Wow, in the last three months we’ve gone from this:
It’s so hard to believe how much has changed, and so quickly. In my “previous life”, not much would really change from week to week; I’d look forward to “month-end” for my pay to arrive in my bank account, but for the most part the months were pretty unchanged. I’d get and read a new book, go to a cool gig in town, see a new movie, and Steve and I would make plans for our next overseas trip. But these days every week is so different, and while I’m sure a lot of people may roll their eyes at the way new parents are constantly making a big deal over little things (“look! She just grabbed hold of the rattle and put it in her mouth, so cute!!”), these little things actually seem pretty major considering the baby in question was barely able to coordinate its limbs a week ago.
I had a moment like this a few weeks ago, when Leila suddenly shoved her dummy (pacifier) back into her mouth with both hands. I was at a Plunket group meeting, and someone was addressing the group, so I couldn’t go “woah!” like I would if I was at home, but I couldn’t believe it. And yes, I know how it sounds. Before I had Leila I’d probably have rolled my eyes. But after seeing her in a certain way for three months prior, I’m starting to realise that this little person who is now living with us isn’t just “a baby”, she’s an ever-changing, ever-developing human being with a phenomenal brain (humans, I mean, I’m not horn-tooting just yet) that’s capable of developing in ways and speeds I never would have believed.
We take so much of it for granted, don’t we? Our motor skills, our ability to process all sorts of different foods and chemicals (I remember being blown away when I learned about the human buffer system, way back in high school chemistry, that effectively neutralises acids and bases (obviously not the stronger ones) that enter the system), and our wonderful, wonderful brains that let us interpret the world around us. It’s amazing being able to watch Leila’s develop. She’s gone from a crying feeding machine, to a little baby that’s learning the nuances of sound, of touch, taste, and the rest. She knows our voices now, greets us in the mornings with a huge smile. She tries out new sounds, new noises she can make with her throat, tongue and lips, from raspberries to near-words. She holds her head in line with her body when we pull her up into a sitting position by her arms; she’s learned not to let her head loll back now. She looks around at her surroundings, always looking a little surprised but pleased by what she sees.
She’s a new being in a huge world (in turn a tiny speck in a huge universe). This whole experience is totally blowing my mind. I love it so much.