Last night on our evening walk, the three of us stopped in to visit my mom for a bit. When we left, Fae (for the first time ever) was a little sad to leave. Being tired, ready to be home, and wanting to nurse, she ended up sobbing. In the middle of it, with tears streaming down her face, her little whimpering voice said, “Mumma.” My heart just sank. It was the sweetest moment and I couldn’t have possibly loved her more. I never pictured that her first real word would be uttered in such a sincere context. I more expected her just repeating something that I said. Oh, my sweet little baby actually spoke to me, trying to get me to understand–as she whimpered in my arms–she just needed “Mumma.”
Since before Fae was born, I knew that I was going to parent her in a way that was natural to me. I wasn’t going to ignore my intuition in order to fit in with society and please other people. In the past eight months, I’ve spent all of my time with her, except the few minutes when I’m in the shower (which doesn’t seem to happen all that often). When we go out, I hold her, especially during parties. Fae, like many babies, gets overwhelmed, and I’m just not comfortable playing pass-the-baby. I read her signals, and when the moment is right, I’ll let a family member hold her. It’s important for me to stick to my mothering instincts, to know that Fae is getting the extra security that she needs, and to be sure that she is also building a solid, lasting trust in her parents. In listening to my instincts, I feel completely connected with her, and always understand what she wants.
So as Fae said “Mumma,” I was really proud–both of her and of myself. It was a rewarding moment for me since it’s been a challenge to raise her differently than what’s expected these days. But I know in my heart that I’ve done what’s best for my daughter and me. As we continued to walk home, I nursed her, and when my milk released, her arms went limp–which often reminds me of the first moments of her life: her limp body in my arms, against my chest, before she awakened. I said to Jared the other day that one very sweet thing that he misses out on is her little limp legs at night, snuggled into the bend at my waist. It’s completely precious.
Fae is listening to Daddy play guitar, while lounging on the ground. She was sitting, but she likes to fling herself over–luckily I was prepared for this and hid some pillows behind her. She’s got some spiked hair, as I’ve just washed the avocado and banana out of it, and she’s in a new pair of cozy pajamas from her Aunt. It’s still afternoon, but the sky is crazy, with patches of storm clouds amidst sunbeams–a good time to be comfy. Now she’s smacking the guitar.