Little Maeve is on the prowl. Crawling came quickly over the course of perhaps two weeks, and now every time I set her down she's off like a little wind-up toy crossing the house for her next exploration.
The arrival of mobility is such an adorable time in a child's life. For the first time, as a parent you are privy to what it is that she wants to play with. Suddenly you know what it is she's been staring at across the dining room. You realize that she's really interested in certain things perhaps you've never thought to offer. I love to let a new crawler explore and see what it is that she chooses.
For Maeve, already I see her emulating the behavior of her two older sisters. She crawls right to the baby dolls, laughing at them and faceplanting on their hard, plastic faces with big, sloppy kisses. She pulls down the pretend food and dumps it out, opens and closes the oven door, and tries to pull up on the chairs at the little table. She's been watching them like a hawk, taking in everything that they do, and she's trying it out for herself now.
I'm relieved because Fiona has been very accepting and even enthused about Maeve's new involvement in her play. Whereas before I would generally sit Maeve at a slight distance from Fiona with a distinct pile of toys that were for her, now she is right into what Fiona is doing, but Fi doesn't mind. It warms my heart to imagine that probably only six months from now they will be actually playing together.
Maeve has accomplished so much in the past three weeks. Teeth, clapping, waving, crawling, pulling up, and signing for more and all finished are at the top of the list. My little one is turning into a real person of her own.
I walked with her tonight for quite a while to help her fall asleep. After her bath she was exhausted, and when I cuddled into the rocking chair with her, her long lashes fluttered closed almost immediately as she began to nurse. But then she got all excited and began thrashing her body around, trying to wake up. I tried to be stern with her, and in the end decided to start our routine all over again-- so I turned on the light. As she arched back with another excited flip of her body, I saw that one of her top center teeth had cut through this afternoon. (she has the outer teeth on top). Soon, her gummy smile will be gone. She'll be all teeth and almost a child. It's all happening so fast.
We read a story together and then I turned out the light and rocked her again. Slowly she drifted off, and her little head arched back and she fell into a deep sleep. I sat there with her for quite some time, gazing down at her little face which looked to me in slumber almost exactly like the face of every sibling of hers I've ever held in my arms, even the first. All these gorgeous sleeping faces, each with an individual person hiding behind long lashes while he/she sleeps. I'm so incredibly lucky to have been able to do this so many times. Part of me wants it to go on and on forever.
I don't take any of this for granted, if you know me, you know that. This is all such a gift and while there are so many hard parts to this journey, once all is quiet I cherish it all so much it makes me want to cry. After Maeve fell asleep I held her for a little longer. What greater privilege is there than to have someone trust you so deeply that she falls asleep in your arms, and would like nothing more than for you to continue holding her forever? I don't take this lightly. I held her for a while, and then gently set her down.