30 September 2011

Mama and other tricks

Sophia said "mama" for the first time yesterday.  And when I had her show off her new skill to Ed, he said "kiss-kiss mama" and Sophia promptly leaned over to kiss me!  She even gave me a big smile after the kiss.  My heart just melted.

It's a little weird to be called mama, though, because that is what I call my mom.  So I'll still refer to myself as mommy and soon, hopefully, Sophia will learn to call me that instead.

She's getting quite good at going down the stairs sitting down.  She still wants to hold my hand as she goes down but she's getting faster.  She is walking very well and a lot faster now, she is almost running sometimes.  She knows how to knock-knock on doors (well, she knocks on books, walls, etc).  And when we ask her where her tongue is, she sticks out her tongue to show us.  She also knows where her nose and belly button are.  She knows how to turn things on and off, like the fan in her room, the light in the bathroom, and her toy that spits out balls.  I say "press the button" and she goes and presses the on/off switch.

It's so fascinating and fun to watch her respond to what we say.  She says uh-oh when I say it!  We're definitely going to have to start watching what we say around her!

21 September 2011

At the daycare

Here are some photos I took this morning of Sophia at the daycare. She is a very social baby and is enjoying herself there. The staff are very good and pay lots of attention to the kids. So far, it's been  good and I'm really hoping that it stays that way.

19 September 2011

Back at work

Today, I went back to work after 13.5 months of being on maternity leave. I am very grateful to have had that long to spend with Sophia fulltime. But now, I have to start making money and devoting time to my career again. Sophia is doing well at daycare and, so far, has not had any big crying fits. I know that she will not receive the same level of care and attention in the daycare as I have been giving her. I have spent the last 13.5 months creating a perfect cocoon for my baby, where she gets as much rest as she needs, eats as much as possible, stays clean and tidy, and gets comforted the moment she gets upset. That cocoon will not exist in daycare and a friend wisely advised me to just let it go. I still worry, though, especially when she gets home from the daycare and she has a lot of left-overs from lunch and napped less than two hours all day. By 5pm, she is exhausted and cranky, and we have to get her ready for bed right after she eats dinner, which means we hardly get to spend much play time with her. For most of the time she is awake, we’re busy dressing her up, feeding her, or bathing her. Given that reality, I am very happy and grateful that I am able to work for only three days a week. She can recover from her very active day at daycare with a relaxing day with me.

A friend asked me today what it felt like being back at work. I said it felt like wearing a pair of old shoes - very comfortable. It felt good. Aside from forgetting all my passwords, it felt like I never really left. I spent most of the day setting up my new laptop (yay!), resetting my passwords, getting my development environment up to date, getting reacquainted with the systems we use in the office, and saying hello to my colleagues. I have spent so many hours in that office that it feels like my second home. It’s a good environment to be in as I ease myself back into work mode and learn how to juggle the responsibilities of parenthood and work. Actually, I have to “ease myself” back pretty quickly. In three weeks, I’m going on my first post-baby business trip. Welcome back!

7 September 2011

She didn't miss me

I left Sophia by herself at the daycare today for hour and a half.  She didn't cry or even notice that I had left.  She played and played and enjoyed herself.  She did reward me with a big smile when I came to pick her up.  I am relieved.  I hope the rest of the transition goes as smoothly as it did today.

6 September 2011

Daycare starts

Today was the first day of daycare for Sophia. She will be going to daycare three days a week. This morning, I stayed with her the whole time but didn’t interact with her, unless she came to me. I sat back and let her be. We arrived at 9am and stayed for 1 hour and 45 mins. She played, walked around, had a snack, and even sat on the lap of one of the staff members, Ivy. I think Sophia wanted more oatmeal (she was the first one to finish her bowl of oatmeal) and so she went over to Ivy to try and get more. There is a little slide in the play area outside and Sophia climbed up the three little steps, sat down at the top of the slide, and went down the slide on her own. It was fun watching her figure out how to do it all on her own. It also broke my heart to realize that, while she’s at the daycare centre, she won’t be getting nearly as much one-on-one attention as she gets from me. There was a little boy, Evan, who started crying when he realized that his dad had left. He was inconsolable and I started to tear up because I can picture that child being Sophia. I had a hard time keeping it together as I listened to Evan cry. A staff member, Andrea, held him the entire time he was crying, trying to comfort him. He eventually fell asleep in Andrea’s arms, exhausted from crying.

Tomorrow, I leave Sophia at the daycare centre for an hour and a half. She will stay longer and longer each day and by next Friday, she will stay the whole day. I am instructed to not sneak out, that I have to say bye-bye when I leave. I have a feeling it will be harder for me than Sophia. Maybe her big crying day will be next week when she realizes that this bye-bye business isn’t just for a day or two. I am hoping that Sophia will take it all in stride and adjust well to this new reality. She’s resilient and I know she will be okay. I think she’ll handle it better than I will!