Today Elizabeth is six months old. It's been half a year since my last baby was born. In half a year she will be one. One means walking and talking and toddlerhood. It also means my days with a baby are numbered.
When Jacob was a baby I could not wait to shop the baby food aisle. In fact, I started him on cereal a full seven weeks earlier than recommended because I couldn't wait anymore. By the time the pediatrician gave us the okay to start the solids, he was already gobbling three jars of stage two a day. I was so proud of my little eater and couldn't wait until he could sit up, pull up, walk. Every milestone he attained was photographed and videotaped and then we pushed him towards the next one. Why did we do that? We weren't as forceful with Adam, but he was so gung-ho to be big, he just never seemed little. He crawled at four months so solid foods at six seemed long overdue and although he received his fair amount of fanfare over it, it really didn't seem like that big of a deal.
It sure does feel like a big deal this time though.
I no longer love the baby food aisle. In fact, I avoid it like the plague. When different pediatrician said we could start cereal at four months, I refused to hear her, telling myself that my regular, out on maternity leave, doctor would say six months and I waited. When the husband would tell me to pick up a box at the store because "she seems ready", I would always pretend I forgot, or they were out, or I could save a whole quarter getting it at another store. Today, though, she is six months old. As much as I would like to think she isn't ready, the fact that she grabbed a donut off my plate this morning and shoved into her mouth before I could blink, is kind of a sign that, yeah, she might want to try that good stuff.
So I took a deep breath, pushed back a few tears, and pushed my way into the baby food aisle today. I did it. It sucked, but I did it.
So tonight she feasts. On runny, bland cereal. At the table with the big boys.
Give me strength.
I can't even tell you about how she started rolling and scooting this week. That will just send me right over the edge.
All my life I thought I'd be the perfect mother. I even majored in it. I aced all the child development classes I took toward my degree in, wait for it, Early Childhood Development and Elementary Education.
And then they were born. First Jacob, who is 8, then Adam, who is 4, and our biggest surprise, Elizabeth who is 2.
As much as I really wanted to be, I am finding out I am no June Cleaver. For starters, The Beav never had a baby sister.