The Super Whites The ordinary life of a Super Mum

The Super Whites
Amy – 9 months old

Amy is nine months old. In her short life so far she has been on seven flights, two of those long haul. She has had two lots of antibiotics, one at two weeks to treat a mysterious infection, one more recently for a slight ear infection and she has had two notable bumps on the head from falling off things. She has gone from making a curious squeaking noise instead of crying to laughing spontaneously and from the belly. Right now she lets you know she is happy by opening her mouth as wide as it will go, crinkling up her nose and making a growling noise. This melts my heart but scares other babies.

Amy sleeps energetically, she turns 360 degrees in her cot, she throws off all attempts to tuck her in and she often ends up with her bum in the air, or one foot sticking out of the cot yet she sleeps soundly. Amy is hit or miss in the mornings, sometimes she is full of beans and smiles and will play happily with us in bed, other mornings she is grumpy for no reason, quick to cry or shout in frustration, she takes after me in that regard.

Amy delights in pulling herself up onto things and walking along the coffee table or couch. She still struggles with the small step in the kitchen, she can get up it ok but can’t quite get down it especially if she is wearing pants that make her knees slip when she tries to get a grip. She is a foracious eater but not really interested in breastfeeds anymore. I still feed her in the mornings and after her bath just before she goes to sleep but this feed is more of a comfort and an emotional thing for me.

I am not sure how I feel about stopping breastfeeding. We go through good weeks and bad weeks it seems, sometimes Amy will nip me at each feed which makes me jump and upsets me even though its not intended to hurt, what else is she supposed to do with that mouthful of teeth? She has eight now, four on top and four at the bottom and will happily chew anything. She gets impatient with pureed food and that’s a new thing, since I made the last batch of bolognaise sauce in fact. Next time it’s going to have to be more textured so she can feel it in her mouth rather than swallow it down without a chew. She loves pasta, sandwiches, cheese, weetbix, tuna, rice with stirfry sauce, anything that Mum is eating and her absolute favourite is rock melon which she will eat for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and sometimes has done just that!

I have yet to discover anything she won’t eat, although grapes weren’t as much of a success yesterday as they were the week before, I think its because I couldn’t be bothered to peel them anymore and they just seem to pop right out before she can get a purchase on them. For some reason last night she wasn’t interested in her supper which was a first, every time Ron tried to give her a mouthful of something she loved the night before, she closed her mouth, turned her head and tried to grab the spoon and thrust it away. So we tried loading up a spoon for her to feed herself with and she happily wolfed down everything although it was a lot messier than us feeding her!

Amy seems to grow taller all the time but no fatter or rounder. She is long and lean and when I look at photos of her when we first arrived in Sydney she seems to be chubbier then, her face is thinner now, more defined. I have only had her weighed twice since arriving, once when we went to the Health Centre and then more recently at the Doctors when I wanted to get her ears checked out. I just don’t seem to be concerned about weight anymore even though she weighed the same at the Dr as she did two months ago according to the scale. I know that’s not right even though Amy is on the light side, she is tall and strong and very close to walking. Last week in Brisbane she stood on her own for a few seconds when Ron called her and she let go of my knee and held onto the toy she was holding with both hands. She is very good at crouching back down to sitting from standing and will fearlessly walk with the walking toy we have borrowed from Rosie even though it has no breaks and she goes tearing off until she runs into something that stops her.

Amy has always been a happy baby, sweet natured and very inquisitive. The Australian term “stickybeak” was invented for Amy, she loves to see whats going on and a favourite game is to peer around doors or couches to play peakaboo. We have had to work hard in the past to get a good laugh out of Amy but now she laughs freely and will often chuckle to herself about something completely unknown. I love hearing this sound when I am in another room. Right now it feels as though Amy and I have had many more ups and fewer downs along our path as mother and daughter. Its true what people say, that they just get better and better!

Although I can still get the morning nap time wrong, Amy will usually go down without a peep and sometimes wakes but then goes back to sleep on her own after half an hour giving me two hours to get things done or just take a break. This is such a change from when she wouldn’t sleep during the day at all and just getting her to nap for fifteen minutes was a struggle. There were some long dark days around the eight month stage but that seems like a distant memory much of the time now and with that amazing gift of hindsight I have realised that the hardest times were when Amy wasn’t feeling well or had another pesky tooth coming through.

Amy and I have settled into our lives in Sydney and I continue to get such pleasure from the company of my own child. Amy is a crowd pleaser and there are not many outings when someone doesn’t stop me to comment on what a happy/beautiful/friendly baby I have. Today watching Ron play his first game of rugby of the season Amy was delighting the crowds as usual with her displays of waving, clapping, opening her mouth and grinning and just being generally gorgeous and a woman came over and said she just wanted to stop and tell me what a beautiful daughter I have. I never quite know what to say to these kind people, although its definitely easier to accept a compliment about my child than myself!

Motherhood has been a swift education for me. I have learnt much about myself, that I can cope, that I am responsible, that I exist on many levels as wife, mother and as myself. It has been an experience of such positivity balanced with periods of desperate negativity and I feel amazed now at how much I have learned about parenting along the way. I hate the fact that those early days with our newborn Amy are so hazy and I am so grateful for the photos I have taken to remind me of how much she has changed! Nine months is a milestone of sorts for me as a mother, it was the length of time that Amy grew inside me and she has now been on the outside for as long.

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