Thursday, January 8, 2009

Learning Lessons and Lessons Learned

Son, born eight weeks early, spent the first four weeks of his life in the NICU. When he came home, I had to consider his prematurity when looking at his motor development. Some things that happened late, like sitting, standing and crawling, were OK when adjusted for his prematurity. Other milestones were relatively early when adjusted, but some were just plain off the chart delayed (eating solids, for example).

Daughter, on the other hand, is a healthy full-term infant and she is waking up.

Now two days shy of six weeks, she smiles. Usually this happens in her sleep and it is fleeting at best. Occasionally, I catch her smiling when looking at someone or something, but when I call someone over to see it, the smile disappears. She doesn't have a responsive smile yet, but it is so beautiful when it accidentally happens. You may call it gas, but her "gas face" is decidedly unhappy.

She can push her head up when on her tummy and when she is on her back she rolls almost onto her side.

If she could, she'd be held 24/7. She balks at the swing and bouncy chair, but after she cries a bit she seems to realize, "Hey, I like this!" Mama loves the swing and bouncy chair so she can get things accomplished around the house check e-mail and blog.

This morning, at Son's ophthalmology appointment, she picked up on my tension as Son wasn't 100% cooperative with the exam. I picked my screaming daughter up from her carseat and held her against my chest as I willed myself to relax. I felt us both melt into each other and, as we both grew calm, so did Son.

The doctor told us his exotropia is gone and his astigmatism is improved. She said we can reduce the patching to 3 days per week. I realized I was upset not that Son wasn't a perfectly behaved preschooler, but that he might have a vision deficit.

I still have numerous mothering lessons to learn, and this baby of mine is going to help me along the way. I wish I'd had the maturity to realize when Son was teaching me his own lessons. In hindsight, there were many.

Med school, schmool. I'm getting the best education in human development from mommyhood experience.

*cross-posted at Fat Doctor.


  1. Congrats on your new daughter.

    I am amazed at how much I have learned by becoming a mother. My twins are now 5wks old and I feel like I am still learning new things from them, even though this is my 3rd time around.

  2. Indeed, congrats... and thank you for this beautiful post. As the at-times-overwhelmed new mom of a 4 wk old girl, I really appreciate your perspective. I am getting so caught up in "doing this right" (if only there were a Harrison's for parenting ;)) that I sometimes forget to enjoy. Thank you for the reminder that she's only this age ONCE.


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