A lot of times parents with older kids give out gobs of unsolicited advice. It’s with the best of intentions, or at least that’s what I tell myself to stay sane. I hear parents tell me to write all of this down because it’s so easy to forget, and before we know it our tiny, sweet, adorable babe will be a tween, and nothing he does will be endearing, much less sweet. So here we go, let’s talk little things!
Before he was born, we called him BB1. When he finally arrived, we named him August. But, like any baby, he’s already obtained a multitude of nicknames in his 8 months of life.
Baby/Babe – This is what I cried out when I first heard him wail when they lifted him out of my womb during my c-section. “My Baby! My Baby! My Baby!” I feel as though every child has this nickname in the beginning, but I could be wrong
Bub – I never liked the look of this when I read it, but it fits him so very well
Sugar – This one developed naturally, and then I found out he was born on National Sugar Cookie Day, which just made it “meant to be”
Augie – His great grampy calls him this, and, as a result, so will most of my aunts and uncles (his great aunts and uncles… I think that’s how this works?)
Gus/GusGus – Just like the tiny mouse in Cinderella, this seems to be the best direct nickname for him
Little Love – Developed naturally, and I don’t even remember when or how it started, but all of a sudden I realized that I use this one almost as much as I use Sugar 🙂
A baby’s cries are their only form of communication to let us know that something isn’t quite right and they should always be listened and tended to. It’s absolutely impossible for a baby to “manipulate” a parent for more attention and for a parent to “spoil” a baby by holding them too much. They don’t know what manipulation means. They don’t know what winning or losing a battle means. They’re simply trying to let you know that something is amiss. They’re hungry, wet, soiled, overtired, or they just need reassurance that you, their parent, are there in this big scary world to make things seem less big and scary.
When we first arrived home from the hospital, his cries seemed so overwhelming. So loud, frantic and desperate. I would remind myself that it is so incredibly hard to be a tiny babe. His warmth, sustenance, support and white noise has all of a sudden been ripped away, and he’s entered a world with bright lights, loud noises, cold wind, and he is in an environment that doesn’t feed him automatically or keep him in a sterile state of perpetual swimming.
The only thing that’s familiar to a baby is Mom’s voice. He’s heard it since he developed ears, so I figured the best way to settle him would be to talk to him, or more importantly, to sing to him.
Those first few sleepless nights, a small pattern developed organically. I would sing his name: August, and the word Baby alternately, or randomly if I was really sleep-deprived, to the tune of The Ohio State University chimes. The OSU Marching Band (The Best Damn Band In The Land – or TBDBITL) plays these chimes at the beginning of the Carmen Ohio which is sung at any sporting event, win or lose, and any University function. And it seemed to calm him. I don’t know if it was the notes or rhythms, or if it was just Mom’s voice that did the trick, but I stuck with it.
As he grew, I needed something with different themes, with no words, that I could hum (so as not to distract him), repeat or cut short as I rocked him and he fell asleep. I’m not entirely sure where this came from or how I had the entire thing in my memory vault, but Latika’s Theme from Slumdog Millionaire fit the bill. I’d hum to the rhythm of the glider and hold him close with his head on my shoulder. Sometimes I’d close my eyes and we’d both have a moment of peace while I hummed away, just before he would drift off to sleep.
Then I needed something with words. Enter Sing Sweet Nightingale from (you guessed it!) Cinderella. I could repeat this or cut it short without so much as a thought and August seemed to really love it.
He sat independently for the very first time the same day that he had his very first puree, in Florida, with both sets of Grandparents and his Aunty, just before Christmas. He started crawling and getting to a seated position on his own at the end of February, and now he’s working on climbing to a standing position on his own. He chatters away with no discernable words quite yet, but his eyes soak everything up like a sponge. He’s quick to smile & laugh and pays close attention to almost everything.
So there you have it: a few of the little things.
We are so completely and utterly in love!
One thought on “The Little Things”
I love that your writing always leaves me wanting more, yet it is very satisfying (like a lullaby) and soothing to know that you will share your love for music as well as your love for Gus. I’m glad he gives you reason to sing.
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