Wednesday, June 1st. Briar is coming into her ninth month. I have been wanting to document this time, but have been failing at getting things down in a journal or keeping up with her calendar of first year achievements. I am usually inclined to write something down when I see her doing something, but then as I go to write I realize that it is taking me away from her. So much for being able to be supermom.

It was a single parent morning as Sean had an early morning meeting. He had worked until past midnight last night so our dogs, Dean and Ella were conked out at the top of the stairs. I abused the snooze button for a healthy thirty minutes as I relished sleeping face to face with Briar. She must have been hot in the night as her hair had that post sweat fuzziness to it. The staticky top forty tunes coming from our ancient alarm clock finally forced me to get up. Briar slept late as I showered and then snuck downstairs to make coffee and do the dishes. When I went back upstairs to wake Briar I was struck by the look on her face. How do babies manage to clear away everything? She just beamed at me and those sapphire blue eyes of her made me feel as if today was the first day of my life with nothing but promise and sunshine waiting outside the door. The way she smiles at me literally makes me weep or laugh out loud depending on the day.

Last night was her second night sleeping in the crib. A few months back she went on crib strike, not that she had ever really enjoyed crib sleeping. In her defense, why on earth would she give up sleeping next to a warm body with an ever available supply of milk? Anyway, as her teeth started coming in she wanted to nurse throughout the night, so the crib sleeping just was not happening. She seems to be getting the hang of it. She wakes up after a few hours and I let her back in bed with us. We had tried a few weeks ago and Briar, being the smart little thing that she is, determined that when we didn’t take her out of the crib as quickly as she wanted (we tried letting her cry for about 10 minutes) she would go ahead and make herself. Very effective indeed. I went online to see if this was common. Yup. Babies can and will make themselves vomit if it serves their purpose. A woman on one of the bulletin boards at a baby site suggested letting the baby sleep in its own vomit to cure him/her of the habit. I did not even have to respond. So many readers jumped all over this. I try to be pretty understanding or accepting of different parenting approaches, but that was too much.

I have found that in the last month I have really loosened up. I am not taking the parenting books as law anymore. What is actually working for us is taking our cues from Briar. She lets us know what she is ready for in the way of food and physical activity. I am so proud of myself for not doing things for her. Don’t get me wrong, I love doing things with her, but I let her crawl to things she wants, or climb to a standing position or work out how to do things. She is so daring and determined. Last night she was trying to stand using a stool as a ladder of sorts. She fell (she has perfected the sweetest little maneuver of spreading her legs and leaning forward so she lands on her little backside!) and as she hit she did her little growl and cry, but she kept at it. She never once beckoned to me for help. And then when she was up, oh the joy on her face. Just like Friday night when she stood in her crib for the first time. The look on her face – smug, gleeful, excited, joyous!