Just tonight (yeah, it's after midnight), she cried a pathetic, scared, why-am-I-alone-in-a-cage-in-a-dark-room-with-sore-gums cry and I picked her up and rocked her in my arms and swayed until my back ached and my biceps were on fire and I could feel her body finally relax and go limp. And I had it again, that overwhelming desire to just gobble her up.
Since Juniper was born, both my husband and I are occasionally overcome with a desire to eat our baby. We love her that much. We wish we could just open our mouths and put her in there, whole and unharmed, and keep her there. Maybe it's a feeling of wholeness and protection, of wanting to place her safe and sound back where she came from. I will eat you up, I love you so. Isn't that a line from, "Where the Wild Things Are"? We get it.
:: An update. Shall I be brief? (Yeah, right.) In the last 10 days: Juniper made her first sign (sign language), adopted her first nasty habit from her mother, said her first word (possibly debatable), began crawling forward (not just backward) combined with putting everything (that isn't edible) in her mouth at lightening speed, had 3 of 4 front teeth come in (that fourth is proving to be the bugger), and is pooping more than once a week (proof that not all of her finger foods are ending up on the floor for Osa).
: Since she was six months old, we've been teaching Juniper a handful of signs. "Dog" (it's a finger-snapping motion) is the sign I use most. Because how many times a day do we see Osa and I say, Look! There's Osa! Osa's a dog. DOOOOG. (And I make the sign). So one day we were playing on the front porch and Osa was over sniffing the neighbor's bar-b-que and as she waddled her way home, Juniper looked at her and laughed (Juniper always laughs at Osa) and made the finger-snapping sign for dog. I was floored.
That was my first realization that Juniper is my mirror and I better start behaving like the reflection I want to see. (Until I can quit for good, I pick my thumbs under the dinner table.)
:: Last week was also our last day of swimming lessons.
again to watch and when Juniper noticed him sitting on the bench she looked directly at him, smiled and wiggled, and said, "Da-da-da."
Okay, so she's been da-da-da-ing indiscriminately for a long time. But in swim lessons, she never, EVER babbles. Not ever. But this time she saw him and said da-da-da just once and I said, Yeah, that's Da-da. And that was it, she went back to swimming. I don't know, but I counted it as a First Word. It's in her baby book, in ink.
Just like the "first kick" while pregnant, all these baby "firsts" are clear as mud. May be a kick, may be gas. May be a sign, may be a hangnail. May be a word, may be a babble. May be a crawl, but does backwards count?
:: So this week I have had to place things out of J bug's reach. And she still has caught me by surprise by doing things like crawling over to her potty and splash, splash, splashing! in the pee. Doh!
:: We've been hiking lately and Juniper has developed a taste for rocks--and we have developed a knack for swiping the rocks away before we hear the grinding sound...learned by trail and error, of course.
:: Osa is finally able to discover the true joy in having a J bug in the house. We had hoped she would live to see the day.
:: On our way to meeting a good friend in Yellowstone...
...we hiked in the Park, our first rainy afternoon hike...
...and during a break in the storm, quickly changed diapers, ate snacks and took pictures all the while keeping gravel out of Juniper's mouth....
:: August is the month for cramming, and we're planning a backpack trip (catering to Osa's limits), a quasi-fishing trip, some last-minute sun-soaking and then.... Sigh. Nights are already cooler. Afternoon thunderstorms have made a come-back. Horseflies and skeeters are finally beginning to fade. I love, love, love the change of seasons, but I will take any last bits of August I can get. And yes, the bug is now 10 months old!