Caring for a baby has its adventures

My younger sister seems to have a life full of adventure. She?s lived in Nashville, New York City and currently is a flight attendant based out of Chicago. As for me, Hillsboro?on Arts and Crafts Fair day?is the closest I?ve come to big city life.

There have been moments when my (nearly nonexistent) adventurous streak longed for a bolder lifestyle, but my sensible side soon kicks me back to reality. Besides, with a new baby in tow, I have lots of adventures of my own?.

For instance, pushing a stroller down the crevice-ridden Hillsboro sidewalks. When registering for baby items, my husband carefully selected the stroller and carseat. He ?test drove? several options before narrowing it down to one. He liked the strong, curved handles rather than a bar, he liked the dual wheels and he liked the shock absorption. He picked out the SUV of strollers.

Good thing he did. Cheaper, weaker models wouldn?t withstand the continuous bumping and jarring of a walk down almost any sidewalk in town?the exceptions being downtown, around Tabor campus, and a few newly poured sidewalks in various places.

Eventually, though, I?m going to need to take the stroller to Rod?s Tire for realignment. It is already starting to pull to the right.

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My husband and I recently took our daughter to her two-month check-up. We did the routine items?had her weighed and measured, asked the doctor questions, answered the doctor?s questions?while all the while trying not to think too much ahead. And then it was upon us.

Shots.

I handled it OK as my innocent child screamed while a nurse forced an oral vaccination down my baby?s mouth. But then my husband and I were told to each take a hand.

Two nurses, both with sterile, plastic gloves, came into the room toting their weapons of choice. They raised the needles at the same time and stuck them into my daughter?s thighs.

In a brief moment of silence, my daughter opened her eyes wide, stared straight into mine with a pleading look, and then screamed. Her tear glands aren?t developed yet, so she rarely has tears, but I?m pretty sure her cheeks were wet by the time the crying was over.

Maybe they were my own as I helplessly tried to comfort her.

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It?s no wonder kids hate going to the doctor. They have to get shots at each regular check-up through their second birthday.

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Harvest is one of my favorite events of the summer. As a child, I would always spend time in the combine with my grandpa or my uncle, in the wheat truck with my aunt and on the four-wheeler with my grandma.

This year, donned in a pair of Oshkosh overalls and a pink hat, my daughter experienced her first two combine rides. For her first ride, her great-grandpa was at the wheel of a large John Deere. She stayed awake for a only few minutes before the hum of the machine put her to sleep.

The second time, her daddy escorted her around the ?Frantz Bottom? field in a Gleaner. She again fell asleep in my arms.

Someone could get rich by selling the combine sound to parents of small children. I was tempted to record the noise to play during naptimes and at night.

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The Fourth of July was my baby?s first major holiday. All-American in her jean skirt and red, white and blue onsie, she was enthralled with the bright flashes that came with the fireworks.

But, she wasn?t going to be outdone.

I placed her on her tummy to show my family how well she could hold her head up. My baby added a twist. She rolled over for the first time. It wasn?t a fluke either, as she?s rolled over every day since. I guess she?ll just have to learn how to crawl while lying on her back.

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I am continually amazed by the monumental changes my baby has gone through since her birth. I welled up with pride (and my eyes with a few happy tears) as she smiled her first smile, squealed her first squeal, and just recently as she rolled from tummy to back.

And I can?t wait to see what comes next.