so i can't really remember how i met kristina meltzer. it might have been through lovely morning, her gorgeous personal blog, or it might have been through 100 layer cake (and now there's also 100 layer cakelet!) all i know is that i wanted to meet this her immediately and it didn't take long to become fast friends. this post really got to me. as a mother of two, i can relate so well to her words and look forward to this time ahead. and, as simple as it may seem, i hadn't thought to always sing the same song during a diaper change, so thank you for that kristina!!
The month between eight and nine has been so good for lots of reasons around our house. As a family we finally feel… settled. Ish. Forrest is our second little guy and the transition from one to two for us was, well, big. So with the family in good shape, Forrest and I have been reveling in his little triumphs around the house. It's all about movement and mobility at the moment for him. He's crawling now and it's like his world has been blown open. Watching his older brother go where he likes all these months, while he's been stuck in one place has been (I think) a bit frustrating. And now that he's on the move, he's amped to join in the big boy games ASAP.
It's amazing to see how much he already knows, especially when I catch myself thinking that he's still just a baby - processing, but not doing. He's doing. Big time. He pushes his trucks around the living room like a regular big kid. He's desperate to play with his brother, but he doesn't quite have the dexterity yet to make it enjoyable for the elder. He's fascinated with opening and closing. Cabinets, doors, lids, trunks on toy cars. Open, close. Open, close. It's great entertainment, especially when I'm making dinner. And I love having him under my feet in the kitchen. There's just something delicious about crawling babies.
Of course all of this moving leads to his share of bumps. He's standing and cruising too, but isn't coordinated enough to sit with control quite yet. ALMOST, but not quite. And I'm getting used to little fingers being everywhere again. Little fingers that will pick up literally anything on the floor and pop it immediately into his gummy mouth. We're hoping teeth are next on the developmental spectrum, but so far not a one. He doesn't seem to mind the bumps much. It's a small price to pay for the overall good mood he's come into recently.
We sing: The Itsy-Bitsy Spider during diaper changes, Down by the Bay (love Raffi around our house!), and a handful of sweet Spanish nursery rhymes our nanny has taught us. It's amazing how anything you sing immediately captivates the littles one's attention.
He really is the most entertained by things that aren't toys - wooden spoons, lids, tupperware, anything in the pantry or fridge. I like adding bean and lentils to little glass jars with lids so he can shake them like a rattle. Those are like a super bonus when he finds them in "his" cupboard, which we've arranged to hold all the things he loves to play with in the kitchen, but nothing breakable or dangerous. Mostly.
Being the second boy, he was born into a world of trucks and trains. And watching his brother play with them has made him love them all the more. He has this great Manny & Simon recycling truck (with a trunk that opens!) that he pushes around. He's adopted this WOW firetruck from his brother, which has become his favorite. I'm not big on plastic toys, but this one is pretty great. It uses friction to generate momentum instead of batteries, which makes it super satisfying for little hands to push. He loves our Ostheimer animals, mostly for chewing on. And he's started to bang on our instruments too, especially this little xylophone. All of it continues to astound me. I'm pretty sure his brother had a set of blocks and some teething toys at this point in his life, so I'm amazed at what this tiny baby already understands just from watching the happenings in his world.
This month has finally brought a nice solid structure to his days as well, which I think helps with the elevated mood. He's dropped the stubborn (but much-needed) third nap, which frees us all up for a more enjoyable evening. And having a constant rhythm to his days keeps things more or less under control. I'm learning to let go a little in terms of sleep. Yes, his older brother was a stellar napper (with some coaxing) but it just might not happen for Forrest, and I'm realizing that it's okay. I can't focus as much attention on that part of our life this go 'round and I hope that most days he's rested enough. On the days that he's not, early bedtime is always an option.
He adores, with a capital A, his older brother. And I'm talking, ADORES. We think he even has a special way of saying his name already. He calls him Duh-Da (his name is Dashiell), but the way he says it, with a particular inflection makes me think he's already calling him by name. Pretty sure some version of Dashiell will be his first word. And big bro is coming around too. He's suddenly protective of his younger sib, which is so sweet and so welcome around our house! And Forrest is showing his personality more and more. I think in not too many months he's going to be giving Dashiell a run for his money in the self defense department. Even so, I can see that they really are going to be friends, which is what it's all about.
I still feel a little pang of regret that he will never know the entire focus of his mama, like his brother did. But I also try to remember that instead he was born into this world with a playmate. With someone that he will be tied to by blood forever. And that this is the way his world is and was meant to be.
top photo by jamie street