Archive for May, 2011

May 31, 2011

What I Love About Crawling

I’ve said before that Jacob is the happiest and most relaxed person I have ever met.  He is also the most active.  Unless something really holds his attention or he’s sleeping he does not sit still for more than three seconds, tops.  I imagine all kids at his stage of development are pretty all over the place, but still I think he must be at the top of his class in this regard.

 

People often give the impression that once a baby starts crawling, his parents’ lives are essentially over.  And it’s true that I need to pay a lot more attention when he’s playing on his own on the floor, because there are a couple of things I can’t figure out how to babyproof that, of course, he loves to play with.  I can’t blame him, though, because the printer is shiny and just at his level and the stroller wheels are pretty fascinating, especially from his perspective.  I don’t think there’s a need to eat the dirt off of them, but that’s just one of many ways the little guy and I differ.

 

As much energy as it takes, there are a number of things that I love about Jacob’s crawling.  First of all, he can decide where he wants to go, and it’s great fun when that’s somewhere I am.  I love that I can go in the kitchen or down the hall to his room and call out, “Come on, buddy,” and he’ll often come with me.  It’s even better when he chooses to follow me all on his own.  His transit is always accompanied with a giant smile that warms my heart.  And sometimes he crawls into my lap, which gives me what I officially deem the greatest feeling on earth.

 

The funnier thing is when his attention is diverted from the toy he’s playing with:  he’ll drop the toy and reach his arms over it, but not lift his legs over it.  This results in dragging toys and books across the room, which is downright silly.

 

Crawling also means that when I take pictures of him, I get series like this:

 

What’s not to love?

 

Keeping perspective in parenting is a strange and complicated thing:  before Jacob could crawl, I couldn’t imagine what it would be like to see him master these motor skills and have so much coordination.  Now, I can’t imagine him not being able to support his head or sit up.  I still can’t imagine what it will be like when he’s a teenager sitting at the kitchen table after school scarfing down food and doing his homework, but I know that before I can bat an eye, he’ll be beyond that and taking the world by storm.

 

Things are changing more quickly every day, and I love watching it all happen.  Being a parent means having the best seat in the house for the most amazing story in the world.

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May 27, 2011

An Early Father’s Day for This Mama

Although it’s still a few weeks away, I’m already thinking about Father’s Day.  It’s the same week as John’s birthday (my favorite secular holiday of the year), which means the third week of June is a double-celebration for us from now until the end of time.  And considering I plan dinners and weekend desserts at least a week ahead of time, you can imagine when I start planning for double John celebrations.

But before we look forward, we must always look back, right?

Dreams of steaks and sweet treats aside, last night I had a moment that made me grateful all over again for the blessing of my two favorite guys in my life.  Come with me into my memories, please.  Don’t worry, I’m not going to go all Inception on you or anything.

Jacob went to sleep early because he missed a nap, so John didn’t get a chance to hang out with him in the evening.  When this happens, we anxiously await a cry for a diaper change so that John can have some face time with the little man, even if it is in the dark.  As I sat in the glider waiting to nurse our Peanut, I remembered a very special moment from just after Jacob was born.

If I think back to brand-new Jacob, the image in my mind is this photo:

I was in a non-clinical kind of shock after he was born.  Although I remember seeing his feet in the doctor’s hands, I can barely remember the first time I saw the little guy’s face.  What I do remember is that as I held him, with John standing over us both, John gently asked, “Can I hold him?”  And it was a moment I don’t know that I have the words to describe.  Yes, I was “meeting” this little person to whom I had been physically connected since he came into existence.  Seeing and holding him was a brand new and amazing experience, for sure.

But somehow I had the presence of mind to put myself in John’s shoes for a moment.  He had felt Jacob kick and he knew the ins and outs of my pregnancy, but holding Jacob was a whole new ball game for him in a different way than it was for me.  Touching our baby, holding him, was something he’d waited for in a physically disconnected way.  There was so much love in his patient waiting, and in the serenely joyful way he asked me for a chance to hold our little guy in his arms.  He was then, and is now, a completely natural father.

I am so grateful that Jacob has John as a dad.  And I am so grateful that I have him as my partner in parenthood.

Every day is Father’s Day in these parts.  But don’t think that doesn’t mean I’ve got a heck of a dessert in mind for the “real” holiday!

May 26, 2011

Inappropriate

It’s amazing the things people will say to pregnant ladies.  I was reminiscing and discussing this with a currently-pregnant friend, and the conversation just screamed “blog post!”

I don’t know if it’s a sort of brazenness that comes with city living, or if the hormones that accompany a baby bump call out to strangers and compel them to ask questions and offer their insights. Either way, the responses I’ve heard, both in my own experiences and from those of my friends, are hilarious. . . . in retrospect.

“How much do you weigh?” (How much do you weigh?)

“Are you carrying twins?” (Answer: no, but thanks for the thought that my baby might weigh sixteen pounds at birth.)

“Definitely a boy in there; I can tell from the way you’re carrying.” (The ultrasound and delivery both proved this one was a girl.)

“Wow.  You look like you’re about to pop!  When are you due?”  (Answer: Two months from now.  And no, I can’t imagine how I could get any bigger, either.)

“Normally a pregnant woman’s face gets all fat and puffy and gross.  But yours really isn’t that bad.”  (Thank you?)

Now we all know, in theory if not in practice, never to ask a woman if she’s expecting.  Those with more experience in the matter know that it’s also never okay to guess when a baby is due.  The boy and girl convictions are relatively harmless, and most moms I’ve spoken with take them with a grain of salt.

So what do you say to a woman you notice is clearly, clearly with child?  (Please note the emphasis there.)  Or even better, a woman whose pregnancy has been confirmed by a family member or mutual friend?

In an effort to stop some of these ridiculous conversations throughout the city—and hopefully across the country—I’d like to offer some of the kinder, more considerate responses my friends and I received when we were pregnant:

“You can’t tell from behind at all!”  (Good news, but sometimes this means no one offers you a seat on the subway.)

“It’s all in your belly.”  (For a time, these were my five favorite words.)

“You’re carrying beautifully.”  (A friend’s experience, and one I hope is mine someday!)

And of course, the old classic, “Congratulations!”

While the former comments can be good for a laugh among mamas later, they can also get frustrating. Please, friends, be kind to pregnant ladies.

P.S.  No, this post does not mean I am pregnant.

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