On seeing, and not seeing, new developments


My daughter is 16 weeks old today.

Precious has been developing all sorts of cute things lately. At almost 4 months, she has become very aware of and engaged with the world around her.

She has started to show signs of humor, enjoying when Daddy makes funny faces at her. She sticks out her tongue, which makes us all laugh and stick out our tongues back at her. She blows bubbles with her ever present drool and squeals readily with joy.
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She now rolls to her side easily, and with all the wriggling she often turns herself around on her playmat. That works well because then she is constantly seeing different toys as she changes her angle.

Last week I had a very hard day, when upon returning from work the nanny told me that she had rolled over. I had told her that morning that Precious had been enjoying rolling and playing on the mat a lot. I described how she was rolling from her back to her side and then leaning her head and leg forward, like she wanted to get to her tummy. When I got home from work, the nanny said “I see what you mean. She rolled over today,” and then continued on to describe other things she had done.

She said it in a matter of fact way, so I’m not sure it had dawned on her that Precious hadn’t actually rolled fully over yet with me. So I asked her to describe it. She said that she went from her tummy to her side, then paused and rolled to her back.

Later, after she left, I held back tears. How could she roll over for the first time with the nanny, when she is only with her two days a week!? It seemed cruel that I should miss such a milestone. I was so disappointed that when I then opened a piece of unexpectedly stressful mail, I broke into tears. I ended up sitting on the floor near her, crying and texting my husband about how I wished he were home with me right then.

I went and took a bath with Precious, crying into the bathwater about how I had missed that moment and wouldn’t get it back, even as I caressed her beautiful soft skin and hair and watched her smile at me.

When my husband returned home he tried valiantly to convince me that I hadn’t missed something significant. That all the little moments add up and it’s not right to look at the situation and see myself as missing something. And in my head, where the rational part of me lives, I knew he was right. I think all the time about how lucky I am, to have a great husband, two great jobs, and the flexibility to work part time while my baby is young. Most of all, I think about how lucky I am to have this little wonder of nature. But with my heart, I still felt sad.

Since then, I’m feeling better about it. It’s been a whole week and she hasn’t done it since then, so I’m starting to even doubt it was real. Even if it was though, I know that the first time I see it it will still be special.

How do you deal with knowing about the moments you’ve missed? Do you even want to know?

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