I said this to my newborn son as I cradled him close. I was 19 and I really did have no idea what I was doing. I was an only child. I never babysat. And now I was a mother and had this tiny person who would depend on me.
This is how real mothers look after giving birth. I don't get the makeup pictures. You just pushed out a PERSON. Look like it. Thanks.
He was born on March 2nd. I'd later learn that this was also Dr. Seuss's birthday.
Instinct took over, I think. That's how I figured out what to do. And I was lucky, Tommy was an easy baby. He'd wake up crying when he wanted to eat. I'd nurse, change his diaper, and set him back down. He'd go back to sleep for a couple of hours.
Thank goodness he was a happy baby. Had he been like his sister, I don't think I'd have had more children. I think I'd have handed him over to his daddy and taken off. But he was wonderful, my Tommy. Most things made him happy.
Real food confused him.
This is my expression whenever I have to cook. "What's this stuff? I mix it with WHAT? For how long?"
As he grew, I noticed that he would make piles of things all over the house. Shoe piles. Toy piles. Food piles. I thought, "Sweet, he'll be an architect and give a speech like, 'My Mom might have been only 19 when she birthed me, but she still made me who I am today.'"
And then he was attached to a string that I named Bing, after Chandler Bing, naturally.
He did this a lot too. "Can you stand on your head?" I'd say in the Cheshire Cat voice from Alice in Wonderland.
When he was two, he wasn't speaking much. His pediatrician asked, "Does he at least know 20 words?" and I went, "Does Mama and Dada and Bing count?" (It didn't.)
I began to notice my little boy was different. I'd take him to the park and instead of playing on the park, he'd do laps around it. Over and over. And over. Sometimes he'd focus on an object and walk back and forth a couple of feet, staring at the object. I'd later learn this was called stemming.
He'd continue with the piles. I noticed he was high energy--he'd rarely sit.
Later we'd find out he had ADHD and autism.
But still, he was a great kid. He'd love to play dress up:
See those boots? He went through a phase where he had to wear them everywhere. The started to STINK. Horribly.
Like his sister, he owned many different outfits. He was obsessed with the human body too. At 5 he could tell people food went down their esophagus.
He also let me take photos of him.
I got him to do this by posing this way while shouting, "Copy Mommy!" like 20 billion times. I think he did it so I'd shut up.
Boy clothes aren't as fun as girl clothes but I still managed to find some cute ones.
I was so happy that his eyes stayed blue. I always wanted a little boy with blue eyes.
Farting noises have always worked with him too. Or shouting things like, "There goes some poop flying through the air!"
When he became a big brother, he was thrilled. He had someone to play with. Or, in his case, ON..
Natalie occasionally tolerated this. Sometimes she'd scream and Tommy would be all, "Well, you're no fun to play with."
No, but seriously, he's a fantastic big brother for the most part. He allows Natalie to do this to him:
"This better not show up on your Facebook." Ooops.
I lucked out with him. He's incredibly polite. Teacher rave about his manners. Sometimes he'll say, "I'm sorry I'm bugging you, but I have some questions..." I'm like, "Tommy, don't apologize for conversing with me," and he's like, "Wait, I don't apologize? Socializing has the worst rules."
I'm a lucky mama.
And I know it.
Happy 12th birthday, Tommy.