When I found out a couple months ago that Maggie was coming to Michigan for a wedding, I knew it was a chance I could not pass up. Exchanging frequent and hilarious emails is good, but meeting in person is so much better. Plus, she was coming to a little lake-town on the other side of the state, and before we became parents Bryan and I loved to take weekend getaways to places like that. We figured now would be as good a time as any to start getting back into the habit, so on Saturday morning we packed up the Muffin and drove cross-state to see Maggie and her husband, Phillip.
I would definitely suggest doing this if you ever get the chance.
(Meeting Maggie, I mean. The town was neat, but probably not worth traveling cross-country just to see.)
Camilla loved Maggie and Phillip too. I am muy bummed that they don't live closer. It would be hard for them to babysit for us, living in Seattle like they do.
See how comfortable Milla is? Not only is she not crying, she is reaching for the wine menu, because she knows that Maggie is cool and will not judge her for drinking before noon.
Maggie's post about meeting us is totally un-toppable (and also way too flattering to me), but let me just say that I would drive three hours with a car-seat-hating baby anytime to see her. So worth it. We have just enough in common that we have plenty to talk about, and just enough not in common that the conversation is still interesting.
And we have similar in-laws. 'Nuff said.
See? Milla definitely loved her. Milla does not let just anyone touch her feet.
Actually, I don't know if that's true. *I* certainly don't let just anyone touch her feet, but for all I know Milla herself would be happy to let any random hobo play "This Little Piggy" with her all day long.
Considering how attached she is, however, it's unlikely.
And here is where we move to the inevitable "mama talk" part of the post. (You knew it was coming! It had to be coming!)
I considered writing to Moxie about this question, but the poor woman just started a new job and I doubt she has a lot of extra time on her hands. Sad. But then it occurred to me that I have my own blog, and I can ask my own readers, wise and experienced as they are, to help me.
(And I know you will, because the lure of a blogger asking for advice is a strong one. I know this because I have observed its effect on me. I'll be casually surfing around and come across a post which asks for help with, say, picking out golf shoes. Before I know it, I, who have never been on a non-putt-putt golf course in my life, am Googling "golf shoes best cheap" just so I can have the chance to give advice to someone I don't know. The lure of advice solicitation is THAT STRONG.)
So, my baby. Twenty-three weeks and five days (also known as five-and-a-half months) old. (Insert obligatory "Waaaah, she's growing up so fast" here.)
For the first four months of her life she was fussy and super clingy, and we held her constantly because it was the only way to keep her happy. Then, around four months old, she started being less hyper-needy. She would actually let us put her down and walk away for a few moments. I'm not talking long periods of time here: I was thrilled, for instance, that she was suddenly willing to lie in bed in the morning and chat with her feet while I brushed my teeth and put my contacts in. She would sit in a chair on the kitchen floor and play happily while I completed the more dangerous aspects of dinner prep. That kind of thing.
Bryan and I don't ascribe to any particular parenting philosophy, but the way we interact with Milla looks like attachment parenting in a lot of ways. We sleep with her, we hold her pretty much constantly, we respond immediately to her cries, etc. We developed this way of doing things because it proved to be the best way to keep our high-needs baby happy. She *needed* us to do it. So, when she started being a little less high-needs and a little more chill, I was secretly proud. I thought we'd shown her, by constantly being there for her, that we would be there for her in the future and that she could relax a little. She was secure! She was happy! Responding immediately to her every need had paid off!
But apparently not, because last week it all went wrong again. And we did nothing differently, I promise. Suddenly the girl just has major separation anxiety. Not when we leave her - we never leave her - but simply when we're momentarily out of her sight. I lay her down on the bedroom floor and step into the bathroom to grab a Q-tip, and as soon as she can't see me, it's immediate waterworks. One night recently Bryan took her into the other room to change her diaper, and I heard WAILING. It sounded like torture was going on in there. When he came back to the kitchen with her, I asked him what he'd done. He rolled his eyes. "I put her down so I could wash my hands." Ah, yes. A cardinal sin in Camilla's world.
That makes it sound like we don't care about our poor daughter's woes. But we do care, very much. We're just confused, because it feels like we've reverted to an earlier, tougher stage in Camilla's life.
What I want to know from all you sage people is: did we inadvertently do something that caused this? I seriously can't think of a single thing we changed, but maybe I missed something. Or were we just naive to assume that "better" meant "permanently better"? Is this just one phase of many? She will grow out of it, right?
I need some help here. Or some reassurance. Either is good, both is best.
Okay, okay, one gratuitous picture.