It’s easy to focus on the challenges we face. I can’t just give Annika some chicken nuggets and enjoy my own meal. I can’t give her a sippy cup of milk and trust that she will stay hydrated. We don’t often have days free from some sort of therapy or doctor’s appointment. I can’t ask her what’s wrong or what she wants to eat, or have her walk when my hands are full.
However, there are a million ways in which I am the luckiest mom ever. First of all, it’s Annika. She is magic. She is pure joy embodied in a tiny human. Everyone who meets her adores her because she is so sweet and loving.
She rarely cries. I can literally go days without hearing her whine or cry. The only reasons she cries is when she is tired, having gas pains, or, very rarely, frustrated or uncomfortable in a situation. (Examples would be when we put her in the ball pit at OT, or sometimes if we are somewhere too noisy for her mood.)
She is very flexible and adapts well. She doesn’t have a strict sleep or napping schedule. If We need to run errands, go to appointments, or take a trip to London, she is game. She goes with the flow and handles it well. We traveled to multiple countries; I have taken her on International flights by myself. Sure, she had her moments, but overall she was a gem.
So, she can’t walk yet. However, this means I don’t have to chase her around. She also doesn’t climb yet. So I can close her in the living room area and be anywhere else in the house, knowing she is safely corralled and not in danger of hurting herself. (However I can’t leave her on the couch or bed because she doesn’t know how to safely climb off of things yet either.)
She has yet to throw a temper tantrum or demand that I give/buy her something.
She is easily amused. She will play with the same toys for hours/years. She doesn’t seem to get bored. She is happy just observing the world around her, occasionally crawling over to me, pulling up on a different surface, checking out a new toy, glancing at the TV, grabbing for my phone…honestly babysitting her is the easiest gig anyone could get.
She is an expert car traveler. This is saying a lot considering the first 6 months of her life, she screamed bloody murder almost every time we were in the car. I never wanted to leave the house. She has now endured multiple 7+hour road trips to and from my parents’ house (with a few stops, of course) with little to no complaint. She prefers the lights to be on when we are driving after dark.
She smells delicious. Always. Even when she needs a bath.
She is just so damn happy. At the end of the day, if Annika is happy, how can I not be happy? (Likewise, when Annika is unhappy, it’s really hard for me to keep my spirits up. Having a sick child is the worst.) She doesn’t whine, fuss, complain or protest. She wants to be around me and sit on my lap. She enjoys the simple things in life.
I look at her and feel like the luckiest person alive because I get to be her Mama.