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Dear Charlie,

You are twenty-two months today; two months from turning two.

It’s hit me sort of funny in a way I wasn’t expecting.  We were going along with life, being busy with the holidays and New Year and then suddenly…it was only two months until your birthday.  Two months to two years.

Charlie 22 months

You have changed and grown so much.

I search for that sleepy baby with the hair like feathers that once curled up under my chin in a swaddle to nap. I don’t know where he went.

I search for that quiet, stoic baby who took everything in and refused to smile on demand for anyone. I don’t know where he went either.

You spent your whole first year somehow connected to me. Ok, at least your first six months. The next six months I had to go back to work, but when I was with you, you were on my hip or in a carrier or on my lap.  If we went anywhere, you clung to me.

You’ve always loved your daddy (Dad-do, as you call him), but in the past few months you’ve acquired quite an affinity for doing whatever he is doing. As soon as you hear the garage door open you pop your head up and say, “OH! DAD-DO!” Then when you hear the door open you jump off my lap or spring from the floor and haul buns to the gate at the top of the stairs yelling, “DAD-DO! HI!” You want him to hold you, read to you, tickle you.

I love watching that.

Charlie 22 months

You’ve starting clearly saying Eddie’s name to: AH-DEE.

When you see his picture you say his name. When he walks in the room, you point and announce him. He is very independent, but you are more cautious about new places. When Eddie sees that you are are upset in a new place (like nursery at church), he so kindly calls you over to play so your dad and I can slip out. He takes care of you and wants to make sure you are Ok.

Because he has started playing with you, you have become slightly obsessed with being able to do every single thing AH-DEE does. If he gets juice, you want juice. If he gets a twizzler, you need one too.  If he is coloring, you climb up on a kitchen chair to do it too.  Usually Eddie is very patient with you, but sometimes–like when you try to actually sit ON him by the kitchen table–he loses his cool and calls me in for reinforcements.

Those are the times you get mad, Bird.

Charlie 22 months

Recently we were up north with the majority of the Sluiter Family and everyone commented on how you were SO GOOD. How you NEVER fussed.  Your dad and I just laughed because you totally “fuss”. In fact, you throw balls to the wall tantrums.

When we have to tell you “no”, that is unacceptable to you. You scream. You cry. Your legs stop working and you refuse to be anything but toddler dead weight on the floor.

If we try to pick you up, you arch backward or hit or scratch or pull hair.

You are a bit more of a beast than a Bird as of late.

But only when you don’t get your way.  The rest of the time you are happy and chipper and so SO funny.

Charlie 22 months

You are quite the chatterbox, but only when you are comfortable with your surroundings. At home you talk non-stop. My favorite thing is after we put you down to nap or to bed for the night because you will chatter on in there with your stuffies for up to thirty minutes! I can hear you doing the “woof woof” sound for your puppy and “meow” sound for your kitty and tons of other “talking” sounds. Eventually you talk yourself out and fall asleep.

Your vocabulary expands by the day. Just today you asked me to read you the “Elmo” book. You said “Ah-MOE, MAMA”, so we read it. You pointed out Abbie and looked at me while I said it. Then you went through the book again and you kept pointing her out for me to say. Finally at the end, you pointed out “AH-MOE” and then you pointed and said, “AH-BAY BEE”.

Then you pursed your lips in that little smirk that tells me you are pretty darn proud of yourself.

Your hand-eye coordination/fine motor skills are almost ridiculous for a kid your age. Today daddy watched as you put each shape into your shape-sorter correctly with no help. You don’t jam and cram, you carefully twist each piece in the hole you know it goes in. You do this with puzzle pieces and Duplos too.   I watched you pick up a crayon the other day at the doctor’s office to color while we waited for our turn. You picked it up and held it correctly. I just watched.

Charlie 22 months

Books are your newest and favorite thing. I think we have read Hippos Go Berzerk over a thousand times…just today. I love this new love of yours, but seriously, let’s expand to some other stories. We have a whole PILE of board books.

I do that a lot with you, Charlie. I just watch you play. I watch you go about what seems to be your “work”. You can be so serious about it all, but you love to play. You love to explore. You love to figure out how things work.

Your favorite things are Duplos, BIG trucks, stuffies and blankies, and anything Eddie is doing. You love to run and laugh, and one of my favorite things is your deep, belly laugh. I also love how much you love to run around the house without a stitch of clothing on. I can tell you feel free and I know I have to throw a diaper on you because you WILL pee on the carpet, but you just love to RUN! Your blond curls fly behind you as you book it through the entire upstairs just laughing until tears stream down your face.

I hope you always have a love for Eddie and your Dad-do and your MAMA.  I hope you always have a belly full of chuckles.

Charlie 22 months

It’s hard to watch you go from baby to little boy. My arms ache for that tiny birdie you once were. My nose remembers your baby smell.  My heart hurts when I think about cutting your hair in a couple months (because that is the deal I have with daddy. I get baby hair for two years. Then snip snip).

Charlie 22 months

Two more months of “baby”.

I will take that two months and I will snuggle it up.

bye, bye baby

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I remember this time…around 20 months…when suddenly baby legs are long and their walk not so much a toddle of a drunken sailor anymore.

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I remember looking at Eddie one day wondering where the baby went–the tiny wailing mush-pile in my arms.

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Tiny babies are suddenly everywhere and I look around our house and realize that none of them live here anymore.

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Oh the busyness is still there.  It is not stop running and jabbering and crying and quarreling and eating and playing in our house, but these are the sounds of little boys, not babies.

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Gone are the days of complete helplessness. There is a helper around every corner now–sometimes willing, other times not. Voices can now tell me “yes” and “no”.

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Everyone in this house can take direction…even if he acts like he can’t sometimes.

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There are no more baby sounds or smells. No bottles lining the counter or baby food piled in the pantry. Instead there are sippy cups of sour milk hiding behind chairs and messes that Nobody made.

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There are tantrums and fits and “NO!” and “MINE!” yelled through the house so loudly I wonder if the windows will break.

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But if I am quiet and still, I can still sometimes smell that infant scent lingering on your skin and in your hair. And I can still hear little gurgles and coos coming from your crib where you still find comfort and sleep.

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Your skin is still soft and squishy even if it’s stretched out over a little boy and not all wrinkled up on a baby.

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And when it’s silent and dark in the house, you would still rather lie close to me, matching your breathing to mine, while I hold your hand and run my fingers through your soft hair.

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I know though that the baby is on his way out, and the little boy is on his way in. I’m not a stranger to this stage. But I won’t let the baby go without giving it a bit of a fight.

I’ll hold on to those curls and that softness as long as you will let me, Charlie Bird.

Happy Twenty Months, my lovie.

~Momma

 

 

 

 

Second Child

Dear Charlie,

I want to apologize.

I swore I wouldn’t fall into “second child-itis” with you and I have fallen. Hard. There are so many ways I feel like I am “failing” you.

With Eddie, I scrap booked the day lights out of his first year. I kept track and wrote down everything. I recorded first words and monthly milestones and growth patterns.  I printed pictures each month and clipped them together to make sure I would include them in his book.  I wrote letters to him on the 23rd of each month with all my notes on hand to reference and put into words.

I have not been this vigilant with your milestones.

Daddy tells me that I have been keeping it here on the blog…but when I do a search of all my posts for you, they are mostly letters–heavy on sentiment and feelings and light on the facts of your growth.

Part of me is sad about this.

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I mean, I had been so good about it with Eddie. But with Eddie I was sick. I had trouble being close to him without getting upset. He much preferred to be with Daddy than with me.  I clung to those stats.  They proved I was doing my job as his mom. He was growing and thriving and he was happy.

I think about writing things down about you a million times a day.

Just yesterday you said, “Ma Ma Ma! Juuuuuuu!!!” as you stood by the refrigerator. I told you to say please and you smiled that HUGE smile of yours with all your teeth and your squinty little eyes and cooed, “eeeeeeessss!”

I melted all over the floor.  You’re not even 18 months old yet.

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By comparison your brother didn’t say any real words until well after he turned two. And even then he wasn’t stringing 2-3 words together for a thought or request. He didn’t say “ma ma” until he was a full year older than you are.

It’s not a bad thing. You know Eddie, he says all the things now and he is so smart and articulate. It’s hard to really imagine him not having words.  I wrote down little notes each time he said a new word.

I have not written down any of your words, Birdie.  They just come too fast!  I think maybe the first word was “no”, but I could be wrong. Off the top of my head the words you have are:

  • ma ma
  • da
  • di di (Eddie) –which you don’t say very often. You just know who “Eddie” or “brother” is.
  • woe
  • yo (and also yo, yo! when Daddy comes home.  So silly!)
  • NO!
  • Juuuuu!  (juice, water)
  • mik (milk)
  • num num (for food)
  • ni ni (for goodnight)
  • bye bye
  • aw gu (all gone)
  • hi!
  • shoooooos (shoes)
  • bop (pipe, your pacifier)
  • boom (you repeat this after us, but you also use this for the word “poop”)
  • Ow
  • Di (diaper)
  • eeeeeeeesss! (please)
  • nus (nose)
  • tus (toes)

And I am sure there are more. You study what we say and try to repeat it. It’s so fun that even Eddie tries to teach you words.

second child

You are quite good at knowing all the parts of the face including some body parts like fingers, toes, feet, buns, tummy, and of course penis. Because boys are weird.

You are over 25 pounds and wearing size 5 diapers.

Size 18 months is a hit or miss fit for you. Most shirts don’t quite cover your big buddah belly, but the shorts are the right length.

You want to do everything Eddie does. EVERYTHING. If he is playing on a tablet or a computer or a video game, you think you can do it too.

second child

You are a climber. I’m positive some of my new gray hairs are because you can climb on anything you decide to climb. It’s also freaking Renae out at daycare this fall. She tells us with panic what the newest thing you have climbed is. Daddy and I just nod knowingly.  Yup. That’s Bird.

This summer you crawled up three concrete steps at the cottage and proceeded to fall down them and land on the concrete slab…on your head. You didn’t cry. You just stood up, rubbed your head (where there was a big scratch and a goose egg) and say, “woe.”  Then you walked away.

Your uncles are still talking about how you are indestructible.

second child

I knew you would be fine and I didn’t rush to you.  With Eddie, I would have cried and rocked you and fretted over a concussion.

With you, I gave you a pat on the buns and told you, “good hustle, Bird.”

Am I failing you?

I don’t think we are, but sometimes I question whether we are being fair.

You put yourself to sleep every nap and every night. Sometimes you cry. We let you.

We never let Eddie cry. Never. We spent HOURS rocking him and sleeping on the couch with him. Never did he cry himself to sleepy.

You normally just fall asleep, but when you don’t, we let you cry. It only lasts 15 minutes at the most. Then you are out.

Is this wrong?

Is it because you are the second child?

I think so. In part.

second child

But I also think it’s because you’re not Eddie.

You’re Charlie.

You are a different child.

Yes, you are our second boy. Yes, you are another Sluiter. Yes, you both have blue eyes, blond hair with curls, and a wicked cute smile and dimple.

But you are not the same child, so we are not parenting you as the same child.

You are fiercely naughty in a way Eddie never was. You ignore the word “no” unless you are using it against us. You laugh as you do something you know you’re not supposed to. Did I mention you climb all the things? Even our high top dinner table? You are rarely unhappy unless you are hungry or tired. Then your tantrums are fierce…FIERCE, I say. But quick. As soon as you have a snack or a nap you are back to silly Bird.

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And your cuddles. Oh you’re my cuddly momma’s boy. So different than the first time around with Eddie who was incredibly attached to Daddy.

I’ve been a bum about writing things down, yes. I’ll try to get better. I want you to have as rich of a pile of my memories as Eddie does. I want you to know about yourself in a time that you will not remember. I want you to have that.

You are my second child, but you are not second place.  You are not less than First.

You are different.

You are my Charlie T Bird.

And I love you with all of my heart and soul.

Love, Ma Ma

The Way You are Now {Eddie Age 4}

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You are four.

Suddenly, you look so tall and big to me.  The traces of “baby” are still there, but they take a trained eye to see. A mother’s eye.

As a baby, you were so chubby. You walked bow-legged because your thighs were so chunky.  Now you have long, lean limbs. Your run is not a reckless toddle, but is marked with fast strides.  Once in a while you will still request that we pick you up, and your legs wrap around your dad’s or my waist easily and your arms around our neck.

When I hug you, I feel muscles and pointy bones and lanky boy. The squishy baby fat that I used to raspberry and nuzzle are gone.

But I still see baby in your face.  Your cheeks still carry the chubby baby boy softness.  When you smile, those dimples are still there.  When you concentrate, your lips still pucker out.  Your relaxed face just begs for cheek kisses and neck snuggles.

You protest it more than you used to, but still end up giggling.

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You are four.

Your vocabulary is booming and every day you say things that surprise us.  When you were two and only had a handful of words, none of them being “mommy”, people said to me, “just wait, once he starts, you’ll long for the quiet days again.”

They were wrong.

Once you started, I realized I could listen to your stories and questions and observations forever. I want to memorize your little boy voice. I want to freeze time because already you are starting to change.  You’ve learned to make the “L” sound so you don’t “yike” things anymore, you “like” them. You’re still getting used to that “L” sound in your mouth though, because you tend to over-emphasize that beginning “L” on words. When you complain that something is going to take a “long” time, your little tongue comes out of your mouth to ensure that you will get the “L” in “long” right.

Sometimes you slip and miss the “L” sound if it’s inside a word. “Yellow” is still “Way-yo”. Sometimes it’s “Way-lo” though.  “Yellow” is one of the only words you confuse your “Y” for a “W” though. But you also are not so good with “Rs”. If an “R” begins a word, you use the “W” sound. If it’s in a word, you will either replace with an “L” or sometimes a “W”.  Tomorrow is “To-mallow”.  And your “TH” sound sounds more like and “F” so “thirty” and “forty” sound the same.

But my favorite is that you sometimes sound like you have a bit of a Boston accent. “Yard”, “park”, “arm”, and and other words with the short “a” sound sounds “Bostony” when you say it. I’m pretty sure I will have to video this because I never ever want to forget how hard I laugh when you tell me “daddy’s armpits are stinky”. It’s funny, but it’s even funnier how you say “arm pits”.

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You are four.

You are hilarious. Often I call you my Funny Boy or my Silly Boy. You just love it when I call you “My boy”.

You make people laugh with your funny observations, like when you pointed at the large glass-front of the Gentex Building and told Grandma that is where the penguins live. You were totally mater-of-fact. It did not even cross your mind that you were pointing at the front of a factory building that makes car parts.

Your Grandpa laughs so hard when you are around.  Every time we are over there he says, “Eddie, you are a funny kid!”  And he is right. You talk to people and ask questions so easily.  You have no problem asking people to play with you.

I think this is why you make friends so easily. And if kids don’t want to play with you, you go do your own thing. But kids rarely turn you away…especially the girls. Since we live on the dead end, you talk to every kid who rides his/her bike down this way.  This is how you met your newest friends who live up the road from us. Each day you watch for them to get home from daycare and then you beg me to let you go ride your bike to their house. I always say yes because I can see their driveway from our driveway and their backyard from our side yard.

But I needed worry. You come home and ask every time they ask if you can do something new: play on their slip n slide, jump on their tramp, or ride bikes.

You make me proud with how responsible you are about following rules and getting permission from adults.

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You are four.

While you are a cautious person by nature, you are not afraid to try things at least once.  That is so brave.

You talk to kids and ask them to play. This past weekend I watched you try raw broccoli from a veggie tray without anyone asking you to. You didn’t like it…I saw you spit it into the trash can when you thought no one was looking. But you tried!  You tried chip dip at Granny’s house and decided you loved it. You tried pita chips and hummus.

You tried swimming lessons and gymnastics.

When you wanted to hold a baby duck at the Farmer’s Market last week, you bravely sat next to kids you didn’t know, said excuse me, and got to hold one.

It makes me smile.

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You are four.

You are kind and helpful, many times without being asked. You are quick to help Charlie when he falls or to show him how to do new things. You are even quicker to help your younger cousins…especially babies.  Your kind heart doesn’t stop there, though. If daddy or I have a job to do, you are always asking what you can do to help. You like to help at stores and to carry groceries in and to swifter the floor.

And you always want to help me in the kitchen. I like that. I hope we spend lots of time together in the kitchen. In fact, when I plan our weeks out, I always think of something to bake or cook that you can help me with.  You take a lot of pride in helping others, but you  never get boastful.

And you are so thankful and gracious. As people were leaving your birthday party, you told each person “thank you for coming to my party,” without daddy or me even asking you to do that. You thank us for everything you get from the big (your birthday party and your bike) to the small (buying Monsters University cereal and bananas).  You even thanked God during your prayers for giving you such a nice family.

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You are four.

You are growing up so fast, yet you are still so small.

Sometimes we forget that you are still just little, and sometimes we forget that you are not so little anymore.

You get dressed on your own, but you still sometimes need help getting your shorts straight. You love to control the tablet for stories, but you still hold my hand when we get to the part of the “not so good streets”. You can ride your bike, but you still need training wheels.

Four is so big.

But it is still little.

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You are four.

on the move

Nine months.

A school year.

A full-term pregnancy.

Eddie’s age when I finally reached out for help with my postpartum depression.

Nine months.

Tomorrow, dear Charlie, you will be nine months old.

Three quarters of a year.

Officially on the “outside” longer than on the “inside”.

I’m trying not to be emotional about this month, but my little son, this 9-month thing strikes me so strangely in my heart and in my mind.

Today I held you before bed and watched as you got so silly with sleepiness.  Each time I asked you if you want to go “night night” you shook your head and grinned.

You are so SO happy.

You are so SO amazingly gracious and loving and stubborn and cute and smart and chatty and all of the things.

I try to soak every second of it in becauseI just don’t remember this time of Eddie’s life.

He was just as old as you are when I was diagnosed with Postpartum Depression.  It still shocks me how little I can recall from that time.

I don’t want that to happen again.

You are growing and changing so fast, Charlie.  It’s hard to keep up. It’s hard to absorb every little change because just when I think I have you re-memorized, you change and grow a bit more.

You have yet to meet a food you won’t eat.  Seriously, you like it all, and you sort of want to eat all the things when you are hungry.  However, no matter how much you had for dinner, you NEED at least a small bottle before you can fall asleep.  Confession? I love that. Because 9 times out of 10 it’s me who gets to give you that bottle.  It’s my guaranteed Charlie Time each day.

At Thanksgiving we let you taste potatoes, stuffing, cranberries, and turkey. You liked all of them and would have very much preferred more than just the tiny taste of each.  But you ate the baby food we fed you anyway.  And sucked down a bottle of formula like a champ.  Like I said, you don’t turn down food.

Unless your gums hurt.

Like when four teeth tried to break through at the same time…two of which were your two front teeth.

Your poor little gums were swollen to the max and were giving you fits.

You had a high fever, the barfs, the poops…and then POP.  Four teeth and you were a little dream again.

You are “talking” more and more.  It’s like you have figured out that there are other ways of communicating your needs rather than crying and you are exploring them all.

It also tickles you when we repeat back to you what you just “said.”  It’s like you have made a giant discovery that you control the sounds coming out of your mouth.

We have been signing to your words like “more” and “please” and “thank you” like we did with Eddie.  And just like Eddie, you are picking them up, but adapting them.

Eddie did the more sign correctly, but you hold your hands together above your head.  It’s like you’re doing “So Big”.  But you only do it in your high chair when you run out of food.  It’s hilarious.

And you’re quickly learning that you have a super smile and that it gets you everywhere right now.

Want to be picked up? Flash that smile.  Given a toy? The smirk comes out.  Attention paid to you?  A grunt and then a smile.

You’re suave, bud.

Your love for your brother just gets stronger as you grow…as does his love for you.

You can be a crabby mess, but when Eddie shows up?  You grin and start making “eh eh eh” sounds.

You want what Eddie has.  You are not at all interested in most stuffed animals, but when Eddie has Lamby? You do your best to strong-arm your way into his lap and grab Lamby away.  If Eddie is playing with a toy, you want to do it too.

This month, upon putting up the Christmas tree, you figured out how to crawl.  Like a moth to a flame, I tell ya.

Eddie very fashionably put a million ornaments in stylish “clumps” near the bottom.  Once he saw you beeline to them, he put them higher before I even asked.  He is smart like that, your brother.  Always looking out for you.

Even when we ask him to lay off.  He is still known to yell out, “NO SHA-WEE!” about everything.

But back to this crawling you do.

It’s funny.

You are teaching me over and over that just because I’ve had a baby your age, doesn’t mean I know anything about babies.  Unlike your brother who got up on all fours after being able to pull up from sitting to his knees and then rocked a bit and then took off at the ripe age of 8 months, you have laid on your tummy and flapped your arms and legs hoping to “take off”.  You have used rolling as your mode of transportation.

But once that tree was up, rolling was just not good enough.

You reached out your arms and pulled that little, flapping body along the floor.  This past weekend you realized you could also push with your feet and knees.

So you army crawl.

And you pull things down. Or out.

Then you roll to your back, hold what you want with your feet, and play.

Like a darn cat.

You show zero signs of trying to sit up on your own from the crawling position.

You have no desire to pull up to your knees.

You are always just content with what you can do…until you aren’t.

Then you learn what you need to be content again.  Quickly and efficiently.

That is an awesome trait, my son.

Despite my telling everyone what a happy, content baby you are, you always look so serious to others.

It takes you a while to warm up to new situations and new people…even when those people are not technically new. And so you are told, “you’re such a serious one,” all the time.

But you are not…not really.  Not once people get to know you.

Not when you are busy exploring the world that just got so much bigger to you.

I watched this week as you discovered you can now go anywhere. It’s not just the tree.  No way, that is old news.  You can get to the kitchen now and pull down all the things on the fridge.

You can take a bite of the rug (ew. something we are constantly battling with you over).

You can head down the hall to the bathroom so you can see your brother when he is in the tub.

You can book down towards our bedroom when you know daddy went that way.

I could clearly write forever about you.

{and because I don’t have a baby book even purchased let alone started for you, I sort of feel obliged to.}

But I will just tell you this:

I never expected to be so in love with you.

I thought my heart was full with your brother, but having you here with us…in our family…has changed my heart.  It has grown.

And the love I have for Eddie has changed.

The love I have for you is different.

All that love is so much…just so much.  That sometimes? I can’t believe it’s real.

That you are real.

That you are my baby.

That smile slays me.

And makes me cry.

And laugh.

And jump for joy.

But mostly? It makes me fall on my knees in thanksgiving.

Because you are a gift, Bird.

One of the three best gifts I have ever been blessed with.

xxoo
Mommy

The Birdman Groweth

Dear Charlie Bird,

You are five months old today.

Over the past couple weeks I have been painfully aware of how quickly you are growing.  You are suddenly not a tiny little infant anymore.  You have entered the smiley baby stage.

It’s getting harder and harder to get a picture of you holding still.  Something is always blurry from movement and motion.

Hand waves and foot kicks.

Turns of the head without warning.

Shaking a toy like a Polaroid picture.

And of course now there is the struggle to get you to even look at the camera.

I can be dancing and making raspberries and just generally being a complete fool and you will. not. look.

Your concentration is intense.

It is really something new every day.

More and more you can “play” on your own.

You bat at the things hanging from your activity mat and learn to hold them. You have figured out that if you kick the supports of the mat, the music will start playing.  You know that if you push your feet on the ground, you can turn yourself.

However, your least favorite position is lying down.  Oh, you’ll be happy for a little while, but you really want to be able to see what is going on.  And as this new month starts, it’s obvious that you REALLY want to be DOING what everyone else is doing too.

You dig on sitting in the Bumbo and the bounce seat, but not for long.  It’s almost as if you are frustrated that you need assistance to sit.  But you can’t do it on your own yet.  And you get frustrated when you can’t do it yourself too.

We busted our the exersaucer this month.  You were wary at first, but after a couple weeks of getting used to it, it’s growing on you.

I can’t help but notice all the ways you are different from your brother, though.

By five months with Eddie, we put the bounce seat away, because he WOULD NOT LEAN BACK in it.  You are perfectly willing to chillax in it…for awhile anyway.  Also you prefer to be at face level with us if you’re in it, which means we are either on the floor with you, or you’re on the counter/table while we stand.

Eddie thought the saucer was the best thing ever created.  You are taking your time to fully enjoy it.  Sometimes I wonder if it’s because you can see Eddie running around doing stuff and you’re all like, “WHY AM I STUCK?  WHY CAN’T I MAKE MY LEGS DO THAT?” Because you LOVE to stand if we are holding you, just not as much in the saucer.

Eddie was sitting on his own {sort of} by give months.  You’re not quite there yet.

Eddie had cereal before five months.  We let you try oatmeal and bananas yesterday.

You were not impressed.  At all.  In fact, you still have the tongue thrust thing going on and other than tasting it, I am fairly certain you didn’t actually swallow much.  You just didn’t understand opening your mouth.  This is also way different from Eddie who, when we gave him his first taste, lunged forward, mouth open for his second taste.

You just gave me stink eye.

Maybe we will hold off on solids for a while longer.  We did switch you to #3 nipples on your bottles, though, and you seem to get less bored with your bottle now, and actually eat it.

One way you are like your brother is that you both got your first two teeth almost exactly on the day you turned 5 months.  Eddie got his the day after and yours came in the couple days before.

You  handled it differently, though.  Eddie would get a little crabby, have a bit of a fever and some diaper rash and then, POP, a tooth.

You just got pissed and pushed everything on your sore gums.  And then gave us stink eye like it was our fault.

So we got you an amber necklace.

Boom. No more crabby baby.  Just a slight fever for the past week and over the weekend you were rewarded with two little teeth that finally cut through.

Oh baby boy.  You are growing.

I held you in my arms tonight when I guess I could have been writing this post.  But I knew that writing this post was not my priority.  Yes, I want to record these days and times and feelings for you…for your kids…for…history.

You are what people refer to as an “easy” baby.  But that ease means that the last five months flew by so fast I hardly  noticed.

And then there was this baby boy–so different, yet in so many ways the same as the tiny bird that was handed to me in the hospital in March.

I traced my finger over your face and you didn’t flinch.

Your little bird legs have a plump layer of baby fat over them.  Your fine little arms now have the tell-tale baby chub that looks like someone put rubber bands around your wrists.

I found myself wishing I never had to go back to work.

I’ve never felt that before.

My chest tightens thinking of not cuddling you and smootching on you all day every day.

Of taking naps with your warm little baby breath in my face because you love to nuzzle up close to fall asleep.

Of memorizing your facial expressions and responses to absolutely everything.

Of knowing you better than everyone else.

I didn’t have that with Eddie.  He stayed home with daddy after I went back to work.

You and I are like one person still, my Charlie Bird.

Knowing that by the time I write you your six month letter I will be back working and you will be at Renae’s full-time sort of kills something in my heart.

You have healed me from so much hurt.  So much pain.

Eddie made me a mommy by being first.  He will always have that.

But you?  You let me be the mommy I always knew I could be.

And I am so not ready to give that up to only evenings and weekends.

I love you, sweet Bird.

xx oo

Mommy

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