Are you familiar with Grover, the furry monster from Sesame Street? If so, you might be familiar with his "Monster At The End Of This Book." It's a story of a monster that is waiting at the end of a book - and each page that you turn - brings you closer to him.
So lovable, furry Grover pleads with the reader "Don't turn the page!!" and he constructs elaborate barricades to stop any further page turning. There are ropes and brick walls, sticks and stones.
Our kids love that story.
They love turning the page and getting closer to the monster, while I can sense the anxiety that poor Grover has about getting to the end.
Not that I'm drawing a comparison between my lovable baby Henry and a monster, but I do feel like throwing up some barricades to slow this rapid progression of time.
Because it just doesn't seem plausible that in one short month, we'll be celebrating Henry's first birthday and HOW IS IT POSSIBLE that a full year has (almost) passed??
I am NOT READY to close the chapter on this first year of my baby's life.
I am NOT READY to be thinking about birthday cakes.
Or a big party.
Or a first hair cut.
Sadly, ropes and brick walls, sticks and stones won't help me.
Because like it or not, the simple fact remains ... my baby is growing up. (And he needs a haircut).
Oh, but this baby has been such a joy.
He has brought more love and laughter in to my life than I ever imagined possible. His mere presence in our home has made me stop and enjoy EVERY SINGLE DAY to the maximum extent.
I know that this first year goes by so fast and I have focused on savoring every developmental milestone - every grin - every belly laugh - every nursing session - every night when I pick him up and hold him in my arms, and feel his soft head on my shoulder - and breathe in his beautiful baby scent.
Unlike my experience with the triplets when they were infants, I am so NOT strict.
I do not enforce the rule that Henry sleep in his own crib. So what if he wants to come to bed with us at 4 AM and nurse until 7 AM? Really. How much longer will I have the ability to hold him and soothe him and provide him with that one thing that I know he wants more than anything other?
Although I do not object to bringing Henry to bed with us for an hour or two in the morning, I do object to him waking up at 2 AM and screaming, because he shares a room with his brother. But as of tonight, Henry is in a room all by himself because we decided to move William back in with his sisters ~ temporarily ~ because Henry's waking throughout the night was really starting to have a toll on his older brother's demeanor. (Primarily noted by the fact that he'd fall asleep during breakfast and his head would nod in to his porridge.)
Besides, after a while ... this can get to you. Particularly when it starts up at 2 AM.
But that minor point aside, Henry is rapidly catching up to the triplets. Or, more appropriately ... he thinks he is.
He is cruising around all of our furniture - and is standing for a few seconds, unassisted. Although he still prefers to be nursed - he will eat solids. His favorites are yogurt and crackers, any kind of fruit, pasta and soybeans.
Edamame. Who would have ever guessed babies love them??
Henry does his absolute best to keep up with the big kids. The day that Charlie took the kids out on a small boat in the bay - Henry hustled off our beach blanket and was down at the water's edge, prepared to swim out to them, before I had time to even realize what had happened.
Luckily, I have three helpers that are more than willing to step in and help contain their baby brother whenever necessary. Although, I don't know how much longer Elizabeth, who weighs in at 28 pounds, will be capable of holding Henry, who weighs in at 25. Funny enough, although a little snug, she can wear almost all of his 18-month clothes. (Very unlike William at 35 pounds, and Carolyn at 40).
So, yeah ... my baby is growing up and that first chapter is about to come to a close. But wow, I am so glad to have him and this tale of love has far exceeded my wildest dreams.