Friday, February 08, 2008

The Spoon

It's hard to believe that my son is going to be 14 next month; I feel like me and my now-ex were bringing him home from the hospital just a few months ago. In fact, that cold, cold March afternoon was nearly a decade and a half ago.

One of the shocks to me was the realization that a baby needs care around the clock. They can do nothing for themselves. Feeding, cleaning, diapers-- all of those things were firsts for me.

I had been working as a substitute teacher and a waiter when he was born. I cut back to just waitering because it meant that I could spend days with him and his mother could care for him at night. That meant that I was there for a lot of firsts.

Dave at Bad Art Global had a post recently about his baby daughter sitting up on her own for the first time. It's hard for someone who's not a parent to understand how big a deal each milestone is. It's truly one of the joys of being a parent.

I remember the first time, for instance, Adam rolled over on his own. I had put him on our bed, confident that he was fine; he was far away from the edge of the bed, and at 6 or 7 weeks old, he'd never rolled over on his own. Until then. He rolled over-- and then again, and then right off the bed. Fortunately our bed was a futon that was only a few inches off the ground. When I heard him crying, I ran over and picked him up. He had weathered the drop just fine, just a little upset.

One of the things you do as a parent is get them ready for each great leap forward-- holding their own bottle, solid food, standing, walking, etc. One day, I was home with him, when I decided that I was going to teach him how to use a spoon so that he could feed himself.

I went through my morning ritual of making our breakfasts. I finished his and brought it to his high chair, the one in the picture, in the dining room, also the one in the picture, and set it down with the spoon that I was going to show him how to use. I turned around and walked to the kitchen to get my breakfast, which I was going to eat when I was done with my first lesson on how to use a spoon and then feeding him.

As I walked into the dining room with my breakfast, I realized that I was going to eat my breakfast sooner than I thought. He was sitting there eagerly and ably feeding himself with his spoon.


Anonymous said...

That's some great memories. I've turned into my mother in the past decade I've said often "Time goes by so quickly".

Mnmom said...

Aren't those sweet moments? My twins also turn 14 this year, but that can't be because I gave birth just last year, right??
The days are long, but the years are short.

Erik Donald France said...

Man, if I ever have a kid or kids, it's gonna be a rough gig for an "old man" ;)

Sweet post. Love the leaps forward.

GETkristiLOVE said...

Quick Learner, that kid. Happy Birthday Evil Dictator!

SkylersDad said...

What a great picture! One of the few benefits of Skylers CP is that wherever we leave him, he is staying there!

Monica said...

you should creep him out one day by bringing him a bottle. since he's one of those smart kids, he will see your "bottle" and raise you a "drinking out of it". you will declare him the winner. it will be HILARIOUS

Leonesse said...

I see he already gave that one a try! In the pic I see 2 bottles. One for baby and one for daddy.

My son will be 18 this year. Time sure has a way of slapping you in the face!

Beth said...

How lovely. And what a great photo!

Johnny Yen said...

You ain't kidding!

I love that quote.

I'm way to young to be the parent of a teenager. At least in my mind.

It doesn't get any easier as you get older. I think, though, you'd be a great parent.

He definitely is! I've got a ton of stories like that one.

When he was in preschool, about three, the kids in the kindergarten would come get him when they had trouble with puzzles-- he was a whizz at them.

Skyler's Dad-

Yeah, it's bad when you raise kids who are not only smarter than you, but bigger smartasses.

Good eye! My best friend and his girlfriend were over, so there were a few of those I had to edit out of the pic.


Valerie said...

14? Better start saving now for car insurance. ;)

But seriously, cute pic, cute post.

I say/think the quote that Suze wrote all the time. It's just so true.