Nap Time

Little Beej and I have a routine. We like it. As he finishes his lunch and we wash his grimy mitts and his grubby mug, we run through the list of what’s coming next. First, we will change his diaper, then read books. Next I’ll hand him the blanket that I made for him and he will lay it against his belly while I reach for his bottle of milk. “Bottle time!” he loves to call out as he wraps his hands around the bottle.

We listen to the same song (known to us as “the bottle song”) as he drinks but recently he likes to chatter around his bottle. I usually remind him that if he’s old enough to be conversing at Bottle Time, then maybe it’s time for Bottle Time to go away. (He’s just over 2.)

BeejAs the song comes to an end, we wrap up Bottle Time and I offer him his pacifier. One or both of us utters the transition word- “Trade.” And then it’s time for him to roll over onto this belly and we rock while we listen to two songs, known as our “Rocking with Nonna” songs. Sometimes he will talk softly while we rock and other times he passes out. I never know if he’s still awake or not until we reach his crib and I go to lay him down. If he’s awake,I remind him that it’s nap time and I cover him. Most days he lays down, with his little blanket under him and warmer blankets on top. Sounds too good to be true? It’s one of the perks of being Nonna.

This entire routine takes approximately a half hour. I’m not sure when it actually came to be, but it’s been special to us for at least a year now. I didn’t expect it to last too long past his first birthday. After all, rocking? What active toddler, especially one who has been walking since he was 9 months old, wants to rock? Well, my little guy still does but only for me. Both of his parents have admitted that rocking has been a thing of the past for months now. And because I know that this is something special with only me, I cherish it even more.

There is so much of what I do with my grandsons that I did with their dad when he was growing up. And it works.

But this naptime routine with little Beej? Nope. The only resemblance it bears to days gone by is my laying out what is going to happen next. It was a habit I began early in my parenting days, probably for myself more than anyone else, but it certainly helped my kids to know what to expect next. While Michael, my oldest, rolls with the punches easily, Andy, my baby, needed lots of warning and was always asking what we were doing today- meaning he wanted the full line up.

Back then I wasn’t rocking 2 year olds with bottles and then pacifiers. My kids didn’t have pacifiers. And they were off bottles long before they were 2. And I didn’t rock anyone to sleep. I think that it’s because of all of those things, that I don’t mind doing it with Beej. Also, I realize how quickly time passes and you never really know when that last “rocking and holding” session will be.

And so today as I handed Beej his bottle, I told him, “This might be the last time I give you one of these. Your bottle days are coming to an end.” He doesn’t understand and he was just grateful for the bottle and the continuity.

Little does he know that he’s in for so many changes in the coming weeks. And these are not small ones. His bottles and pacifier are going away. The potty chair is coming out. The high chair will be leaving soon, too, and he will be joining us in his booster seat at the table.

He is embracing his “twoness” for all it’s worth. While he tends to be an angel for me (of course), he’s thrown some glorious tantrums for Mommy and he even gives Daddy a run for his money from time to time. He is the busiest two year old in town.

I know that his parents are eager for him to grow up, just a little more. This age can be exhausting for parents. But I want him to stay this size forever. I know that in the blink of an eye he will be in school, reading, riding a bike, playing baseball and the drums. It’s all going to be here soon enough.

And until that time, I’m going to look forward to my favorite part of nap time- the smile that spreads across his face when he sees me after nap time when he gets up and I lift him out of his crib.  He wraps his arms around my shoulders and lays his head down, after making sure his little blanket is smooth on his tummy. We walk downstairs and then I sit down, with him snuggled up in my arms and we rock while I talk to him softly, listing out what we are going to do next and savoring Cuddle Time.

This is the stuff that dreams are made of. 

 

 

 

Hugh’s Weekly Photo Challenge: Week 21- Fresh

BJ1

For me, this is about as fresh as you can get. There’s nothing quite like a newborn. When my grandson was born 16 months ago, I was immediately transported back to 1990 when his dad was born. Being a grandparent is so different than being a parent. There is a wealth of experience and information brought to the relationship that makes it SO much easier!!! Watching my son navigate parenthood has been fantastic and frustrating all rolled up in a neat little messy package but I wouldn’t miss this time for the world!

You can view more images of fresh items at Hugh’s Weekly Photo Challenge: Week 21- Fresh. 

 

Hugh’s Weekly Photo Challenge: Week 19- Gap

Our resident 16 month old little guy recently discovered the gap between my chair and the table and kept pushing the little person through it only to wait for me to toss it back out so he could push back it in again. There is another gap between his grandpa’s chair and end table where he drops in his ball (which is actually Ari’s but either doesn’t know that or doesn’t care or Ari doesn’t know that or doesn’t care). Either gap is the source of endless entertainment……at least when you’re a toddler it is.

gap

This post is in response to Hugh’s Weekly Photo Challenge: Week 19- Gap.

Season Now

I never knew what the name of this song- The Circle Game by Joni Mitchell-  was and I had forgotten it until now when I was searching for appropriate music to accompany this week’s Weekly Photo Challenge: Seasons.

beej and star wars

I find myself in a season I had not anticipated. 15 months ago when Beej was born and the baby equipment slowly overtook our house, I found myself plunged head first into the world of a newborn once again. Because Beej is my son’s child, I was experiencing it from the new perspective as grandparent. Watching this little guy, who looks so much like his daddy- but opposite in coloring, grow from infant to toddler these last 15 months has been been amazing.

beej and ari on ari's bed

He is a curious mixture. He is the living embodiment of his dad in so many ways. He is very curious about how things work and spends much of his time examining his toys, discovering all the secrets they hold. He was born with a larger than life personality, just like his dad. He is always smiling and looking for the humor in every situation. And if there is no humor to be found, he will find his own, often laughing hysterically at things only he finds amusing. That really is his daddy all over again.

Beej reading

My son and his family moved in a few months ago while waiting to move in to their new house. I have been granted the gift of seeing this little guy daily. I am so grateful for this time. Because he was here, I was able to build on his interest in books. He has an extensive board book library and every day he spends hours either looking at his books, examining each picture or flipping through to simply look at his favorite pages. On any given day, we read the same book 5-10 times. One day, we estimated that between me, my son and my husband, Beej heard Goodnight Moon 20 times.

beej and ari reading

He loves Ari and she loves him in return. She has endless patience with him and he adores her. He loves to cozy up against her when she’s in her bed, usually holding one of his dog books- either Baby Einstein’s Dogs or Go Dog Go.

Whether it is reading his favorite books, stacking blocks or rocking in my chair listening to our favorite songs at nap time, I will cherish this season in our lives as the special gift it has been.

 

Forever Young

forever youngsleeping beej

I took this picture yesterday. It’s out of focus and the angle is off. But looking at it calls to my mind all the feelings.

Yesterday was a tough day. There wasn’t much “wonderful” to be found. Baby Beej is now 9, nearly 10, months old. While he has turned teething into a major event- please note that he has exactly 1 (count it- ONE) tooth, he decided to walk this week. He can only make a few steps before he either sinks down to his hands and knees or stands frozen with his arms raised catching his balance. It’s tiring work for a baby, soon to be an early toddler. Teething is kicking his butt- he’s drooling buckets and swatting at his ears as if there are gnats fluttering inside. And he’s sworn off food. The only thing overshadowing his teething event is the incredible awful food experience he hosts at each meal. It begins with him letting out piercing screams, raising his fists in the air and flinging his head back to thump resoundingly against the wooden high chair. If we dare to sneak a spoonful in during these fits, he has taken great pleasure in spitting it out. If he even sees the spoon being lifted, he has mastered the skill of knocking the spoon so the food splatters everywhere.

So, yesterday it was just him and me. Daddy was at work. Mommy had a meeting. While I find I have more patience with him than I had with his father as a baby, I found myself at my wit’s end. Finally, I did the only thing I could think of. I pulled up my Grey’s Anatomy playlist on my phone, picked up his solid 22 lbs of pure baby boy and got my baby bounce going. We stood by the kitchen window, listening to our favorite songs from GA and staring out the window watching the leaves flutter in the breeze and the sunlight reflect off the cars as they drove by, keeping time with the music.

As we let the music wash over us, I felt his body relax and before long that 22 lbs felt like 50! I felt the smoothness of his chubby thigh (along with some dried sweet potatoes that I missed during clean up). His soft, silky curls, which alternate between small curls, loose locks and straight depending on the day, tickled my chin. And his little fingers clutched the sleeve of my shirt, as they always do when I hold him.

I stood there a little longer than necessary, just savoring it all. He’s walking now and I know that these moments will become fleeting. This song came to mind because having three grown children, I know how quickly time flies and I realize the importance of holding onto that feeling. Bob Dylan wrote this song, Forever Young,for his children over 40 years ago. The lyrics stand the test of time and hold up today to be as true as the day they were written.

This post is a contribution to- Be Wonderful on Wednesday hosted by Ronovan Writes, Writer’s Quote Wednesday hosted by Silver Threading and Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Sense of Touch hosted by Cee’s Photography. Thanks to Ron, Colleen and Cee for hosting these great challenges! Be sure to check out their blogs along with all the interesting challenge participants!