My Pumpkin only has eyes for one person. Peanut.
Blank space. Missing pieces to a puzzle. Black holes. Dead air. Awkward silences.
After February, aka: the month spent indoors incubating more germs than you can shake an antibacterial wipe at, we’ve been jonesing for some out of the house activity. With warm temperatures FINALLY making an appearance in Atlanta, I decided it was a perfect time to dust off that Zoo membership and let my wild thing breathe in some fresh air. Add in a friend to come with and it meant more energy burned for peanut and adult conversation for mama.
Today is Pumpkin’s four month birthday. And yes, the time has flown by. Actually, the first two months felt good and steady. No time a-flyin’ there. Then I blinked and two more months passed and I feel those cliched words escaping my lips: where did the time go?
Despite the quickening clock, these last four months have been quite a revelation. I’ve had to adjust to the idea that not everyone’s needs are going to be met 100 percent – or even 60, 50 and sometimes 30 percent – of the time. I have learned to accept help. I have witnessed my three year old go from excited about the baby to not so sure of this whole thing to a helpful big brother who relishes in the attention Pumpkin gives him. And I quickly learned about priorities, taking time each day to revel in the love and the giggles.
And then there is this little chunky-monkey who has stolen my heart and claimed his rightful place in our family. He’s a total talker, squealing and chattering away. His newest trick is blowing raspberries and boy, oh boy, does he do a lot of that. It’s even cute at three in the morning, if not the most appropriate time for bubble blowing. He’s abandoned the pacifier, found his fingers and we recently moved him out of the bassinet in our room and into the crib in his and Peanut’s room. He would rather be sitting up or standing than cradled. If you move his arms, you will get some serious smiles and giggles. And ticklish? Incredibly so.
I’m amazed, yet again, at how quickly these little blobs of baby goodness turn into people with personalities. Luckily, this kid fits right in.
Thankfully, February is a short month.
Peanut came home with “the bug” on January 31st. I only know this because it was the Monday before his and the hubby’s shuttle attempt three trip. It started as the sniffles. Then the cough. Then Thursday, he had his first full-blown double ear infection. I’ve never seen this kid look so sad. Broke my heart.
Friday, I started with the sniffles. By Monday, full-blown sinus infection. Tuesday, antibiotic #1. Then antibiotic #2. I spent two weeks sick, sick, sick. Really, really sick. Wanting to spend two weeks with the covers over my head sick. Three boxes of tissues in five days sick.
Not my proudest parenting month. And I think it nearly broke me. Now that I’m physically strong again, finally, I’m working on that mental recovery.
It’s difficult when you are your toughest critic. I tend to point the finger at my self first and often. Even though I was sick, I still felt guilty for popping in yet another video for Peanut just to catch a 10 minute cat nap on the sofa while Pumpkin nursed. And now, Pumpkin’s going through a period of lots of night waking. The little baby that spent his first two months sleeping through the night, is now suddenly up three or more times a night and not always for obvious reasons. Do I assume it’s a growth spurt? Teeth? A phase? Nope. I assume that I must be doing something wrong. Must be my fault. The truth of the matter, I know, is somewhere in the middle.
After this month, though, it’s hard to see that.
So, as we trudge into March, I say so long February. So long to the germs, so long to the “not now” parenting that filled our days as I just tried to get to bedtime, so long to the chaos that resulted.
And although it will be harder to say so long to the critical thinking and finger pointing (you know old dogs, new tricks and all that), I’ll try. My boys deserve at least that much. And frankly, so do I.