The day the tooth came in

A few weeks earlier than his big bro, today at lunch is the first time I felt a little chunk of tooth in that beautifully swelled gum.

James has been suffering for about two weeks now and I knew they were coming, but as I learned with Thomas: this isn’t a one day in next day out kinda thing. Teething has also resulted in excessive irritability and my twice-a-night waker is now waking several more times. The nights have been brutal and we’re actually worried we’re creating bad habits for James by going in all the time.

Thomas learned well and early on to sooth himself. But James is a completely other story right now. He went from falling asleep on his own for naps to needing extra snuggles. Not sure if it’s the teeth or just because he loves me so much. Hmm…. that’s a hard one to figure out! Probably a bit of both.

And so the snuggles will continue until he’s doing a little better with his sleep.

As for the getting around… he’s doing amazing on his tummy. Pushes himself backwards and works so hard to get a toy that’s out of reach. Problem is, he still hasn’t figured out how to get from his tummy to his back. Argh! It’s the most frustrating thing since I constantly have to go to him and help him out. If not, he stays on his tummy and cries until snot starts coming out of his nose and his eyes get all puffy. I know this because I’ve tried to ‘let him figure it out’. It’s just not working.

He’s the cutest little guy and he’s definitely Thomas’s new best friend. Giggling at his brother’s silliness has sealed the deal.

James, June 20

What’s for lunch?

Oh, and he loves his toes.

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The sweet sound… of silence?

As each day starts I look forward to the potential new development from Mr. James. Will I hear a giggle today? Will be grasp something in his hand? Will he start walking? Ok.. that last one is still a long time coming, but when Thomas was little I was always looking forward to that next big step.

I’m taking things much slower with James. Considering he is most likely going to be my last baby, I’m appreciating things a lot more this time around. The fact that he doesn’t latch on to my leg when I try to step away from him for a minute, or that I tell him what he’s having for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks and I’m not told it’s yucky, blah, or that he doesn’t like it.

When Thomas started talking I wanted the speed of his learning curve to reach 100 words a day. I wanted my little guy to start communicating with me, verbally, immediately and perfectly so that I understood everything he would say. As he nears his third birthday (in less than one month), there are moments when I wish he had as many words as James: none.

I find myself constantly being verbally harassed for milk, snacks, to look at his pee, poop, snot. It just never ends.

Car rides are sometimes unbearable. Mommy… where’s the police car? Where’s the fire truck? Where’s the tractor? I want to see another! I want a snack. Mommy, mommy, mommy, I want a snack. Mommy whose house is that? Mommy, where’s the police car? Where’s the fire truck…. you get the point.

There are times when I want to bury my head in the sand and ignore everything around me. Just for a moment enjoy pure silence.

Thomas has recently started using his words a lot more when he’s upset instead of just yelling. Here is a list of his favourite sentences:
1. Don’t touch me
2. I don’t like that
3. That’s not nice
4. That’s not ok
5. Mommy… Daddy did (insert anything my husband has done here)

I’m happy he’s asserting himself more, but my goodness… can you please just be quiet for one minute? Just one little minute. I’m not asking for much, just a bit of time to rest my brain.

But at the end of the day once we’ve read our bedtime stories, brushed teeth and went potty, the one sentence I cannot get enough of is “je t’aime maman”. That’s my cherry on top. A really good cherry.

The difference one week makes

Shortly after writing my last post, I was surprised by a few exciting new ‘firsts’ with James…

1. The first smile is always one that comes unexpectedly and is the most appreciated and loved of all.
2. James decided he now sleeps between 3.5 and 4 hours when he’s first put down to bed in the evening – giving daddy and I some well-deserved time to ourselves.

The first smile.

The first smile.

But while things seem to be getting easier at times, there are also moments when I wonder what I was thinking having a second child, then I wonder about the sanity of the first, and then I want to few moments to myself. Those few moments are usually spent standing in the shower under hot, hot water. It’s the only place in the house that I’m able to block everything out and take those few selfish moments for myself.

The other night all three of my boys were in the living room and I decided it was time to take a boys-only photo. Thomas was in a great mood as was James. Within moments… James started to cry and Thomas became uncooperative. This is the result.

A moment in my life.

A moment in my life.

Even though I sometimes want to escape everything… this photo cracks me up and reminds me to have a good solid laugh when things get a little too nuts for my liking.

A new chapter

After visiting many daycares – some of which I didn’t even want to spend more than 1 minute in, we had given up. My daycare provider suggested I give a larger centre a call. It has a great program and a good reputation among the daycare community. So I dialed the number and was told there was no immediate spot for Thomas – however there was a possibility that one would open up in November when a child could potentially move from the little kid room to the big kid room.

And so I was hopeful. We crossed our fingers (and toes) and waited for the good news. That good news came via phone call on Monday. Thomas had a spot as of November 1. Not a lot of prep time, but it was an opportunity we couldn’t refuse.

So tomorrow is a brand new chapter in our parenting lives. It’s a day when Thomas moves from a daycare of 3 little munchkins to one of 80. OMG. That’s quite the change. I’m sure he’ll adapt very well and it will be tremendously positive for him. Needless to say tonight I feel like I’m heading back to school tomorrow. His bag is packed. The checklist of what to bring has been checked. And soon he’ll have brand new friends… and a runny nose!

My hope is that once in a while I still get to see ‘A’ and Thomas still gets to play with his little buddy. Who knows, maybe they’ll be besties for life!

Walker 1 – Thomas 0

It was bound to happen. He’s a boy and he loves being silly and running around. But really? At 18 months the last thing I wanted was for my son to sport a Chris Neil look. Sure the NHL is in a lockout and people miss seeing the Ottawa Senators’ tough guy, but there’s no need to run into toys at such a high speed that you not only scrape your chin, but you chip your front tooth and pop out another!

This was the case at 3:50pm yesterday just as daycare was winding down. Thomas was having so much fun with his little buddy Carter that he apparently didn’t see a walker-type toy when he turned around and smacked right into it.

Not usually a big deal, but I guess the angle at which he collided was just the worst. A chipped tooth is all that was noticeable at first. OK, I can live with that as it wasn’t too serious. But upon further inspection last night, I realized another tooth was in pretty bad shape. This morning, that tooth was gone. Hmm…

Needless to say when I realized just how badly he must have hurt yesterday I burst into tears. This is my little guy. My first-born child who was so perfect despite the bruises and scrapes and badly cut hair. Losing a tooth? Come on!

I know another one will grow to take its place, but in FIVE years. Can Christmas photos really wait that long? Tomorrow we’re heading to the dentist to see just what sort of damage took place – if any (other than the chip and loss of the pearly white).

One day we’ll look back on this day and laugh. One day Thomas will use this story to impress the ladies. And one day my daycare provider will stop beating herself up for this, because it really wasn’t her fault.

Oh, and in case you’re wondering, Thomas is still the cutest little boy there ever was.

What were we thinking?

There comes a time in every parent’s life when he or she realizes their child is too old for the toy aisle. That day has come.

It was a beautiful day. Thomas, his daddy and I were shopping around for a present we would offer a three-year-old girl. Not a big deal to bring Thomas to the store right? Wrong. Dead wrong. Not only did he loose it, but everyone in the store knew it. What gave it away? The snot coming out of his nose (I didn’t have any tissues) and his face was looking bloodshot (not his finest look).

A fine parent moment indeed.

Of course there was another parent in this aisle who was reasoning with his daughter as to why he did not want to buy her any more toys. Humph… at least he could try to reason, but why the heck would he bring a child to this section if he wasn’t planning on getting anything for her?

Thomas was having none of it. He was trying to grasp everything in sight. Screaming “maman”! and obviously not understanding why he couldn’t have the toys on the shelf.

In the end, we left the store with a toy for my friend’s daughter and three new cars for Thomas. This was a battle I wasn’t going to win.. so I gave up.

What have we learned from this?

  1. We can no longer enter the toy section with Thomas.
  2. Even though my child was clearly having the worst tantrum, I have no shame admitting I  judged the other parent for trying to reason with their child.
  3. I have just rewarded my child’s bad behaviour with a gift and in doing so have turned into one of those parents.
  4. I take no shame in being one of those parents.

If you’re wondering, the little girl loved the present so much that she too lost it when her mom tried to take it out of her hands. It was still in the box.

Memories to last a lifetime

Can it really be three months since my last post? I knew it had been quite some time, but seriously. Three months?

I don’t have to tell you that Thomas is bigger, smarter and cuter (the last one should have been obvious). It’s a busy life being a mom. I find myself not having much motivation to do all the “really should get around to it” stuff. Blogging has unfortunately also become part of that list. It’s not for lack of ideas, since I often find myself thinking “that’s something I should blog about”, and then something else happens and my motivation evaporates.

But enough about me. Let’s talk Thomas.

He’s a great kid. A super kid. So wonderful that I no longer have a look of disgust when someone asks me if I’ll have another. Although it was always the plan to have two, when he was first born, I used to want to physically assault anyone who asked me about the possibility of an expanding family.

I was hanging out with my mother today and showing her how silly Thomas gets when I tickle his belly with my toes. He goes nuts. She proceeded to tell me “you have to try to remember all those little things.” That’s when I knew I had to start blogging again. I have to remember all the moments that make me smile and make me appreciate life in its new form as a mother. The moments when your heart is going to burst because you’re so proud of your child. For the simple things like splashing in the bathtub, to the more complexe ones like the first time they’re able to pick a piece of food off their plate with a ‘big person’ fork. It’s all these moments of evolution that will soon be forgotten because bigger and more meaningful things (or so we think), start shoving the 17-month-old celebrations aside.

I can’t even begin to imagine just how proud a parent must feel as their child participates in the London 2012 Olympic Games. I cry when the winner is announced. I cry tears of joy alongside the parent whose child has just won – and I don’t even know them. I cry because since the birth of Thomas, my heart gets overwhelmed with emotions I can’t always control. Heck, I even cry when I see the P&G commercial about moms. Ok… I don’t cry ALL the time – just most times.

It’s amazing how being a mother can change a person. I should actually say how becoming a parent changes you – because dad’s are pretty important people too.

I know I will always be proud of my son. When he learns to ride his bike, or wins a medal at a track meet, and even when he heads to school for the first time (yes… I’ll cry then too). It’s just part of the evolution of parenthood i guess.

It’s been way too long since I’ve sat down at my computer and wrote down my memories of Thomas. I must get back to it – so that one day when I’m hanging out with my grandchildren I can remind my son of all the cute little things he would do… and tell him to remember them, because without memories we have nothing.

Thomas watching the London 2012 Olympic Games in his new favourite place: the laundry basket.