one on one

Last week Friday Cort flew home from work, packed up the truck, grabbed Eddie and took off for “up north” (as we call it here in Michigan) on a camping trip with his mom, stepdad, siblings and their spouses/kids.

The plan was that Charlie and I would drive up Saturday for the day since Charlie is as much of an “outdoorsy” type and I am, and we knew everyone would just be happier if Charlie and I slept in our house.  With AC.

But Friday night I got sick.

As in “please Charlie fall asleep because mommy has to get back in the bathroom ASAP” kind of sick.

As in “I can’t walk and bounce you to sleep because it makes the pain want to come out the back-end, but if I rock you I want to vomit” kind of sick.

When he finally went to sleep, I put myself to bed only to have to get up and feed him at midnight because he chose this weekend to hit a mad growth spurt.

By Saturday morning I felt a tad better, but when Charlie took his morning nap at 9:00, I laid down with him.  For two hours.

There went the idea of going up to the campsite.

But I think it worked out better this way.

Eddie got a whole weekend away doing something special with his daddy, and Charlie and I got over 36 hours of just us.

Just the two of us…

I was astounded at how much personality he has developed since our first three months alone together.  In the past month and a half he has started to find his own individuality.  His own character. His own…self.

We spent HOURS just lying on the floor together.  He relished the undivided attention and lack of distraction.

There were long chats.  Me telling him stories about his daddy and Eddie and his uncles and grandparents and aunties and people who love him so much that he hasn’t even met yet.

And he told me stories.  You know, in the way four and a half month old babies tell stories.  With “oooooo” and “ahhhh” and “grregglellleggpth” and “zzzzpbbblllllt”

He never gets this much attention, so he filled it with all his sounds.  And smiles.  And serious, thinking faces. And giggles.

Oh the giggles.

My baby giggles at me when I am silly.  He giggles when I blow raspberries on his tummy.  He giggles when I nom on his chubby little thighs.

I spent 36 hours (minus sleeping and puking) focused just on him.

We played with every single toy he has.  We did loads of tummy time.  We played on the activity mat, the bounce seat, the swing, the bumbo, the blanket on the floor.

I even busted out the exersaucer when I realized Eddie was in that thing by four months.

Surely Charlie was ready for it too!  He loves to “stand” better than anything because he can see what everyone is doing.

He wasn’t too entirely sure about it.

Eddie was…full of it.  That kid laughed at the wind and jumped before he could walk and just MOVED AND LAUGHED constantly. He jumps then worries about the owies (real and imagined).

Although he seems to feel no pain, Charlie is more cautious.

The first time we put Eddie in a saucer he immediately bounced and shrieked with happiness.

Charlie just looked at me like, “what is this?  why am I in this?  what do you expect me to do with all this…stuff?”

Eventually he started spinning one of the toys, but he did not freak out and try to do ALL THE THINGS like Eddie did.  He tried one thing. For a bit.  Then was done with the whole thing.

I also decided to take him for a walk, but I didn’t want to get out the entire baby carrier/travel system stroller and I guessed, due to the massive growth spurt it seems he is having, that he would fit in the umbrella stroller.

To be fair, our umbrella stroller is a Bumbleride Flite.  Not your average “umbrella stroller”.  I mean, I could totally put the infant carrier on it, but I didn’t want to use the carrier at all.

So I didn’t.

And Charlie LOVED it.  For the first time, he was faced forward while we walked which meant he could see where we were going and what was going on around us.

He kept his little feet crossed the whole time and didn’t say a word.  He also didn’t fall asleep like he usually does on walks, but I could tell he was sleepy.  I guess seeing the world from the stroller is just too exciting to sleep through!

Everything we did was slower than normal.  More deliberate.

We weren’t on anyone’s schedule but our own.

Eddie didn’t need this, that, and everything all at once.

Daddy wasn’t coming home soon for dinner which needed to be made yet.

I didn’t need to set him in his bounce seat and move him with me from room to room as I cleaned and did laundry.

Everything was done.

We just had ourselves.

And so we spent a lot of time cuddling and cooing at each other and just remembering what it was like for two to be one.

One of my greatest concerns when I was pregnant with Charlie was that he and I wouldn’t get the time Eddie and I did.  Eddie had almost 3 years of being the only.

Of always having all of our attention.

It made me sad that from the get go Charlie would have to share.

But thankfully, because of a much better experience, a wonderful husband, and awesome daycare, Charlie and I have had lots of together time.

Lots of time to melt into each other and forget that we are two.

Thank you to my wonderful family (Cort, Eddie, Mom, Ray, Kenzie, Dave, Kingston, Kyrie, Liz, and Cody) for understanding that it was just too much for us to come camping.  Because of a sick night Friday, I was blessed with some much-needed quiet time with my youngest.  Thank you.

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About Katie

Just a small town girl...wait no. That is a Journey song. Katie Sluiter is a small town girl, but she is far from living in a lonely world. She is a middle school English teacher, writer, mother, and wife. Life has thrown her a fair share of challenges, but her belief is that writing through them makes her stronger.

Comments

  1. Oh, LOVE that you had this time with Charlie!

    Saturday, Monkey decided he was staying the night with his grandparents. He started pulling the curtains shut and turned the light off and told his granddad he wanted to go to bed. It was the cutest thing. So Sunday ALL day until 8pm, I was alone with the baby (while Dad slept in and worked on his computer).

    It was the most relaxing day ever for both of us. He didn’t have to wait for me while I tended to his brother. He had ALL of me which hasn’t happened much since the first day at the hospital after he was born. We cuddled a lot and barely left the couch, it was awesome.

    I did miss the toddler though, but we needed it.

    Isn’t it amazing how parallel our lives seem to be? Also, sorry you were sick, but what a blessing in disguise.

  2. Alone time is so very special, and I’m glad you and Charlie got to spend time together (despite the intestinal issues, poor thing!) How cute and grown up is he in that stroller?

  3. This…

    “…and just remembering what it was like for two to be one.”

    took my breath away. What beautiful words.

    Also, I’m so sorry you had that kind of sick. Ugh. The last time I had that I was 6 months pregnant with a toddler running around and I wanted to DIE.

    Finally, I love that you got this time. I always worry about my youngest in that way. That he’ll never know that one on one attention like his sister had…also for almost 3 years. The change that comes over him when it’s just the two of us is amazing. We call him our monster, because he is a monster. Always into things…destroying, jumping, pounding, hitting…just crazy. But when it’s just him, he listens and cuddles and plays so much better. Every kid needs that special time with mom and dad.

  4. Sounds like wonderful mother-son bonding time – except for being sick, of course. It is so great when we have a chance to really connect with our children without distraction or interruptions.

  5. I love the one on one times with my girls… Cherish every moment.

  6. See, there is an upside to being sick as a dog afterall!
    I think you’re slowly figuring that out.
    Your Friend, m.

  7. Love that you got that time. I’m forever feeling like the kids don’t get enough mom time, but they *do* have each other, which helps! 🙂

    • I know I didn’t need that last comma–that is what I get for not proof reading. I know that English teacher in you would nail me for that :).

  8. Sounds like you guys had some great bonding time 🙂 Happy you got to share that with Charlie.

  9. I love that one on one time. I don’t get much of it with all of the kids now, but my mom took my oldest 3 the other day and it was just me and the baby. I loved that slower pace with him, where he could have all of me and not have to wait for me to help his brothers first.

    Glad you had that special time with Charlie!

  10. For me, one of the most wonderful, bewildering, challenging, awesome parts of parenting has been watching my two little people (who aren’t little anymore) be so DIFFERENT from each other.

    As you were describing Eddie Vs. Charlie in the excersaucer, I was nodding along with you.

    From the moment they were born, Jack and Karly were opposites. In all the good (and hard) ways.

    It’s mind-boggling to watch a newborn become his own person…
    it’s miraculous.

    I’m so glad you got to slow down together this weekend – even if it was due to illness.
    Also glad you’re feeling better.

    Hugs.

  11. I had to smile at Charlie not falling asleep on the walk. It is amazing what the simple act of facing forward can do. And I love how well you are noticing and documenting the boys’ differences. If there’s one thing I continue to marvel at, it’s how different my children are. And I love that you guys got individual time with each of the boys. Was Eddie full of stories and nonstop chatter when they returned?

  12. What a special weekend for both your boys. Daddy and Eddie time and Mommy and Charlie time. I love it and your pictures are beautiful. One-on-one time is the best.