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.

Take That Rosetta

I’m bilingual: French and English. I always spoke French at home, but went to an English school and embraced the English pop-culture.

When we chose to have children my husband and I also made the decision to raise them in a bilingual household. We speak English to each other, but I speak French to the boys and my husband speaks English to them.

The other morning Thomas was enjoying an episode of Cat in the Hat – one of his favourite shows. The Cat was taking Sally and Nick to see a Monarch Butterfly. Exciting stuff! But what drew even more excitement for me was when Thomas said “on va voir des papillions?”

Yes Thomas, you’re going to see butterflies. There is no doubt that even one month before his third birthday my little guy is bilingual.

It started happening about a year ago when the words really started to flow. He would tell his dad something in English and tell me the same thing in French when I walked into the room. It always amazed me how he could switch so easily from one language to another and know when to use each one. All this at such a young age.

I grew up in a French household and was fortunate enough to attend an English school. I was bilingual by the time I entered Grade 1. Thomas, is already ahead of where I was and James will be too. That begs the question… what language will be imposed as a third one, and even fourth?

I know what I like

The other day my mother was over visiting my and the boys. She picks Thomas up from daycare every Monday and often takes about an hour or so to stick around and play with Thomas and now see James.

James was spending time on his activity mat – which he’s actually been enjoying quite a bit lately.

My mom couldn’t resist picking up this little munchkin and give him a snuggle. Moments later James started to howl. My mother was so upset. “What’s wrong?” she asked. “You moved him,” I replied.

You see, James is really starting to entertain himself and doesn’t always need to be in my arms. And that’s great, but sometimes I need to move him to bring him with me to another room – and that doesn’t always bode well with him. He gets quite upset when he’s enjoying himself and we take him away from his entertainment.

The same thing will happen when he’s hanging out in his crib watching his jungle animal mobile. If you let the animals stop dancing you’ll hear about it!

Although it can sometimes be a challenge, I love the fact that he knows what he wants and tells us when we’ve crossed the line. I’m not sure how much I’ll love this when he hits his terrible twos… only time will tell.

The seven-week comparison

I was able to look back on my life with Thomas thanks to this blog. The seven-week marker was much different with Thomas (Sleeping at the wheel).

James is an easy enough baby to put down at night. He doesn’t need to be on the boob for what seems like hours at a time. It’s really a much simpler process: feed, swaddle, put down, sleep. Thomas was quite the opposite.

Where James also differs is that he’s making me wait and work damn hard for that first true smile. Reading the post about Thomas he was all smiles and giggles at this time – but not James. There’s a little cooing and sometimes as he falls asleep a smile sneaks out, but I have yet to trigger one by talking to him or smiling at him. Ahh… it will be a fantastic moment when that happens, and when it does I’m positive he’ll have the same cute little dimples that his big bro has.

I must admit however that he is however being much more cooperative when it comes to being on a mat by himself or enjoying a few minutes of his bouncy chair. Although I still have to carry him around quite a bit during the day, I can sense he’s starting to enjoy a little more independence which is great – because it’s impossible to empty the dishwasher with 9 pounds of baby strapped to you.

Holding back that smile.

James

When my husband and I made the decision to have one child, we essentially made the decision to have two. My hubby grew up as an only child and although he was quite comfortable as such when he was younger he often wonders how different his life would be if he had a sibling.

On December 1, 2013 Thomas welcomed his little brother James. The birth was a quick one – one hour after the doctor broke my water (at 9:32pm) he was born weighing in a 7 pounds 8 ounces. He had been in my belly for 37 weeks and 5 days – one day longer than Thomas and weighed one ounce more. He had a full head of dark hair and needed to feed almost instantly. My stay at the hospital was a good one – although I sent daddy home for most of the time since we had a little Thomas to take care of.

December 2

James – December 2, 2013

March 16

Thomas – March 16, 2011

 

Other than a few similarities, James has been quite  different child than Thomas. For instance, he needs to be constantly in our arms. When he’s not he lasts about 5 minutes in the new position (chair, floor, playpen) and then starts to fuss. This has made restarting my blog almost impossible – that is… until I started babywearing (more on this a little further).

A positive difference is that he’s able to fall asleep on his own after feeds throughout the night. This has made the burden of getting up every 1.5 hours a little less painful. Yup – every 1.5 hours. After exactly 6 weeks I’m starting to get worn down quite significantly.

Since the moment he saw his little brother, Thomas has been in love. He is fascinated by the tiny little ears, nose and toes. It makes things much easier for everything to have such an accepting big brother. I just hope this lasts forever. 

Because I didn’t know any different, I always thought Thomas was the cutest baby that was ever born. Now that James is in our lives, I find myself realizing that it’s possible to have a tie for first place. Lucky he’s cute because come 3am it will be his only defence.

James

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!

5 weeks vacation. Are you kidding me?

Tonight Thomas, his dad and I all went to meet a potential new day care provider. We were eager to meet this woman. She had great credentials and offered a subsidized government regulated spot ($7/day fee). After 10 minutes I had decided this was not the best fit.

The woman is wonderful. I think she would be extremely caring and would do a wonderful job teaching Thomas all there is to know before he heads to school in a few years. But here’s when things went south:

  1. She was very reluctant to agree to a 5:15 pick up as opposed to a 5 p.m. pick up. Sometimes we just can’t make it for 5 and I’d rather be upfront about it.
  2. She takes 4-5 weeks vacation in the summer to head to Europe (where she’s from).

WHAT? 4-5 weeks? Are you crazy?

I don’t care if you give me 3 months notice. How the heck do you want me to work 4-5 weeks vacation in the summer while you’re away? That’s just nuts.

Tomorrow: 3 more home day cares to visit. I have a really good feeling about 2 of them. Both have already willingly agreed to extend their work day by 30 minutes in the event that we need the additional few minutes to get to their place.

I just hope their vacation time is “normal”.