In these 8 months that Gracie has been with us, it’s an understatement to say that we’ve learned a lot. Of course we have–all new parents do. However, as we’ve continued to unwrap this beautiful little gift of a child, and we learn more about her each day, it’s become clear that we are raising a “baby monster.”
Now, let me make an important distinction. Our baby Gracie is not, by any means, a monster. Gracie is, in my unbiased opinion, one of the best babies I have ever met. She is sweet, inquisitive, careful, and joyful. She lights up each day with her smile. I work each day to be the best I can, because she is always watching.
Rather, I say I am raising a baby monster because Gracie makes a totally hilarious growling noise throughout the day, and it’s guaranteed to make the hardest of hearts smile. I can’t figure out why she makes this noise, but I have my theories. Perhaps one too many games of “Mommy’s gonna EAT YOUR TOES,” followed by my own exaggerated monster noises is to blame.
Nevertheless, I love when Gracie growls because it’s clear that she feels confident. She makes eye contact, raises her eyebrows, and let’s out the tiniest growl as if to say, “I feel safe, and I want to play!” She growls when she first wakes up and is keeping her self company in her crib. She growls when she is exploring her room, scooting on her belly, not yet ready to crawl. She growls to get our attention, and follows to up with a huge-little display of a newly acquired skill. She even growls at the cat before trying to chase her, as if to say “I am one of you.”
I am so blessed to see her personality unfolding. We live in a world that can be mean will require her to understand that she can be strong. Although she is little, I see her confidence starting to emerge. She is a careful baby, studying everything and everyone before proceeding. And yet, if she growls at you, you’ve passed the test. You are ok. You are in her world. I pray that I am strong enough to keep nurturing this confidence as she grows.
I feel like some days, I need that kind of confidence. Like all babies, Gracie hasn’t yet questioned how others will react to her shining confidently and acting like a goofball because she feels like it. As she grows, she’ll be watching me more and more for cues I how to act, and yet, she’s the one that should be modeled. I want to be more like her: study the world, decide how to act, and proceed with the assurance that, “I’ve got this.” I may not growl, like my baby Gracie does, but I can still strive to live with the confidence and self-assurance of a baby monster.