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This is the baby.

I totally get that “last baby” cliche. With the twins, I couldn’t wait for their next milestones. I was impatient for them to move to the next stage, partially because the stage they had been in, being 2 of them, was so hard and I always hoped the next stage would be easier! (Still waiting for that…) But because they were my “first”, I was excited to witness each new trick they could do. In fact, it’s still that way with them. I can’t wait until they go to preschool, because I’m excited to see them in a school setting. I can’t wait until they turn 4, because the 3’s were….tough.

The baby is a whole different story.

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I find myself “babying” the baby (though there’s really no such thing!). At 9 months, I was working hard to teach the twins sign language. I was just beginning to find them sensory activities to do.  I took them to playgroup and the library. All of these things are much harder to do with the baby this time around, because I have other children and because I work a full-time job. But even with those factors aside – I just want to hold him. And so I do.

I carry the baby around everywhere. He enjoys his floor time, actually. He likes to sit, he likes to lay on his back, and he loves to roll. But he also likes being held. Two babies at once were hard to hold when they needed to snuggle! I only had two arms and they were big babies! But one baby, the last baby, I can hold him all day long.

And this stage, the “sitting” stage, is probably my favorite. Such a great age to take pictures of! He smiles for me, he poses, he sits still. He laughs at everything. Give him a mirror and a crunchy bag to hold and he’s all legs a’flailing, squealing and grinning. He loves food. He loves milk, and nursing. I love nursing, too. I always wanted to nurse my babies, and being that it didn’t happen with the twins, I was determined to make it work this time around. And yeah, it’s awesome. He’s the thinnest and tallest of my kids at this point. While the twins were super chunks, with B being in the 90th percentile for weight for a very long time but only 60th for height – Baby I is the opposite. 90th percentile for height, even being 5 weeks early, and only 30th for weight! He’s a string bean, in 12 month clothes because at 9 months, he’s just too tall.

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He doesn’t sleep as well as his siblings did. They were always really good sleepers, from 5 months-on. They slept 7-7, if I recall. This baby struggles a bit more, which I imagine may have something to do with nursing. I don’t feed him all night long, but it’s still his preferred comfort, even though he has pacifiers and a lovey. I’m hoping that when he eventually weans, he’ll move on to his lovey.

He LOVES his siblings. They get in his face and they coo at him, they hold his hands, they bring him toys. They jump around the house and he screams with glee. The feeling is mutual. Both twins are so very good with him. They think he’s adorable, they laugh when he laughs. They’re excited for each of his new milestones – when he got his first tooth, when he started solids, etc. There has never been one ounce of jealousy with the twins, and I think that’s because 1) they always had to compete for attention anyway, and 2) they are still much higher-need kids at their age than the baby, so they are still getting a lot of our time!

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Not that Baby I doesn’t have preferences and opinions. He gets very frustrated when his solids are gone and when he can’t have a toy that he wants. He wants everything the twins have and they don’t want to share any of it. Many of their toys aren’t for babies, anyway. Oooh, he gets so mad!

I’ve been anxious to get him to crawl. He’s already so much more of a mover than either twin was – he rolls all around the house, while at this age the twins just sat. Knowing now how bad it was that B never crawled (and I don’t recall coaxing him to do it either) and even C not crawling until 12 or 13 months – I want to make sure I do what I can to encourage movement. He’s not there yet, but hopefully soon.

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I’ve had to put myself on the back burner, more than I ever have before. But I’m not complaining. Waking a few times a night, I’m not going to get up at 5:00am and exercise. It’s not happening. Going home and meeting the needs of 3 kids, from dinner to bath to pjs to bed..my husband and I eat late at night, sometimes standing, sometimes not the healthiest foods. I don’t drink nearly enough water, as hours pass at home so quickly. The house stays pretty messy. It’s hectic. It’s busy. What did I just see on Facebook today? Something about the “mom uniform” – messy hair, tired eyes, mom pants – that’s totally, completely me. Sometimes unshowered, because I chose 15 minutes of more sleep over hygiene. Sometimes wearing the same comfy weekend clothes both weekend days. I’m not proud of it, but meh.  Priorities change, and it’s temporary. Someday I’ll actually lose the extra 25 pounds I’m carrying around, because I’ll eat at regular times, and I won’t be starving because I won’t be nursing, and I’ll sleep well at night and wake up early to exercise. Oh, and I’ll clean my house. But that day is not today. And as the saying goes – tomorrow isn’t looking good either.

It’s all worth it, because this is my last baby. Time needs to be spent holding him and loving up on him, because soon he’ll be a boney three year old bounding around the house, and I’ll have to steal snuggles.

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He has been such a perfect baby from Day 1, and I hope it stays that way. I’m not taking a moment of it for granted.

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