Tuesday, February 23, 2010

A mess is what my son does best!

The time has come… well it seems like it arrived via a terminal at Hartsfield International Airport. I never believed it when people used the cliché that “time flies,” but it is such a true statement.

In about 30 days my son will officially be considered a toddler. On March 21st our little boy will be 12 months old aka one-year old. How did this happen? I apparently haven’t been paying attention, but the months whizzed by without as much as a word, except for “da-da.” (“Mama is soon to follow).

Try to picture this: I sit around in our den, our once beautifully decorated den, and the floor is covered in a wide arrangement of toys and books. The hardwood floors are hidden by the soft and cushiony floor mats we bought from Target to soften the blow when our little boy plops his butt down on the floor from cruising around our furniture. I look at my wife as she is cooking us dinner in the kitchen.

“Remember what our house used to look like babe?”

“Yep, but at the same time I have almost forgot,” said Laura.

The coffee table coasters and side tables all have been stripped of the pictures that used to sit so effortlessly upon them showcasing our many travels and endeavors. We have to push back all the remotes, pictures and books we do leave out because MJ is tall enough now to reach. (He really enjoys changing the channels). The knobs on the drawers and cabinets are starting to disappear, but reappear in his lap while he sits on the hardwood and bangs with a sweet smile vying for our attention of “look what I did mom and dad! I can remove cabinet hardware!” All in all we have a long way to go when it comes to total baby proofing… ummm excuse me, toddler proofing.

We were working on my daughter's new room and Mauldin decided he needed to assist with unpacking the clothes we have for her... It was a mess and it took everything within me to just let him do it to explore, play and be a little boy. I think I did a pretty good job... I sit back a lot and just let him do what he wants, that is if what he is doing is safe!

There are a hefty amount of toys in our home as well… although, we do clean up as soon as he is put to bed, but like clockwork all the toys are back in full view by the time I set foot in the door. Not all the toys mind you because our son is a very blessed child and if all the toys were out then we wouldn’t have anywhere to walk! I can’t even start to imagine what our home will look like as soon as our sweet little girl arrives on the scene.

I have tried to accept the clutter of the toys and slowly I am, but it is hard to forget how great our home once looked before our little boy came into our lives. I will say though, the clutter sure is a small price to pay when I see our handsome little boy playing in the floor acting as if he is talking on his plastic, make believe, Buzz Lightyear cell phone. He holds the phone to his ear, upside down, and looks at you with those piercing blue eyes and utters “da-da” … and my heart just melts. I can’t help but reach down to the floor and place myself next to him and begin to play too.

Sometimes the smallest moments can change your mind about everything.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

But, I wasn't finished with that daddy...

“What do you wanna do today?” My wife says while our little boy sits so playfully in between us in our bed on a cold Saturday morning.

“Eric?” she obviously was talking to me and not our son, Mauldin.

“Oh, I thought you were talking to him,” I reply as I glance down at our little boy who is half way through his early-morning apple juice. He likes to drink his juice and watch Playhouse Disney. He is a multitasker, that’s just how he rolls.

“Well, I guess I kinda was talking to you both, but the only thing he can say is Da-da…” my wife says with a hint of sarcasm and glee.

As I think about the fun retort I just stop myself because our son may be only 10 months, going on 11, but he is pretty sharp and one day soon he will start repeating what we say… and my dirty thoughts weren’t something I want coming out of his toothless chops. As I reach down to grab his empty juice cup he looks at me with the saddest face and a frown that could melt the heart of The Heat Miser.

I'm sure I know what was going through Mauldin's mind - "But, I wasn't finished with that daddy!" The truth is he was done, he was sucking air... but I guess he likes chewing on the spout. Just as I start to laugh at this face I see a hint of white on his lower gum. Please understand our son, Mauldin is 10 months old and has yet to cut a tooth, but has been teething since, well birth. New parents please understand… even if your child is drooling a lot it doesn’t necessarily mean he/she is teething.

It is and has been for a long time a huge, huge and very large pet peeve for anyone to put their fingers in my child’s mouth. I understand when the doctor does it, or my wife or myself… but other people who have germy hands it is just something I cringe just thinking about. However, for this day it was something that had to be done and I took the opportunity to “feel around for evidence of some baby teeth.”

“So, do you feel anything…” my wife quickly asks.

“Well, I think, I think… I think I can feel something…” I replied.

“Let me check,” said Laura.

She picked up our little boy, still in mid-frown from the sippy cup being taken away and now one of his favorite shows, Charlie & Lola, is on and we are taking him away from it… I know, we are terrible parents.

“Oh my… goodness…” said Laura. “Our baby has cut his first tooth.”

I immediately went to turn on all the lamps in our room so I could get a good look at this so-called tooth.

“Do you not believe me?” said Laura.

“Yes, my dear,” I replied “but can I just look at it? I wanna see it too!”

I sat there and looked as I asked our little man to open wide, as if he actually knew what I was asking him to do.

“Can daddy check to see your tooth?” And, just like that I saw the little white rectangle sticking out of his lower gum as if it were there hiding all along and just waiting for us to discover it!

“Well, hello there my little friend… how long have you been there?”

So, there it is, like I said… the whole tooth and nothing, but the tooth. More to come, I’m sure!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Is he asleep?

I cannot remember the last time I was able to get eight hours of complete and uninterrupted sleep. The idea that I used to sleep that much boggles every fiber of my being. I guess it has been 10 months, actually…

I used to turn over to my wife in the wee hours of the morning…

“How’s he doin’?” I whisper.

“He’s perfect.” My wife replies… “Go back to sleep.”

I hear the sweet lullaby music through Mauldin’s little monitor. The blue light illuminates our bedroom with it’s blaring, yet soft light… one wall bathed in a blue glow. I have gotten so used to the music that I barely hear it anymore. Although, I will notice if it stops.

“Did you put it on repeat?” my wife quickly asks.

“I thought I did,” I replied. “Crap!”

I throw the covers off and tiptoe on our cold, hardwood floor and make my way to the hallway. The carpet is a warm change from our room. I tend to have the ability to stealthfully enter his room, restart his music and walkout without stirring a mouse or a 10-month old boy.

The hard part is trying to get out of his room without stepping on and activating any of his toys!
“Mooooo!” or “whoo hoo!” would suddenly sound along with a few choice four letter words from my mouth. Luckily that hasn’t happened… my James Bond or Mission Impossible moves are pretty good.

Our son has graced us with the ability to sleep though the night without waking up, crying, wet or anything else that might cause a 10-month old cause to scream at 3am.

I haven’t known what to do… I used to wake up in the middle of the night for so long – I wake up now at 6am and don’t feel totally rested… why is that? I sleep yet I don’t feel rested? Ironic,
don’t you think?

I guess I should enjoy the uninterrupted snoozing because come June our lives will be turned into the late night feedings and rocking cycle again.

I thought the days or should I say nights of tired eyes was over… I was wrong, so wrong.
But, it will be so worth it!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Where has the time gone?

Our little boy is growing up at an accelerated rate, so it seems.
“Mauldin no!” I say… constantly.

Where has the time gone? I feel like someone has taken a remote and pushed fast forward.

“Mauldin, what did we say?” I continue as he stops in his tracks on his way to the dog bed… as soon as I look away he turns his little butt around and heads right back to his previous direction of naughtiness. Our son has a weird fascination with our pets... he loves them. As soon as he heads their way our little Westie, Andy, runs in fear of being pummelled by a 18lb 10 month old!

I feel as if every day he accomplishes something new. Thankfully I have been around to see each one surface. I was there when Mauldin said “Da-da” as his first word, which I might add is one of the only things he says with a repeating vengeance.

“Mauldin,” I repeat and head over to pick him up and replace him away from the dog bowls full of water. “I said no to the dog bowls.” He loves getting into their bowls. I came home today and my wife informed me...

"Go say hello to your son and don't even ask me why he is wet!"

"What?" I retorted.

"I looked away for a second and he was "in" Andy's bowl," Laura explained.

The kid can officially climb the stairs with no assistance, he is cruising like nobody’s business, the child is eating solid foods and feeding himself, holding his bottle on his own and clapping! The boy claps, patty cake is a fun game he likes to play.

Not only is Mauldin about to have a birthday, his first birthday mind you, but we will soon be another plus one to the Skates family unit.
We are now coming up on the 20 week mark for our little girl… Elle will be here before we know it and we are so unprepared. It seems as if with Mauldin we had tons of diapers, wipes, clothes, etc… we have a couple of bags of clothes for our little princess, but her nursery is still a guest room, no bedding has been purchased, what is going on? We are usually so far ahead, we are planners, this is so out of our character, but the urgency just isn’t … I don’t know, around as much as it was the first time. We are so much more laid back with this pregnancy!

I guess the freakout with happen after we come home with our shiny, brand new, bouncing baby girl.

It still hasn’t totally hit me yet. I assume when it does you may find me on the floor.

Happy Groundhog Day, everyone.

"Mauldin what did I say about the dog beds?"