Another week?! Life is going super sonic right now.
I know we just did a “kid feature”, but now poor Walt is left out, and since his birthday is TOMORROW…we decided to highlight our youngest. It’s hard to tangibly capture the personality of a baby, and he doesn’t have any great quotes yet (Although my favorite thing is he clearly says the word “ouch” when something bumps him. Doesn’t cry, doesn’t scream, just flatly…”ouch”.)
1) Monster Bebes
All of our babies were born big, but he beat them both by an entire pound! 9lb 12oz of super healthy kid. They brought us Size 1 diapers in the hospital…couldn’t even fake those newborns. He has continued to keep this size, blowing through a box of hand-me-downs a month. My life is boxes of baby clothes! His big brother was born in May, so he should be able to wear all of his clothes beautifully. But comfortably fitting in 18-24 month clothes on his first birthday, he has jumped seasons on us. He just wanted new stuff and attention…
2) Wonky Kidney
There’s a long version to this story, but the fit-it-in-a-list version is that he was born with birth defects in his right kidney, right ureter, and bladder. We’ve learned so much about the urinary tract! Apparently it is where the highest number of birth defects are found. So short version, the right kidney and ureter are misshapen and dilated, making them not as effective as a perfectly healthy set. His bladder formed a Ureterocele (apparently very rare, again, he loves attention) that made it even more difficult for the right kidney to function, and his left kidney began shouldering the burden of them both.
So when he was 8 months old, he had surgery to lance the Ureterocele (basically a bubble inside the bladder). The hope is that with it out of the way, the right kidney will be able to function better and grow stronger. We go back for testing in October to see how much it helped. People are so supportive and always ask how he is doing, but on the outside he’s never had a single symptom. He’s just our happy, chill dude! We love our surgeon and she seems positive about his case, so we are hoping October is the end of this part of his adventure.
3) Sneaky Bebes
He is sneaky. It amazes me how much personality they develop so quickly. He has that baby super power to locate any and all dangers to himself in a room within 3.4 seconds. Seriously. We have great toys! Engaging toys. Toys that stack. Toys that flash. Toys that noise. But he immediately performs a laser scan of every room we enter and finds 1) something that can choke, poke, or strangle him, or 2) something that belongs to another member of the family that he can break or will cause a meltdown when the bigs realize he has it.
He also literally sneaks away. This is one of those moments where we’re not even mad, we’re impressed. Crawling makes noise. The little slap of hands on the floor, the drag of the knees as they scurry away. But he can sneaky crawl. He knows how to be slow and soft so he can get to another room without being detected. We catch him sometimes as he’s halfway down the hall, and when he hears us…HE FREEZES! This baby, just a year old, knows enough to be quiet, listen for us, and freeze if he hears someone coming.
4) Outside Bebes
At this age, it’s hard to determine what they love and hate. They love certain toys, but the next day couldn’t care less. They eat all of one item one day, and cry about it every time thereafter.
At this age, it’s hard to determine what they love and hate. They love certain toys, but the next day couldn’t care less. They eat all of one item one day, and cry about it every time
But one thing we KNOW he loves is the outside. I think he would live out there if I would let him. Just like a puppy. Put some graham crackers and water outside, and he would explore, take a nap, eat a bug, nap, play in mud, nap, in an endless cycle of adventure. Whenever I open the door to let the dogs out, he frantically zooms towards me and cries if I don’t let him join them.
He recently discovered the beautiful, natural light in our dining room, and will stand at the windows for almost an hour (an eternity in baby time), walking back and forth, singing and talking, clapping for whatever creatures he observes. I love watching him watch the windows.
5) The Bebes
For the last year, we’ve been the 5-member family model. Dad, Mom, sister, brother, and baby. Aren’t those the roles? There’s so many examples in books and TV (Bernstein Bears*, the Little Critter family, Growing Pains (although they got a little extra eventually), even Family Guy) where there are 5 members, 5 distinct categories. That way you get all they dynamics, parents, son, daughter, AND a newborn! But the thing is, that baby eventually grows up. He doesn’t eternally represent the “baby” dynamic. He becomes his own person with his own ideas, personality, and desires.
And that has been the most fun thing to watch over the last couple of months. His brother and sister adore him, love to entertain him, and fiercely protect him. They have zero faith in me, and always make sure I’ve remembered to feed him, change him, and if we go anywhere without the baby they will suddenly panic in the middle of our adventure “Mom! Where’s Walt?!” When you come to our house, Hank will probably introduce you, “This my brother, Walter.” He introduces him to everyone EVERY time they see him. I’m talking grandparents included, who are pretty familiar with the kid at this point.
But recently they have also come to realize that he will not just sit where they put him. He doesn’t get excited about the toys they choose to present to him, he wants what HE wants (which is always what THEY have). And now, he can GET them. He can fake cry or beam a smile to try and manipulate his way. He has foods he loves and foods he hates. He gets ideas in his head about where to go, what to do, and what to destroy.
We love watching him grow in to himself, in to our Walt. We will probably always call him “the bebes” which just means baby to us. But we are so excited to watch him become his own person and find his own role in our family.