Friday, April 8, 2011

Like Fetus Like Baby

After Wesley's birth, we were talking with the midwife when she asked if the baby had been an active or calm fetus. I replied that he had been extremely active and responsive in the womb. She smiled a knowing smile and said something to the effect of "expect a struggle at first, but once he gains control of his body and movements, you'll have an easier time while other parents begin pulling out their hair".

I smiled, not knowing whether to believe this woman or put the info in the same category of those who knew what gender the baby would be prior to birth. She had cared for many babies in the womb and then come to know them afterward, so perhaps she had some special knowledge. Certainly fetuses behave differently from one another, but how could she know what he'd be like on the outside?

The idea of him mastering locomotion beyond rooting for milk pointed to a distant future far away from the tiny creature in my arms. A future I couldn't yet imagine.

But we have arrived. It seems she may have been right. Wesley was not the easiest newborn. He wasn't the Buddha Baby snuggle in your arms fall asleep at the drop of a hat kinda guy. He needed a lot of assistance as he strained, trying to master his body and falling short. He wanted to stand not sit, to move not stay, and to touch not see the world, and he wanted it all so badly. He was often frustrated with his limitations.

Emptying the tea drawer
Now, much of the tension has dissipated. He scampers across the room, he adventures, and he is on the go. It feels like a pressure valve was released. He seems more joyful and happy. Even as he pushes the boundaries of his current capabilities by letting go when standing, pushing toys back and forth, climbing on top of objects and pulling onto other objects, he is more at ease.
I love this new phase. I love watching how happy he is to play independently and occasionally glance over at me with a smile of accomplishment, or to flash a mischievous look as he dashes away to the shoe rack, hoping I will catch him so we can do it all over again. And with his new capabilities he has also become more snugly. He spends more time out of our arms, but comes over and takes quick snuggles more frequently. He has taken to putting his cheek next to our cheeks, so very sweet.

This is a very fun stage. Wesley enthusiastically loves the work that he does all day long--climbing, and pulling things, and crawling with his tiny ball in his hand which he raps on various furniture items, knocking down block towers, and ripping magazines, emptying drawers and surfaces of their contents, playing chase and be chased, playing catch, babbling and dog watching.

Of course there are some new frustrations that come with Wesley's increased mobility. He is more frequently redirected from things he can't have and this leads to upset. Wes has started breaking down in loud screams when the dogs on the street begin to walk away from him. And diaper changes, well, they're reeeeaaaally hard for everyone.

But he is generally a happy adventurer, providing plenty of entertainment to his onlookers. I am so pleased to see him enjoying himself so much. Parenting has entered a new level of fun.
Watching the landscaper
The midwife was right. I am happy that Wesley reached certain physical milestones early, because it has brought him comfort. His struggle and will to persevere and overcome the limitations of his body has paid off.

1 comment:

  1. okay, so funny that we wrote about similar things (though mine was much less eloquent!) last night. i love that little wesley and i sure nodded along in understanding as i read every word.