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.
**********************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.
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.
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!