A year has flown by. What else is there to say about how quickly time passes and how fleeting babyhood and childhood and adolescence (for some of us, anyway) is? When I brought Thomas home from the hospital a year ago I was more than overwhelmed. Clif was already away at school and I was on my own with two toddlers, a new baby, and a house to pack. I clearly remember my distress over not having enough energy for the girls, coupled with delirium from lack of sleep, and anxiety about not having enough time to get the house packed and, although I lost my temper a few times, none of these inspired terror or sent me into a tailspin like diapering my new baby boy did.
I am so glad that I snapped this photo for posterity. Up until this point, diapering had been one of the least stressful parts of motherhood. Note how he is screaming and clenching his knees up to make sure that I have plenty of mental and physical obstacles while I try to shield my head, torso, bedspread, carpet, curtains, bedside furniture, etc…from the stream of urine or two or three that are no doubt waiting. The screaming and clenching also makes for spontaneous, violent BM’s which is why I have two diapers ready and waiting.
It is hard to believe that it was only a year ago when this was the most daunting part of my day. So much has happened, changed, evolved. And although I am still changing Thomas’ diapers (I’m happy to report that I haven’t been peed on in over 9 months) he’s growing up in so many wonderful ways. Here’s how much difference a year can make:
Walking (20% of the time), crawling (20% of the time), but mostly demanding to be carried (the rest of the time). Eats solid, real people food and drinks lots of water. Loves the sand and the ocean and enjoys swinging his arms and kicking his feet to swim but hasn’t yet learned to hold his breath underwater. Gives big open mouth kisses when his sisters ask sweetly and bat their eyelashes. LOVES Baby Einstein’s ‘Old McDonald’ video and watches happily for 30 minutes. Similarly, loves the chickens and roosters running around our neighborhood and likes to yell “aaa-a-a-a-aaaa” at the roosters (sounds just like cock-a-doodle-doo). Has a huge gap between his two front teeth that melts my heart when he smiles. Sports a tan that most of us only dream of. Loves his corn on the cob, however he likes it ocean-flavored (he drops it in the sand, dips it in the water, takes a bite, repeat). Likes steps/stairs but seems to realize that he should only bite off as much as he can chew and climbs to the first or second step then comes back down carefully. Does lots of babbling and says a few words: Mama, Dada, Toots, ice, up, down, book, no, grunt (which translates to yes). Likes to twist his fingers together when we sing ‘Itsy Bitsy Spider’ and is just starting to wave his hands around to help finish out the song. Loves to clap to ‘BINGO’ and ‘She’ll Be Coming Around the Mountain’ and sometimes he’ll even do a little be-bop of a dance to whatever we’re singing. Loves to run (crawl) from his sisters. Loves balls and has an innate need to throw things. Opens and closes all of the doors in the house and even though he has gotten all of his fingers pinched under or in a door, he continues to play with doors and thinks its hysterical to open and shut them. Attempts conversation with me in the car by calling my name several times, “mama?”, and I answer, “yes, Thomas?”, and he says again, “Mama?”, and I respond until finally, after the 3rd or 4th time he answers me with a garrulous stream of babble. Holds and eats an apple all by himself. Climbs the ladder to Nora Ruth’s top bunk (why this doesn’t register ‘scary’ like the stairs, I do not know). Sleeps from 6:30pm until 6:30 am and takes one two-hour nap in the middle of the day. Still cuddling Joe (his trusty giraffe) for every sleep. Has a fetish for sunglasses and a temper that I am still trying to figure out how to work through, around, out. Wears a size 6 shoe (is that big? it seems big) and size 12-18 month clothes. Loves being outdoors (especially at the beach) and usually snaps out of any fuss he’s in if we “go for a walk”. Is just the most handsome boy either of his sisters has every seen (they’re biased, of course).