Monday, March 9, 2015

Early Morning Conversations

It is a random Sunday morning. I can tell by the light coming in through the blinds that it is probably around 6ish.  It is too early. The house is quiet.  I am hoping that this will be one of those rare mornings when the kids sleep until 7:30. I close my eyes and attempt to go back to sleep, and of course, I remain awake. Within a few minutes, I hear the wake up call of my son in the next room, the hollow clink clink clink of his pacifier against the wooden rails of his crib. I open one eye and try to focus on the clock.  It is 6:30.  I know that I can leave him in bed for a little longer. He sneezes and I wait for his second sneeze.  Ah, there it is. He is a double sneezer. I hear him say "Besh you."

That makes me smile.

I love this stage of baby development. He speaks fairly well for his age, and people outside of our family can understand some of what he says, but I treasure being his baby language translator.  He speaks and I translate, sometimes even to my husband.  It makes me feel like he and I share this untouchable connection, this secret baby language.  The ability to communicate, understand, and translate his language is one of the most validating and fulfilling aspects of motherhood for me.  He tries out a new word, and I can almost see his brain and his mouth working together, as he rolls the sounds around in his mouth.  He stares out the window, watching the birds at our bird feeder.  I say "See the birds eating their breakfast? Eat your bird seed birdies!" He turns to me with a serious face "Eat eat bur see. Eat eat beh-fuss burs!" He will repeat his version of a word until I repeat the correct translation back to him. If I don't guess correctly, he says it again. I say the right thing and he rewards me with a smile. I went through this stage with my daughter and it never occurred to me that she was teaching me as I was teaching her.   As I listen to my son, I am reminded of my high school French class when Madame informed us at the beginning of the year that we would speak exclusively in French.  I was so intimidated.  Babies aren't intimidated.  I don't know how they manage day to day while trying to talk.  Sure, there are times when he gets frustrated trying to get his point across, but it amazes me how infrequently that happens.

He is still in his crib and his conversation is picking up.  This is one of those times that I wish I had a video monitor.  He tries new words in the early morning during these chats with himself and his toys. I hear him say "Uh-oh Nemo!" Nemo was taken out of his crib last night and is sitting in the rocking chair.  He starts repeating something that sounds like boy  "umB-ooooOOOYY! umB-ooooOOOYY!" The "oy" gets louder each time.  The crib creaks as he stands up and sits down.  He says urgently "Pappy (paci)! Pappy, uh-oh Pappy," as he puts his pacifier back in his mouth.  "Mow-mow. Morning Mow-mow" The cat must have walked past his room.  "Mommy?  Mommy? Peeek up! Peeek up!" "Mor-ning Mommy. Mor-ning Mommy."

Then, from down the hall "Po Po is that you?"  His sister calls him Po Po.  "Po Po was that you or Trin Trin? I don't know if you said that or if it was our kitty."

"Mor-ning Eh-yit! Mor-ning Eh-yit!" He is now saying good morning to himself.

I am so tired, so so tired. They are both awake.  There is no going back to sleep now.  I pull the covers back, get out of the bed and peek my head into my son's doorway. He is standing up in his crib with hair askew and eyes still sleepy.

He smiles at me from behind his pacifier and points to his backside "Poop! New nem-mies." He thinks he needs new jammies.

I sigh, "Alright Sweet Boy, let's get a dry diaper."    

I place him on the changing table and our first conversation of the day commences.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Thoughts on Baby Boy Clothing

Macho Man

Tough Guy

Stud Muffin

Mommy's New Man

I have seen all of the above sayings on baby boy clothes. I am talking teeny tiny, 0-3 month old baby boy clothes.

It. Drives. Me. Crazy.

Why are we in such a hurry to make our little boys into men? 

My baby boy, who is now nineteen months old, is still just a LITTLE boy.  He has deliciously curved baby cheeks and a belly that leads the way when he walks.  He speaks in two and three word sentences. He does not need to wear a onesie that says "#hideyourdaughters". 

It is OK, and will continue to be OK, for my son to cry. It is OK for my son to push a baby doll in her stroller and feed her. He loves to play with the toy kitchen.  He wears his sister's bracelets and necklaces. He plays dress up with her and is the Anna to her Elsa all of the time.  I hope he never loses his love of books. All of these things are not stereotypically viewed as masculine activities.  We are OK with that.  

Why are we sending the message that our boys have to be tough? Or that their goal in life is to be a ladies' man?  I see people write passionately about the lack of STEM themed clothing for girls, and the overabundance of pink and purple  (believe me, I agree and I have something to say about girls' clothing too), but I never see the same enthusiasm for changing the trend in clothing for boys.

I don't want him to be a tough guy, a stud muffin or a macho man.  I want him to be a curious, playful toddler with a developing imagination.

He isn't my little man.

He is my little boy.