Ready to Talk
I am not a fan of visiting the doctor for myself; however, I have counted the days before each and every one of Micah’s well visits. I wait with baited breath to find out how much he has grown since our last visit, and I always leave with new information on his growth and development. Like everything else surrounding baby’s first birthday, his one-year check-up by the pediatrician seemed monumental.
Days after he turned one, we paid a visit to our friendly doctor. As he had done before, he asked me several questions regarding Micah’s development and then gave me a bittersweet prognosis. “This guy loves being a baby,” he said. “Enjoy it while you can; it won’t last very long.” He was referring to Micah’s lack of interest in moving forward with his mobility. My little dude loved to crawl and didn’t seem to know that walking was an option. He also hadn’t given us very much to work with in the talking department. He was able to communicate using a few signs he learned at Kids ‘R’ Kids, but to date, he hadn’t begun to “talk.”
During the car ride home, I called Hubby and recounted the visit for him on the phone. I explained Micah was perfectly healthy and happy and there were no concerns surrounding his development. “He’s just happy being a baby.” Several times that day, I repeated those words when I spoke with my mother and some friends at work. The sentiment from everyone was the same – don’t rush him; you’ll miss this stage when it’s gone. Like the proverbial angel and devil that are often depicted on television, I had my own battle of consciousness; “calm mom” sat on my left shoulder and “crazy mom” on the right. While “calm mom” typically won the battle, “crazy mom” had me just a teeny bit concerned on this go-round. My intuitive little man must have fed off my craziness and decided to allay my fears. A couple of days after our visit, he pulled himself up, using the couch. He must have liked the view, because within days, he began to use any freestanding object to help support himself. This boy liked all the praise he was receiving and would clap for himself every time he successfully made it up!
He must have received the memo about his first birthday a bit late, but when he got it, he started to change at lightning speed. He was now more interested in learning how objects worked instead of just mouthing them and throwing them to the ground. He would bring a toy over to us to engage in play. Maybe it was just me, but he seemed to look different, too. His toothless grin had begun to fill in with teeth, and his baby hair had been taken over by thick, beautiful curls.
Something about the new teeth inspired him to use that mouth in new ways. Shortly after my averted freak-out, I was getting Micah ready for bed. We had a firmly established routine that would start with a bath, a nice massage and then story time while he drank his milk. Each night, we read the classic nighttime book Good Night, Moon followed by our new favorite Night-Night, Little Pookie. The latter ends with little Pookie whispering, “Night, Night, Mommy,” as he drifts off to sleep. As I finished reading the last sentence, Micah looked up at me and softly said, “Ni ni.” Never in my life had I felt such a surge of emotions. I felt pride, disbelief, exhilaration and a plethora of other things all at once. This baby was turning into a boy, whether I was ready or not. I called upon “calm Mom” and asked for her support in embracing the changes, and she hasn’t failed me yet!