Commentary by Danielle Pelkey

The North Jefferson News

I can’t believe it. It has been a whole year since I gave birth to my beautiful baby girl, Raygan Pelkey. We have plans to celebrate her first birthday on Friday and I stand in awe.

Over the past year, I have watched this newborn turn into a toddler and there have been many lessons learned on my part.

One lesson that I learned just this past week is that babies will open their mouths to kiss you regardless of what food may already be in their mouths. That lesson was kinda gross, but I have had far worse things happen to me over the past 12 months.

I have been peed on, pooped on, bitten, spit on and licked on. May I say that no one told me that children develop attitudes so early. Raygan has already slapped at me and grunted at me when I told her “no.”

I wonder where she gets that from? It must be her daddy.

I had no idea that such joy could come from watching this little person crawl for the first time or take her first step. Raygan is making her way around the house like a champ now, and I just sit back in amazement.

There were lots of sleepless nights for the first 10 months, but now she is sleeping through the night and I think that makes me a nicer person. I can tell that children get their personalities from their parents. Raygan is such a ham. She will show off any time that people are around her and giving her attention. Her favorite trick is opening her mouth as wide as it will go and laughing.

The maturity level of an average adult and a parent is a whole different level. As an adult, I was mature, but I had no idea about the pressures of being a parent. I can still remember when the doctor told me that we could leave the hospital with Raygan. I was scared out of my mind. I didn’t want to go home, because then she was my responsibility and I didn’t think that I was up to the challenge.

There have been many nights when I got up at 1 or 2 a.m. just to make sure she was still breathing in her crib.

Another scary thing is when you start to feed them solids for the first time. They gag and cough and you just think that you are killing them slowly. I can’t count the number of times that I have rammed my finger down her throat to retrieve a Cheerio from her wind pipe. They sure don’t tell you about these times when you’re taking the birthing classes at the hospital.

They also don’t tell you that green beans will stain an outfit forever or that cutting your child’s fingernails is a momentous feat that should be rewarded with prizes and parties afterwards.

I guess all in all, I have helped teach Raygan many things about life and living.

However, I can guarantee that she has taught me much more than I could have ever taught her.

This past year has been the best year of my life and that is thanks to my Heavenly Father and my earthly daughter.

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