Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Rising to the Challenge

Things certainly can change quickly.

Taylor, being almost 1, went the entire morning without a nap. She snuggled with me and sucked her thumb for 10 minutes or so, and did another few hours without sleep. I mean, I wish all kids would take 4 naps a day, but when she begins to take leaps like this, it helps me remember that she's growing up. She's been such a baby baby these last 11 months, and I feel like she's finally changing into someone I can connect with. Not that I am completely there yet, but it feels much less far off.

It's hard to believe that she's almost a year old now. Everything is so much different with her than it was with Judah. Judah was an excellent communicator, which made it easy as parents, to begin teaching him things and celebrating every new accomplishment. Taylor has been - well, a baby. Suddenly, in only a few weeks time, she has begun crawling (army style), singing, signing (minimally), and saying a few words.

I feel ashamed to admit it, but I have never thought of her as that smart. Not purposely, but when we have reached a certain point with Judah, going back to the beginning with a new baby is hard for me. So I have always treated her like a baby. I am constantly comparing her to Judah, even though she is perfectly normal for her age. I haven't played as many games with her, or tried as hard with the signing, and lots of other little things that I did with Judah. I have found that as soon as I try, she rises to the challenge. I was feeding her a banana, so I said "Banana. Banana. Banana," over and over and over again. Sure enough, 2 minutes later, she reached for the banana and said, "Nana." I was taken aback.

We always expected these sorts of things when Judah was that age, so why do I not expect it of her? Now that she is coming up to the one year milestone, I know I need to change my thinking of her. This morning, she played and explored the downstairs for several hours. In just a week, she's become exploratory, which is a huge relief to me. Usually I can't leave her sight, but now I feel like I have had several productive days without her on my hip constantly.

She has just as much potential as Judah, and I am the most important person to remember that. She really is a good kid. I need to treat her like she's a year old and not 3 months old, and I know she'll rise to the challenge.

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