I took Z to a playgroup today with a bunch of kids. It was super mixed up with the ages, with play dough, and shaving cream as part of the activities available. Most of the things were just beyond Z's ability, and she tried to eat everything she could get her hands on. I enjoyed watching her interact with the other kids though.
Actually it was more like lack of interaction. A lot of the older kids swarmed her saying 'baby, baby, play with me, here's a car' and Z pretty much gave zero fucks. Kids would try to share with her, and she just walked past them. A few times I had to tell a kid to back off because he was just all up on her, and she couldn't explore. It made her mad. It's the natural progression of development, playing parallel, then playing together and learning to share, but it still struck me that Z is very independent. She would glance at me, then continue on her merry way.
I'm also sad because she's almost ten months. And that 'baby' stage is almost over. I never thought I'd miss this, the teething, the breastfeeding, and I'm starting to miss it even as it slips away.
Then it hit me. I am never going to experience this again.
"Oh, you'll have another baby," you may say. But I'm not going to have another Zelda. If I had another one, I'd want it to go as well as this one, and it wouldn't be the same. I don't want another baby, I'd want Z again.
Sean tried to teach her to say "button" last night. She almost had it. Every time she does something new, I lose a little piece of my baby as she becomes more and more her own person. Eventually she'll hate me, and we'll scream and fight, and hopefully when she goes off to college she'll love me again.
I bought her birthday presents today. Books, and I know she can't read, but there are some essential lessons in them to teach critical thinking. I got her Older than the Stars and The Magic of Reality. I'm thinking when she's eighteen I'll get her something heavier for reading, but I think I need to read them first.
Now I just need to find some schools in Grand Rapids that don't have creationalism as a rational explanation for the universe. Which will be a challenge in west Michigan.