Unwrapping the WorldOctober 4, 2010 at 5:38 am | Posted in Bun | 25 Comments
Tags: Babies, Curiosity, Growing Up, Hands, Milestones, Motherhood, Sleep, Swaddling
We are master swaddlers, my husband and I.
With Lollipop, there was lots of clumsy wrapping and folding, trying to get wayward limbs situated just so. With Giggles, whose swaddling months were in the winter, we struggled to stuff pajama-footed feet and bulky terry-cloth sleeves into warm-but-not-too-warm blankets. But with Bun, we are pros.
We burrito him up in three deft moves: tuck, tuck, wrap. Done.
It calms him down like nobody’s business. He eats, he actually eats. He falls asleep on his own. He is calm, mellow, zen.
When swaddled, he doesn’t mind that his brother is racing trains up and down the pillow near his head. He doesn’t hear the tip-tap-stomps of his sister’s tap shoes. He is content when the cat comes to curl up at his toasty feet.
Last night, though, I went to check on him a few hours after I put him to bed in his bassinet. He was all sprawled out. With his arms above his head, he signaled a sleepy touchdown. His knees, chilly from the ceiling fan air, were turned outward. His toes were curled around the soft bassinet bumper, and his blanket encircled his middle like a fluffy cummerbund.
For the first time since he was born, an overwhelming sadness squeezed my heart. The moment I got pregnant, I knew this would be our last baby. That didn’t make me sad. When I first held him, counting new and wrinkly fingers and toes for the last time, I wasn’t sad. And when he smiled for the first time, I smiled right along with him.
But this — this unwrapping of arms and legs and independence — hit me hard. Yes, he is still a baby and he still needs me. But he is beginning to flex his muscles, his free will. In his dreams, just as when he is awake, he is growing, reaching, stretching. Slowly, he is unswaddling all the surprises of the world, and he won’t want to be cocooned much longer.
What unexpected milestones have caught your emotions off guard? Do you remember when your child started preferring his limbs free? And are you a master swaddler?