Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Building Up and Tearing Down

It all started when someone I was speaking with started bragging about their "natural birth."  Now, what that person meant was that they had a pain-medication free vaginal delivery.  Good for her.  Does this not somehow imply, though, that those who opt for pain medications or those who have to have cesarean sections have had UN-natural births?  Why do we try to make ourselves sound like better mothers in such a ridiculous way?

That thought led me to another . . . .

Why do we brag about our children's development, something over which we have no control?  Oh, Suzy started crawling at 2 months and was running independently at 6 months?  Wow, Petey was potty trained in 2 days by the age of 8 months?  Oh, Johnnie was fluent in 4 languages by the time he was 9 months old?  Wow, Ariel had 10 teeth at 6 months old?

Well, good for Suzy, Petey, Johnnie and Ariel.

C'mon, people.  WHY are we bragging???  Did you somehow make your child's teeth come in?  Did you give your child motor skills crawl/walk/potty train "early?"

Don't get me wrong:  there are many things about every child that are impressive.  I know first-hand how exciting it is to see your child learn and grow.  (See my previous post on "firsts.")  However, you wanna know what's impressive to me?  Not how old your kid was when they first did whatever.  No, not at all.  What's impressive to me is if you've managed to raise a creative, obedient, loving child who cares about others, who takes his turn, who encourages other people.

Right now, my Nathan is 9 months old.  He is 21.5 lb, 28.5" long and has a giant head.  He has 8 teeth and army-crawls everywhere.  He rarely crawls "for real."  He loves to stand and pull himself up to standing on things.  He loves to be tickled.  He likes waving to people.  He loves to be held.  He hates it when I'm in the room and NOT holding him.  He is insanely stubborn and gets very moody when he's sleepy.  He rubs his eyes exactly like I do.  He is fearless and is a thrill-seeker.  Do I find all that to be impressive, especially considering his rough start in life?  Absolutely.  What's most impressive, though, is that he is a child of God and NO ONE loves him more than He does.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

the Firsts

As I sat down to write tonight, with an old episode of Glee chirping in the background, I realized that I am probably the worst blogger ever.  No posts in over 2 months is generally taboo in the blog world, but I don't care.  I have been too busy and enthralled in experiencing some "firsts."

There are many things that I have had the joy of experiencing with my now 9-month old peanut.  I will never forget his first non-gas related smile, his first belly-laugh, his first tooth popping through, the first time he rolled over, the first time he ate solids, his first army-crawl or the first time he pulled himself up to a standing position.  One of the biggest fears I had, not being able to be a stay-at-home-mom, was missing any one of the aforementioned events.  Those fears are still there, but lessening day by day.

I know I'm not the only one, but there are countless other things that Adam and I have discussed at length that WE want to be the first to see with him, get him or do with him.   There are things that we want to keep special for just us. Here are some examples:

1) The zoo/aquarium.  We want to take Peanut to his first trip to a zoo and/or aquarium.  We are such animal lovers and can't wait to see his face when he sees real-live animals other than a dog or cat.  I just hope he doesn't try to crawl over them like he does the dog . . . .
2) To school.  We want to be there to put our squirt on the bus for the first time.  Likewise, I want to pack his first school lunch for him, complete with yogurt, veggies, and maybe a homemade Mommy cookie.
3)  I want to bake his first . . . . and second . . . . and third . . .  birthday cakes for him.  I love to bake.  I love my son.  He can pick his flavors/decorations, but I want to make it for him. Enough said.
4)  We want to get him his first of different kinds of toys--his first tricycle, his first bike, his first coloring book and crayons, etc.  For example, we got the squirt a Build-a-Bear a few months ago to give to him for Christmas.  We wanted to get him one that Mommy and Daddy made special for HIM and only him, that he would understand that we went to the mall (yes, Adam went) and spent time picking out the perfect bear and "making" it just for him.  We hope he has siblings some day and I know the vast majority of his toys will rightfully be used to death, but it's nice to have something that's all yours.
5) His first birthday.  A controversial one, I know.  The Squirt's birthday is on a Sunday in 2013, and we fully intend to spend the day with just the three of us, possibly doing something like #1.  We know family and friends want to see him, and we do plan on having a small party for him--the day before.  I doubt that it'll ever be able to be just the three of us for his subsequent birthdays, and I want to do nothing but love on him and reminisce about that wonderfully terrifying day.

Some day, in the all-to-near-future, Nathan will have his own firsts that he will want to experience with his child(ren).  I know he will want to be the one to buy his son his first bike or take him to school.  I know that he and his wife may want to spend that child's first birthday with their own family . . . . and I never want to take that away from him because I understand.  When that happens, I will consider how Adam and I raised him to be a success: he would have grown into a man who loves his child more than anything and wants to soak up every tiny ounce of his child's wonder and awe.

First smile caught on film

First "piggy-back ride" from Daddy

First time rolling over

First time pulling himself up
First finger foods