It is with heavy hearts that we announce that the infamous Grub Pen has been dismantled. Our little girl needs more room to explore, so we have have spent the last week troubleshooting, brainstorming, and gate installing all over this house so that she can have access to roam more freely. I won't try to pretend that I didn't shed a few tears as JK was breaking down the Grub Pen to utilize the pieces to cordon off his computer equipment. But, they were short lived, as I had to suck it up and move on to get the Grubster into the bath.
Wait, you might ask, didn't she just have a bath yesterday? Why, yes, yes she did. However, tonight, she decided it was hilarious to gag herself with her toys and hands, laughing hysterically, until she projectile vomited bile all over both of us in the car. Disgusting. But that's totally off topic.
Anyway, back to the household babyproofing situation. We still have some clean-up work to do and things to install, but we're getting there. I joke about being sad that she is growing up, but in fact, it is truly the most convoluted and confusing feeling that I have ever felt. One one hand, it is exciting and liberating that she can walk around like a little person now. Her focus is shifting upward, and she's not spending every single second trying to pick every single particle off of the floor and put it in her mouth, the way she was when she was crawling. She's not wearing out the knees of her pajamas after a couple of wears, and that is great, too! But, on the other hand, it is challenging and scary that she can get around the house and she is fast! Literally, I blink, and she is gone from my immediate line of sight. Frightening!
I talk to a lot of moms online whose babies were born in Monica's birth month, and it's about 50/50 as to whether or not their 9-10 month olds are mobile yet. The ones whose babies are not are hearing horror stories - people say, "oh, wait till your little one is walking, then you're really in trouble!" In my opinion, I'm liking this stage more than crawling. Is it easier for her to get away from me now? Absolutely. Is it difficult to deal with things like changing diapers and clothing? Hell yeah! But it's also a lot of fun. I'm finding that all ages and stages have their pros and cons....and as a parent, it's my job to get through the tough stuff and focus on having fun and enjoying the great parts.
For example, it's been ungodly hot the past week, so we've been a little cooped up in the house. So today, I dressed Monica, threw her in the car, and went to Kohl's to get us out of the house. My objective was to return and exchange an outfit for her. But, when we got into store, I realized that the shopping carts were gross, I didn't have our stroller, and I had left the return item in the car. I had this heavy, sweaty kid stuck to me, and she was wiggling like crazy to get down. So, what did we do? We walked to the back of the store to housewares and Monica spent a half an hour running around the empty department and "playing drums" by beating on the bed-in-a-bags that were within her reach. She had fun and burned off some energy, and I had fun watching her. It was a win-win.
So, I guess that's my lesson to myself right now. Try to enjoy each stage as she's growing up. People aren't kidding when they tell you that it goes by so fast. It really does.