This is a shout out to all my friends who are parents of an only child. Well, really what I mean is an "only baby".
Having three kids under age five is challenging for sure, but on days when Waylon is awake while Georgia and June nap, I am suddenly transported back in time and reminded of what it's like to try to entertain a baby all by my lonesome. It's tricky, mostly because it quickly gets a little bit boring.
Certainly I relish the alone time with him. I nibble his delicious toes and feel good about finally sitting down to read him a few board books. (Oh my God, is he ever down in the count for books compared to his sisters. At 8 months old, I'd say he's down about 1,000 in the tally. He seems not to care, but sometimes I can't help but wonder if he will ever speak or know that a duck says "quack" or that blue is blue. Mother guilt, I tell you.) We stand at the window while I narrate the trees, the cars, the birds. I hit all his tickle spots until he's gasping between fits of laughter, and then maybe snap a few photographs. I rub the soft skin of his belly and cherish it, trying to freeze the feeling in my memory forever. To be sure, it is fantastic.
The problem is, all of that takes up only about 15 minutes. I've still got hours to fill. All too soon shaking toys in his face is boring for both him and me, and I'm staring at this non-verbal (albeit adorable) little guy wishing we could go for a walk. Or that Georgia were around to jump up and down and make him giggle. Or that June would press the button on the annoying chicken dance toy just one more time, since it seems to mesmerize them even more than it irritates me. Fighting the urge to prop him on my hip while I check Facebook again, because, well, talk about guilt inducing. I didn't even know what Facebook was when Georgia was born and definitely wasn't staring at a smartphone screen while I nursed her. I know when I look back on these days I will only miss my baby; I will never regret not having checked the Internet more often. And yet...when you're in the middle of it...well, it's only human to occasionally wish you could read a short news article rather than play pat-a-cake one more time.
Babies are beautiful but hard. Don't look at me and think, "How does she do it with three?" because sometimes what you're doing with one is just as difficult. I felt like writing to let you know that it gets funner. Way, way funner. Yes funner, not more fun. So take lots of pictures and soak up that baby while you can; Lord knows I'm already becoming preemptively nostalgic for Waylon's babyhood even while it is in progress! But look forward, too, because it's going to be amazing.
[and this is where I will insert a picture or two later whenever I get the chance.] : )
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