A lot has changed. I think we are in mourning sometimes. We mourn rides on the scooter that sits lonely on our back patio. Sometimes after she is in bed we sigh. Sighs of sadness that we can't just run an errand together or spontaneously go out to eat. Every. single. morning she wakes up. I knew it in theory but the reality of never getting to sleep in. Ever. Again. So so sad.
A lot has changed. I think we are celebrating still. How is it that we can feel every feeling above and also feel amazed and giddy at how fortunate we are to have A with us? So many conflicting emotions. How do the mourning and the celebrating fit together?? It is...confusing.
Ari has really come into her own. There is no doubt in my mind that whatever grieving she went through during her transition, it is over completely now and we are the only ones left turned upside down. She knows where she fits and it is firmly between the two of us. If we kiss, she wants to clamber up our bodies and be smooched too. If we are both in the room and either of us leaves she wails with disappointment. She disburses smiles and kisses and hugs and waves evenly and is never happier than when all three of us are together. The sound of our voices talking can soothe her into her deepest sleep. She prefers that we both change her diaper so that one can deal with the dirty work and the other can play peekaboo.
Some of the things that fascinate me:
Ari's head is in the 99th percentile. Whoa.
She can turn anything, a shoe, a bottle, an empty plastic box, into a cell phone.
She loves cooked veggies, tofu, couscous, and anything spicy but hates fresh fruit and is suspicious of desserts.
Regular sign language is not nearly exciting enough. Ari creates her own signs and uses them regularly to discuss the itsy bitsy spider, things she wants, demands for the dogs to come, the sippy cup, and being sleepy.
Going to bed at 7pm (still semi-awake) and sleeping for 12 hours alone - not a problem. Taking a one hour nap alone in the afternoon - obviously the worst form of cruelty and torture!
Her love of water in streams, pools, lakes, and even the hose but her pure disgust for bathtub baths.
I love that Ari calls me "Meh meh" right now (even though she can say Mama) and that her first real word was "DAW" for dog. I love her rare belly laughs and scrunched nose smiles. I love that she loves the Baby Faces and Global Babies books and that she enjoys admiring herself in the mirror.
I hate that we have zero flexibility with our time. I hate that the ring of the doorbell or the phone during naptime sends flaming shots of fear through my core. I despise the sound of crying on the baby monitor that inevitably arrives 10 minutes after I lay down to nap. I am horrified that it is 11pm right now and I've already missed the cutoff for going to bed and being able to wake up feeling refreshed.
I love her.
I am still in lifestyle change shock.
I am amazed by her.
I am horrified by our sudden loss of independence.
She has the power to thrill me and exhaust me and keep me awake with worry at night.
Who knew? Two months ago, seriously, who could have known how complicated these feelings would be? Does it get easier?
PS. Am watching teen mom right now and really really appreciate that a. I had 11 years of adulthood and marriage before adding baby and b. we would never scream, yell or otherwise throw insane teenage hissy fits in front of our poor child.