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Month One: Check

Throughout life, we’re behaviorally trained to rely on somebody else to tell us that we’re doing a good job. We perpetually seek validation (and reward?) for our actions. First our parents chant “good job” as we learn life’s basics. Then throughout our childhood and our educational careers, we count on teachers, tests, and grades to present us with the grand check mark that we are in fact doing what we’re supposed to be doing. Finally, in our jobs, we wait for our bosses to commend us or to give us a review—or at least to sign our paychecks to substantiate the job we’re doing.

Being a mother, though, is a job where we give ourselves our own grade. We raise our children, watching as their actions mirror our parenting. But before they’re old enough to be in the pre-therapy phase, they’re tiny babies. And how do we know if we’re doing it right?

I count on the pediatrician for that. Oh, what a power I bestow upon her.

Yesterday, we took our baby for her one-month doctor’s visit.

Even though this is offspring number two, many (of the same) questions made my sheet. Silly things like, “Are her skull bones supposed to dip in like that?” or “How long will she do the cross-eyed Jerry Lewis thing?” Mostly I eagerly awaited the grand weigh-in. Fattening her up in these first few months of life is much akin to a final exam in determining the class’ overall grade.

While my baby was sleeping well and seeming satisfied after feedings, I wanted to see the proof that breastfeeding was working. I was still in doubt and in shock that I could do it. I needed to see the numbers. And we did, we did! Weight and height and head size—all properly growing!

The doctor tells us that she’s very proud of us. She used those specific words.

So elated, a huge smile spreads on both our faces. Nothing better than hearing words of a healthy baby. Good job, boobies.

Month one, check plus.

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