’s going on. I am getting used to the site of the top half of her face watching me over the coffee table.
Perhaps most notable of all, it appears she has her first word: Nana. As in ba-nana. She babbles all kinds of syllables these days, but when she wants a banana it is “NANANANAAAAA.” It’s also the only time you’ll see her pulling out one of the signs I’ve been working on. When she wants a banana she will sign “more.” At first I wasn’t sure that’s what she was doing, but she’s pretty consistent about it. Of course, it only seems to apply to bananas, but I’ll take what I can get.
I have figured out that Tessa’s pace is slow.
She waits and waits and then does a bunch of things all at once. We had a few months of nothing, then crawling and eating. Then a couple months of nothing, then pulling up and talking and teeth.
I am guessing we’ll have a break now and then suddenly she’ll start walking and speaking in sentences.
At least, that is what I tell myself.
Seeing Tessa progress still hasn’t made me immune from worry. I admit I have a problem. I am hypersensitive about development. I know babies vary widely in what they do and when. But it can’t quite silence the voice inside. Because there are all these babies out there her age and younger who are more toddlers than babies. They are walking and talking and playing and being little people. It doesn’t matter how much I tell myself that Tessa will get there, it is still hard for me to see it. And hard for me to see her not walking and talking. And to see her play which consists of little more than picking up a toy and looking at it.
My worry isn’t over and I don’t know when it will be. But I’m doing better at balancing the worry with daily life. And I’m doing a lot better at letting my enjoyment of her trump my worry.
Because, let’s face it. She’s beautiful. And I don’t mind her still being a baby. I like her being a baby.
Every time I get her out of her crib after a nap I walk this tightrope. Because she’s never held out her arms to me. Graham never did either. It’s one of those things that’s always hurt and I think about it almost every time I pick her up from her crib.
On the other hand, she smiles. She starts to babble. She wiggles back and forth. And when I pick her up and hold her I feel what may be my strongest emotional tie to baby-hood: the perfect weight of her in my arms, warm and soft. Sometimes she will nuzzle my neck.
I don’t know if it’s getting easier. But I can’t say I’m not enjoying the ride.