You know the type. When you inquire about the child's age, the reply is some abhorrently high number of months...like 39. After you get out the calculator, you realize the kid is a little older than three. Great. The answer "three" would have sufficed.
I cut some slack on the month-counting before the age of 18 months. One reason for this is that prior to 18 months, one month can make a huge difference in motor skills, speech, personality, you name it. There's also something about just saying "one" that seems abrasively concise. After 18 months, the acceptable answers are one and a half or almost two. (Apparently, I have a lot of rules. Maybe I should write a book about it.) Another reason for cutting some slack prior to the magical 18 month mark is because my youngest child is approaching 14 months of age, and I want to be able to tell people about it. I'm a hypocrite. 14 months isn't typically a huge milestone month, I don't think, but for the sake of a Flashback Friday of my favorite variety (the kind where I get to compare and contrast my older two with my youngest) I'm taking it and running with it.
Before we added Sarah to create our family of five, I quizzed lots of parents about which transition was the hardest - from zero to one kid, one to two kids, or two to three kids. I wanted to mentally prepare in case the answer was a resounding "from two to three kids". The results were pretty equally split between the three choices. I was freaking out about the people who answered "from two to three kids" because, for me, it rocked my world going from one to two. I was secretly hoping that was as hard as it got.
I'm happy to report that it was.
Sarah has just fit so easily into our family. It's like she's always been here. Wild and crazy as she is, she barely rocked the boat.
I think that I am a much more confident mother now than I was with Abby and certainly with Ben (poor kid, it's a wonder he made it out of infancy alive). So that may have a lot to do with my ability to just enjoy Sarah. Because of my increased confidence, and resulting lower stress, we've been able to nurse longer (through the present), which may or may not be a factor as to why I feel so closely bonded to her.
This week, when we left Maryland after the 4th, we traveled back to Georgia with just Sarah, leaving Ben & Abby behind for their first adventure with Grandmom and Grandpop sans parents. It was a teary departure (not on the kids' parts, they were fine). But something really cool has happened because of it. I've been able to spend time with just Sarah, something that I get to do so very infrequently (if ever), and just enjoy her.
Aside from being our beautiful princess, she really is just a joy. She's got Abby's zeal for life with a side of Ben's intensity. She is a mixture of both, but more than that, she's 100% Sarah. And that's all.
Though it simultaneously feels like decades ago and just yesterday that the other two were 14 months old, it makes me smile to remember those times that have passed.
I especially smiled when I stumbled across this video gem of Abby doing gymnastics in the living room, assuming position so Daddy would help her flip again and again. I had no idea that Abby and Sarah have the same laugh. (Or that I spontaneously snort when I laugh. Embarrassing.)
We could have guessed at the age of 14 months that Abby would end up exactly the way she is today. She's has always had that spunk. It was at 14 months that Abby so excitedly discovered the long lost socks.
And that smile in the midst of a mess of mischief...how do you not smile back at that? (I mean, really, where did she find that spool of string?)
To remember Ben at 14 months, I have to dig pretty deeply. My life has changed so very dramatically since he was a 14 month old toddler. In November of 2004, I was in the midst of my pseudo-junior year of college. Ben stayed up late while I should have been doing my homework and entertained us. Or rather, we used him as a source of entertainment...either way. (Poor kid drooled like that till he was almost 3.)
At 14 months, we captured the now famous (at least within the confines of our little family) photo of Ben cooking up his beloved Piggy in the oven.
And we tortured him by making him wear his horribly confining Halloween costume.
It's such a pleasure to think back on those times and smile. Every month, even. (wink, wink)
Since I've never written a longer Flashback Friday than this one, I feel duty-bound to wrap it up as quickly as possible. Thank you all for celebrating Sarah's 14/12 birthday with me.
I hope you take a moment to remember something that makes you smile today.
Have a blessed weekend...and try to stay cool!