Sunday, May 04, 2008

7 months and counting

Good grief, where does the time go? You know, the time that isn't eaten up with raising a child, nurturing a marriage, work, commuting, grocery shopping, sleeping (not enough), walking the dog (not nearly enough) and volunteer commitments.

Ava is 7 1/2 months, has two little lower teeth in, is eating baby sweet potatoes, oatmeal baby cereal, baby food applesauce and just outgrew all of her 6 month size sleepers seemingly overnight. One night they fit and the next night it's like she was a bound foot bride with her little toes curled under the minute I zipped her up. Grrr. Luckily I remembered she had the one below from our lovely friend Marjorie in her bag of next-size-up clothes.

This is her "Why are you taking a picture and not holding me?" look. It's one of a series of looks that include "Why are you eating and not holding me?", "Why are you using that sharp knife to cut vegetables for dinner and not holding me?" and the daily favorite duo "Why are you driving and not holding me?" and "Why are you going to the bathroom and not holding me?" So predictable that girl.

The only reason I'm posting now is that she's sleeping (while I hold her on my lap). I've heard the well-meaning advice from people about this, which was variations on the theme "Don't hold her so much: you'll spoil her." I listened, smiled politely and bought a sling so both me AND J. can hold her as much as possible. And we all love it. I work 40+ hours a week away from her and you're telling me I should limit the contact I DO have? Yeah, I gotta go with my gut on this one: no thanks.

That is the only advice I give new parents (when asked): trust your gut and your own experience with your child and only use the advice that makes sense for your family. Kids are very similar in many ways, but they are also unique. So just because someone else has raised multiple kids and generations and something's worked for her doesn't mean it will work for you. If it does, great! If it doesn't, you shouldn't have to put up with that person repeating the advice every time they see you as if you're too thick or stubborn to try it. Just smile politely, and do what you were going to do anyway.

Now if you'll excuse me, I have some advice to ignore and a recently awakened 7 and a half month old's chubby, adorable, kissable toes poking my chin. I must go nibble and savor her giggles.