Wednesday, September 23, 2009
I can't tell you how excited I am about this next year. I am just getting a glimpse of it right now with the cruising, standing on tip-toes just to pull that candle down off the table, opening and climbing in every cabinet and drawer that will hold him, back talking (yes, he does), refusing to eat anything green, and the intense desire to be free at all times. I feel like we are actually parenting now. Everything before this was just caretaking. Terrifying. I have a whole new slew of questions...how do you get a kid to eat vegetables when he all of a sudden decides that he hates them for no apparent reason? When do you switch them to 1 nap a day? How do you get a toddler to keep their shoes on?
Questions aside, this is really a fun time. I know that I keep saying that with each stage. But it is so much fun to watch him not just learning to do physical things like rolling over, crawling, and standing. But learning to do things like sorting, organizing, recognizing specific toys and colors, arranging by sizes. It blows me away to watch such a tiny person - not even a year yet - learning these things. Wow!
I can't wait for him to start to walk on his own. I know other moms are probably screaming at me right now, but I don't care. I can't wait to see him toddling around!
Sunday, September 6, 2009
My good friend Ben has a 13-month-old son, Luke. He and his wife, Amy, and 5-year-old step daughter Anna live in Wilmington. This year Ben is a stay-at-home dad while his wife teaches middle school. Last week Dean and I went down to stay with them for a few days and see how other at-home parents do it. We had a really great time just sitting around and watching the boys play, seeing how an older siblings interacts with them, watching another couple tackle the joys and hardships of marriage, one parents staying home, and all that is involved in parenting. Truely a wonderful time.
One thing that surprised and frustrated me was Dean's odd behavior with Luke. Let me set the stage but saying that Luke is an incredibly gentle, quiet baby. He is obviously used to being man-handled and rough-housed with, and can hold his own. He would sit quietly for hours just babbling and playing in his own little world. Dean, on the other hand, was quite disurbed by his presence. But not all the time. That was the weird thing. They would be playing just fine together, Luke would say some nonsense word (notice I said "say" not "shout") and Dean would just start bawling. Then 2 seconds later he'd be back to playing. This was the worst at meal times. We'd strap the two little guys in, and the back and forth babbling then crying would begin. I have no idea what caused this behavior. Dean has been around plenty of kids and never reacted this way. I can understand the crying while playing thing. He's so used to it just being the 2 of us all day and him being the one to make most of the noise. But why so bad during meal time?
Other than that the trip was wonderful. Watching Anna and the boys made me eager to have a second. It was so great to watch how much she loves her brother and how, even though they are more than 4 years apart, she really enjoys playing with him. She pulled the boys around in the walker wagon, picked them up and carried them around like humongous baby dolls, and insisted that the kids all sit on the floor to eat meals together.
Dean got his first cold this week. I'm not sure if there is anything more pathetic than a sick baby. He had the whole package - constant running nose, sneezing (the kind that shoots boogers across the room), little bit of a cough, fever, diarrhea - so sad. The cold seems to be getting better already, but for 24 hours there I felt like I was the mother of a newborn again. All those feelings of uncertainty, second guessing everything you do...the nonstop holding (I didn't put him down except to change him for a good 15 hours)...the 45-minute bursts of sleep during the night (except when you aren't getting up to nurse your husband can do it too :) )...
One thing that I guess shouldn't surprise me, but did, was that the only thing NOT altered by his illness was his appetite. I'm telling you, if that child was place in his highchair so sick he could barely hold his head up, he'd still eat everything on his plate.
Last night seemed to be a turning point. He slept almost all the way through the night. Awoke to a completely crusted, yet smiling face when I went in to get him. We are just finishing breakfast and although his eyes are still red-rimmed, he's babbling away and throwing food as usual. Say a prayer for full recovery!