Lyra has started reaching for people in the past week. It is incredibly cute, and incredibly satisfying all at once. She reaches out both arms when she’s sitting on the floor and wants to be picked up, or when she’s in Adam’s arms and wants to be with me, or vice versa.
We’re also starting to find more success when it comes to bedtime. For six months we’ve had a baby who would only sleep on a person – most preferably, her mom. This made my days and evenings somewhat limiting, although I didn’t particularly mind, I must admit. Other folks talk about putting the baby down for a nap, or putting the baby down to sleep at night – this was not part of our world for Lyra’s first six months.
Now the evenings include hour-long sleeping sessions for the little girl, on her own. She wakes up frequently (around once every half hour to hour) and needs to be settled in again, but she has started falling asleep quicker and staying asleep for a bit longer each night. If she needs us to be there for her when she wakes up, then we will be there. I don’t subscribe to the concept that a baby needs to learn how to be alone by crying hysterically for its parents – after all, unlike a lot of other animals out there, human babies are actually helpless for a very long time. It only makes sense that being alone is not part of the natural instinct for our little girl. We haven’t been civilized as a species for all that long – instinct is a tough nut to crack. I’d rather make her feel that she can trust her parents will be there when she cries. I know, as an adult, I want someone to be there for me when I cry too. She can learn independence in her own time. She’s already starting to – she sits on the floor quite happily on her own now that she’s able to.
This time goes by quickly, everyone tells me so, and six months has already gone by in a flash. It’s not so very long that she’ll need to depend on us for everything, and it’s certainly no sacrifice for us to be there for her. We’re not trying to reclaim our independence from her or anything like that – she is here, and we are her parents, and that doesn’t go away when the sun goes down.
At least that’s how I feel about things, and really, that’s the only thing that matters.