Today Evalee went to see Dr. Moen for her nine month well baby check up. Although she enjoyed taking off her clothes to get weighed (18.75 lbs) and measured (27 inches long), she was not pleased when she had to lay down and get examined. Of course, Dr. Moen said we needed to take her screams as a good sign of emotional development, since he was a stranger. I just smiled, knowing if she had been in only a slightly different mood she probably would have gone home with him. He showed us how she is still in the 50th percentile for height, between the 25th and 50th percentile for weight, and around the 50th percentile for her head still. We talked a lot about food and sleep, as those are our major concerns right now. With her tooth breaking through, she hasn't been the best at either lately. We found out that we can feed her pretty much anything we can mash up small enough except eggs, peanut butter, and honey. We even got a couple of table food ideas to try we hadn't thought of, so that was good.
And then we talked about sleep. I knew what he was going to say about her getting up. At least, I was pretty sure. Every parent around me assures me that I need to be toughening up at night and letting Evalee figure out how to soothe herself to sleep. In other words, I have to let her cry. And I have had logically reasons why to avoid doing it all along -- she was still getting hungry until very recently, she had a cold and was having trouble breathing, she's teething and in pain... but ultimately, I know I will always be able to come up with an excuse. Truth be told, I simply don't want to go through it. I know that sounds selfish, but I don't know if I can sit through listening to her cry. The thought of her all by herself in the dark of her room panicking because the parents she could always rely on in the past are suddenly abandoning her in a confused, tired state is enough to make me feel like I could throw up. I love that baby more than anything in the world and knowing I could quell her and making an effort to not do those things seems against nature itself. If something is unreachable, I hand it to her. If something hurts, I kiss it. If something is poopy, I clean it. The natural responses I've had for the last nine months seem so automatic that they've become a part of me. I know I'm probably being dramatic and blowing things out of proportion, as they say it usually is harder for the parents than it is for the babies (but how the hell do "they" know that anyway?). But it's hard to talk about rational thought and unconditional love in the same paragraph.
So, we shall forge ahead and see where the weekend takes us. "Most babies are sleeping through the night after 3 or 4 nights," he said. We'll see Dr. Moen. We'll see.
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