Last Friday, Petunia turned nine months old. Nine months seems like it should be special, since she has now been out here with the rest of the family as long as she was in there with just me. Of course, it is not actually any more meaningful than any other day, but it did make me sit back and think about how much my little baby has grown. She's so big now.
Speaking of "so big", she plays a mean round of that. You can say "How big are you, Petunia?" and about 70% of the time, she'll hold her hands up and give you her beautiful, infectious grin, and of course you'll have to grab her little hands and say "soooo big!" (Pumpkin likes to play this game with her, and patty cake.)
Speaking of infectious... Petunia gave Hubby and me a nasty cold last week. She gave it to my parents, too, who were here to give us a night away. They claim that it was worth it, but I have a hard time believing it. My kids are really cute, but this is a really bad cold. Interestingly, Pumpkin never caught it. Petunia got better, and went back to day care last Wednesday, only to come down with a fever again this weekend. I had taken her to her well baby check up on Friday. Hubby took her back to the same doctor today for the diagnosis- hand, foot and mouth disease. She's already better enough to go back to day care, where, judging from what I read on the CDC's page, she'll continue to infect any of the other babies who haven't already caught it from whomever gave it to her. (Don't judge- the page says she could be shedding virus for weeks after all of her symptoms clear! It would be impossible to know when she is no longer infectious, so we'll follow the standard rules and send her back when she's no longer sick and has been fever free for 24 hours.)
Speaking of a night away... yes, Hubby and I just had one, courtesy of my parents. (Yes, we know how lucky we are.) We didn't go far, just up to Orange County. We stayed in a business hotel across from the Costa Mesa mall. We shopped- we both needed clothes and never seem to find the time to get them. We ate dinner and lingered over our meal, our margaritas (I had two!!! So decadent), and conversation only interrupted by the waitress asking if we wanted dessert. And then we slept through the night.
While we were shopping, I saw a mother carrying a little baby, who couldn't have been more than three months old. I was struck by the thought that I'll never have such a little baby again (we're done at two- Hush! is having a good discussion about that, if you're so inclined). The thought made me a little sad. Not sad enough to go through another pregnancy or the sleep deprivation of babyhood again, but sad in a gosh it all goes by so fast sort of way. I had a flash forward to the end of the baby years, when there will be no more diapers to change and we'll be able to go away without taking the breast pump with us, and maybe stay away for an entire weekend, if my parents are willing. And I suddenly understood why mothers everywhere pester their children for grandbabies. There is something special about the baby years.
The next morning we had breakfast out. (I am still in search of a really good breakfast in the OC... This time I consulted Yelp and we went to the highly rated Rooster Cafe. It was good, but not really what I was after.) And then we drove home, to be greeted by two happy little girls. Pumpkin wanted to tell us everything she had done while we were away. We're still hearing stories from that weekend. Petunia just wanted to smile at us and pat whoever was holding her. She does this when I pick her up from day care, too, or come home after leaving her with Hubby for awhile. I know I'm probably reading more into this gesture than is there, but I choose to believe that it is her way of saying that she's happy to see me.
And I'm happy to see her, too. These are the fundamental paradoxes of parenthood- we need time away from our kids, but are anxious to see them again and think about them the entire time we're away. We struggle through the baby years, but know we'll always miss them when they're over.
I probably have more to say on that subject, but not tonight. I'll close this rambling post with two photos. First, Petunia looking out at the world she's only starting to explore:
And second, Pumpkin, at almost the same age, doing the same.
OK, Petunia is actually licking the door. Details, details.