Friday, June 25, 2010

The Very Quick Year and The Very Long Post


The Very Hungry cupcake
Originally uploaded by Sesser
This past Monday, my little boy turned one.

I can hardly believe that a year has passed since he came into this world, turned it upside-down, inside-out and filled it with his easy smile, his silly giggles, and his beautiful, expressive eyes.

It seems like we had wonderful, long year together and yet, at the same time, it seems way too short.  A year at home?  Is that really enough with a whole, new person before heading back to the office?  Sigh. 

Those who don't want to wade the the proud Mama talk can skip the paragraphs between the ***s. It's like this, my own mother has been gone from this world for 13 years.  I need to tell someone these things.

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We drove him home from the hospital like there were crystal wine-glasses stacked in a pyramid on top of our car. Now he's running around our house like a mad man, surprising us when he doesn't bonk his noodle (his head) when he trips on his toys or getting back up and acting like the latest spill was "nuthin'" and just wait, there will be more!

He's talking, saying "Mom!", "Dada!" and "Tent". (We pull the bedsheets over our heads and he grins and says Tent. Under the kitchen table is a tent as well.) He's recently added "woof!" when he sees a dog and this week he started saying "Hi-eeee", which we interpret as "Hi!"

He's signing a few words as well. He knows: More, Milk, Dog, Bird, Eat and Water. We're working on things like: Please, thank you, Mom, Dad, Shoes, Want, Ball and Cat.

His motor skills amaze me every day. The Mogrunt took his first steps at 10 months and one week. Now he's cruising around the house. He loves feeding himself individual pieces of corn or peas, as well as occasionally spearing food with his little fork and eating it.

He loves anything that makes noise, especially musical instruments.  He plays with his piano and ours with a passion that would put Glenn Gould to shame.

Piano man

If he picks up a toy with wheels, he immediately "starts the engine" and all we hear is "brrrrrrrr" as his lips flap out the sound. You don't have to teach that to a boy, I guess.

Lately he's been giving really great hugs. Wrapping his little arms around our necks and squeezing. He's also doling out the kisses. He'll come at me with a look in his eye, so I'll squat down and MWAH! BIG KISS righ where you eat! BIG! Closed mouth, even, thank you very much.

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I've been a negligent blogger these last months. I got so busy with preparing to go back to work. I was spending all of my spare time either snuggling with the boy or sewing little pants for him to wear at the B's house. We're so lucky to have a great friend taking care of him. (I'll share the photos of the wee pants as soon as I manage to have all of them clean and in the same place at once! Ok, maybe I'll have to photograph them individually.)

For some reason, going back to work felt like I was preparing for a long trip. Like I wouldn't be home again for months. I felt like I needed to cram everything I could into my days. I was a little stressed for a couple of weeks. Thankfully, I realized what I was doing and, after giving myself a stern talking to, calmed down and realized I would, in fact, still be living in the same house, in the same town and still have access to all the things I had access to before.

In this past year, I've learned so much about not only myself as a mother, but myself as a person.

As a mother, I can already see how easy it is to let your child get away with things that they shouldn't. How easy it would be to give in when a fit of independence leads to a temper tantrum. (The Mogrunt freaks out when we sweep because he wants to sweep... and then he gets upset because he can't handle the broom on his own. I hope that this fervour for housecleaning lasts until he has a home of his own.)

I can also already see the things I won't budge on. Especially for his health and safety.

Healthy food is a big thing for us. My mom struggled with her weight her whole adult life and I want my son to have both healthy parents and healthy ideas about food but without making a big deal about it. So far so good. The little man loves everything we've given him. He's a huge fan of oranges, broccoli, peas, corn, carrots, avacado, etc. I really don't want my child to eat fast food or any kind any time soon. I guess it's because I don't want this for myself either.

For the Mogrunt's safety, I've started limiting his internet presence. I'm in the process of deleting his photos from FB, making his photos private on Flickr and have asked friends and family to refrain from posting his photos online. Paranoid, moi? I don't think so.

A dear friend had a complete stranger approach her and her daughter while they were out shopping, exclaiming "Oh, this must be [insert daughter's name here]!" Upon my friend inquiring "Do I know you?", the woman responded that she had seen photos of [insert daughter's name here] through a mutual friend's comments on FB. My friend immediately went home and made her photos private. If anyone is going to put my kid's face on the internet, it should be me or his dad and we're even being cautious about that. I wouldn't want our extended family to be responsible if his image was used without permission. Especially on FB.

As a person, being away from my office job really helped me to rediscover who I am and what I want out of life for me and how it will impact my little family. I don't know how this impacts my job right now, but I do know that, at home, my personal creative time is definitely no longer going to take a back seat to silly things like dishwashing and laundry. (Although it will a bit until I can afford a dishwasher. My kingdom for a dishwasher.)

Other things I discovered while on mat leave:

1. I really love grocery shopping on a Monday or Tuesday morning. It's so much faster and easier to navigate the aisles when it's just me, other mom's and retirees. Now if only Tuesdays were also sample days.

2. Believe it or not, I'm a very quiet person. During those first few months at home with the Mogrunt, I had to remind myself to talk out loud. To be fair, I had a lot on my mind and spent a lot of time thinking things through, so I was often lost in my thoughts. Now that he's talking and walking, it's much easier to chatter away with him.

3. I really enjoy sewing. I'm sorry knitting, but I've got another outlet for the madness in my head.

4. Our neighbourhood is rather interesting during the day. There are strange people going through the recycling, teenagers smooching in front of our house on the way home from school, old men wearing sweatpants walking dogs wearing sweaters, people walking to the bus and looking unhappy about it.

5. I love receiving packages in the mail. It's good that I'm broke because I would totally go nuts buying stuff online. Nothing makes me happier than seeing the postal van in front of my house. Wheee, presents!

6. I have amazing friends. Really, the best. And I'm not naming names because I'm keeping them all for me.

7. My husband is the best dad and husband in our house. Maybe your dad or the father of your children would be strong competition, but I'm limiting the possible nominees to one person. He does dishes, laundry, housework, cleans poop off diapers, does 3am playtime with weirdo boys who won't sleep, makes supper, grocery shops, plays the piano and guitar with our boy, sings to him, and even makes fart jokes with the boy... already. Oh, our child is soooo advanced. HA! As I was saying, he's all kinds of awesome and I'm so glad he's my husband.

Hopefully, I'll be able to take some time to post in the coming weeks and months.  I've got some knitting and sewing to show you and some ideas stuck in my head.

For those of you who made it this far, thanks!

11 comments:

  1. He is so cute :)

    Oh, and a comment on his new word of Hi-eee! I think he learnt that from Ella. Because that is what she says to him all day. When the two of them are playing together she will look him straight in the face, with a huge grin, and say an exaggerated Hiiieeee! This is responded with a silly happy grin from your little mr Mogrunt. I have also noticed him mouthing Hiiiii back at her.

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  2. I made it to the end.. sewing eh?? I knew we were friends for a reason....

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  3. I've been feeling the same way about my little A and her online life. While I'm still concerned about the safety factor, I feel as though she is entitled to have her growing up years be her own and not made public. I've since deleted all of her albums from FB. Strange times these kids are growing up in.

    Looking forward to seeing future sewing and knitting projects :)

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  4. Wonderful heartfelt post. Treasure every moment and make LOTS of memories. As a mother of 26 and 28 (this week) boys, I don't know where in the world the time went!

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  5. This makes me feel a teensy bit better about going back to work in December. I've been fretting about it lately, wondering how I'm going to be able to leave the newt with someone else (control freak? yes.) when I just want to spend every waking (and not-so-waking) moment with him. But you've gone back to work and the Earth is still spinning on its axis, so I guess I can do it too.

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  6. The very first word my brother said was "more". They couldn't figure out what he wanted for the longest time until. Finally they realized "more" meant "drink" because whenever he had a bottle or glass of something, he was always asked if he wanted "more."

    So...in the spirit of first birthdays, first steps and first words...MORE please!!! Mogrunt posts are never too long. Love it. Love you guys. xoxo

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  7. Did the Mogrunt get a tiny broom of his own for his birthday? My kids loved their tiny broom, mop or whatever and it was much safer than a tiny tot with a long handle knocking things over. A swiffer is great too since you can remove handle sections to customize the fit and then add them back as he grows (and it's amazing how effective a toddler with a Swiffer is at cleaning!). I don't buy the cloths- a paper towel or an old t-shirt or cloth diaper cut to fit works great (or you could knit a MDK swiffer cover) and may be used wet or dry. I'm a huge fan of encouraging kids to "help" with chores while they are tiny and enthusiastic so that when they are sullen teens participating in the cleaning up will be habit!

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  8. My sister and I both had little brooms when we were little. We loved them. That being said, I do not enjoy cleaning the floors as an adult.

    A very happy belated Birthday to the Mogrunt!

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  9. Terrific post! Happy Birthday to the little guy. Wow, that went fast (for me!).

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  10. Have you gotten him his own little broom? My mom got my little brother one for christmas one year and he loved it.

    The story about your friend's daughter is worrying. I have to remind myself often that everything I put on the internet is public and will remain accessible for a very, very long time.

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  11. Hi -- I found you via the Halifax Knitters and just enjoyed reading your wonderful post. I'm a Mexico-based performer and I'll be coming to the Atlantic Fringe Festival in Halifax in September to perform a one-woman show about motherhood. I've performed the show all over Ontario and into Quebec, and while men and women both seem to enjoy it, there is no question that Women Enjoy It More, particularly women who have children!
    The show is called Giving Into Light and it is a comical, yet deeply moving, journey from the challenging and magical terrain of early motherhood into the myth and magic of Mexico.
    If this resonates with you and you know of anyone who might be interested (your fabulous band of knitters, for example!), I'd be so grateful for any help spreading the word. I don't have my performance schedule yet, but the festival runs from 2-12 September. Could I offer you a couple of free tickets as a way of saying thanks?
    warmly and gratefully,
    Alison Wearing
    www.alisonwearing.com

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