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.