Tuesday, January 3, 2012

No, Raegan!

The celebration of the New Year is always a bittersweet time.  The opportunity for change is always welcomed with open arms.  Optimism abounds as resolutions are made.  The dawn of a new year and all of the promises and hope hidden within its calendar pages hold an alluring appeal as we look toward the future.  On the flip side, however, the new year also means that another year has come to a close, capturing memories and milestones within its grip.

This past year has brought us a full range of emotions, from high to low and everywhere in between.  Of course, our highest 'high' of the year was welcoming our little 'giraffe' in mid-April, giving our family an even greater sense of 'completeness'. 

In the eight and a half months since Raegan's birth (can you believe she's already that old?!?), our family has been adjusting to our newest addition and all of the new phases that come along with a baby.  Interestingly enough, I had almost forgotten just how much work a baby actually can be.  I had heard countless people tell me how easily a third baby fits into the family, how the third one had 'no choice' but to just 'go with the flow'.  Hmm. 

Meet Raegan.

Adorable as she may be, she is definitely not just 'going with the flow'.  There have been times during these past 8 months where she has been our salmon swimming upstream, and the rest of the family is the 'upstream'.  Most recently, her 'salmon moment' has been this incessant need to be mobile.  And not just mobile in the sense of a roly poly, a scooter, or even a crab crawler.  No, no.  An upright, mobile little giraffe is her full intention, and an upright, mobile little giraffe she will be.

Like a baby giraffe taking her first steps, Raegan wobbles and stumbles as her pudgy little fists kung-fu grip the pointer fingers of whatever willing mommy or daddy will help her in her attempts to get from point A to point B.  Sitting is not an option.  Nor is crawling.  If there isn't a mommy or a daddy available, her options are pretty slim.  Typically, she'll opt for door number one--a shrill and very agitated shriek that slowly turns into a wail.  If that gets her no where, due to a busy mommy or daddy, she'll move to door number two--positioning herself into downward dog and attempting to walk like a giraffe with four long, straight legs.  Then, when she reaches a position where she's able to grasp something waist-height or higher, she'll straighten out that downward dog and continually do squats in an excited fashion to demonstrate her surpreme happiness with her accomplishment.  (She'll make a fantastic yoga partner when she's older)

Aside from the faux walking, Raegan's second favorite passtime would be a tie between eating and to wreak havoc in the house.  The shoe basket, the photo frames on the book shelf, the magnets on the fridge, and most especially the dog's water dish...all are fodder for Raegan's exploration.

Of course, none of this should be new to me.  Afterall, we've had two babies in the house before.  For some reason, however, I must have blocked out the amount of sheer energy required to chase a mobile baby around all day long.  I also must have blocked out the number of times I'd say 'no' in one day.

I've been working on putting a more positive spin on my attitude and how I express my thoughts.  When I spend the better part of my days saying 'No, Raegan!', it seems to put my spin into a counter-clockwise direction.  Even the older kids have found what seems to be pleasure in finding something for which they can scold their little sister.  Perhaps we should work on finding a different way to get our message across to an increasingly curious little giraffe.  Otherwise, the poor kid doesn't stand a chance when Brynn gets on her soapbox of being a 'good grill'. 

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