Thursday, March 28, 2013

The Third Time's A Charm

When I found my baby book, still shrink-wrapped and neatly untouched in its pink paper box at the top of my closet one summer, I was crestfallen.  How could my mother love me so
little that she didn't even bother to write down those incredibly important firsts? Both of my brothers had entire novels written about their first poop or sprig of hair complete with lockets tied with ribbons and even envelopes of first teeth.  To this day, she can't tell me my first word, how old I was when I took my first steps, and the stories of the type of baby I was change depending on the need of the moment.  She never could seem to remember my birthdate and would often ask me, when filling out the paperwork at the pediatricians office, "Hey, you, when is your birthday again?"

When we had Jack, the shrink-wrapped baby book was even more appalling.  I was so enamored with my first born son, I had his pees, poops, and feeds graphed for a solid 4 months.  I couldn't imagine there would ever be a child born to me that didn't get every single milestone catalogued in both word and picture.   Then Caroline came along and while it was a bit more challenging to keep up with both of their milestones, I was excited about comparing the differences between them.  Every other month or so, I would get their baby books out together and compare and contrast and still chronicle as much as I could.  

Then we had Sam.  Sweet, nothing-really-bothers-him, just-feed-him-and-he'll-be-happy-so-his-nickname-is-"Snacks," Sam.  Thank God this was our third kid because he's just about perfect in every way and had I known babies could be like this, I would have returned his siblings back to the hospital in less than 24hrs from
discharge demanding a refund.  Sam is always smiling, loves to snuggle, falls asleep without a fight and wakes up laughing.  He has never met a food product he didn't like and generally is entertained by anything not attached to his own body.   He's rough and tumble and is fortunately around the 90% for his age, which puts him about the same size as his 2 1/2 year old sister helping tremendously with his ability to hold his own against her gremlin-like tendencies.  He has been slow to become mobile, thankfully.  He didn't really crawl until around 7 - 8 months and just only started cruising the furniture in the last month or so.  He still isn't really walking either, which is just peachy with us since the speed (and happy slapping-stomp sound) of his crawl is frightening.

We had Sam one year ago today.  I made it all the way to work this morning and into my first patient's exam room when I realized today's date and the importance of this day to my third-born.  There were no balloons, no cupcakes to daycare, not so much as a mention of it to him or the other kids this morning during the chaos of getting ready because we all simply just forgot.

Now, given my angst over my own baby book, I have made a concerted effort to chronicle these firsts of my third baby, but I have very quickly gotten over my aforementioned pissiness surrounding my mother's lack of records on my behalf.  There's just no damn time anymore.  I totally understand now, with three babes in tow, that it has nothing to do with how much love or adoration there is for my child.  Nor has the novelty of hearing him laugh or crawl or speak for the first time worn off (by the way, dear boy, your first word was da-da, following quickly by uh-oh and aah-choo and thank you).  It's just that those first words are said while Thing One and Thing Two are trying to see who can yell "penis" the loudest or color with permanent marker highest on the wall and so the moment to take serene focused videos and pore lovingly over a babybook just isn't possible anymore.

So, dear  Sam, there just aren't ever going to be the plenitudes of photos or videos or journal entries on you
that your elder siblings have.  And, there will come a day not too distant in the future when I will call you dooflotchy or dinglebat or whats-your-name and ask you when your birthday is at the pediatrician's office.  I hope, on that day, you do not take as much offense as I did.  But, if you do, I promise just to nod and hug you while praying that one day you have that third child that is as marvelous and spectacular and wonderful as you so you understand how I can love you so darn much and still not remember the date you were born.

Happy happy birthday, Samuel James.  
I love you.