One of the best pieces of unsolicited advice I’ve heard about bringing home a new baby with a toddler at home is “it’s all about the marketing”. My pediatrician told me this while I was still lying in the hospital bed, hours after Graham was born. I’m sure I’m not alone to say that I was so worried about how having a new baby at home would rock the tiny world of my then-two year old.
“Whenever you have a few minutes alone with your older child, let them know it’s fun to have ‘special time’, just you and mama”. I instantly loved this.
So I tried it out, calling the quick trips to the grocery store “special time”, and even branding the lazy time cuddled up reading books while the baby was sleeping, “special time”. What I found was he learned this lingo and started to ask for it when he was feeling a little needy. Instead of whining or acting out, he’d ask if we could “have some special time”.
What I also found was that Graham needs some “special time”, too, and although he was/is incredibly patient tagging along everywhere big brother goes, he just blossoms with one-on-one attention.
Graham always loved looking in the mirror with me. We’d make faces and sing little songs and he’d just giggle back at the “baby and mama” in the reflection. We could do this for twenty minutes straight and he’d still want to sing some more songs (one of which is my take on Who’s that Lady? from the pantyhose commercial back in the 80s. It instead says “Who’s that baby? Mama’s baby! (who’s that baby?)“)
Somehow this singing and giggling to our reflections evolved in us taking “selfies” on our computer (Photo Booth on the mac). A few weeks ago I was looking through the thousands of pictures on my computer, and I kept pausing at these “selfies” of Graham and me. My gosh – look at his gummy smile! Look at the mop top of golden curls! Woah, I forgot about my bangs. The chubby baby legs! My GOSH – where did my baby go?!
I’m so grateful looking through this collection of pictures we’ve created over the last (almost) three years. We captured some special time, just me and my baby, I got to live it the first time, and now I have a permanent reminder. Oh, what I would give to feel that baby cheek one more time, though…
Author: Candace Thomas