I have quite a few friends that are relishing in the wonder and awe that comes with being parents to a first child. Seeing the world through the innocence of a tiny being that you created is the closest thing to heaven on earth. It’s overwhelmingly magical and pure. Something so much deeper than anything you can really put into words.
I love getting those Facebook updates from all of my doting mommy & daddy pals:
“Sweet Hemingway is learning to crawl now,”
“Omar ate a Cheerio all by himself!” or
“Anika said ‘da da’ today #NoSweeterSound.”
Can’t you just picture it? Looking down at your baby and seeing his first smile or feeling the warmth of her touch as she pats your hand with gratitude while nursing – it’s a rush, I get it.
In fact thinking of that new bond, the one between parent and child, just makes my heart swell. I can practically feel the tightness in my chest now.
Wait. No. That’s not my heart. Scratch that, I think it’s my bra. Yep, dammit, definitely my bra; easily mistaken for a sappy heart swell.
Don’t look at me that way. Okay, so maybe I’m not one of the most sentimental parents you’ll meet, but I’m not heartless.
I just have other ways of appreciating my children’s growth. So many parents use major milestones as a way to chart their kids’ advancement. Sure, walking, talking, maybe even making a first friend – those are, of course, important things. I’m just a little different when it comes to firsts that I get excited about with the Wee B3.
I simply like to think I’m a bit more practical. For instance, I can remember a few months back, I’d locked the youngest in the bedroom with me as I finished readying for the day. With the older 2 at school, Baby gets pretty restless and I didn’t need her wandering off while I still had no pants on and only one eyebrow drawn in. Sure enough, midway through my hair fluffing, nature called and I ducked quietly into the bathroom as she stared zombie-like at the Sprout channel. I finished my business, turned to the side and paused. Hovering meekly nearby was one sad & empty toilet paper roll. The cardboard cylinder sat stoically, teasing me with its barrenness.
Grumbling, I cursed my husband and thought of creative ways to make him pay. Of course, he’d been the last visitor to the water closet and his was the only digestive tract that could rival that of my 1-year-old (who still sustained herself on a diet of little more than pureed veggies). Yep, he was definitely the culprit, but here I sat stuck in jail.
Just when I thought I’d be duck-walking to the closet to search for supplies, the Baby toddled her way into where I sat.
“Mama,” she questioned, her eyes taking note of my furrowed brow.
I wondered…no, I couldn’t possibly get her to bring back the tissue, could I? She wouldn’t understand my complex directions. But…there she stood, runny nose and stocking feet at the ready.
“Parker,” I said in my fake-happy playtime voice, “can you get mama some tissue? It’s in closet, baby…go to mama’s closet,” I mimed a circular motion (for ‘roll’) and pointed in the direction of the closet, feeling and probably looking like the idiot I assumed I’d become.
She laughed and paused, but soon her dimply thighs were departing in the right direction. I held my breath, could she do it?
She returned babbling joyfully – in her tiny hand, my cellphone.
Rolling my eyes ever so slightly, I tried again louder, “No baby, tissue…tiiiiiiiissue.” Wait, she wasn’t deaf. Where was I going with this? Ah yes, I passed her the empty roll as a final attempt. “You bring mama tissue? Tissue, ok?”
She walked away again and momentarily, I heard rustling. What would be my prize this time, a shoe…a discarded hanger perhaps? But then she emerged, her image from the corner of my eye growing larger by the millisecond.
She held her trophy triumphantly. “Tee-soo?” she asked.
She’d done it. My baby had saved me when no one else could. I hugged her tightly, after wiping and washing my hands of course, but knew that I’d found the heir that would inherit my throne (metaphorically of course, not the one I’d just departed).
No, it wasn’t a typical first that they write about in the baby books but it was so much more important to me. That’s the kind of thing that gets me hyped! Perseverance and compassion for your fellow man…am I reaching here? Maybe, but let me have my moment.
Look, I guess what I mean is, it doesn’t matter which moments you mark. What counts is that these milestones matter to you. So be it the first time Baby Huey picks his nose or flicks off a bully, cherish it, you only get one first.
Tell me, mamas, what are some memorable firsts of yours that might not make it into the family scrapbook?