Saturday, 9 April 2011

Adam's first birthday: reflections upon being a mother (again)

Adam on his first birthday
One year has passed since we welcomed Adam into this world. Since he is our second son before he was born we were absolutely sure he wouldn't manage to surprise us with anything. We believed we'd received a proper training from our firstborn, Mikolaj, who'd taught us patience, discipline, manners, art of negotiation, timing, logistics, polite conversation, abstract thinking, respect for his hobbies, dynamic planning and God knows what else. Thanks to Mikolaj we saw the sunrise for the first time (and continued seeing it regularly everyday for over a year), learned not to get distracted by matchbox cars being thrusted  from the back seat towards the windscreen, mastered the art of smiling politely with your teeth clenched when lovely elderly ladies enlightened us on methods of teaching children obedience. We've seen it all, we thought, being a parent holds nothing in store for us. We couldn't have been more wrong.

Brothers in action

 During my pregnancy we sometimes wondered what Adam would be like and it never occured to us that he might be any different than Mikolaj. And indeed he wasn't. Even the boys' doctor said it is rare for non-twins to look so alike. Clones. But that's mainly where the similarities end. Unlike Mikolaj, for the first few months of his life Adam was an ideal baby. I used to call him a wonderbaby, he was so quiet, so sweet, so easy to cope with. Thanks to him we were able to devote enough time to our elder son so never for a moment did he feel neglected or left out. This definitely allowed us to sort out the issue of brotherly jealousy.

Then, one day he decided to take over the control of the family ( the position held up to that moment by his brother). His first step was to voice his opinions really loud, then he invaded his parents' bed (finally his invasion was unsuccessful cause I fought my own comfort in bed), then he started waking up in the middle of the night with the intention of starting a brand new day and had to be lulled to sleep in sort of extreme ways like dancing, jumping, shaking otherwise he cried like mad. Having finally fallen asleep I guess he expected me to stay in upright position with him in my arms till the night was over and woke up whenever I tried to put him back to bed. Mikolaj had never put us to such tests, so sleepless nights were a novelty to us, but I must admit that after a few months we're getting used to the situation and almost expect to be woken up by his dramatic sobs.
His next step was to start walking at the age of 10 months, the skill turned out to be particularly useful in the situations when he needed to change his position quickly ( grab and run kind of thing), or when he wanted to access some areas and touch objects formerly out of reach (computer keyboard, cosmetics on the dressing table, his brother's sandwich, my telephone, the remote). If he thinks he's too short to explore some area above his head he'll definitely find something he can climb onto. I guess what I'm saying is that I've ran out of places where I can hide my stuff from him, all our cupboards are sealed with some sort of police tape which protects their contents from him as well as from us. I find it hard to do my chores if he's not asleep, when I busy myself with one thing he brings havoc somewhere else. For me this is the most difficult moment of motherhood, this "moment" will last for about a year, later new problems will arise...
But on the bright side when he's not crying Adam is the sweetest creature. Adorable, loved by all grannies and young mothers, never fails to surprise us with how clever he is. We thought Mikolaj was an exceptional child, at the age of 1 1/2 he took up a hobby (trains and trams, this hobby countinues in a much more professional way until today), at the age of 2 he knew the alphabet, street signs, all car brands (including those produced in communist Germany in the 1970s), started to speak fluently and clearly almost in a day short after his second birthday, learned the rudiments of computer skills quicker than his grandmother,  accepted fundamental changes in his life like appearance of his small brother or going to the kindergarten without panic or histeria. It seems too us that Adam will follow suit, but much faster despite the fact that we spend less time literally teaching him things. By observing and imitating his brother he learns surprisingly quickly, plays with toys in a much more mature way than Mikolaj did, uses a much wider variety of sounds and tries much harder to imitate what we say, is able to communicate his needs by leading you by the hand and showing what he wants. I'm really proud of him.
There was a time when we wanted to have 3 kids, now I'm not sure I can cope. I feel I really need a holiday from both my little boys. But who knows? Maybe one day I'll want to hold such a tiny, lovely creature again, watch him or her grow, dismantle my flat, play with kitchen utensils, scratch my CDs, wash teeth with my toothbrush, munch on my shoes, tear my magazines...
In the meanwhile I'd do anything to prevent myself from going insane by taking up countless hobbies like prams and strollers, fitness and diet, make-up and beauty, planting herbs, cooking (British and oriental cuisine) and now I'm turning myself into a blogger. I hope I will survive until October when my maternity leave ends and everything will be back to normal.

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