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Thursday, April 13, 2006

Sixteen Months

Wearing A Hat

This month you have begun saying "NO" which is kind of cute. Cute in the way that you shake your head back and forth vigorously while saying, "OooooooOooooo" You say no to everything even things you actually do want.

"Miles, do you want a cookie?"

"OoooooooOooooooo," you answer shaking your head and swatting at the offending cookie that I dare to offer to you. By your reaction one would think I had offered you a dung patty as a snack.

A few minutes later you will walk over to the cabinet, point your little finger up to where the cookies are kept, and scream. A scream that says, "NOW, I want a cookie, bitch. You will obey." You are drunk on your own power.

It has become warm enough the past few days to get out our summer clothes and sandals. You have been wearing shorts, which really are nothing more than very baggy pants that end just above your socks.


Your second toe on both your feet sticks up slightly and crosses over the big toe. It is almost as if the toe has no bones, like it is a little jello toe. I want to bite it off and eat it, that is how delicious I think it is. I know that one day when you are a preteen or teenager you won't like it and will probably be embarrassed of it and refuse to wear sandals. I hope not, but I was that age once and remember clearly how anything that seemed the slightest bit different than the norm seemed like a glaring imperfection that the entire world was staring at.


The past week you had been sleeping really well, for you anyway, and it was wonderful. But two days ago you got whatever illness is making it's rounds now and for the past two nights you have been up numerous times crying, wanting to nurse, wanting to snuggle, wanting to make sure we all felt your pain. And we do. Trust me.

The other night you were in our bed and I got fed up with your kicking me in the stomach and pulling my hair. You were refusing to sleep. So I picked you up and put you in the porta-crib that is in our room. You couldn't believe I would dare to put you there. You began screaming. But after about 20 seconds you would pause to listen and see if we were coming to get you out. Then you would scream again for another 20 seconds.

After doing that a few times you began yelling, "Daaaa-deeee Daaaa-deeee" Then you would pause long enough to hear your father and I trying to stifle our giggles. Rob called back to you, "Sleepy time. Go to sleep." There was a pause where we thought perhaps you were heeding his words, when out of the darkness we heard, "Ooooooooo Oooooooo" And the rustling sound I was hearing led me to believe that you were shaking your head as forcefully as you could while laying down.

This past year I was a part of a book panel on sleep issues. I received my advance copy of the book a couple of weeks ago. I read through the book and felt like my picture should be in there with a big red X over it with the warning "NO!!" There was a lot of discussion in the book about training and avoiding sleep issues in preschoolers/toddlers by training babies to sleep. So many parents seemed worried that if their six month old wasn't sleeping through the night it meant that six years later they would still be waking up all night long. For the record, I have never had a six year old who didn't sleep through the night.

Oldest and Youngest

As I read through the book I realized that my answers and responses to the questions would have been very different had I answered them eleven years ago. I was much more anal and schedule oriented back then. Once again I found myself thinking that you really get the better end of the deal. I have already crossed all those parenting dilemma bridges. I have made my choices and moved on. I feel confident with my choices. I'm a much more laid back parent than I was eleven years ago.

Your cousin will soon be having a baby. As I listen to her talk about her pregnancy and baby, say with certainty the things she will and won't do, and condemn the choices that other parents have made, I just smile and nod. I've been a mother long enough now to know that there are no absolutes.

I just have to look at your oldest brother who, for the first two years of his life, never had sugar, meat, or anything non-organic pass his lips. His butt was swathed in unbleached organic cotton diapers. He played with only non toxic wooden toys made from wood that was harvested in an environmentally friendly manner. I just want to slap my old self righteous self and hand her a hamburger and diet coke. Clearly all those vegetables were harming her brain.

Whenever I feel like I know it all, I have just to remember the scorn I felt towards parents who fed their babies Honey-Nut Cheerios, while I watch you eat a chocolate pop tart... off the floor. I have eaten my own words so often it is no wonder my ass is as big as it is.

I am a different mother than I imagined I would be, and certainly a different mother than I was when your oldest brother was your age. Some of the changes are because I have more experience, some are because I am more relaxed, and who are we kidding, some are because I am lazier. Most of them are because I realized that in the grand scheme of things, whatever it is doesn't matter.

Playing cars

You love to take out all of our spice jars and tupperware and stack them all up into high towers. Then you stand up and kick them all down. Sometimes you will chase a rolling spice jar across the room and give it a few more kicks for good measure, the entire time squealing with glee. This game is something none of your siblings were ever allowed to play, and is yet another example of how I have mellowed. My motto these days is, "I can clean it up later"

Little Man

Soon you'll be a big kid, I can already see it happening, and you'll be able to express your ideas, play games, ride a bike, wear Superman pajamas with a cape, and while I look forward to all those things and finding out more about your personality, there are things I will miss about you as a baby.

I'll miss the weight of your body sleeping on my chest and you little heart shaped open mouth snoring. I will miss you stilted gait as you try to run away from me. I will miss your short bowed little legs, with the dimpled fat on your thighs that is perfect for kissing. ( Why can't the dimpled fat on my thighs be as cute?) I will miss the way you enthusiastically raise your hands up in the air over your head when I say "Hurray!" and I'll miss how even with your arms stretched up you can barely reach the top of your head.

There are quite a few things I will miss. This is just one of them:


As long as you have those dimpled knuckles I can still call you a baby.

I love you Mina-moo moo. I don't know why your sister insists on calling you that nickname, but it has stuck, for the time being at least.


Blogger T. said...

You make me want another baby. What a beautiful post. And thank you for the dimpled knuckle shot. They aren't the hands of my angelboy, but they are close enough and it is one more memory that I can hold on to when I think of him in heaven.

11:07 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As a couple praying to go through our first pregnancy in the coming year, your post has just lightened my heart and made me so hopefully for a baby of our own. What true and undeniable love. Your children will cherish these posts one day when you've long ago put them aside.


11:20 AM  
Blogger Heth said...

Are you trying to ruin my mascara? Beautiful. I love all your thoughts on relaxing as a parent. I feel the same way.

11:37 AM  
Anonymous adena said...

You have the prettiest children!!


11:51 AM  
Blogger Randa said...

What a beautiful boy, and wonderful pictures of him. I enjoy your blog!

12:09 PM  
Blogger meredith said...

I really enjoy reading here, and the photos are great. This post got me looking at my daughters' hands and toes. How fast they change.

12:10 PM  
Anonymous Claudia said...

Mina-moo-moo is a perfect name. Your baby is beautiful.

12:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Chris, your photos are ALMOST as beautiful as your children. Wishing your family a Wonderful Easter. Cheryl

12:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You did it again.

Now I have to go get a tissue!

12:40 PM  
Anonymous s u s a n said...

My son is just 2 months older with alot less hair and suddenly it feels as though the baby days are slipping away. So I hear ya!

12:45 PM  
Blogger eko said...

What amazing photos! Such a beautiful and touching post.

Thank you for broaching the *sleep* subject. The time is fleeting - I just never understood mother's feeling the need to pressure children/babies to sleep in any way differently than their own little bodies told them too.

I STILL have those dimpled knuckles, as does my niece (got them from ME!) and she hates them now - but someday I hope she'll realize how precious they are ;-)

12:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Adorable pictures of your 16 month old. I love the overall shots. Very cute!!

12:56 PM  
Blogger momteacherfriend said...

Awesome pictures!

As the baby of our family I can see how my own parents relaxed and I am thankful!

1:02 PM  
Blogger halloweenlover said...

He is the most beautiful baby I have ever seen. That face!

Lovely post, Chris.

1:14 PM  
Blogger Lisa said...

OMG what a wonderful post! :)

1:22 PM  
Blogger Meg said...

What a wonderful post...Sophia's lucky to have such a wonderful future mother-in-law...

1:23 PM  
Anonymous Melissa said...

I have to tell you, you made me cry with that one. My youngest is almost 21 months, and she has in this last month seemed more of a toddler to me than a baby. It was a beautiful post, and your baby boy is adorable. And you are right, in the grand scheme of life, eating pop tarts off the floor won't hurt him. Not in the least.

1:35 PM  
Anonymous Tammy said...

Wonderful Post!! You take wonderful pictures!! Did you go to school for photography?? Any tips you want to share with your readers?

1:41 PM  
Anonymous maria said...

Wow - my daughter is 22 mos and I wish I could write her such a beautiful love letter. You are so articulate.

1:43 PM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

Thanks Chris, that was beautiful and funny and great. All the things most of your posts are.

You have a very lucky bunch of kids. and readers.

1:44 PM  
Blogger Jody said...

Chris, those pictures are very beautiful, as is the post.

He is a doll!

2:09 PM  
Blogger momxtwo said...

That was a beautiful post. You have such a talent for writing. I have 2 boys ages 14 and 3. The time has flown by so fast with the 3 yr old. I wish it slow down a little. I had not planned on any more kids but after reading your blog it makes me want another one. I will be 38 next month so if I do this I better hurry.

2:15 PM  
Blogger Chicka said...

My ovaries are aching. Good thing I have great willpower.

2:19 PM  
Blogger Katie said...

I miss the dimpled knuckles. *wistful sighs* Beautiful post.

2:46 PM  
Blogger BlondeMom said...

Wow...I am crying. My baby girl (our last) turned 13 months old this week. Thank you for the beautiful post.

One of my many favorite sentences:
"Whenever I feel like I know it all, I have just to remember the scorn I felt towards parents who fed their babies Honey-Nut Cheerios, while I watch you eat a chocolate pop tart... off the floor."

2:55 PM  
Blogger CaliforniaGrammy said...

Thanks Chris. My daughters are about the same age as you and you brought those long-ago-years back to seems-like-yesterday. Great post and fabulous pictures. Have a beautiful spring day!

3:00 PM  
Anonymous onetallmomma said...

I hear you about lowering your standards. By the 4th and last I had resigned myself to huge dust bunnies, kicking clutter out of the way in order to reach the bed to give a child a good-night kiss and realizing that as long as the kids continued to spill stuff onto the kitchen floor, I would never have to wash it. (o.k., I only wash it when my feet stick to the floor!)
Thank you for your beautiful, affirming words.

4:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love your blog! My one and only right now is 20 months and in the same "No, no, nooooo!" stage with the vigorous head shaking. I like to read about your kids and be reassured that all the stages my baby is going through are normal, since I'm a first time Mom.

I already let the baby have cookies and ice cream sometimes, and the 5 second rule sometimes turns into the 5 minute rule at our house. If this is my start point I wonder if that means that I'll be feeding them Twinkies for dinner and giving them crack for their birthdays 11 years from now.


5:04 PM  
Blogger aka_Meritt said...

"..........I just have to look at your oldest brother who, for the first two years of his life, never had sugar, meat, or anything non-organic pass his lips. His butt was swathed in unbleached organic cotton diapers. He played with only non toxic wooden toys made from wood that was harvested in an environmentally friendly manner. I just want to slap my old self righteous self and hand her a hamburger and diet coke. Clearly all those vegetables were harming her brain.

Whenever I feel like I know it all, I have just to remember the scorn I felt towards parents who fed their babies Honey-Nut Cheerios, while I watch you eat a chocolate pop tart... off the floor. I have eaten my own words so often it is no wonder my ass is as big as it is."

....... perhaps some of the truest words there ever were. But we've all been there, done that. :)

6:09 PM  
Anonymous Jenaynay said...

My daughter turned 16 months today (born December 13th, 2005) so this was wonderful to read today of all days. You said everything I want to say to her and the pictures were great. Thank you!

6:47 PM  
Blogger Jenaynay said...

Did I just write 2005? I meant 2004!

7:05 PM  
Anonymous Maddy said...

Nappies (diapers) were my thing, not a disposable one in the house and nor would there ever be according to my inexperienced butt. I was not ever going to pollute this wonderful world with disposable nappies that would still pollute the world when my grandchildren were having grandchildren of their own. I spent hours everyday scrubbing, bleaching, washing, hanging, folding and using cloth nappies.
When my first born was 6 months old my mother gave me a packet of 24 Huggies disposable nappies as a Christmas present and said, "here, have Christmas off".
You guessed it ... I never went back!
When my 41 year old best friend was blessed with twins she too spouted the same rhetoric as I had done ten years earlier. All her experienced friends held our tongs as we knew that pre-children you know it all and no one will tell you any different.
At her baby shower we counted the number of disposable nappies given as gifts, we roared with laughter every time she opened another gift and out fell yet another packet of Newborn Huggies. At parties end she tallied up over 800!
I can’t recall ever seeing any cloth nappies in her house, I guess she has them in the cleaning cupboard like I do, nothing brings up mirrors like a well washed and soft cloth nappy.

7:13 PM  
Blogger wendy said...

I love the "little man" photo from this entry! He is so cute and you are such a good photographer! :-)

9:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Will you be my friend? :) It's soo nice to read about being relaxed in parenting. I am usually the only one. I get lots of "advice". Like somehow I forgot how to be a parent after having six children. Great conclusions you have reached. Something freaky? Our son's are exactly the same age to the day! He's 16 mo. today right? That's cool. See we're meant to be B.F.F. No I'm not making it up, I swear! Check out my blog and you'll see!

9:56 PM  
Blogger beth said...

Wow. You took the words right out of my mouth in so many ways. What a perfect post for watching your baby grow. And I realize I should get more photos of those little details that I've been taking for granted.
Thank you.

11:55 PM  
Blogger Taffi said...

Maybe it's because it's 3 a.m., or maybe it's because I've got a feverish toddler on my lap, but I was bawling by the end of this post. That last shot of your little man is just precious. Thanks for sharing your beautiful family.

5:14 AM  
Blogger Elly said...

I'm with Meredith. Not to be judgemental, Chris...but do you want to use'words from Miles' when relaying a tribute to him? I appreciate the humour.....just food for thought here.

6:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

what a great post, loved it.


9:57 AM  
Blogger Heather said...

Lovely post...Does he ever take a bad picture?? What a cutie pie...

10:19 AM  
Blogger Wicked Stepmom said...

Happy Birthday Little Man.
Love the piggy toes.
Love the dimpled hands.
Beautiful boy, beautiful children.
I love reading your blog!

12:07 PM  
Anonymous surcie said...

Wonderful photography!!

12:35 PM  
Blogger Gretchen said...

So sweet. *sigh* it goes so fast.

12:36 PM  
Blogger deputyswife said...

Crap. I WAS sitting here relishing in the quietness of the house. Now I am crying and wanting to hug my little guys!!!

Beautiful post Chris!

3:57 PM  
Anonymous Denise said...

That was sooo sweet! He's a cutie...I like those toes!

7:40 PM  
Anonymous Ficklechick said...

What a sweet post!

10:13 PM  
Blogger Ms. Mamma said...

Heavenly photographs. I actually like seeing your photographs almost as much as I enjoy the photos I take of my bambino. So, so sweet, I am getting a toothache!

10:23 PM  
Blogger Lyn said...

I love the picture of him is his coat and shorts. BEE-U-T-FUL!

Sweet, sweet memories!

12:09 PM  
Blogger thatgirl said...

Yeah, Chris, you really ought to watch your mouth. Next thing you know you and your husband will be amusing each other interpreting the kid's actions by putting words in his mouth, like, oh, I don't know, "F*ck you and the horse you rode in on, ya dumb bitch." Not that we do that or anything. We have STANDARDS. Sheesh.

4:47 PM  
Blogger Shel said...

*Sniff, sniff* what a beautiful post!

11:04 PM  
Blogger Lazy cow said...

Gorgeous post. What beautiful children you have - almost as lovely as mine :-) My 3 yo boy is still chubby and dimpled and I'm dreading the day that disappears. I'm going to photograph his little hands and arms tomorrow.
Your blog is just wonderful, and I'm so sad I've caught up on all the archives.

7:06 AM  
Blogger Eli's Mom said...

GReat Post!! My little one is only 8 months and I am already thinking he is growing up too fast...thanks for reminding me that I still have PLENTY of 'baby' months ahead. I, too, LOOVE the knuckle dimples :)

8:10 AM  
Anonymous Sheryl said...

Those black and white pics are so beautiful. It just make sthe post that much better.

3:34 PM  
Anonymous AdventureDad said...

Late commnet but that's a beautiful post. I feel very much teh same things about our son but I can't put it into words like you.

Thanks for sharing


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