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It seems that just over night I went from having this sweet, cooing baby girl to a razor-sharp tara dactyl.  The nurses and doctors have joked that Cora is the strongest baby they have ever seen, some coming in to see if the rumors are true.  And that was a few weeks ago.  Nothing compared to now.

She used to do this sweet, slow, rollover while trying to get her dressed or change her diaper.  We would talk to her, tickle her a bit, distract her with a toy until the job was done and then smother her with kisses.  This week she flops over at an alarmingly quick rate, diaper flying, changing pad sliding around, lotion bottles falling off of the dresser.  Beware if she gets ahold of something, it will go flying across the room.  She screams at a noise decibel most haven’t heard and tries to escape.  I’m unsure of where she is exactly trying to go while I start dressing her from different angles, adjusting her diaper several times in an attempt to get it to an acceptable level of ON.

Following her bath last night, we skipped the changing table and went straight to the safety of the floor.  There I attempted what used to be a sweet conversation and a nice massage.  There is nothing calming about it anymore.  My legs held down her arms, while her legs repeatedly kicked my stomach and face.  Screaming commenced, there was no reasoning with her.  I got lotion where I could and called for my sister to come in for back up.  All hell had broken loose and there was no dressing her.  I was waiting for her to pee on me or the dog.

With back up in place, we determined one should hold her, dangling in the air, while the other attempted to diaper and put her jammies on.  This appeased the baby enough to laugh and only scream a few times.  Once finished, she sat on the floor, smiling at us, knowing she just won the battle.  My sister and I sat, sweating, out of breath, and wondering what the hell has possessed my independent child and why the hell we needed to bother with a workout that evening.

Laying her down for naps has gone this way.  Feeding her cereal has gone this way.  Don’t even get me started on getting her in the car seat.  If we are not doing something on her terms, then all out war is started and I barely escape unscathed while she will sit and smile sweetly at me, knowing she is slowly killing me, I’m sure.

But then in a fleeting moment, once I got her to sleep last night, I watched her awhile.  Peaceful and content.  Probably dreaming of ways to make me lose my mind faster.  And then she smiled.  I realized I haven’t seen her smile in her sleep in a long time, something newborns do often but then one day they seem to quit.  So I snuggled her a bit more and kissed her cheeks before I laid her down and slowly backed away before she woke.  (Those books that say to put them down while drowsy haven’t met my kid.)

And this is only 5 months.  Although, I wouldn’t trade my crazy tara dactyl for anything and I’m pretty sure this is why wine was invented.