The older my kids get, the more I realize that I’m really not a huge fan of the newborn stage. I love my newborn babies with all my heart, don’t get me wrong, but they just don’t DO anything at that stage! When Nathan was about 6 months old, I remember calling my mom and telling her, “AHA! Apparently THIS is when things start to get fun! 6 months old is where it’s at!” When Nathan was 9 months old, I remember telling a friend, “Okay, 6 months was kind of interesting, but this whole 9 month old thing is WAY better!” And at 12 months, I decided I’d been crazy before, that 6 and 9 months were certainly better than the newborn stage, but that apparently the older Nathan got, the more fun and exciting he was.
I anticipated the same thing with Emily, and I was right (newborn = boring, 6 months = scooting/crawling! Interest in toys! You can put them down and they can hang out happily while you do SOMETHING OTHER THAN HOLD THEM, FINALLY!) What I hadn’t anticipated, though, was the impact that Nathan would have on Emily.
Nathan has always been interested in Emily in a vague way, but once 6 months hit and she could express interest back, things just took off in ways I couldn’t have imagined! When Nathan hears Emily wake up from a nap, he knocks on her door until I let him into her room, and when she sees him her face lights up and she scoots to the side of her crib to grin at him through the slats. If she’s awake and on the floor when he wakes up in the morning, as soon as she sees him she starts scooting across the room to him, and in return he goes running over to lie on his belly in front of her so that they can grin at each other nose-to-nose. Nathan frequently requests that Emily be placed next to wherever he is sitting, and they both look at each other and giggle, as though they aren’t quite sure how the other one got there or what they’re doing, but they’re both pleased to be there together.
Emily is 8 months now, scooting/crawling all over the house, sitting up and playing with toys, and learning to get herself to a standing position so she can cruise along furniture. She chases Nathan around the house (which he thinks is hysterical) and likes to play with toys next to him. Now, not only can I set her on the floor next to me and have a few minutes to do something with both my hands free, but I can put her next to Nathan and get entire tasks done as they entertain one another. My favorite parenting moments to date have been finding them playing together without the need of any adult attention whatsoever. It makes my heart so happy to see them enjoying each other.
So yes, it does get better and more fun as they get older, but it apparently is compounded by the addition of more children to the mix. I can’t imagine what life would be like with only one child, nor do I want to. I love the family we have, and nothing makes me happier than seeing how much they love each other. Every day is better than the one before it. That’s pretty freaking amazing.