These last few months, I have watched my son Liam grow out of the ‘fourth trimester’ baby stage and morph into a binky dropping, stair climbing, and starting-to-walk little guy. Every single time he is near my face, he either tries to yank my glasses off or grab the fine hairs above my forehead. If successful at either, a giant smile erupts with silly giggles. What does all of this mean? It means that the baby stage is progressing. It also means that I will never get to hold that boy as a little bitty squishy baby again. Now, I have to give him lovies fast, before he manages to snap my glasses in half, tear out all my hair, or arch backwards because he wants to be on the floor trying to walk.
He is starting to eat baby food now, lots of fun foods like mashed butternut, acorn squash, pumpkin, chicken, steak, yogurt, cheese, black beans, and rice. It took persistence to find out what you liked, as you eschewed bananas, apples, avocado, and cereal. Anyways, I’m a big fan of using real food and spices (It‘s relatively easy and much cheaper than conventional. Here’s how I did it). You know, Mr. Liam, you are a funny boy. When I fed you black beans on a spoon, you pushed back and turned away. When I left the beans on your tray to eat, every single bean disappeared into your mouth, lightning speed. Tricky boy!
Food is also what inspired Hoppa to write a song about you. At a restaurant in Montana, Hoppa was eating some fried chicken. He was holding you in his lap and turned away for a minute to talk to Gammy when you grabbed that chicken bone and started sucking for dear life! Of course we did not let you keep sucking, but that evening, Hoppa did make up a special song just for you on the guitar, “Sucking on a Chicken Bone …. CHICKEN BONE!”. I believe I see Costco in our future!
I have to thank Annabelle for giving me the gift of how to enjoy a baby. When I brought her home, I was too panicked, too tired, too worried about everything to slow down and enjoy her babyhood. I believe someone did tell me to relax and enjoy the ‘baby’ time with her. At least, I think someone said that to me in between freaking out about a brand new, live human being in my home, between obsessively reading baby books and while researching websites to comprehend exactly what I was supposed to do to not monumentally screw everything up. When you were born, Liam, all of that nervousness fell away. I came into my own as a Mom and started to trust my instincts more. As a result, I reveled in early morning snuggles, foregoing my ‘me time’ of a quiet house and a hot cup of Italian coffee for a naked, chubby squishy baby all snuggled up in my arms.
She loves you, you know. Annabelle thinks the world of you. Every morning when I wake her up she asks me, “Where is Liam?”. I apparently am nothing but chopped liver and can barely get a hug or kiss out of her. This is changing though, as you reach for more toys and grab anybody’s hair within reach. She’s starting to fight back, pushing and kicking, you know, the norms of sibling rivalry. Which means, I might have to get rid of the yoga pants ensemble and pop on a referee shirt.
Don’t forget though, when you are fourteen and she is sixteen and more than a world separates the two of you, remember that she was your first best friend who welcomed you into the world with a huge smile and giant hug.
Bye bye baby. I will miss you squishy LiLi, but I cannot wait to see what else unfolds as you grow up!