This morning, my son managed to tip his bouncer over. I’ll start by saying he is perfectly fine. A little startled but not a scratch to be found on him. It was a real Mommy of the Year moment for me and ended with me tossing the bouncer onto the porch, swearing we were done with it for good. Only once I caught sight of it out there hours later did I feel a little sentimental.
I can’t overstate how much I depended on this bouncer in our early days. The Fisher-Price My Little Snugabunny Bouncer, which he spent more of his newborn hours in than I can count. It’s the site of a few diaper blowouts, millions of naps, and his very first smile.
The bouncer was where he first showed interest in a toy (a monkey, no surprise) and hung out while I ate my breakfast with one hand and tickled his feet with the other. I used to drag it into the bathroom and shower while peeking out to spy on him, contentedly staring at the birds on his mobile. It’s where he spent a huge chunk of his infanthood, and he’s outgrown it.
I know I’m putting too much weight on this little piece of plastic and felt. But this milestone, one that like many others can’t be found in books or on parenting websites, is coming during one of those weeks where I feel like I can see my little boy growing in front of my eyes. We had my son’s nine-month checkup the other day. The doctor did her thing and said, “OK, so the next time we’ll see you is at his one-year exam.” One year exam? That was forever away! She must have misspoken!
Nope. That’s three months from now. My baby will be a year old in three months—deep breath.
Believe me when I say I love how my boy is growing. I find the new things he is doing exciting, delight in seeing his personality emerge, and adore seeing him (finally) enjoying new foods. “It’s happening so fast!” my husband and I say.
And sometimes, the little sentimental mommy voice in my head says, “Too fast. Way too fast.” I don’t want to stop time forever or go backward. But there are days when I wish I could slow it down a bit.
When I put my son in his crib at night (the mattress of which has now been lowered twice), using both arms and all my strength, I remember putting him down – tiny, seven pounds heavy and swaddled tightly – in the Pack n’ Play in our bedroom.
When I get him dressed in the morning, I remember fondly the days when he’d wear pajamas around the clock and no shoes were needed.
When I chase my crawling baby around the house, I remember days spent on the couch with him as a newborn. We’d have days spent entirely seated; working at nursing, burping, and dozing could fill an endless amount of time. On those days, all I could think was, “I just want to get off this couch.” That couch, and a sleeping baby on my chest, are now the rarest of occurrences.
I know there will be a time when nine months will seem like his baby days to me – when he’s taller than me, when he starts shaving, dating, and – another deep breath here – driving. Right now, though, nine months seems like adulthood compared to those blurry days of his newborn time.
He’s a “real person” now. He has likes and dislikes, a myriad of sounds and expressions, crawls, claps, and laughs endlessly. He is heavy to carry and sometimes prefers solids to breastfeeding and has an entire social life at daycare. He’ll be walking before I know it. I wouldn’t wish these important things to be gone because they’re wonderful parts of who he’s become.