Coping.

Arbor.

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I am all about that face.

But this girl knows how to break her mother down, smooth. Almost every afternoon she cries–hard–for hours. (Consequently, so do I.) It’s a new and horrifying parenting experience for me, because I’ve never hear such blood-curdling screams come from something so dainty and angelic, which is really something, considering my 3 other children who also were once babies that I did manage to raise past their 5th birthdays.

I’m a seasoned vet, aren’t I? How can such a tiny person bring me straight to my knees, so easily, in a matter of minutes? And why does this happen mostly when Caleb is not home?

Truth is, every kid is so different. All the people tell you that, but it doesn’t hit home until you’re sobbing and hyperventilating in your closet because all the tried-and-true techniques you used with Things 1,2, and 3 have proven to be completely ineffective against the wrath of número 4.

Y’all. Y’ALL. Motherhood is epically hard. In the most trying of ways. It’s like a test and you almost always feel like you’re failing. I thought by now I’d be well on my way to straight owning baby’s first year. Instead, I’m exhausted and on-edge and I have nightmares of myself shaking my baby. I wake up panicked and crying, and I spend the rest of the night stroking her soft baby head to make sure it’s still attached.

Taking care of an infant is life-consuming. I have 4 girlfriends who have had babies since this summer; all of us have mastered the art of going to the bathroom with kids on our laps. We’re all muddling through the best way we know how.

Here are some things I know to be true, even if they are indeed hard to remember in the moment:

Babies grow up.

Fast.

These days are precious and I soon will miss them.

There was a time during the pregnancy and the two pregnancies before her that I would’ve given body parts away for the privilege of rocking a screaming, colicky baby.

There was a buttload of people praying for some super exquisite health for little Arbor the second we found out she was on her way. Prayers? Answered.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again a million-thousand times: I have the most supremely awesome group of friends and family; I’m never at a lack of people to call and vent to or bounce ideas off of. Also wonderful is the army of surrogate mothers and grandmothers I’m able to go to for hugs and advice.

God has a plan for us, for her. Maybe Arbor is unknowingly training for something that requires some serious vocal gymnastics.

And I guess if I’m still feeling a little traumatized later on in life, I can always come up with a bogus reason to ground her.

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About Toni

Mom. Wife. Artist. I take care of the kids and pretend to clean sometimes. I can cook spagetti and I have never been arrested. View all posts by Toni

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