Groter Groeien is the title of a Cd by Elly & Rikkert that the amazing Viola deBijl-Parent send us for Joseph's birthday. This week, I was reminded how big my boys are getting.
Joseph managed to do a shirt button all by himself today. He likes to wear button shirts. I may have had something to do with that. I call them his 'handsome button shirts'. I can't help myself. I don't have a girl, so button shirts are my Sartorial outlet! And he DOES look so handsome in them. I hereby promise myself to let him develop his own style once he is a teenager. (hopefully by that time I have him so indoctrinated that he will chose button shirts by himself. ahum.).
And earlier this week I had a first real 'question and understandbale answer' with Michael. I asked him if he wanted to go inside. He looked at me and made some sounds. I asked him inside, or outside? To which he very self assuredly replied to me "ousside!" YAY! Communication! Verbal communication! Of course he already had been using several words. " Mama" only came a month ago, well behind the names of several Thomas the tank engine trains! And then there is "juuss" (juice) and "Soy" (Soy milk) of which he can make it perfectly clear that he prefers those in his cup to water. You should see the temper tantrums he can throw when I put water in his cup. (I still do. Tantrums do not solve anything. If you do not want to drink water, you are not thirsty.)
I love seeing them develop. I love seeing them add more skills. I love getting my brain back. And, can I say, once more, how much I LOVE to see my boys getting older and bigger. I know I will miss year three.. and four one day. Yes, it is exhausting, but it is so sweet too.
I doubt I will EVER miss that first year, or in Michael's case that first year and a half, no matter what anyone says. That is one thing I have learned from having a second baby. When I had Joseph, a lot of people said, when I complained about the fact that he just did not sleep, that this was normal. This was just what babies did. And they implied that I was just exagerating what every other parent went through as well. I looked at blogs of people who had a baby of the same age and they got things done. They did stuff with their family. And they did not sound like a raving lunatic. What was wrong with me? Why could they get it together and I not?
Having had Michael, I realized that he slept like a normal baby: good nights, bad nights, but after a few months, he did not wake up every 90 minutes during the night. Michael slept like a normal baby. Joseph didn't. But Michael had colick. Screaming for hours for the first 4 months. Then he had digestive troubles. Screaming for hours for another 2 months. Then he started cutting teeth. And having a really, really hard time with every tooth. Screaming for hours. I hung on by the skin of my teeth.
And now... we are past that. Sure, there are teeth still to come, but we are on to molars and we have long breaks between the screaming days. Sure having an 18 months who is starting to learn he can not get everything he wants is not always easy, but we are back to 'normal' whatever that may mean.
Apparently that first year in our family is just about survival. I've had two very high needs babies, and I do not need to compare myself with people who have a much more easy going child. In fact, I do not need to compare myself with anyone. We did survive. Sure, it wasn't always joyously (I defy anyone to be joyous after three hours of screaming) But now we are just a normal family with two busy boys finding their way. One of them who can almost completely dress himself. Button shirts and all!