The last month of the parental leave is coming to an end. Lavinia has started her weaning process earlier than planned and she’s embraced it with great excitement! She also made many other huge developments.
Covid-19 lockdown update
I can confirm my initial suspects: despite her young age, Lavinia feels the lockdown as we do, and perhaps it’s even worse for her. We can reason around the pandemic, but what can she do?
One day she got so cranky and irritable that I wanted to throw her out of the window. Then I realised that I could put her seated on the window (we’re on ground floor); the wind and the fresh air made the magic, and she calmed down almost immediately.
While I can fix Lavinia’s crankiness, it’s difficult to fix my anxiety. I am also experiencing trouble sleeping: I read that it’s quite common these days, especially among self-isolating people.
As the UK should lift a bit the lockdown soon, I plan to be brave and eventually go out for a brief walk. I’ll wait for the baby masks I purchased to arrive, though; I know Lavinia will hate it, but I feel safer to go out with masks on, provided she’ll keep it (which I doubt).
My return at work is causing me some concerns too: while my company is extremely understanding and flexible about it, juggling Lavinia and working times with Franz doesn’t give me the peace of mind I’d hope to have on my return at work. I’ll take one day at a time, whether I like it or not, as that’s the only way to stay sane these days.
We celebrated Easter and my birthday at home. We had a nice time even if we stayed indoors.
New milestones achieved!
Lavinia made lots of new discoveries over the last 30 days. I noticed an acceleration in the way she’s achieved skills.
My dear friend Tracy, who has three lovely boys, thinks that the lockdown could have helped Lavinia in that. Staying 24/7 indoors with her, making up for the time we can’t spend outside, might have influenced her learning speed. I hope she’s right, because that means this freaking virus has brought at least one positive thing in her life.
Naps are still an enigma. We don’t give up though, and we will eventually figure them out. These are some baby skills Lavinia has recently unlocked:
- Rolling consistently; she now flips herself back and forth like a pancake
- She can stay seated unsupported for a good amount of minutes
- New sounds and solid patterns to express herself; for example, when she switches from her classic dadada or tatata to a more aggressive nannanna, it means she’s upset. She also vocalises in a very specific way when sees things that excites her, like a milk bottle
- She can play by herself for longer
- Self-soothing skills are getting neater
- She grabs my head and drools my cheeks into something that resembles a kiss
- Related with the above, when she needs something, she grabs my chin and sucks it (yes, it’s weird!) Normally it’s a I want to sleep cue
- She passes objects from a hand to another. She can also manipulate objects with her feet 😱
- Her hand/mouth coordination is mostly on point
- When I call her by name, she turns to me. This happens also with other words. I think she can associate names with simply persons/objects.
She’s the only person who likes my singing. She’s definitely better than me at it.
She’s also obsessed with the BBC weather program. I tweeted it about that, and one of the presenters, Carol, replied to me.
Lavinia’s cardio is great already: listen to her raspberry, it’s ridiculously long! (it’s at 00:40 in the video below).
The weaning game is ON!
The NHS and the general advice online suggest to start weaning babies at 6 months.
Lavinia has been showing signs she was ready to try solid food for a while, though; as her genuine interest for our meals persisted, I gave weaning a go.
Long story short: weaning is fun! She likes everything we tried so far.
We started with some finger food like carrots and courgettes to suck, then we added lumped and mashed veggies, and some fruit.
We let her use the spoon every now and then, and she’s quite good at it!
The videos below were shot the very first times we gave her solid food, and we let her experiment with the spoon immediately.
I created a spreadsheet with a feeding schedule and the new food to introduce every 3 or 5 days. We don’t religiously follow it, as my instinct says to follow Lavinia’s lead instead, and try what fresh and seasonal we find at the grocery store. Having a scheme to check is a nice parachute to rely on, just in case.
I am being very careful while introducing new flavours and food due to the many food allergies that run in my family. Touching wood, so far so good.
This is the end of my maternity leave
The exact day when Lavinia turns six month is also my very first day at work after the maternity break.
These last six months have been quite a ride. They have been also the most lonely and tough time of my life.
I’ve never been so motivated, depressed, happy, sad, concerned, relaxed, tired and energised in my whole life. I never thought I’d be able to “waste time” staring at a sleeping little creature for so long.
Forget about anything you have ever dealt with: growing a human will jump right to the position No1 of your chart.
I promised to myself that this baby would take only the best out of me. It turned out she took also the very worst out of me. I question myself daily and I don’t think I’m a good mother. But every day I’m the best I can be, improving and trying every day.
We fought so much, against all the odds, to have her here, so she deserves all my greatest efforts to be the best person I can possibly be.
My company, Automattic, allowed me to give Lavinia the best start in her life by dedicating an entire semester to her while being fully paid.
I can’t be grateful enough for this opportunity.
Now it’s time to give 100% back to them. I’m coming back mentally refreshed and ready to go the extra mile for my team.