Saturday, December 31, 2005

Growing Pains

Our baby is growing. And with it comes pains. To begin with, she is
teething like crazy. The other morning, I went into her bedroom after
she had woken up, and she was drooling up a storm and gnawing on her
finger. She used to not take a pacifier because she associated
something in her mouth with food, but now that her gums hurt and the
pacifier brings some relief, she's been more apt to leave it in her
mouth.

Also, with growth comes the need for more sleep. Besides when she
bumps her head, the only time Jada really cries is when she's tired.
And she's been crying a bit more lately, especially in the evening.
She's had long, strenuous days, and by the evening her body and brain
are in need of down time to recover and process. What's nice is that
she's fallen asleep and stayed asleep much more easily than before
because of this.

There's some pain for us, too, with her growing. Increased fussiness
and increased mobility on her part means increased vigilance on ours.
It hurts us to know her gums hurt and there's little we can do to
alleviate the hurt.

Most of all, we're watching our baby evolve into a toddler. Amy and I
like watching the DVDs of our trip to China. The baby in the footage
is scarcely recognizable to us now, so small and hairless and wobbly
and unexpressive is she. Part of us misses the cute little peanut
that used to be our daughter. Jada is no less cute now, but part of
us laments the completion of a precious phase in her life.

The saving thing about growing pains is that they are not for no
reason. We want our baby to grow, to blossom, to flourish. We love
her more each day and will continue to do so. We will celebrate each
milestone she reaches, and will delight in her evolution into a little
girl and eventually a young woman. But I understand why parents of
older children tell me to savor these days. They really do grow up so
fast on you, don't they?

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