Tuesday, July 28, 2009


won⋅der⋅ful [wuhn-der-fuhl]
1. excellent; great; marvelous: We all had a wonderful weekend.
2. of a sort that causes or arouses wonder; amazing; astonishing: The storm was wonderful to behold.


I never knew that having a baby would be so fascinating. In the beginning he was just a little lump- and adorable lump, for sure, but a lump- who didn't do much but sleep and nurse and stare up at the corner of the room, pondering (I presume) the contrast between the beige paint and the white ceiling. But then he learned to smile, and babble, and focus on the objects I held up for his viewing pleasure (rash cream! OMG!), and things took off like a rocket.

I was standing in front of his crib this morning after he woke up, calling the dog in from the hallway. Lion loves the dog. "DAH-GAH!" he screeched, and then slapped his leg repeatedly, just like I was doing.

He didn't do that leg-slapping thing yesterday. When did he learn that leg-slapping thing?

Now, at nearly 11 months old, he makes signs for "eat" and "more." He says DAH-GAH for dog, and KEE-KAH for cat. Music of any sort makes him clap and bob his head. If he hears someone laugh, he'll do his own little fake laugh a couple of beats later. He waves hello and goodbye. He shakes his head NO. He gives us the stink-eye because he knows it cracks us up. He can turn the lights on and off. He cruises around the room and toddles behind his little push-cart, and every once in a while he'll let go with both hands and stand there, beaming, before his bum crashes to the ground.

He eats our food now, chunks of fish and fistfuls of brown rice, roasted asparagus and sweet potato quesadillas. If he's not sure about something, he'll usually try it after he sees Mike and I eat it. He loves fruit above all else. The sight of a nectarine practically sends him into fits of joy.

He calls for Dada after he poops. I can only assume this is because of the way we divided the work for so many months: when Mike was home, I nursed and he changed the diapers. Now in the morning we'll hear Lion call out, "Dadaaaaaa!" and we know what's waiting in his diaper. "How did Liz train him to do that?" my friend marveled. Ladies, the formula is this: dumb luck. "He just likes the way you do it!" I tell Mike, stealing the trick men have used since the beginning of time.

It's not always fun. Of course it's not. There's way he suddenly minds if we take something away from him, or attempt to redirect him (like yesterday in the library, when awful Mama wouldn't let him pull all the board books off the shelves, and when he had to give up my library card to the check-out clerk- oh, the injustice!). The way his bib is suddenly his mortal enemy, and he rips it from his neck every chance he gets (pocketfuls of spaghetti sauce and noodles on the floor! Like a Jackson Pollock masterpiece!). How I was changing his diaper this morning (Dada was in the shower, that lucky bastard) and he grabbed a fistful of his own waste, then peed on me while I was disinfecting his hand. There's all the times I hear myself say, "You know, kid, you don't have to offer your mouth as a receptacle for the dog's tongue."

I wish I could go back in time and visit that woman who wasn't sure she wanted children. I would tell her yes, everything you fear will happen. It will be the hardest thing you've ever done. You'll be exhausted. You might not wash your hair for four days. You'll have very little spare time and money.

But I would also say this: if you do this thing, if you go for it- if you just hold your breath and close your eyes and trust and jump- you'll be so glad you did. You'll love like you never thought possible. Your life will be in Technicolor.

Your life will be... wonderful.

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Blogger Caro said...

I loved the last paragraph of your post. It is amazing how they make your heart swell beyond what you thought it ever would.

I love that your husband is the official poop cleaner. Ha ha ha ha.

My guy still has trouble wiping his butt, so I am the butt wiper here. I will be quite glad when his fine motor comes around.

10:52 AM  
Blogger This suzy said...

I was just telling Master last night about how I never "get" Jackson Pollack paintings. They always just look like splattered paint to me. So I find it highly amusing that you mentioned it today!!

11:08 AM  
Blogger BabelBabe said...

don't mind me, i'm just gonna chomp on some baby toes.

even the days I am exhausted and sick of it all are still probably more...joyful. not to sound like a Hallmark card....

word verif: vomsta - what Terzo has been for the past three cranky and nauseating days...

6:17 PM  
Blogger Liz said...

vomsta- that's perfect.

8:41 AM  
Blogger Bearette24 said...

I think it's most wonderful when they are not teething, though. Fortunately, the latest teething episode seems to be coming to a close.

8:53 AM  
Blogger Liz said...

for sure- teething is tough on them AND us. Poor little guys. Poor, tired moms.

9:19 AM  
Anonymous Frema said...

I love this post because YES. It's amazingly hard and frustrating and repetitive and insanitary, but above all else, it's wonderful.

Also, we have tons of pictures of Kara staring out the window, just like Lion's doing here. There's something about that pose that makes them appear so wise beyon their years.

10:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love this post because YES. It's amazingly hard and frustrating and repetitive and insanitary, but above all else, it's wonderful.

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3:14 AM  

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