Bladder and lungs - crushed.
Ankles - swollen.
Belly - too huge to move.
Crabby, exhausted and excited out of my mind, the bargaining had begun. "OK, baby, if you'll just come out today, I promise I'll get you a nice teddy bear, swing set, pony, amusement park, private jet, anything just come out NOW!"
Babies don't listen.
As it turns out, they don't listen once they're out either. In fact, I think she listens even less now than a year ago when my biggest trouble with her was her tendency to get hiccups every morning at 3:30 a.m. Now, when I know she at least understands me well enough to give me and her daddy kisses when I ask her to or to go find her ball in a bin of toys, for some reason phrases like "don't put that in your mouth," "don't body slam the cat," and "stop digging in my belly button" seem to slide right back out of her ears.
What? Never imagined saying "stop digging in my belly button" to another human being? Yeah, me neither.
As much as I make fun, being a parent has been the most challenging and rewarding experience of my life. I feel like I was cut out for motherhood. I've learned that, while I may turn into a Super-B, I can still (just barely) function on 3 hours of sleep per night. I've also learned that no one tells you when you go to work with smeared, soggy cheerios stuck to the back of your shirt (perhaps a friendly gesture, or I'm being quietly laughed at!). And I've learned that no matter what my agenda, hers takes precedence and FREQUENTLY does not match mine. Scratch that, it NEVER matches mine.
As she's only a year old, I'm positive I have much more to learn, but this first year has taught me how to roll with the punches that parenthood throws at you. It has also taught me to cherish every moment of sleep that I'm able to scrounge up for myself because nights without the rousing squawks from the next room are few and far between.