It’s been a year, almost, since I posted. Which means that Powerball is somehow, suddenly, one.
It feels as if the actual year has disappeared as quickly as the space between blog posts. As if there was only a breath between delivering him into the world and celebrating his first birthday. The cognitive dissonance was real as I stood in the park, watching him try cake for the first time while balloons waved cheerfully in the background. It was clearly a party, a party for my one year old, but how?
I worry that he’s done most of his growing while my back was turned—while I made breakfasts, rushed Bingo off to school (!), went to work, negotiated bedtimes, and tried to pick the most chokeable toys off the floor. As the second child, he’s lucky if he has even half of the amount of attention that Bingo did three years earlier. But as exhausting as these days with two small, opinionated people are, I don’t want to lose them to the chaos of daily life. I want to capture the sweetness of this moment, the amazingness of Powerball, the wonder of watching him grow.
Powerball at one:
Powerball is on the move. He graduated from rolling everywhere to crawling at ten months, and can now cross a room to reach the most dangerous thing in about three seconds flat. He can stand unassisted (one of his favourite tricks) and walks along furniture or holding onto a push toy. He hasn’t tried hands-free walking yet, but it’s only a step away.
Powerball can talk. He carries on full conversations of “la la la”, “ba ba ba”, and “da da da”, though he frustratingly and- I’m sure- intentionally held out on “ma ma ma” for as long as possible. Clearly annoyed that we weren’t responding appropriately, he started adding in actual words at just over 10 months old. His words include: up, hi, bye, all done, this, that, and (now, finally) mama.
High pitched shrieking is a language unto itself, and my sweet, gentle baby has quickly mastered the art of the temper tantrum. This may be a second child survival strategy.
Powerball is half Bingo’s size, but can already hold his own in a fight. As he grows, he’s becoming more and more the little sibling—he and Bingo fight over the real estate over my lap, favourite toys, and the overwhelming desire to have whatever the other kid has. There are also many moments of sweetness and adoring stares in both directions. Seeing them together makes me glad, a hundred times over, that we decided to have a second kid.
Our attempts at baby sign were lackluster at best, and he’s only really picked up signs for “all done”, “more”, and “food”. He has, however, turned pointing into an entire language, patiently instructing his large servers (parents and babysitter, mainly) about what he would like placed where by pointing in rapid succession.
Mostly what he wants is food, in his mouth. He was tiny for the first six months of his life, consistently in the third percentile for weight. Every time I left the house with him, people would comment on his size and ask if he was a preemie. This changed the second that we introduced solid food. He’s now—dare I say it—chubby. He’ll eat anything: fruit, vegetables, spicy food, random things he finds on the floor. The one exception to this is sweet potato, which he considers an insult to the good name of food.
As well as food, his baby joys include opening and closing drawers, putting things into other things, making noise, being sung to, being held, reading books, pretending things are hats, playing peek-a-boo, Bingo’s toys, and dangerous wonders like my keys. Honestly, he likes most things. His nickname is “sweetness”, for a reason.
His baby sorrows include diaper changes (which involve significant acrobatics on both our parts), being separated from me, sleeping, having things taken from his possession, and- very specifically- his right sock.
There have been joys and sorrows for me too, in this year of parenting Powerball. It’s been a hectic and exhausting year. I’ve been frustrated, emotional, and overwhelmed. I frequently feel like I don’t have enough time, enough energy, or enough hands. But more than that, so much more than that, it’s been a year of joy, wonder, and gratitude. I am so happy to get to parent Powerball, to see him grow and change- to have our family grow and change with him. He is the perfect addition to our family and, even in the chaos, I am glad every day that he is here.
I’m excited about what comes next. I want him to take his first steps, say more things, and become more and more Bingo’s peer. But I also want to pause this moment. To take a moment to hold my baby while he’s still a baby, and appreciate exactly who he is right now: my little one.