It is officially time to bid farewell to my "Reed notebook."
This notebook began with a hospital packing list and birth plan notes, continued with Matt's scribbled timing of contractions on 3/16/10, and really found its calling keeping track of newborn Reed's first feedings and "wets & dirties."
Once at home with our bundle of joy, I kept the notebook by our glider in the nursery to log feedings as we navigated the early weeks. I added extra notes in the margins, things like "*holding head up well" and "smiles???" Then, slowly but surely, it happened. I became addicted. Long after we had established a feeding routine, I was still writing down the time and which side I nursed on. (I'm talking into September, people). I wrote down each time Reed had a bath and sometimes a description of his poop. I recorded every new solid food-- what and when. On the one hand, I was determined to have accurate and usable records to refer back to should we embark on this adventure again. On the other hand, the notebook was my rough draft baby book, and I wanted to cherish it all! I have even made note of when each of his twelve teeth have broken through. My sister tried to stage an intervention at that point: "people only care about the first tooth, you know!" :) ...My name is Danielle Morgan, and I'm a babynotes-aholic.
I eventually phased out the written feeding and diaper schedule; Reed was on almost all table food, after all. I relaxed into a socially acceptable pace of jotting down some milestones here and there, and compiling a list of new "tricks" at each month's end. But no one prepared me for what came next.
Shortly after his first birthday, Reed found his feet and -boom- turned into a toddler. I had zero warning about the brain explosion that is toddlerhood. Did you know that between birth and age 2 a child's brain grows from 1/4 adult size to 3/4 adult size? And that two-year-olds have twice the number of synapses that adult brains have... trillions! I can't keep up. At first I would rush to my notebook and try to write down all of the funny looks, sounds, and feats. But this was far more intense than the occasional "waves bye" and "gives high fives" of yore. I had come to a moment of letting go. That, or the early stages of chronic writer's cramp.
My parents watched Reed for us a few weeks ago and said that they tried to let him stay up and play, but he pointed to his crib and said "night-night." I told them that was cute, but Reed doesn't know how to say night night. I asked Reed about it the next day, and he promptly corrected my false intel.
Reed babbled all the time as an infant and said his first several words on the early side. Now, at 14 months he says over fifty(!) words (including my favorites- bumblebee and puppy), and adds new words almost daily. I just can't help myself... I still want to get out the video camera and capture forever the precise way his sweet little mouth pronounces each new syllable of each word.
He knows his body parts too (belly, feet, hands, hair, eyes, nose, ears, tongue, and teeth) and will gladly tell you the noises his favorite animals make, although cats says "ow" and cows "boo."
I smuggled Reed into the Sr. High Bible study at our friends' home Sunday night, but he "started singing off key" during worship so we decided to retreat upstairs. As we were leaving the kitchen, he pressed his index finger to his lips, smooshing his nose, and started going "sssh! sss!" Where did he even learn that?!
During a recent trip to Publix, I pushed the cart over to the bakery and asked for one of the free cookies for "Reed." As soon as he saw it, he started yelling "gookie!" Reed has had probably two tiny bites of cookie in his entire life and never even held a whole one, so I wasn't sure where the enthusiastic chant came from, but oh well. Now this was a full size cookie, so being the responsible Mom who wants to limit her child's sugar intake, I broke a piece off for myself. Big Mistake. Wailing, tears flowing, Reed started pointing at me and crying "gookie." If I could have reproduced the (tiny!) piece of cookie from my stomach, I would have. You can imagine my reticence when strangers started the typical "Oh, what's the matter little guy?" Can I get away with nothing anymore?
I know, I know the many years ahead will be comprised of story after story as Reed learns and grows and becomes a little boy. But it just happens so fast! It still gets me when my "baby" runs to fridge on his own two feet and knock-knocks for a "snack." And it catches me off guard when he cheers for the slide as we pass by a playground.
Nevertheless, I know that it is time... So the newborn notebook is officially being retired.
(Rest assured, I'll be back to let you know if he recites the Declaration of Independence or splits an atom anytime soon).
But in the meantime, I am breaking ties with my cataloging addiction. I, Danielle Morgan, hereby resolve from this day forward to only record the funniest and most important babybook-worthy stories and milestones. I know, that's vague, but I think I can hold to it. Plus, I've reached the last page of my notebook! :)
*On a serious note, the notebook was a useful idea that I would definitely implement again to keep baby scheduling notes, and especially as a way to easily jot down "firsts" and "funnies" that can later be transferred into a baby book. I have also heard of parents with multiple children who keep various colors of index cards (a specific color for each child) in an accessible place so that they can jot down the date and record milestones or humorous anecdotes as they occur. Make memories! :)