Monday, April 20, 2009

Lawnmower! Bus!

My young son has developed an obsession. Sure, like most little boys he is fascinated with cars, motorcycles, trucks and heavy equipment of all kinds, but to our amusement it is lawnmowers and buses that have really caught his fancy.

I can almost understand the bus thing. Max and I drive by multiple bus stops (and a couple of schools) on our way to daycare in the morning. The school buses we pass are large, yellow and have flashing lights on them. What’s not to like?

It would be comical to listen to a tape of our morning drive conversations. Anything I say (or sing) is constantly interrupted by my tiny son pointing out the big, brightly colored vehicles as we travel down the street. A typical exchange might be me starting to sing “the itsy bitsy spider went” about that time my son will yell “ A BUS!”. I then reply “that’s right son…a bus” followed by singing “up the water spout”. “A BUS!” Max will yell again. “Very good” I reply, only to resume my award winning rendition of the song. “A BUS!” Max will yell again. By this time I am thinking, “Wow! That one has to be a half mile away” This continues for another ten minutes until we get to the daycare center. Of course, what does the daycare center have in their parking lot when we get there? You guessed it, a bus.

The lawnmower fixation I am still a little puzzled about. I hate yard work and don’t even own a lawnmower, but the mere sound of one sends my son scrambling to the nearest window. He will point his chubby little finger and proudly exclaim “LAWNMOWER!” He gets even more excited if he can actually see the machine. He will stand mesmerized until whoever is using the contraption is done.

The obsession doesn’t end with actual lawnmowers. He has carried around an old Lowes Home Improvement Advertisement until it is tattered and worn. He would be happy to sit on your lap for hours looking at pictures of outdoor equipment. When you get to the page with John Deere tractor he turns toward me and says “John Deere”. He is so happy.

Right now it is very fun and cute to see him all excited. I am sure this will change by the time he is thirteen and I buy him a bright green Lawn Boy mower to push around the yard.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Bottle No More (from a mother's perspective)

Max has been having a bottle only at bedtime for the last few months. He stopped taking bottles during the day, even at nap time, quite some time ago. He just preferred his sippy cup, which was fine.

I had decided that I would continue to give him a bedtime bottle until he was 18 months. I thought that was reasonable and had begun to prepare myself for the inevitable approach of that milestone. However, last week, I noticed that he really only drank maybe an ounce of an 8 ounce bottle. "Hmmmm," I thought, "I hope he's not getting sick or something." Then, the next night, Dan put him to bed and he came out of Max's room with a full bottle again. So, on night three, I suggested to Dan that we maybe just try it without a bottle, that we'd make one if he seemed like he wanted one. I would be on standby with a bottle nearby if needed. But minutes after the bedtime ritual started, Dan came out of Max's room. I anxiously looked at him and said, "Oh, do you need me to make a bottle?" Dan replied no that Max was already asleep.
Well, you'd have thought someone had just told me that my baby boy had contracted some horrible disease because I just lost it! Huge crocodile tears streaming down my face, I began to lament the fact that my baby boy no longer takes a bottle even at bedtime. I wasn't ready for him to stop taking a bottle. I thought as the mom I got to make some of the decisions! And I had decided he could have it until he was 18 months. I was supposed to have two more months to prepare. But it seems that Max had different plans.

We're going on a week without a bottle now. That phrase about things being much harder on the parents than the child suddenly has new meaning for me. Max has been relatively unphased by the entire thing, but I on the other hand, have cried a river. I shed a tear or two at Target yesterday as I passed through the formula isle without adding a thing to my cart. I guess it's particularly sad to me because I know it is such a milestone. He really isn't a baby anymore. And as our only child, I will never have the experience of giving my baby a bottle again. It has been such a wonderful experience, I truly leave it with a great deal of sadness.

I'm told by all my friends and family with older kids that there will soon be some new development that will overshadow this loss, but for now, I'm holding him just a little bit longer when I rock him to sleep at night because the foreshadowing suggests it won't be too long before I won't be able to do that anymore either. He's already spanning the entire width of the rocking chair across my lap and it's quite comical to see me trying to gently place him in his crib. I practically fall in on top of him since my 5'2" frame can hardly reach the mattress over the side rails.
On the bright side, I guess I can get rid of all the bottle paraphernalia and you all know how much I love to be able to get rid of stuff. Maybe that will make me feel a little better.

P.S. We had a lovely bath last night without any signs of fear or crying. I think that crisis has passed. Oh, and these photos are from The Primrose Easter Bonnet Parade earlier today.