Christmas in June

Life Lessons from a One-Year-Old

After I got baby all tucked into bed, I walked out to the kitchen.

Why does it smell like Christmas in here? I haven’t baked anything in a long time – 

Oh boy. I know why. Those darn CLOVES! The cute little red jar of cloves that Hank was rolling all around the kitchen earlier, while I did the dinner dishes? Yep. Well, apparently he mastered the skill of biting the top open with his teeth tonight, and I didn’t notice, because it was now sprinkled across my kitchen floor. Of course, he couldn’t have chosen the whole cloves (you know the nice big ones you stick in oranges?) That would have been so easy to clean up! But oh no, not Hank! He picked the GROUND cloves to dust the entire kitchen with.


What are we baking today, mama?

But clove dusting aside, it was a big day for Hank! And mopping up those cloves gave me some nice quiet time to ponder on my two big Hank ‘Firsts‘ from the day! One was really great; the other, well – not so great.

The great First:

After almost 13 months of trying to get my son to love books, and failing miserably, I finally had a successful story-time!

Well, let me back up and clarify that first statement a little bit. Hank has always loved books. He loves slobbering on them, chewing on them, biting holes out of the covers, tearing off the ‘flaps’ that hide the cute little surprises, and most of all he loves chucking them across the room as hard as he can, with a big “hiyaaaah!”

But tonight, he gave the frustrated teacher-mom in me some much-needed hope. Hank walked over to his book crate library, picked out Where’s Spot?, crawled into my lap, and let me read him the whole thing. And he thought that was so great, he had me read it a second time! And he laughed his adorable bald head off every time I opened one of those darn little flaps, and we saw that Spot wasn’t under it! I almost couldn’t believe that he didn’t try even once, to sneak his little ninja hands on a flap and give it a tug.

Thank God, maybe there is hope after all!


My little future reader (hopefully!)

The not-so-great First:

Our other surprise tonight, was not quite as much fun as story-time was. Hank got his very first goose egg! Remember when I said how I needed to get my running shoes ready, so I could keep up with him? Well, I didn’t realize I needed to get them this WEEK, but it looks like I better get some rounded up!

So, Hank decided he wants to disprove the saying that you have to learn to walk before you can run. Tonight was a failed attempt, sadly, and I certainly didn’t earn my Mom-of-the-Year badge tonight, either. Like every bath night, I had a good laugh while he frolicked around his room in his post-bath, diaper-only freedom. BUT – I was so entertained watching his new little skip-hop-step attempt at running, that I didn’t anticipate the header into the side of the crib that followed! Or the goose egg that popped up shortly thereafter. Once Dr. Daddy had inspected his little melon and told me it was nothing to worry about, I felt much better, but I was already starting to pull up a google search about head bumps and babies on my phone.

I was hoping to not have a repeat of a night earlier this week, when I remembered an article on Facebook that struck a chord with me (about some child who died from secondary drowning.) Suddenly, mid-bath, I panicked. I was sure that Hank had just swallowed a dangerous amount of water while splashing like a maniac in his 2 to 4 inches of 97-degree bath water. I mean, he kept burping! After splashing in the tub! So that means he must be trying to cough up water, right? His eyes even started to water!

I can’t tell you how many times I checked on him that night, clicking the monitor on and off, making sure he was moving and breathing normally. That was exhausting. And while my day brain told me that he only drank a tiny bit of water, and he isn’t in the 1% of kids who actually have this happen, my night brain was still a nervous wreck about it. Because it was nighttime, daddy was on the road for work, and our precious little life was depending on me and me alone, to not let him die of secondary drowning from splashing too much in the tub!

Whew. Even just typing that out was exhausting.

So, here is my rambunctious 1-year-old, teaching me another life lesson. I am going to take the story-time success, the fact that my kitchen now smells lovely, and the positive report on the not-too-serious goose egg as my “Christmas in June” presents from Hank. And I will be giving myself another, equally fabulous present – a vow to myself as a mother in The Age of Social Media. I vow to myself, that I will no longer read all the articles on Facebook warning me about every possible injury/disaster/illness my child might encounter and the 57 million ways to prevent them. 

I have common sense, right?

I know that somehow, my parents raised me and my brother, in the good old 80’s, without reading any articles warning them about secondary drowning. And they taught us to water-ski at age 4. In a lake. I am sure I swallowed some serious water that summer. But I survived!

I grabbed my phone, and clicked close on the tab of my “head bumps and babies” search window. And with that, came peace of mind. And with peace of mind, can come sleep. So I better get some, because who knows what exciting adventures will be waiting for me tomorrow with my (almost) RUNNING baby!



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