One Year Old

Job does not like his birthday crown (what one year old does?) nor does he like pumpkin pie.  Of course I baked fresh pumpkins and borrowed a secret family recipe from a friend.  He’s a November baby!  I also spent a ridiculous amount of time creating that crown, knowing full well that Job would cast it off his head as quickly as he could.  Actually, I wanted to do a bunch of decorating too, but there just wasn’t time.  It was all I could do to make our house “company ready.”  Jonny questioned why I was wanting everything to be so perfect.  Well, Job might be our last baby (though you never know.)  This may have been our last time celebrating the first birthday of one of our children.  I built it up a little too much in my head.  But thank goodness for reality.  Birthdays are a celebration of life.  And that is what we did.

What I really wanted most, more than a clean house and pretty decorations, was to celebrate Job’s birthday with our family and his godparents.  His godmother is my friend, and the midwife who attended his birth.  His birth was such a traumatic experience for both of us, and to celebrate his first year together, I think we needed that.  And that is the part of the day that Job enjoyed most, being the center of attention, though at times he almost didn’t know what to think.  The look on his face as we all sang, “Happy Birthday” was kind of hilarious.  He almost looked alarmed!  “Why are you all staring at me and singing?  Aaaah!”  But mostly he had such a great time, even though we partied past his bedtime.

I came across some copies the boys must have made of Job’s hands and feet.  Despite the fact that my kids have made numerous copies of their hands over the years, there is something special about these.  I guess it’s remembering the intensity of those early days with Job.  Jonny and I were a little shocked, and we never got around to making tiny newborn prints of his hands and feet like we have with all of our other babies.  For Job, I will tuck these copies in his file.  His hands and feet at age 1.  Still small and precious.  Always a miracle.

p.s.  Do you want to know about the gifts?  I got rid of most of our toys a few years ago and have hardly anything for older babies/toddlers, and I am so picky now about what we buy.  At first I was only going to make a sweater, ball, and quilt.  Well, the sweater and ball were finished, but not the quilt!  I’ll work on it soon.  I did end up buying a few gifts, and his godparents, Parveen and Andy, bought Job a couple of wonderful things as well!  Job really enjoys music so I bought him wooden shaker eggs and a little xylophone.  Both were a hit.  I also bought a “forest friends” wooden book and he likes it, but really I bought that kind of for myself.  I wouldn’t have been upset if he didn’t give it a second glance.  It’s so pretty! From Parveen and Andy, Job received this crazy adorable hedgehog wheely toy.  I have never seen anything like it and Job LOVES it!  He also loves the pop-up toy they gave him.  He had such a fun time playing with his toys and being doted upon by those who love him!
Oh–and the crown. I like the simple pattern in The Creative Family and always (mostly) follow it for birthday crowns.

My Recipe for Three

preschool art

At preschool each week, I am struck over and over again by the absolute hilarity of the three and four year old set.  I could sit and listen to them talk for hours.  I find them amusing, adorable, and clever.  At home, my own almost 3 1/2 year old on the other hand, well, he bounces off the walls, talks fast and loud, and generally wears me out.  Yes, he’s hilarious and lots of fun but he is exhausting!  In fact, let me dig through my email quickly and find a couple of recent funny things he has said recently.  Sometimes I email them to my friend Eve who is amused by Silas’ antics, sometimes I just email myself!

-Yesterday after co op, I laid Silas in the (empty) church parking lot next to my van to quickly change his diaper.  He pointed to a nearby cigarette butt and said, “That was mine.  I used to smoke, but I quit.” 

-He just fell down and hit his head.  I picked him up and held him for a few minutes.  When he finished crying he told me, “That bonk on the head made me good now.”  As in good boy vs. bad boy.  I don’t buy it.

-I made rice pudding tonight, and Jonny asked, “Silas, “Isn’t mommy the best?”  He answered, “No.”  I asked him,  “Silas, who’s the best?” He deadpanned, “I am.  I poop the potty.”

Anyway, child number six, he demands attention, and he gets it.  I try to work things so that the good attention outweighs the bad.  It isn’t always easy.  Sometimes I have to make little sacrifices.  Such as…

Yesterday I had plans for an afternoon grocery shopping trip alone (the luxury!) Last minute, I decided to tack on a couple of fun stops and make the trip a date for Silas and me.  He’s been especially wild and crazy this week (this year), and I knew the one-on-one attention would do him good.  And really, when it’s just the two of us he’s a pretty fun date as long as I keep the outing under two hours or so.  Of course I didn’t, we were out for closer to four hours, and by the end he was throwing groceries out of the cart while I tried to remain positive.

Three is hard, but it’s good hard.  I just can’t let myself slip into a pattern of managing bad behavior.  It’s important to remember that even at three, Silas is an individual and if he’s a little wild and crazy, well then, I best find my way to help him get occupied in a positive way, rather than say yes to Starfall one more time….

Lots of outdoor play, stories, art, and the occasional date afternoon.  That’s my recipe for a happy three.