Instigator, The Creator of Trouble

We seem to be getting back into our routine this week.    Tuesday started up our play group again.   We’ve met sporadically throughout the summer either because of vacations, pregnancies, or inclement weather (which affected us because we were meeting at my community pool).

I was terribly excited for Davey to see all of his little buddies; friends he’d made when he was merely 3 months old and could barely move around.   I couldn’t wait to see him play with all of them especially now that he’s on their level and is able to walk around and keep up with them.    What I wasn’t terribly excited about was seeing him become the leader of the pack where trouble was concerned.   *Groan*

When we arrived at our friends Sandy and Landon’s house, Davey got to work walking over to Landon, trying to hug him and pat his head (his new thing these days.   I suppose this stems from us having a dog.)  Then I watched as he found a way to navigate DOWN the one step from the kitchen into the family room.   He walked around the family room, occasionally spewing out his baby gabble, picking up toys, looking at furniture, and just doing his typical inspection of his new surroundings.   Side note:  when Davey starts inspecting he walks around a little bent over (as his posture isn’t 100% yet) with his left hand on his lower back.  It’s quite humorous.

After a quick inspection and a chance to attempt to eat Landon’s crayons and coloring pencils, we settled in for play time, just the 4 of us, that was until Davey’s other buddy Ethan showed up with his new baby brother.   And then shortly after that, his long lost friend Pete made an appearance as well.

So, here we all were, minus a few friends, back together again.   Davey was so happy.  He was finally able to move with the others.   He was finally able to be a part of the action; unfortunately I didn’t know that action meant the encouragement of trouble for all the other boys.

Davey took it upon himself to take crayons and leave the family room.   He climbed the one step from the family room into the kitchen and immediately stepped on the accelerator heading for the hallway and parts unknown (at least to him).   Each time I caught him, I brought him back, told him “no” and he eventually surrendered control of the crayons as I was worried that he would use the walls as his canvas.   Yikes!

With crayons gone, I didn’t feel quite so nervous about Davey roaming the house, but still I wanted to prevent it.   And here’s what I found out about my son.   He’s not a follower; he’s more of a leader.   He’s an instigator, a troublemaker, the type who likes to push the boundaries.   He’s fearless, adventurous, and compelled to get into as much trouble as possible.   I caught him luring a few of his other buddies down the hall on Tuesday.   When I came upon them, two of them turned around and looked at me with an “uh oh” expression on their faces and they immediately stopped.   My son, looked at me, smiled, tried to grab his friend Ethan’s hand and run down the hall!   TROUBLE, TROUBLE, TROUBLE…that’s my son.  Ugh!

As a side note, I at least don’t have to worry about Davey being a follower in life.  I don’t have to worry about him being led around by others.   He’s not having any part of that.   What I have to worry about is the level of trouble he’s willing to get himself and his friends into.   Sigh.   This mama’s going to have her work cut out for her!

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Baby Gabble

What I wouldn’t give to know what he’s saying.   Each day he becomes more and more enunciated and more and more vocal.

Last night, my husband and I sat down to watch television while Davey played.  He has his times in which he will get into his own little world and play with his toys while his daddy and I do something else.  It’s a rarity, especially since he pretty much sits on the floor, minute after minute, entertaining himself without destroying the house.

We kept the television low as Davey sat with a plethora of books strewn out around him.   Our interests were more about our son and what was going through his mind and what he could possibly be trying to say.

Occasionally, Davey would pick up a book, open it wide and hold it up in front of him with a little giggle and a baby gabble that sounded like, “duh, dah, duh.”

He says the mish mash of words so definitively and with such inflection that I can’t help but wonder, is his little brain computing what’s in front of him?   Is he trying to say the words of the objects that he sees?  Does he know what those objects are?   And then the next thought that comes into my mind has me swelling with pride…my boy’s a genius!

After he’s twisted the book around in his hands a few times, he’ll put it back on the ground only to roll over and get on his hands and knees and flip through the pages.   And again, his little gobbledy gook of language spills from his mouth as his points at things on the page.

Last night we tried not to interfere with him and what he was doing.   I’m afraid that if I try to get involved with him at that point then I’ll only distract him and as selfish as it sounds, I just enjoy listening to his baby talk.   I like the way his voice sounds when he tries to talk and make words.    I like the way some words come out more high-pitched than others.   I like how sometimes he’ll grunt after he talks.    I love just listening to him; it’s one of the greatest relaxations and enjoyments for me.

Davey can say “mama” and “dada”, but apparently he’s close to saying “cracker” and he even tries really hard to say Sissy, which is the name we use when referring to our dog, Dixie.   Of course, he can’t exactly enunciate the “s”, so when talking to the dog it comes out more as “diddie” which we could confuse for my husband except that Davey is always walking over towards Dixie or looking right at her when trying to saying her name.

Baby gabble is one of the most treasured little things about a child.   The sound of it can turn a really bad, upside down day into a state of pure bliss.  My husband tells me that sometimes the thought of coming home to hear Davey is what helps him make it through the day.

Diminished Relaxation

The wave of exhaustion is continuously crashing over my body.   Everyone said it would be coming, I just thought it would be sooner rather than later.   Of course, did I really think that if it came early, then it would leave early?  Obviously, if that was my rationale then I’m definitely a novice at this sport called “Mommyhood”.

Davey is 11 months old today.   This morning I find myself sitting back and reflecting not just on his 11 months on this earth, but also the over 9 months when he was in my womb and the new meaning of the word “exhausting”.

My pregnancy started out tiresome and physically draining, not to mention mentally.   It improved and by my second trimester, I no longer felt pregnant, with the exception of a growing belly.   By the final few weeks of my pregnancy, I was back to being fatigued.   I couldn’t sleep.  I couldn’t get comfortable.  I couldn’t move.

When Davey arrived, it was a bit of like walking through a blur the first week since my husband and I were operating on very few hours of sleep.   We were so exhausted that we couldn’t sleep something I never thought possible.

As the months went by, Davey began sleeping through the night, taking naps during the day and allowing my husband and me to get back on a semi-routine.   Actually, we created a new routine.

My days as a stay-at-home mom were filled with new adventures and excitements, but also regular chores like cleaning the house, doing the laundry and dishes, and mowing the lawn.   During those initial days of being at home, life was pretty easy for the most part and I attribute that to the fact that my son was immobile.   And as ashamed as I am to admit it, I really really miss those days!

Davey started taking his first steps at 9 months.   He was crawling around 6 months.   The crawling wasn’t quite so difficult because even at that stage I could place him in his jumperoo or his pack and play.   I could keep him contained.   Now that he’s walking, I’ve had to borrow additional baby gates, put locks on cabinets and pretty much reside myself to the fact that I can no longer accomplish ANYTHING while he’s awake.

My house is disaster central from 7 am until about 9 pm.   I don’t bother trying to clean up after him.  He just pulls it all back out again.   I can’t do anything in the kitchen because he sneaks up behind me and if I’m not careful, I’ve tripped over him.   We have a baby gate at the top of the stairs, so that I can at least let him run around upstairs while I’m taking a shower or cleaning.   I keep baby gates up at the two kitchen entrances so I can keep him quarantined into the family room and kitchen.

These days, he’s climbing on the furniture, climbing on the fireplace, trying to climb into the dog’s crate, pulling the tablecloth on the table.   He’s wearing me out!    I’ve almost decided I don’t need to run anymore to lose weight.   Just chasing after my son will do it.

Last week at the beach, my husband suggested I bring his book down onto the beach.  He would read it while we were sitting there.   I nearly choked as I tried to stifle a laugh.   Did he really think there was going to be relaxation with an 11 month old at the beach?   Surely, he’d lost his mind.   He quickly found out that bringing the book was a futile effort.   For 2 hours, our son walked all over the beach, into the water and back again, ran, tripped, face planted into the sand, threw sand, splashed water, met new people, and pretty much refused anything that was related to “relaxing”.    Relax is not a part of Davey’s vernacular.   And what a shame that is.

But in the 11 months that Davey has been on this earth, if diminished relaxation is the side effect to being a parent, then it’s the best side-effect this mama’s ever had.

Beach Trip

I stood out on the balcony, much like I do every summer when I arrive at my parent’s beach condo.   I like to people watch, get a feel of what to expect for the week, and I like to reminisce.

My parents bought this condo when I was in the 11th grade, so over 20 years ago.  We’ve spent many a summer there as family, when my brother was alive, and more recently, my husband and I have spent our summers there as my parents no longer seem to enjoy the crowds and the heat of late July in Myrtle Beach, SC.

This past week was the first week we took Davey with us.   It was his first experience with sand, the ocean, and what I thought would be unbearable heat (as it usually is).    As I watched my son play, I started to think back to all of the summers I’ve spent not just at the condo but in Myrtle Beach.

My husband and I were truly unaware of what to expect on our first beach excursion.   We came prepared…tent, chairs, Davey’s chair, cooler, toys, towels, sunscreen, and camera.    Of course, it was a bit of a comedy show watching us attempt to put the tent up while also chasing after an overly adventurous 10 month old.

I watched as my son became enchanted with the sand, the little grayish crystals that seemed to siphon right through his fingers.    It was the amazement upon his face that really took my breath away, but also melted my heart as I experienced yet again another moment of true bliss and happiness just watching my son.

When we took him down to the water, he showed no fear, no need to cling to my legs or to his daddy’s.   We kept him at the edge at first, letting the little waves of water gently lap at his feet.    As the water raced back into the ocean, he moved closer, almost chasing after it with his hands outstretched and wonderment on his face.    It was like he was saying, “Come back!”

We took him out a little bit further into the ocean, this time letting the water rise up to his knees.   Davey let out a squeal, an excitement and happiness, as he leaned over and started splashing the water.   He was in love, truly in love.   He sat down at the edge and let the water engulf him to his torso.   He kicked and splashed, giggled and squealed.

He spent hours in the sand, raking his fingers through the disheveled layers.    He tore down sand castles as quickly as his daddy and I built them.   And he explored the beach, making new friends, and picking up seashells along the way.

I’ve spent a lot of my lifetime in Myrtle Beach and I’ve always loved every minute of it, but taking my son for the first time and experiencing it with him helped me to see not just our vacation and the condo and the beach in a whole new light.   It helped to see my life in a whole new light and I am truly blessed.   I am truly happy and I am truly loved.

As my husband carried Davey down to the car on our last morning, I stood back on that balcony and reminisced yet again.   This time I saw my son from afar playing on the beach and for a moment just a brief moment I saw my brother standing alongside him.

Vaccines

I read an article the other day in Time Magazine.   It spoke about the fact that children in some Middle Eastern countries are no longer getting vaccinated against the polio vaccine.   The reasoning behind this is because these countries feel that the US and other western countries are using the vaccinations as a way to spy on the country.  More specifically, Time Magazine spoke about this with the Taliban in Pakistan.   Of course, these countries have reasons to be skeptical and feel this way.   After all, it was found out that before Osama Bin Laden’s capture and death, the CIA conducted hepatitis vaccinations to obtain DNA samples that could help locate Bin Laden and his family.  

This is the extreme for not getting a child vaccinated, but even civilized, Western states such as the United States have parents who REFUSE to have their child vaccinated.   The reasons can range from religious reasons to just choosing to opt out because technically the vaccines are a version of the disease we’re looking to expunge.   Many parents just don’t feel the need to subject their children to a disease in order to prevent it when it’s possible they may NEVER contract the disease anyway.  

I’ve tossed this around since the birth of my child.   I’ve followed the schedule of vaccines, making sure that Davey has had all of his shots.   Granted, it’s been the most difficult time of my life, watching him in pain and squirm while we pin him down to poke him.    It’s almost torture for me and him, but in the end I firmly believe I am doing the responsible thing as his mother.   I am doing the best thing for my child.  

Initially, I’ve been quick to bash other parents who chose the option to not have their child vaccinated.   For starters, when they go into public school systems (or in public in general) they risk contaminating the population should they contract the disease.   There isn’t just a sense of responsibility with their child, but also the welfare of an entire population.  

Where religion is concerned, we can exactly force parents to vaccinate their children, especially not in this country where freedom of religion, speech, and the separation of church and state are held so highly.  

I’m curious, though, what are the thoughts of all my readers?   Did you vaccinate your children?   If so, why and if not, why not?

You’re Going to be in Pictures, Baby

For weeks, well maybe months, I’ve toyed around with the idea of buying a new camera.   Since Davey’s birth, my husband and I have used our trusty iPhone’s or our old point and shoot in order to preserve Davey’s events.   It’s been boring and while the photos are easier to share when on our iPhone (text and post to Facebook quickly), they’re not really of the caliber I want especially for my child.

Last month, I decided that I wanted a new camera.   I wanted one that would show all of the little intricacies of my child’s moments.   A camera that would not only enhance the days of excitement, anguish, happiness, and hurt, but also allow us to feel like we were being transported back to the actual time the picture was taken.  I wanted us to be able to look back on these pictures and feel the same emotions we felt at the time the pictures were taken.  

Since buying this camera, I haven’t left the house without it.   I’ve taken it to the grocery store, to the flea market, to the gas station, on airplane rides, everywhere you can possibly imagine.   I have no desire to miss a single moment of my son’s daily growth.   The only problem is that I think Davey could care less if his days are documented.

What was to be a hobby has now become an intrusion in my son’s personal life, or so that’s how I feel he’s seeing it.   Ask me if I’m concerned about his feelings in this regard, especially at 10 months of age.   The answer would be a resounding “no”.   It’s my duty as his mother to be as obnoxious as I can be when it comes to taking his picture.    And I’m even more shameless when it comes to sharing those pictures.   Raise your hand please if you’ve become annoyed with my excessive need to share his photos.  

The past couple of days, I’ve taken a break from forcing my son to endure a camera lens in his face.    I’ve been putting my time to use by researching poses and new adventures.   I almost feel a bit devious, like I’m the mustachioed man drumming his fingers together while concocting an evil scheme.   Oh well.   It comes with the territory…being a mother.  

And I said to Davey the day I bought the camera and I’ll say it again…You’re going to be in pictures, Baby!  Muhahaha!