Lately the little one has found a new dimension to the term "attachment" parenting. At thirteen months old, it seems a bit late in the game, considering now is the time when most babies her age have taken to running across the room and sitting down to whole meals by themselves. Not my little one. She watches her sister, with a mix between caution and awe written all over her face. She joins in in the vocal redheaded way that she knows how, voicing her wants with a clear loud operatic singer scream. This, of course, is not my prefered method of communication, but at least she is not a docile still child who we worry about. That is absolutely certain.
She still wants to be in my arms above all other options, with the next best alternative with her big sister or her papa, although there are times when that won't suffice either. Last night I made our entire dinner with her on my back in a mai tai baby carrier that I used when she was brand new. It is simply a lovely device, made by my mother from a pattern that I sent her way. The little one quickly realized the benefits of being on my back for the making of her meal. She watched as ground meat settled into a skillet, salad was made and frozen peas poured into a pan. She barely could contain the excitment of that one...peas are her favourite.
Finally in this past month, she has begun to go to others besides me, almost willingly. Not only that, but she has begun to smile at strangers, if and when they smile at her. She'll not simply sit and stare as she had done all her babyhood thus far, with the look my friend down the street dubs as her "poker face." My oldest was not this way. It makes me realize that truly there are no two babies alike, and that because of circumstance and personality, everyone is different. My big girl was a species all her own. She would not only go to whomever reached out their arms to her, she would smile and coo and play at the drop of a hat. She was off and running at ten months and speaking full sentences by 18 months. She had a full mouth of teeth and was eating everything without a second thought by a year, which is a simply amazing thought to me. I also returned to working when she was nine months old. She would stay with her papa all day on both weekend days, with one drop in for a nurse halfway through the day. With my littlest, I can not even imagine such an event. She barely lets me take a shower, let alone be gone for the day. It is something I cannot even fathom trying, given where we both are in our relation to each other.
In someways I can't help but feel we have a relationship that equally nurtures the other. Don't get me wrong, there are days when the most desperate need I have is to take a run by myself or to take a shower- alone. But there is something unbelievable about waking in the morning and feeling your littlest one snuggled into the crook of your elbow and the feeling of incredible rightness that takes over your entire body. That clean sweet biological yumminess that makes you feel that where you are is absolutely where you need to be.
Something about the familiar curve of your child's shoulder and the spot where neck meets chin reminds you that life is all about this. Attached.