Baby Tweedle- Week 31

March 12, 2014

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We are so happy this week because it appears that spring just might be here! (or at least right around the corner!) It has been above zero for the past few days and I wake up with a bounce in my step and can't wait to get outside in the sun. On Sunday, Mr. Tweedle and I took Nora to the park for the first time and she had her first ride on the swing. She LOVED it! She could have stayed all day! 

I am trying to teach Nora how to clap, now that she can wave, but it is not going so well. She has no interest what so ever in trying to do it, although she likes watching people clap. She will smile and turn to look right away, but does not really care to do it herself. In fact, she tires of it very quickly and sometimes the look on her face almost seems like she knows I want her to do it, so she isn't going to!

She has started to show more of her personality with a little bit more protesting if things don't go her way. If there are other people around, she keeps a close eye on me and where I am. If she realizes I am in the room and not right near her, she whines a little bit and I know Mr. Tweeds was getting a little annoyed by this on the weekend. She will also protest a little if I take something away from her, which she had not been doing before. The little monkey has an opinion! 

Tom's mom let me in on this trick that she says she used when her kids were young. They can sit in the sink quite safely while you cook and then they can see everything you are doing!
Tasting a lemon!

She is just beginning to reach for "up" when I walk by her on the floor or in her high chair. She doesn't fully whine for it, but if I am near and she realizes that I am about to pick her up, she will shoot her arms out to the sides! I love watching her try and pick up something that is our of reach. She has figured out that if it is on a blanket, she can pull the blanket towards her to get the toy or whatever it is. So smart! She is also getting better with her "pincer grip" when she is eating. It seems like she enjoys the challenge of trying to get the little pieces of food in front of her but it's hard to sit back and watch her struggle with it. Often I cave in and put things in her mouth for her, but I know I should let her learn to do it. She will rake her hands across the counter and end up with food in her hands, but she also spends time trying to get specific pieces by using one hand and a few fingers. 

I know sometimes it is hard for our families to see Nora in the evenings because she goes to bed early. I wish she could stay up a little later and be flexible with her bedtime on the nights that we plan to do something, but she is just a baby and when she is tired, she wants to sleep. I read something in a sleep book very early on that stuck with me- "Respect your baby's need for sleep". It is not fair for us to keep her up or push her bedtime back just for our convenience. When she is a little older and we can explain more to her about it, we will be able to do more together in the evenings, but right now, she is too young. I realize that many other people put their kids to bed while they are out and then wake them up when it is time to go home. We could do that, and we have done that, but honestly, it's a pain. I wouldn't like being put to bed in a weird place and then being woken up part way through my slumber to be moved. I like my own bed, and I am sure Nora does too. 

Sometimes I find it hard to have to explain the way we have chosen to do certain things with Nora. People thought it was weird that we fed her finger foods from early on, they don't like how we stick to a nap routine, they think we should just cart her around and let her sleep wherever. There is a movement circulating on the internet and in magazines etc, to stop the mommy wars! I get it now. It's hard to explain why you have chosen to do something sometimes. One thing I also struggle with is that it's always the mother that has to do the explaining. The father is just as much a part of the decision as the mother is. I know that even when Tom is in the room, if someone has a question about Nora, they ask me. Every decision we have made about Nora's eating, sleeping and daily routine has been a joint decision. Tom reads articles about babies, he has read the sleep books and we work together to decide what we think is best. I don't get why it always gets put on the mother. 

I am going back to my favourite quote about motherhood: "I realized that I would spend my life doing things to make you happy and that would make me happy too". 

I am not complaining about having to stick to a routine or bedtime at all. It is what makes Nora happy, feeling secure and safe in the world. She doesn't get to decide anything- where she is going, what she eats, when she bathes, what she wears- so I feel like I need to give her the certainty that she is at least going to be laid down in bed when she is tired and home with a bath and story and her mama's boob in her mouth at bedtime! When she is happy, I'm happy and I know routine and stability make her happy. 

For Nora's first year, I am devoting myself to meeting her needs and being there for her.  After I am finished nursing, we can stray from routine a little, get babysitters when we want to do things in the evenings and as she grows we will explain what being flexible means, but for now life is all about Nora. You can't spoil a baby in their first year, right?



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