Emmalee stopped letting anyone other than Mommy or Grammy come near her at about four or five months old. People could look at her, as long as they only did it briefly and from a safe distance. Touching was completely out. And if someone tried to hold her, Emma had a complete emotional breakdown. This was kind of cute for a minute or two, but it quickly got old. For one, it was frustrating to be in a room full of people and still unable to go to the bathroom without taking the baby with me. And two, I felt really badly for the people who wanted to get close to her. It was kind of embarrassing that my baby was such a clingy mess that no one could come within two feet of her without causing hysterics. I don’t know what caused Emmalee to behave this way, and I really had no idea what to do about it.
Recently, though, I’ve been noticing changes in Emmalee. She is becoming much more interactive with the people around her. Though she is not yet ready to let others hold her, she will now regularly make eye contact and will offer smiles, even to total strangers. Last week we were in Lenscrafters and Emma was flirting with a man who she’d never seen before. There is really no other word to describe the giggling, the peeking, the bashful grins she was flashing his way. It was cute, but left me completely shocked. Who stole my anxious, reclusive daughter and replaced her with this social butterfly? This morning Emma didn’t even cry when I left her in the care of my father to go to work, something she’s done every time I’ve left her with him since we started this arrangement in January. Who is this child?!
I am thrilled because, though I may be a bit biased, I find Emma to be an adorably engaging little person. Now it seems as if others will be able to enjoy her larger-than-life personality right along with me. I am more than ready and excited to share her with the world… or, rather, close friends and family members and maybe an occasional patron of Lenscrafters.
Emma is walking. She’s saying some words. She’s feeding herself table food. She’s going to sleep on her own with barely a protest. She’s taking (some) things in stride. It’s like she’s becoming a little person right before my eyes. I am so proud of her and of all the things she does to amaze me every day.