Sunday, September 26, 2021

Eight Months: She's So Human

We always talk about how Zoe is so human like she isn't a human, haha.  And I feel like we've made this comment off and on at different specific times in her life, like when she started rubbing her eyes with wrist rotation.  Yes, it's definitely the little things.  But now, she's actually spending a lot of her day upright, sitting on her bottom, taking in the world from our angle rather than from the ground.  She's eating real food, like broccoli and mooncakes, sitting with us at the table.  She has actual mood swings and she expresses frustration now, especially when she can't reach something or when we change her diaper before feeding her.  She has some cheekiness about her too, like dropping things on the ground from her highchair or swiping the spoon against the side of her head and watching for our reaction.  She also has sprouted a tooth (as of yesterday!), and we see the shadows of three others coming in soon.  She doesn't laugh at the same stuff anymore, but she has an updated sense of humor.  Kissy sounds and neck kisses don't quite have the same effect, but now she gets a kick out of us making eating sounds and getting her hands washed in the bathroom sink.  She also is squealing and shouting a lot, which is fun and interesting for us to guess what she must be thinking about.  She loves swimming on her tummy and leaving puddles of drool everywhere she goes.  What's great though is that as of this month, she has learned how to fall asleep on her own, and we are all in a better place because of it!  I still wake up when she cries to feed her, but there is no more of that 45-minute rocking shenanigans to get her back to sleep after that.

I am feeling so much more human, too.  I never thought that going to work would feel so liberating.  I feel so much more like myself, and less like the zombie that I was during maternity leave--a loving zombie, but still a zombie.  Now, I get to put on actual street clothes, socks and shoes, a touch of eye makeup, and my watch every day.  I get into my car and listen to the radio while driving a nice, 15-minute tree-lined commute to my school, and I get to talk with tons of adults and kids.  It's definitely draining because it's been so long (including the whole pandemic shutdown!) since I've stepped foot on an actual school campus, plus this is a new school for me this year, but man is it nice to get away from home.  I do miss our little human at home, but I know that she's in good hands with Daddy and Grandma, and usually when I get home we still have two really great hours to spend together.  Her night wakings don't even bother me as much as they used to, because I get to see her one extra time.  Even though I'm doing so much more each weekday now as I split my time between being Mom and OT, I feel farther away from burnout than I did when I was just focused on mothering.  I think it's helpful to be back on some kind of a predictable schedule and to get plenty of socializing in.  I don't wish that I had gone back to work sooner though, because I still look back on Zoe's first few months of life as the most precious time that could never be recovered.  So sweet, so vulnerable, so hard.  It's a rite of passage for every mom, and I think I've made it through the hardest times now.