8.29.2008

Object Permanence Bites Us In The Ass

I know that it's been simply forever since I posted anything. Frankly, it's been the week from hell. Last weekend, while Jamie was in Vermont seeing friends, Hazel and I took a road trip down to Hull to visit with Ani and Apo, Hazels great-aunt and uncle. We had such a good time, Hazel was delightful after she settled in, and Apo grilled delicious steaks for us which we ate on their porch looking out over the Boston skyline, Boston lighthouse and Massachusetts Bay. It was a beautiful afternoon and Ani and Apo fell head over heels for Hazel Porkpie, of course.

Then, inexplicably Hazel fell apart. All week long she has been incredibly fussy and whiny in the day, and has been waking up half a dozen times at night to be repositioned. Then, my baby, who normally sleeps from 7pm to 6am started waking up at 4am for the day. ARUGH! Is it teething? Is it a growth spurt? Is it that she is trying so hard to crawl that other areas of development have regressed? Hazel only knows because we sure as hell don't. What I do know is that I have been totally exhausted and sick of the constant crying and we are sleep deprived and cranky. Hazel has been inconsolable, unhappy to be left on the floor, but arching and pushing away when held. She doesn't want to nap any more during the day, and one day did not sleep AT ALL! Hazel needs her three naps a day as much as I need a break from it all so we have both been at our wits end. I give her Motrin. Nothing. Tylenol. Nothing. Ice in her mesh feeder and she just screams when it's empty. We are really hoping that this is just a phase that will soon pass. I think it may already be starting to, as she has been napping a little more and a bit less fussy.

Hazel has hit a bunch of milestones in the past couple of weeks, though. All of a sudden, she can sit up unassisted. She doest even need to tripod (hold herself up with her hands in front of her). She has been doing an Army crawl, backwards for a couple of weeks now, but this week she has been able to get up on all fours and rock back and forth. Her understanding of object permanence has grown by leaps this week, as well. I noticed it when I would find her chewing on something I didn't want her to have. I would take it away and where before she would simply move on with a shrug, now there is a full on meltdown. I'm talking a dramatic, toddler-sized tantrum.

Also, I can't turn my back on her. Not necessarily because she is going to get into anything (but she does) but because her separation anxiety is in full swing! Aside from Jamie and myself, she is not thrilled about anyone else right now. She will not be held by anyone until she has been around them for several hours, if ever. Her bottom lip comes out in the most pathetic little pout before she lets out a long, high-pitched whine that becomes a howl. Sometimes, she doesn't even like it when strangers look at her! Its pretty funny, but also pretty tiring for me. When she is feeling particularly insecure, like when she is tired she doesn't even like it when I break eye contact with her for too long. Ill have to get a video of her emotional 180. When I leave her, she falls apart into this dramatic psychic crisis, crying so hard that she starts choking. But as soon as I turn and bend down with my hands out like I'm going to pick her up, she starts to laugh and kick her legs so hard. She is also "talking" more ad more. The exuberant, high-pitched screeching is still her primary mode of communication, but she has started to fit some other, more speech-like sounds in. When she wakes up, she spends a bit of time "talking" to herself and her toys before she calls us in to get her for the day. I love to eavesdrop on her...

Of course, I'm getting crap from the....."older generation" to not spoil her by taking her back from a strangers arms when she is crying so hard she is gagging. Puh-leeze! Like I'm going to let my baby continue to melt down in the most hardcore way in the arms of someone she is totally unfamiliar with, just so they can get a cuddle (even a forced one). Not going to happen. I do know just a little something about child and infant development (shocker, I know), and I know I've been out of the field for a whole 6 months at this point, but I'm willing to bet that I'm still more hip to current research than the folks who look at me soothing my crying baby and say, "Awww....she is a spoiled little baby, isn't she mommy?" I know it's a radical idea, but crying babies need to be soothed. Separation anxiety is not only a normal developmental milestone, but it's a sign of a secure attachment. Securely attached Hazel is! Every time I get irritated, I try to remind myself how lucky Hazel is to have such an attachment, and how strong and independent she will be as she grows because of it. It is a small comfort though, when 72 hours goes by and she won't let me put her down, or look at anything other than her. "I said UNDIVIDED attention, mama!"

In other news, today was Hazel's six-month checkup with Dr. Sleeper. He was very impressed with how strong she is, and how well she can push up and sit. It is pretty amazing. I think that she is just so determined that she will fight through any physical limitations. I do think that part of why she has been so fussy lately is out of frustration that she can't do everything she wants to do. She is very impatient, and wants instant gratification, just like her dad.

Here are the six-month stats!
Weight: 17 pounds and in the 66th percentile
Length: 27.5 inches and in the 86th percentile
Head Circumference: 17.5 inches and in the 82nd percentile

4 comments:

Jaymee said...

hang in there momma. hazel congratulations on all your accomplishments.

AlePancha said...

OK... as long as it seemed.. you got me hooked! read it all from a to z... i could so relate to it all... I've got this feeling that the 6 month mark is somewhat a big phase we all have to survive... so i guess we just have to enjoy, smile and hang on!
hugs to you and a big gummy smile from Joaquin to Hazel! :)

Hanna's Mommy said...

You're such an awesome Mommy. Way to stand by what you know is right. Hazel is going to grow up so secure because she is so loved.

HeatherNSteve said...

LOL. funny post! i have to say- sounds IDENTICAL to Noah's behavior lately. YIKES is all i have to say!! i was just thinking today- this whole attachment parenting thing had BETTER pay off!! : )