*Disclaimer: I’m sharing my own personal experience in being a mom. These are solely my observations and only meant to give you a peek into my thoughts. By no means, am I an expert on having a baby and most likely don’t even know what I’m doing half the time. I’m simply sharing this so that I don’t forget stuff and to try and keep my sense of humor through it all. Okay, I’m done. 😉
Well, there’s one thing I’ve learned in the past twelve months and that’s this: I KNOW NOTHING.
And there you have it! The secret to being awesome at this parenting thing. Go and sell that for millions and cut me a check. Oh, wait. All you other parents out there already knew that.
The good news is that even though I know nothing, I do know my child. So thankfully, there is that consolation. What I mean by knowing nothing and yet knowing my child is that technically in the past year, I have learned a bunch of things. How to hold a baby. How to nurse. How to change a diaper. How to wrap a break-resistant swaddle. How to sleep train. How to make sure naps are taken. How to introduce solids. And the list goes on.
The most important thing I’ve learned (besides the fact that I still know nothing) is to roll with the punches. Not literal punches, although I have caught a few tiny fists on the throat when he’s climbing all over me. Those figurative punches, the ones where you think smugly that you’ve finally figured out this whole sleeping thing and you’re at long last on some sort of schedule and then, BAM. Toddler = 1 momma = 0.
Or one day, your kid is actually smiling like a cherub (or maybe it’s a cheshire cat…I get those two confused) and playing gently with his toys, and the next day he’s throwing all.the.things like a gremlin on steroids. Whoever said this parenting thing isn’t fun was clearly unaware!
But in all seriousness, being a parent has been pretty darn exciting. To state the obvious, it’s nothing at all like anything I’ve ever experienced before and even during those hard, long days there are millions of other great moments that make up for it. Having a fuzzy & rather selective memory helps, too.
In honor of
surviving our first year as parents our newly official toddler, we had a very low key birthday celebration. Let’s face it, a birthday party for a one year old is mostly for the parents and their friends. Alas, one main thing I wanted was to conquer my fear of baking and decorating a cake since I had never done that before. Might as well, especially since I have never raised a kid before either. (Spoiler: I survived and it was absolutely delicious. The cake, not the toddler.)
This is one of my favorite pictures from the day. It’s not even a great image technically speaking, but there’s something about the way he’s laughing at something (or someone) that captures pretty much the spirit of our boy. I see so much of my husband in him and that’s just the best thing ever.
For the occasion, I baked a simple, fluffy white cake and used a vanilla bean buttercream frosting for the both the filling and outside. Someone asked me if the top part was whipped cream because it’s whiter than the sides, but the truth is I ran out of frosting and had to make an extra batch about 30 minutes before the celebration was scheduled to start. I must have taste tested too much frosting along the way.
The cake smashing was a bit underwhelming, since he didn’t actually smash his hands or face in it. He was quite tentative and very dignified about the whole situation. He just took a few finger swipes of the frosting and apparently, that was satisfying enough for the lad.
Overall, the birthday celebration was a success and we all had a blast. Some more than others, obviously. No, really. Don’t let his face fool you — he enjoyed every last bit of his cake and he most certainly boycotted his afternoon nap as well.
*Practicing walking with his ‘walker’
*Books, books and more books (he will sit in his crib for up to 30 minutes, happily ‘reading’)
*Playing with anything that’s not a toy
*Eating, drinking milk, and eating some more
*Sucking his thumb
*Swinging at the park
*White noise, a dark room and sometimes his ga-ga (giraffe binkie)
*Anyone besides momma and poppa (he cries every week when we drop him off at the church nursery)
*Getting face and hands wiped after eating
*Being told ‘no’ or ‘not right now’
*Displays of affection (so I just force hugs and kisses on him)
*Sitting for long periods of time in his car seat or stroller
*Avocados and plain eggs (he would probably rather starve than eat those)
Next up, toddler tantrums or so I hear. This is where the fun truly begins.