Tag: babies

Let’s Just Focus On That

Cian, as I mentioned, took a tumble down our (wide, wooden, steep) staircase a couple of weeks ago. No, we did not have a baby gate up, because a) he wasn’t CLIMBING stairs when we moved houses, and b) we needed to get a gate 

He Might be On to Something

You might be sitting there right now, flipping through your usual go-to pages on the Internet, drinking your afternoon cup of coffee before you get back to it. You might be bored. You might be anxious about something–say, for instance, the fact that you’re moving 

And Yet It’s Twelve Months

Happy New Year, everyone! We celebrated with champagne and a decimated carrot cake and took way too many pictures of one certain birthday boy. And then I put Cian to bed an hour later than his usual bedtime and promptly burst into tears. Absolute, ridiculous, sobbing tears. It was weird. But I think they were a long time coming.

011See, this has been the most difficult year of parenting life I’ve experienced so far.

Let me clarify: Cian has been the happiest baby of three really happy children. He has been loving, and lovable, and easy, and good-natured, and the best, best pint-sized dinner date you could imagine. It’s just the sleep–the sleep, the sleep, the lack of SLEEEEEEEEP–that’s been the kicker. He just started sleeping through the night this week (does a 5:30 a.m. wake time count?). He’s still an irregular napper. I cannot tell you how utterly miserable, crazy, distracted, impatient a person can be made when she has not slept. If you’ve been there, you may forget. If you haven’t, you don’t want to experience it. Pulling an all-nighter once in a while is one thing. Going months without sleeping long enough at night to even have a proper dream? I wouldn’t recommend it. Nor would my family.

015This has also been the fastest year, by far.

I still remember being pregnant. I still feel that excitement I had going in to meet Cian. I still remember the anticipation and the worry and the BELLY. It was like it was yesterday, and yet here I sit, watching the toothy smile of my 12-month-old–my TWELVE-month-old!–all-out belly laughing as his sister does a goofy dance in front of him. You don’t need me to tell you how I don’t take him for granted. You don’t need me to tell you how I sometimes think of how close we came to a much different birth than the one we had, and start breathing funny. You know that. I told you about it. It’s done. But it feels like it just happened. Not a year ago.

041You’d think I’d be ready for this, the easy part. You’d think I’d be ready for a day where I didn’t need to breastfeed, or worry about what time he’d be crying for me at night, or could look forward to the independence that comes with having older children. But I’m not, really. Not now, anyway. Because as hard as this last year was, as exhausted and overwhelmed and so, so at-wit’s end, I don’t want it to end. I’m not ready for the baby to not be an infant. I’m not ready to be a mom of kids, rather than a mom of “little ones.” I’m not ready to ease out of the crazy jumble into what I fear will be a monotonous jumble. There’s a magic in these early years. I’m  afraid of that magic growing cold, losing its sharp angles, once the life of school drop-offs and homework and home-and-school committee emails start. Right now? Right now I have a baby on my hip and two little girls holding my one free hand and the anxiety of a house filled to the brim with coloring books and blocks and toy cars and Legos and princess dresses. I have writing I worry about not doing, laundry I joke about not folding, friends I apologize to for not seeing.

048It’s my life. It’s what I know.

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It’s baby feet, and wisps of hair, and tiny fingernail clippers, and bite-sized food. It’s milk dripping onto the dog, and marker-stained fingertips, and the smell of diaper pails and slept-in sheets. It’s little teeth, and giggles simply because I hiccuped, and a face that’s always, always reassured as soon as it sees mine near. It’s easy fixes and kisses on foreheads and Band-Aids on scuffed knees. It’s chaotic and exhausting and so, so draining, and yet…it’s easy, really. It’s simple.

And I’m not ready for it to be any other way but.

075Cian is one now. He scoots around like his knees are skateboards. He disappears into cabinets, behind furniture, over his sisters as they play together. He has that belly laugh that I want to remember forever. He lies with his head on one of my shoulders and a hand draped over the other. He smacks his lips together to make a kiss. He eats like he has to play in a bowl game the next day, rocking back and forth in his high chair, his eyes growing wide, when he sees me preparing food that he likes. He loves to sit on a lap to page through a book, chase the cat around the living room. He giggles when he sees me open the car door, and all-out guffaws when Saoirse walks past his car seat on the way to hers after school. He swipes Quinn’s stuffed animals, calls “Ma” from his crib, crawls to the door whenever he sees one of us walk in. He’s just so, so, loving. He’s starting to look like less infant and more child, wants to pull himself up, thinks the best activity in the world is pulling dirty laundry out of a hamper.

He isn’t a baby anymore.  He is an absolute, genuine, delight of a human being.

023aHappy birthday, little boy.

From the Trenches

There are certain realities when you’re home all day with a baby, and it’s so, so easy to forget them until it’s too late and you’re pregnant again when you’re not in baby mode. They’re not ground-breaking, or mind-blowing, or even “Hey, whaddya know?”-worthy, but 

And They Wonder Why I’m Grouchy

I had intended to stay up until David came home that night, but I fell into bed at 10:30. David had been travelling, and as always happens by the end of one of his trips, I felt like a piece of stale bread somebody left 

And Then There’s That

I love my son so much I sometimes wish I could just hold moments still–when he’s smiling at me, when I’m holding him, when he’s laughing at his sisters–to make sure I remember them so well I’ll never miss them.

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At nine months old, he lights up and says “Da Da” when he sees David walk into a room. He calls “Ma Ma” from his crib, usually when he wants something. It’s still sweet.

If you say “kiss,” he leans his head forward to receive (maybe give, if he’s aiming for the air above my shoulder?) one.

He laughs with a gasping guffaw when he sees one of us, and crawl-races over to be picked up.

He smells like honey and warmth.

He’s learned to stick his tongue out, which is way cuter now than it will be when he’s eight.

He squeals with delight from his car seat as soon as he sees Saoirse climb into the minivan after school.

He is adorable, and happy, and is an absolute delight, the life in his little body burning like the sun shining over his head during the day.

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Until one o’clock in the morning, when his voice is the bray of a thousand goats being forced to tap dance in wooden shoes.

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It turns out that the walls of a 48-year-old split level can offer excellent acoustics.

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Just ask the neighbors.

Getting a Little Meta Up in Here

Want to hear something creepy? Sometimes, when Cian’s face is right beside mine, and I hear his little lungs working, I breathe in as he breathes out, so that I’m breathing the air that just left him. I know. Go get my straitjacket. I did 

Getting My Attention

Cian was eating.  He’s just woken from his morning nap, and I was breastfeeding him, scrolling through something on my phone (US Weekly? Facebook? Who knows, but it was compelling).  I feel guilty when I do this, not just because I’m trying and miserably failing