Happy 7 months to the littlest love of my life, I am amazed by how you grow.
But the Notorious B.I.G. said it best: “Mo Money, Mo Problems.” All these new abilities mean that Claire is strong enough to pull stuff off of shelves, able enough to quickly scatter into the nearest dark and dangerous corner, and quite inclined to put that newfound voice to the test at the end of a long day. Or the beginning, or the middle.
In a traditional narrative, this is the part where I go on to list all the ways that her progression has made life harder for mom and dad. It has, don’t get me wrong. But that’s not the point. The point is that Claire is no longer a helpless infant and is learning more and more about both her physical abilities and her personal feelings with each passing minute, and anything that we have to put up with in the process is just the price of doing business.
For instance, when dad leans in for a kiss, Claire has become an expert at grabbing two handfuls of upper lip and pushing away with all her might. Yeah, sure, it sucks to have your once-welcoming baby reject your expression of love. But damn, did you SEE how hard she pushed that time? That was awesome. Here, watch, I’ll do it again.
Also, lately she’s been playing with her toys in ways besides jamming them into her mouth. This, too, is an amazing advancement! Claire loves to grab her favorite ball and swing it back and forth as hard as she can, or take hold of her indestructible book and slam it into the ground until it screams uncle. Sometimes she throws the ball and then chases it, and it made me try a little game of catch with her. I roll the ball into her lap and watch her giggle with glee every time. She gets bored easily and I have to pry it out of her grasp again and again, but we’re getting there. We kind of play catch now!
Biggie wasn't wrong, he just had the wrong focus. If having so much money means that federal agents tap your cell and the phone in your basement, then the question of whether having all that money is worth it or not is more than valid.
But if raising a confident child that can express him or herself is the end result, then there’s no question: the side effects – like childproofing and screaming fits – are absolutely worth it. So then why do parents focus so much on mo problems and not mo money? Because they make our lives harder?
Yes, probably, and I won't claim that my ears are immune to a seven-month old with healthy lungs that dedicated an hour of our road trip to San Diego to unleashing some truly primal shrieks. But she couldn't scream like that a month ago. She couldn't express displeasure like that a month ago, or choose specific toys that made her happy or unhappy a month ago. This is Claire coming into her own, learning to communicate and make decisions for herself. This is progress and development. This is mo minor problems for the sake of way mo money down the line.
So this is my daughter at seven months – curious but opinionated, athletic but stubborn, a physical resemblance of what she was and a crystal ball into what she will be. Marshmallow, mommy and daddy are tough, and we can take whatever you dole out. So crawl more and scream louder; that just means that one day you’ll run faster and laugh harder. And the ends will far outweigh the means.