On The Move

It’s been just about 3 weeks since I last saw Hudson.   While I was there, he tentatively took his first steps, two or three at a time, a few times that day.  Apparently, he’s been practicing a lot since then.

His Mommy sent me a little video (on my new Droid X!) and he’s made big progress since then.   Over the river and through the woods comes to mind, except it goes like this: Out of the family room, through the kitchen and into the hall with no hesitation whatsoever and accompanied by squeals of delight.

It makes me wonder if he realizes what a big deal this is…Does he go “Wow!  This is cool!   Walking beats crawling in a big way.”   Does he have a checklist of things to accomplish and walking now has a mark next to it?   Does he congratulate himself on new accomplishments?

And speaking of new accomplishments, I need to figure out how to get that little video onto this blog, so that you can see for yourself.

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Hudson’s First Birthday

Today’s the day:   Hudson is one year old today.   Wow!  Where did those 12 months go?   And if one had to list all the things he’s learned how to do in those 12 months, it would be a long list indeed.   Here’s part of it:   using his voice to coo and sing instead of merely crying; smiling and grinning; reaching for items; reaching for items and picking them  up; crawling; standing alone; squatting down to pick something up and then standing again, all without support; taking steps; opening and closing all kinds of things, such as cupboard drawers and doors, doors on toys; placing items exactly (or close anyway) where he wants them; learning to eat all kinds of “big people” food and loving most of it; knowing which books he likes and which ones he really DOES NOT care for; and that is just a short list.

Grownups think they work so hard, in their daily lives and at work, but I think a baby, in his first 12 months, works far harder than anybody really knows.  Watching him “work,” figuring out how things work, and practicing over and over again, is such an amazing experience.

In his second year, which starts today, there’s more to do.   

Happy birthday Hudson!   We love you!

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Mothers

There’s nothing like having a baby of your own to make you think about your own mother.  It seems to be a normal thing for a woman who has just given birth to want to see, talk to, be with, her own mother.   Sometimes that is not possible.  But the bond is no less strong and the urge no less important, regardless of why it cannot happen.

Today would have been my own mother’s 83rd birthday.   She has been gone from our presence since 1995, but her spirit is still strong and a day doesn’t go by when I don’t think about her for some reason.    On an ordinary day, it might be that I will think about something seemingly unimportant.  Not long ago, I thought about the steno notebook full of hand-written recipes that is now over 40 years old.    Sometimes when I am sewing, I wonder how she might do this or that, or what she would think of my current project.

Today, however, my brithday wish for her is that she could see Hudson.  Oh, I have no doubt she’s watching over him, and no doubt has nothing but approving thoughts about how his Mommy and Daddy are raising him.   But it’s not the same.   If I could, I would give this gift to her:   to be able to actually hold him, laugh with him, play with him.   She was known to kids, even those who were not related to her, to be great fun.    And they all knew that she ALWAYS had gum in her purse.

Happy Birthday Mom, Grandma, Great-Grandma

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Where’s Hudson?

I think the real question should be “Where’s Grammie?”   And I am quite certain Hudson is asking.     Let’s get real….that lady who smiled, and grinned, and made funny faces and noises for me (even when changing a dirty diaper)  for 2 weeks,  has just disappeared.   It has to be confusing.

Grammie is in her own home again.   And make no mistake, she misses Hudson a big bunch, and his Mommy and Daddy, too.  But we all knew Grammie would have to go home again….Grandpa was missing her in a big way.  But when you are just shy of your first birthday, none of that makes any sense at all.   I have to wonder how little minds process such things.

It will be interesting to see how he reacts when we arrive for the Christmas holiday….It will be interesting to see how Grandpa plays with him, too…the little guy is so much fun now…he thinks, he takes apart and puts back together…all stuff Grandpa enjoys, too, and will appreciate.   Oh, and he took his first steps while Grammie was there, so no doubt, he’ll be running by the time we next see him.

Grammie knows that at exactly now, Hudson has had his lunch and is now playing.   It’s not naptime yet.   Grammie knows.

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Back to Normal

But what is that, exactly?   Mommy and Daddy arrived home very  late last night and after patting little Hudson’s bum as he slept, they headed off to a much needed sleep.  So when Hudson woke up this morning, he was greeted by their smiles and open arms, not Grammie’s.  After a week, I  imagine that had to be a little confusing.

All in all the day went well, but I think he just couldn’t quite figure it all out.   But although he clung to Mommy probably more than usual, he would still let Grammie have some hugs and kissy face time.

Tomorrow we will celebrate his 1st birthday.   Technically it’s a week early, but Grammie has to go home on Sunday, so an early birthday party it is.    I made cupcakes for the children who will be guests, and made a sheet cake, which is now cut into the shape of a numeral 1, just for Hudson.

It is a joy to watch this family grow; it is wonderful to see my son, who had concerns about being a good father, be the best father a son could ask for; it a pleasure to have a daughter-in-law like the one I have.   

I don’t think I could have special ordered any of it better than it is.

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Decisions, Decisions, Decisions

That was the theme of the day….decision-making, for both Hudson and me.    When Hudson takes his bottle, he decides when he’s nearly done to take control and hold the bottle himself.  He usually prefaces this by making adorable little noises…the kind that just make Grammies go all mushy.    Then he’ll take the nipple out of his mouth,  poke at it with his little pointer finger, and then put it back in for another suck or two.   He will continue this until it’s gone or until he’s done.   Decisions.     He also wants to hold it and shake it up and down.   Now it’s Grammie’s decision to not let this happen.  For one thing, having formula splattered all over him, or the sofa, or my face is something I’d like to avoid.   Secondly, playing with your food is a no-no.

Speaking of no, he’s really good about that.   He is a kid who hears the word “no.”    I use it when he starts to play with the faucet control in the bathtub;  I use it when he heads for the animals’ water bowl, I use it when he tries to play with any kind of electrical cord.   He stops, looks at me, and most times that’s all it takes..I say “thank you” and he moves on to another activity.

Hudson made another, rather big, decision today.  He decided an afternoon nap was not going to happen.    He actually warned me about it yesterday when he didn’t go  down until 4 pm.   Today, at what I thought was an appropriate time, 3:30, I put hm down, but he just played and cooed and talked to himself until 4:30 and that just seemed to late for an afternoon nap.

I fed him at 5, bathed him at 6 and at 7:15, although he was not whining or fussy, I put him down.   He played for about 20 minutes and then it was lights out.    I hope he isn’t trying to give up his afternoon nap.   He’s too young for that, right?

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Are you smarter than a one year old?

That’s what I was asking myself today.  For the second day in a row, Hudson decided to just spit out his meat.  Yesterday it was ham bits, and today turkey.   Yesterday I substituted cottage cheese mixed with yogurt, which he loves, so that there was a protein serving, but I didn’t want him to get into that habit.  Today, I realized that he is crazy about whatever fruit is offered; so the first thing I did was remove the fruit from the table to be offered as a dessert.   Then I mixed the turkey with the yams, with wonderful results.   Poor Rook…not many scraps to eat off the floor!

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A squealing good time

Hudson woke up about 7:50 this morning,  and before anything else I decided we might as well feed Rook, the chocolate lab.   Rook gets fed at 8 and 5 and his stomach is equipped  with an alarm clock in it, so he was already giving me the eye.   So off Hudson and I went, down the hall, with Rook eagerly going on ahead.   Before we even reached the 90 degree turn in the hall that ends in the laundry room, Hudson was shrieking and squealing in my ear.   He LOVES to watch Rook eat.    Who knew something like that would give a baby such pleasure and result in such noises of glee?   Too bad the entire process from beginning to end takes about 90 seconds.

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Observation skills

It comes to mind, over the past few days, that my Grammie observations differ from the Mommy ones.    During my time here with Hudson, I realize that my only responsibility is Hudson.   Well, I am also taking care of the dog and two cats, but they are easy.     That gives me unlimited amounts of time to just watch Hudson:   watch him play, watch him put little pieces of fresh banana or ham, or turkey into his mouth, watch him laugh and scream as he stands by the screen door while it’s raining outside. I don’t have to share my time with a job, or a husband (because Grandpa let me come alone), or yardwork.   I have only Hudson on which to spend my time.    Truly, it is time well spent.

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Obligation or Bonus?

I’ve been a Labor and Delivery nurse for 34 years.  When I graduated from nursing school in 1976, I was 4 months pregnant with Hudson’s daddy.   During those years of helping women bring their precious little gifts from God into the world, I have had the occasion to observe some pretty interesting family dynamics. 

The one I want to relate here is about grandbabies and their grandmothers.    I can’t tell you how many women I have been around, including personal friends and co-workers, who evidently feel it is their kids’ obligation to make them grandmothers.   I have heard statements like “it’s about time they made me a grandma,” and “I told my kids they’d better get busy and make me a grandma.”   Now I wanted to be a grandma as much as anybody, but long before my children were out of grade school decided that if THEY decided to have children, thus making me a grandma, it was a bonus.    As they grew older, we had this discussion.    I made it very clear that it was their choice, not mine, whether or not they would become parents.  Having a baby to make your own mother happy is about the worst reason in  the world, in my opinion.

Because that’s what happens first:   they become parents.    Only after that happens, grandparents happen.

My daughter-in-law, Hudson’s Mommy, and I are very close.   She has known from the day they became serious as a couple that there was going to be no pressure from us about  where they choose to live, what they choose to do as careers, and a number of other things, but also whether they would choose OR NOT to become parents.   

Lucky for me, they wanted very much to have a family, and worked hard at it.  It was no bed of roses, and maybe that is part of why Hudson is so very precious to us.   I suspect it’s only a small part, however, because every time I see that sweet face with that big grin, my heart melts…how could it not?

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