16 January 2019


When I contemplate what it feels like to be a parent to a small person named Cyrus, bewildered is the word that usually comes to mind.

I'm in that phase of parenting where every day of added experience with a baby primarily teaches me that I don't understand much at all about babies.

It's a mystifying experience, raising a human. They are not robots to be engineered nor standardized tests to study for.

Is this normal, the "the more I do it, the less I'm sure I know anything at all" experience?

I tend to be a 'by the book' person in many areas of life, so because there is no "Book of Cyrus" I sometimes feel a bit at a loss.

There is only your baby, and figuring out what to do about him. It probably doesn't help that much of the time he hardly seems as if he is a baby. When my 8 month old tips the scale at 20 pounds and takes his first independent steps without holding onto furniture at 9 months old and smiles at every stranger he's ever met...I sometimes even wonder if I actually have a baby.

And it's no help at all to realize that even I were to figure out Cyrus completely, the next baby would be nothing like him and have an entirely new set of personality traits and needs. I think if I've learned anything in the first almost-year of parenting, it's that. That there is no such thing as "babies are like this" and "babies do this" and "babies want this" and "babies need this."

I'd heard that it can be pretty hard to wean a baby off of bottles and pacifiers. I don't doubt that at all, but Cyrus chose to give up bottles at 4 months and the pacifier at 5 months, and that was somewhat startling.

I'd heard about "separation anxiety" and when he started crying when I left the house, I thought, oh, how cute, what a normal baby thing for him to do! But then I quickly realized that he cried whenever anyone, including delivery men and random visitors, left, but if he was the one leaving, and I, or anyone else was staying home, Cyrus didn't cry at all. So it's not so much that he missed me, it was that he wants to go on all adventures.

He eats so much food. I did not expect a baby to eat so much. I think he eats more than I do. This morning, he woke up, had milk, followed by zucchini, a handful of shredded pork, half a jar of pureed veggies from the night before, two handfuls of baby puffs, and entire piece of french toast, a jar of pureed fruit, more milk...all before his 10 a.m. nap. I kept thinking "surely he's not hungry anymore!" whenever he finished the food I'd given him, but in five minutes he'd be in the kitchen, crying in front of the food cupboard (he's figured out where we keep food), and so I'd think "maybe he just needs a little bit more food." So that explains the rather random collection of foods. Tomorrow I ought to just scramble up a half-dozen eggs for his breakfast and call it good. Except he doesn't like eggs. That's the one thing. He'll eat sushi, and anything the grown ups are eating, but not if it's scrambled eggs. He hates them.

Bewildering. That's what I'd call it.
Moonofsilver said...

Reuben walked at 9m too! It was baffling. He started pulling up the very next day. Becky walked at 1, and still mostly crawls (she turns one in 4 days so I keep calling her 1 already) every baby is different but I do think the second one was a bit easier. maybe because I learned to work hard when the first came along. Cyrus is so cute.