Monday, 9 November 2015

Family

Today is the first day I've been alone with Q in nearly a month.  It feels a little weird.

Just over three weeks ago M left on an extended business trip.  I took the opportunity to head east to see my family, giving my parents the ability to spend a nice chunk of time with Q while also sparing myself the challenge of being a single mom for longer than I thought I could handle.  

We had an amazing, busy time.  Pretty much every day we had a visit from aunts or uncles or cousins or friends.  Q showed no signs of shyness and flashed everyone his huge (no longer toothless!) smile, although he saved the biggest ones for my 6-year old niece (his only cousin).  She absolutely doted on him, insisting that she be allowed to help feed and bathe him in addition to spending tons of time just playing with him on the floor or in his exersaucer.  They even went Trick or Treating together on Halloween, and although I told her that any extra candy she got "for the baby" was technically mine, I never laid claim to it in the end.

Explain to me again why I'm wearing this?

As for mama, I thoroughly enjoyed being able to hand Q off to his grandparents and have a little "me" time.  I did crazy things like go to baby-free shopping or to the gym in the middle of the day, or go back to bed after giving Q his breakfast for an extra hour or two of sleep.  Such tiny things, really, but a huge indulgence for someone like me who doesn't have family handy at a few moments' notice.  It made me super envious of my sister, who lives about five minutes from our parents and is able to drop my niece for an hour or two if she needs to get something done or just could use some time for herself.

It also made me sort of wonder if I'm not doing Q an injustice by having him home alone with just me most of the time.  Not that there's really any other option, but he made a couple of huge strides in development while we were out east and I have to wonder if it wasn't the increase in stimulation that pushed him forwards.  For instance, he'd been rocking on all fours since his six month birthday, but hadn't been able to figure out how to coordinate his arms and legs to get moving.  Then, on Halloween night, we returned home from Trick or Treating and my niece dumped out her bag of candy on the floor.  Q (who is apparently food-motivated, much like his parents and their dog) immediately set out across the floor towards the candy pile.  It took us all by such surprise that we cheered super loudly, which terrified poor Q and actually made him cry!  He apparently wasn't too emotionally scarred though, and once I calmed him down he went right back at it.  Within days we were chasing him around the house to stop him from getting into stuff he shouldn't.  On top of the locomotion, his communication skills exploded as well.  He'd started babbling with consonants a couple of days before our departure (easing a lot of my previous worry about his development in this department!), and during our visit he positively became a little chatterbox.  My new favourite thing is listening to him "ba-ba-ba"-ing to himself while he crawls across the floor.

Maybe it was all just a coincidence of timing, since I know there's a huge explosion in development between 6 and 7 months, but I can't help but feel that all the excitement was a huge boost to his little brain.  I've started to notice that my little man is extremely social (i.e. sitting by the airplane bathroom was his favourite, since smiling at all the people coming and going kept him endlessly entertained).  Now that we're home in Toronto and it's just boring old Mom and Buddy all the time again, I really feel like I need to up my game and get him out of the house more regularly since he seems to love being around other people so much.

Anyway, here we are back at home, where at least Q's sleep is a little bit better and I don't have to deal with the temptation of my dad constantly bringing home sweets and dessert "because you're a guest".  Lucky for me breastfeeding is keeping most of the weight gain at bay, but Q loves his solids so much I'm starting to think that won't last a whole lot longer.  

I don't think you need that piece of pie, Mom.

11 comments:

  1. Sounds like it was a wonderful trip! We lived with my uncle and aunt for 10 days before we moved, giving the Beats a lot more exposure to "grandma and grandpa." Honestly, we all really enjoyed that time and miss them terribly now. Makes me realize why so many people move closer to "home" when they decide to expand their families.

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  2. New things are ALWAYS stimulating to babies and kids, but things like crawling would only happen when Q was ready. It just turns out that he was ready when you were with family!

    Are there any playgroups that you could start going to? Any friends that are staying at home with their babies? I would say getting out and about would be more for you than for Q. :-)

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    1. We already go to one play group and there's another one he'll be able to attend once he's 9 months in January, but I'm thinking we should also maybe look into some music groups or story time somewhere. Unfortunately not really any friends with babies around, though. But you're right, getting out would be really good for me too!

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  3. Oh and I LOVE his Halloween costume!

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    1. The picture doesn't do it justice. It was padded around the belly to make him look pudgy, and it had a curly tail too!

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  4. Ha ha, grandpa here was (well, is) big on feeding pie to little Suzy. But despite her love of solids she would not give up breastfeeding! She is -counting---counting some more---- 32 months now and I quit this summer. But if I leave my boobs lying around unattended she will -quick as a flash- take a last sip!

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  5. Oh I can definitely relate. Paloma rolled for the first time at home and there was another visit when she was around 9 months old where Andino and I saw her personality really come alive right in front of us. She realized she could do things to make my parents laugh and she got such a kick out of it. It was so amazing to watch her interaction with them that night.

    It's hard on so many levels being away from home. My brother drops his daughter off for the night quite regularly. He doesn't realize how lucky he is! All we can do is make the best, get out as often as we can and visit as often as we can.

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  6. I'm so glad you had such a nice visit! I can relate on some level to not having family around. We went from having everyone close to now living an hour and a half away and knowing nobody here. I realize that is much better than a plane ride away though. That would be even harder! I was also going to suggest playgroups, or storytime at the library. They've been extremely valuable to me and my kiddos LOVE getting out of the house as well. It's funny because they used to be extremely social and had no fear whatsoever, but have recently acquired the stranger danger now that they are going on two. Hope things are going well now that you are back home. Q sure makes the cutest little monkey I've ever seen!

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  7. I can so relate - SB is also very social and loves having other people to interact with. It makes me feel even worse about having a hard time with my in-laws, because my daughter clearly adores the extra attention and interaction she gets. It does make me feel better about dropping her off at daycare in the morning though - sure, she'd prefer a setup where she can interact with other fun people when mommy is nearby [and the boob available for snacks ;) ], but I think she still gets a lot out of her time there.

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I'm needy and your comments validate me. Help a sister out!