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Christopher - The First 2 Years
Meet My Son
Christopher is my only biological child. I waited until I was 28 years of age to have a child. I wanted to be a career woman. Children were never in my plan.
I am so glad that life is what happens when you are making other plans!
"There is only one pretty child in the world, and every mother has it." - Chinese Proverb
A Baby Is On The Way!
To a person like me, who had never once considered having a child of my own, these were scary words. Little did I know it would be the most fulfilling thing I would ever do.
After the sonogram we were assured we had a baby girl on the way!
It was 8:03 pm on Sunday, September 20th when Christopher decided to begin making his journey into the world to meet his mommy and daddy.
I had been across the street at a friends house when it happened. I felt like I needed a shower.
My husband was putting my bag in the truck and grabbing a few other things for me. I jumped in the shower real quick to clean up and he came in yellng "What are you doing?" Was he kidding? I wasn't freaking out, why would he? He already had 3 boys, he knew this would take some time.
I finally slipped on a little sun-dress and some ballet-type slippers and made a couple of phone calls. One to the hospital and one to my parents. All the while, Jeff is saying "Hurry up!"
His Grand Entrance Into The World
The doctor had already told me that this would not be a small baby, but then again he told me it was a girl, too!
What he didn't tell me is that Chris would be nearly full grown when he made his entrance! Not really but he was 23" long and 9 lbs 3oz.
He had some trouble navigating the path, but at 10:03 am,14 hrs later on the dot, he was here!
September 21, 1992 - Christopher meets Mommy and Daddy
SURPRISE!! IT'S A BOY!"
Getting Ready For Baby!
We didn't get our crib until two nights before the baby came. Don't put yourself through that. Be ready!
Three Days In The Hospital
There is not a noisier place on earth than the wing the new mothers are in. I will never understand how you are supposed to rest and get better when there are people waking you up all night poking and prodding.
When you finally do drift off to sleep they bring the baby in to nurse. I was a first time mother and had not one clue what to do with this baby they kept bringing me. I was so afraid of hurting him, I couldn't bond with him.
They finally sent someone in to teach me what to do with this baby. New mothers should have someone who knows what they are doing there with them the first time they hold the baby, if only to make sure the "mommy instinct" kicks in. Mine did not.
I can hear the gasps of women whose only desire in life is to fill up the rooms with babies. Remember, we are all different and the fairytale life I had wished for had a different ending than that.
The First Year
When we finally got home, I had all the time in the world to get to know my son and we bonded closely, as it should be.
The first year of a baby's life is the most wonderous, terrifying, and beautiful time, at least after they begin to sleep through the night.
Do you remember looking into your baby's face for the first time and wondering what secrets they held? How much did they hear you talking to them before birth?
My brother used to sing to my stomach and talk to the baby. When Chris was born, he would turn his head in search of my brother each time he spoke. No one else got his attention like that.
It's a year of "firsts". The first time they focus on your face and you know they recognise you as mommy or daddy. When they reach for you, and smile at you, really smile. When they laugh for the first time, it is the most joyous sound you've ever heard.
Remember those first two teeth?
The first time they turn themselves over in the bed or the first time they crawl becomes a reason for celebration for parents.
During that first year some children even begin to walk. I was afraid my son would not walk in the first year. I was wrong! This baby just stood up one day and RAN down the hall! I was so shocked I couldn't get the camera!
Keep Your Camera At The Ready
I never had a camera ready when the time came. Get a digital camera so that you can carry pictures with you and don't have to have them developed.
The First Birthday
The traditional first birthday for a baby includes a chocolate cake and ice cream and a sheet or shower curtain under the high chair.
The mess is unbelieveable! But it is so much fun to see your baby get chocolate for the first time. Yes, we waited until Chris was 1 to give him chocolate. We were very mean parents, weren't we?
In the picture to the right you will see Chris as he takes his third bite. He had taken the spoon away from Papa, who was feeding him! In his right hand you can just see he has a handful of strawberry ice cream. This child made a huge mess and we all had a great time!
Keeping Baby Safe
Now I don't know about your child, but mine was a streaker at the young age of 1.
We had just bought the movie "Free Willy" and Chris watched it 3 times a day. Well, he would begin to watch it and fall asleep is more accurate.
He was constantly pulling off his diaper and yelling "Free Willy!" as he'd run through the house or in the backyard! The picture to the right shows the way his face would look just before his next great diaper escape.
This is actually how we met our new neighbors and my son's lifelong friends for the first time.
I was working in our half-acre garden and Chris was running around the yard when I heard a voice say "Hey little naked baby! What's your name?"
Chris promptly replied "Cwissofuh" and giggled.
The boy, who was 14 at the time, said "Hey! That's my name too!"
Of course I was hurrying over to the fence to get the "little naked baby" and find out who this kid was that was talking to him. That was the beginning. That family had 3 boys and over the years they became like family to us.
Make sure you keep a diary of your baby's accomplishments and firsts! I didn't know any better and I regret it now!
I figured if Chris was old enough to take off his diaper and run from me, he was old enough to potty train.
I knew I was lucky, he was a boy and he had two older brothers and a dad to watch. So I bought him a potty chair, some training pants and "Pull-Ups".
It worked the first time! He began wearing regular clothes and he began growing up, so to speak.
In this Thanksgiving picture he is sitting with my dad and dad had just given him his first taste of chocolate mousse. Take a look at that face! Do you think he liked it? Shortly after that he passed out asleep in dad's lap and was done for a couple of hours. Could it have been the turkey?
Start Them Early
His Second Birthday Party
Chris' second birthday was fast approaching. My husband had just done some work installing carpet and vinyl in the home of the owner of a horse park. We decided to barter for a birthday party and a week of horse camp for the older boys. She was happy to do this and even included the birthday cake and party supplies!
Since I didn't have to spend money on this party, I wanted to do something really big for my big boy two year old. I called a group of college performers and they brought Aladin & Jasmine, the Power Rangers, (who were very popular at the time), and Barney the purple dinosaur! They even brought a little "Red Ranger" outfit for Chris! I got all this for $120!
With Aladin & Jasmine
Ok Ma, Is This A Joke?
The owner of the facility wanted to make sure Chris wouldn't be uncomfortable in a saddle and also wanted us to have a great photo opportunity!
Chris didn't look very amused.
Ah! Finally A Real Pony!
As soon as Christopher got on the pony he started giggling. He laughed the whole time he was being walked around. He was having a great time!
Don't worry, I didn't let him ride alone. If you look closely, you'll see me behind the pony holding onto Chris.
He Grew Up Fast
Chris wanted so badly to be like Daddy and Papa. He grabbed his dad's pager, papa's Shriners cap and shoes.
Ready to go. Take a look at those shoes.
This is the conclusion of Christophers first 2 years. He never went through the "Terrible Twos" but oh boy we weren't out of the woods yet!
More to come.