The first year of a baby's life can feel like a series of unpleasant hurdles. We wait impatiently for baby to hold his head steady, to sleep through the night, to suffer through those first teeth cutting. This second time around, though, I find myself more relaxed about the whole journey. I look in wonder upon my walking, talking, toilet-training toddler, and he serves as a constant reminder of how all of this goes by in a blink. I'm more intent on savoring each fleeting stage with my baby. (I'm also in the very luxurious position of not having to care for both kids at once, and not having to think about going to work quite yet.)
I look in wonder upon my walking, talking, toilet-training toddler, and he serves as a constant reminder of how all of this goes by in a blink.
As Auguste approaches 3 months, I'm reminded how much I loved this stage the first time around, and how crappy it is that so many moms are called back to work just when things are getting a little easier. We are nowhere near sleeping through the night, and car rides are still a disaster (my oldest didn't stop car crying till he was front-facing), but we have a healthy, happy baby whose body feels more secure in my arms, and who is a delight to observe as he awakens to the world around. He loves watching people, making eye contact and cooing, and being sung to, and this week gurgled out his first baby laughs. Each of these behaviors is no less magical for being standard developmental milestones exhibited by all healthy babies. If anything, being with a baby is a reminder of how pure all beginnings are, and how we must work harder to preserve the sweetness inherent in every fledgling human life.
The holidays called home several far-flung childhood besties, one of whom is pregnant and several of whom are trying to conceive, but none who have actual children to take care of. The duties of motherhood kept me from fully partaking in reunion shenanigans, resulting in serious FOMO as I viewed their Instagram stories of midnight drag shows and 2 a.m. diner binges. I got some satisfaction in knowing that a year or so from now, most of us would be in the same boat, and more inclined to collectively splurge on a babysitter rather than bottle service.
Having my toddler home for 2 weeks was a CHALLENGE, and I bow down to any parent raising more than 1 kid at home on a regular basis!! I did everything in my power to prevent Marcel from catching the winter bug making the rounds, and gleefully sent him off to preschool this past Monday with gift cards for his teachers, blessed angels from on high.
Here are a few things I've been loving lately.
Isn't it crazy that kids these days have photo documentation of virtually every day of their existence?? I try to be conscious about not spamming my social media feeds with too many kid pics. But there is a small handful of people in my network -- okay fine, just my in-laws -- who can stomach an almost-daily photographic progress report of my darling offspring. Lifecake is an app that's basically a photo/video stream of your kid for a select group of viewers. This helps my husband's family stay connected from the other side of the world without us having to talk all the time. It also creates a fun visual timeline of your children's growth, noting the age when each photo was taken. Downsides: There are occasional pop-up ads for photo products, and I think at some point you reach a storage limit, but we're still going strong with a 2.5-year old and newborn to boot.
2. Changing Tables in Men's Rooms
New York enacted a law mandating changing tables in both women's and men's public restrooms. Yay! Hopefully other states will follow suit. This seems both long overdue and wildly progressive given that SO MANY WOMEN'S BATHROOMS DON'T EVEN HAVE CHANGING TABLES!! In Honolulu, where I live, they are basically only available in big department stores, supermarkets, and a few larger restaurants. While we're at it, I would love for every women's restroom to have a chair to sit and nurse in. Yes, you can nurse anywhere, but in some places (Costco!) it would be nice to have a dedicated space.
3. Glenn Close's Girl-Power Acceptance Speech
After winning the Golden Globe for Best Actress, Close gave an emotional speech that touched on the difficulty of balancing caregiving and creative fulfilment:
“I’m thinking of my mom who really sublimated herself to my father her whole life. And in her 80s she said to me, 'I feel like I haven’t accomplished anything.' And it was so not right. I feel what I've learned through this whole experience is that women, we're nurturers. That's what's expected of us. We have our children, we have our husbands, if we're lucky enough, and our partners, whoever. But we have to find personal fulfilment. We have to follow our dreams. We have to say, 'I can do that and I should be allowed to do that,’”