Eighteen months of Simon, parenthood and our new normal

posted by Jeff | Tuesday, September 6, 2011, 1:12 PM | comments: 0

Yesterday was Simon's birthday-and-a-half. I can't believe it! We've managed to keep another human being alive and generally well for 18 months, not counting a dislocated elbow, which he somehow did on his own. We are parents, we have a little boy. That never stops feeling normal.

But it is our normal, and most of the time, it's pretty awesome. Simon's mobility, which came a little late, has certainly changed everything about the way we have to be parents, but the mobility brings so much curiosity and personality, and it's fun to watch. It also leaves us a bit exhausted by the time he goes to bed, but I think that's just the composite weight of everything going on in our lives right now.

In the last two weeks or so, Simon is making a lot more sounds, and "talking" a lot. We have no idea what he's saying, but he's clearly experimenting with tone. He kind of "lost" his first few words, and he is behind in speech development (relative to averages), but I suspect he'll catch up the way he did with crawling and walking. As the local bartender warned us, "Pretty soon, he won't shut up!"

It seems like we still struggle with sleeping times, but we've been working a now-obvious strategy lately. First, make sure he's tired, second, make sure he has some nice wind down time where he gets plenty of love and attention from us. That seems to put him at ease, and results in better sleep. I'm also trying to make sure we mix it up in terms of timing and activity, so he doesn't need perfect ideals and flip out when we travel. I still want him to have the routines right before bed, but if we're out later or whatever, I want him to learn to adjust.

We have an extremely active kid. He loves to walk, loves to explore, loves to get outside. Not sure how that's going to go when winter sets in. I'm thankful that he wants to be active, but he doesn't really play with his toys much. Maybe he needs different toys. He also doesn't care much for TV, except when he's tired, but I'm not going to complain about that.

One thing that I don't take for granted is how excellent a partner Diana is. We have our disagreements of course, but I can't imagine being a parent with any less cooperation and collaboration. I can easily see how a poor pairing of people can make parenthood a living hell. I mean, I was reasonably confident going in that we would make a good team, but you never know until you get there. Diana is such an excellent mother.

So far, so good! I look forward to the winter adventures we'll have with Simon. There's a nice little hill behind the house, so I suspect we'll have to obtain a little sled.


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