My baby makes the cutest little wake-up noises. I hear her cooing and babbling from within the co-sleeper as the sleep fades from my eyes.
This morning, I glanced over to the co-sleeper. We recently put the rail up so she doesn’t wiggle out when she is napping alone. Oh look, her tiny little hand is grasping the rail! Isn’t that adorable?
Oh, my. She’s sitting up. Doesn’t she look proud of herself?
Of course, it was just a matter of time. For a long time, she has been getting on her hands and knees and onto the ground from a sitting position. And she has been lifting into crawling position from a completely flat start as well. So, it is no surprise that she put two and two together.
By now I am familiar with the patterns of emotions that follow. Pride that my little baby is growing up. Bittersweet sadness that another stage of her infancy has passed. And closely following on the heels of joy and nostalgia is anxiety…dread, fear.
Baby Diva gave a repeat performance of her new trick right before her morning nap and she’s been pulling herself up a few inches on a regular basis for a while. She can also balance on her feet if we support her.
I don’t want her sitting up, pulling up, and toppling over! So, with just a few weeks left in this house, I am going to have to re-think her sleeping arrangements…an issue I was hoping would wait until we moved.
All of a sudden, I have to adjust to something new in my parenting, with new safety measures and new vivid terrors.
Yes, I am aware that thousands, no millions of other parents have made it through all of these stages just perfectly fine.
Of course, I know that this is a normal step in her development.
Absolutely, I want her to spread her wings and fly (though, preferably, not over the edge of her bed). I cannot, will not, and do not wish to hold her back from growing, experimenting, and learning.
Doesn’t matter. I’m scared anyway.
I know that the stakes will only increase as the years pass. Sure, it would be horrible for her to lean out of the co-sleeper, but the fix is easy: we will just move her somewhere safer for her to sleep. In the stages that follow, the solutions will be neither so simple nor so obvious.
Okay, now I’m terrified.