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Posts Tagged ‘babies’

The Absolute Proof

That Maya was the cutest baby ever:

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(I’ve been scanning more photos.)

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* Version One

When we had Maya, we were convinced she was the cutest baby in the universe. J honestly felt badly for the other parents who had their babies at the same time, because when they went to pick up their newborns in the hospital nursery, they’d spot Maya and be jealous.

Years later, we looked back on our photos and came to the realization that really, while she wasn’t actually ugly, she wasn’t the most gorgeous infant around either. But once she passed infancy and came into baby and toddlerhood, she did in fact become the cutest baby ever. I’ve been scanning old photos we have of her, so I have proof. Once I scan infant pictures, I’ll post those too, not be biased. But for now, adorable toddler:emma-toddler10

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M with doll

M with baby

This last one is Maya with the Cutest Baby Ever, Version Two, (otherwise known as Asher) who was also not cutest until later. But whereas she was still cute as an infant, just not the cutest, he was, um, kinda ugly. Totally not his fault though, because he kind of got squished in utero and emerged with a huge lump on his head, a bloodshot right eye and a squashed ear. Stay tuned for more of Version Two.

Oh, and just for comparison purposes, here’s the Cutest Baby Ever, 12 years later.

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Mary G, over at Them’s My Sentiments, asked in her latest post:

If you were asked why you had children, if you wanted them, what would you answer? Would it be an easy answer, or a struggle like this one?

You should go over and read it yourself, if only for the adorable picture of her girls when they were wee. But for those of you who don’t, her basic point is that she just kind of fell into it, because that is just what you did back then – get married, have kids, get a house, etc. She was never into babies, but is delighted to have survived that stage, because she quite liked the children they grew into.

I have met a lot of women who admit that they never much liked the baby stage and much preferred their children once they started to become their own little people. I’ve met enough of them to no longer be surprised, but I used to be surprised because I am the complete opposite. I loved babies from when I was a kid myself. I couldn’t wait to be old enough to babysit so I could get my hands on squishy, delicious babies.

Loved the babies. Didn’t so much like their older siblings. I found little kids to be mostly boring. Bigger ones were annoying. Babies never ever intentionally annoyed you. Of course they did lots of annoying things unintentionally, but it was the intention that really made me crazy, so I never got irritated with a baby, even though ones who cried for hours.

When I was only just 15 years old, I babysat a little guy who was about 8 months old for a weekend. They were right across from our house and my brother, a year younger, co-babysat. He played with the 4-year-old. The baby cried for about the first 4 hours, then clearly made up his mind that his parents had abandonded him forever and I was his new mommy, and this one wasn’t getting away so easily. I wasn’t allowed to put him down to pee with protesting wails (good practice for having Asher, turns out). He wouldn’t go to sleep for hours past his ‘bedtime’ and woke me up at about 5:30 am. He tossed me into the deep end of the baby pool and I adored him. He was delicous. (And I still remember the look of utter shock on his face when his parents walked in the door.)

So it is safe to say that I wanted a baby. I really, really wanted a baby, although I was a responsible human being and waited until the time was right. I did assume – hoped, really – that I wouldn’t find my own child quite so boring once s/he got past infancy as I’d found the kids I babysat. I didn’t find Maya boring (although endless Franklin books and pretending to lose at the game of Sorry has frequently worn on my nerves), but I did find her more of a challenge to parent as she grew. Infancy I knew how to handle, even when the infant was colicky. Past that point, I have wished quite frequently that I hadn’t lost the manuals they must have come with.

Now I have no more babies. I adored my babies and, while I do not want any more, I do admit to missing my kids’ babyhoods, when parenting was easy and they loved me more than anything and they mostly smelled really, really good and were squishy and huggable rather than all elbows and knees, and they were so much more easy to understand.

But, thankfully, it turns out that I really like these kids I ended up with in my quest for babies. They are very funny and remarkably smart and always surprising. Turns out I’m pretty glad I had children, not just the babies I wanted.

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It was hot and sunny for the past two days. I was in absolute heaven. I thought after it got cold after our return from New York that we were done with the really good weather, but I was really wrong.

Yesterday, the kids and I took the dog on a long walk along the river at a spot we don’t normally frequent, because we popped in to visit friends with their new baby (She came home from China a couple of months ago and is doing amazingly, as well as being freaking cute. My three kids surrounded her on the floor and all tried to engage and play with her at the same time. Her mom and I were concerned that they would overwhelm her, but when she started throwing her arms in the air and cheering, “Ay!” we figured she was okay.)

Anyway, we came upon a great wooden play structure and while the kids played and the dog ran around, I gathered leaves into an ever-growing pile. There were a lot of leaves. It was several feet high when Asher spotted it and took a flying leap into it. Whenever I see people jump into leaves in the cartoons, I always think it’d still hurt, as leaves aren’t a great cushion. But when you pile them 3 feet high they are!

They spent a long time repiling and leaping in the leaves. Even the dog got into the act at one point. I let them bury me with leaves, and it was strangely peaceful under there (until I burst out growing and grabbing and children). Serious, serious fun.

Today, I took Jasper for a long walk in a huge, gorgeous protected park area, admiring the leaves and just reveling in the weather. I wasn’t the only one, and I’m toying with making up a card to hand out. It would say:

“He’s a Doodle, a Standard Poodle-Golden Retriever mix. No, he doesn’t shed at all, but some do. I have to brush him daily or he mats. Yes, I have to trim him, but I do it myself. It’s actually an unusual colour, most are blonder. No, they aren’t cheaper than getting a pure bred, since they are very popular. No, they don’t all get this big, but they are still generally pretty big dogs. 55 lbs. Yes, I know he seems like more as he is very tall and skinny. He’ll likely fill out in the next year. One year old. Yes, he is very calm for a one-year-old. No that isn’t typical. Thank you – we think he is great too.”

Because I have that conversation over and over and over. I’m glad people love him, but it does get a bit tired at times.

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And they make great family dogs, too!

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