Infinity and One

March 28, 2011 at 12:01 am | Posted in Bun | 19 Comments
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He’s 10 months. And change. Closer to a year than not.

He’s getting so big. Moms always say that, don’t they? But, really, he is. He’s got two teeth. He’s standing. He likes waffles and cheese. When the dogs walk by and swish their tails, he cackles like it’s the greatest thing he’s ever seen. And my husband recently taught him to hold his own bottle.

Except, I don’t let him.

He’ll be one in two months. He’ll drink from a sippy cup. He won’t have any more bottles. More importantly, I won’t either. I am savoring it. Each and every last one.

We sit down on the couch together. I place the pillows — the blue one and the brown one — in the arrangement we agreed upon after much trial and error many months ago. I pop the bottle lid off, and he curls his chunky fingers around the lid’s edge. I hold the bottle to his mouth as he rhythmically flexes his toes into my leg and starts to drink.

Sometimes I run my fingers over his blond peach fuzz. Sometimes I gently wrap my hand around his squishy, pink feet. And sometimes I just lean into him and close my eyes, breathing in the heady fumes of Desitin, baby shampoo, and boy sweat.

It all goes so very quickly. Seven or eight minutes, tops. And then he pushes the bottle away, ready to explore as he reaches for the remote, the cat, the pretzel bag, or whatever else catches his eye. But for those few minutes, we settle into the pattern that mothers and babies have followed countless times for countless centuries — mother feeding child. It’s part biology and part bonding, part nature and part nurture.

Yes, it all goes so very quickly — his babyhood, the beginning of boyhood, our rare moments alone. His need for nurturing gradually diminishes, but my desire to nurture him doesn’t. If anything, it grows. Mother raising child — it’s a bittersweet and binding mix of emotions that are as complicated as they are unconditional.

I am savoring it, each and every moment.

What do you miss most about mothering a baby? Do you ever feel connected to the legions of mothers who have come before you? And what mix of baby smells intoxicates you?



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  1. I had a moment similar to this recently. M isn’t holding his own bottle yet, but I wondered what would happen when he does. I miss him already so much during the week. Last night I whispered to him, as he was having his last bottle, that I loved spending the day with him. I mean, we didn’t do anything, but it was sweet holding him and feeding him and making him laugh and smile. I don’t want to be handing him a bottle so I can clean the kitchen or “deal with” his big sisters. I want to keep holding him and holding the bottle. I love the smell of his little head, all baby soap and milk. I just love everything about him right now; he is smack in the middle of his babyhood, and I can’t get enough.

  2. Look at those precious little arms and fingers! I miss the soft baby fuzz on the head and strapping her into the Bjorn and dancing around the kitchen until her breathing got heavy. Bliss.

  3. Oh, how lovely. I adore the primal nurturing, the simplicity of holding and feeding. Sigh.

  4. Oh I miss having a little one. It’s so sweet when they are this age. Enjoy it all, it goes by so fast 🙂

  5. This is exactly what I was trying to express in L.’s half birthday letter. Not sure I did it half so eloquently as you. But he still wants me above all, is not quite as far on the trip away from babyhood as your littlest. Hooray for finding the ways to savor it.

  6. This is so precious Stacia. It does go by fast. I’m wondering where the five years went with my own. Hold on to that little one as much as you can.

  7. I love, love, love the top picture. How can you not want to snuggle that ball of love?

    I’ve been relishing the bottle feedings with Rex because we are fast approaching the time when he no longer will get bottles. I love to nuzzle the top of his head listening to the sound of slurping. Just having him nestled in my lap and not squirming is amazing.

    It’s those times that I wish I had Dumbledore’s pensieve so I could pour out those memories to be able to access them again later.

    • A pensieve, yes! And an invisibility cloak, too. Just for, you know, occasional use during the teenage years. =>

  8. You and E… are killing me today, in the best possible way. What a beautiful post. My sweet girl is turning one next week. ONE! Already?! She was just born, I swear it. And I have to say that I do not know if I will be able to wean her, especially knowing that she will probably be my last baby.

  9. I miss the staring into their eyes and them just staring back. A flutter, a smile, and intense searching and seeing. Now if I try to stare into their eyes, they either ask me what I’m staring at (Javi) or rattle off a list of demands (Bella).

  10. So glad you are savoring it. At the time, I rushed it, and wish I hadn’t.

  11. All of it. I miss it all. But, I’m also (right this second) viewing it through the prism of a beautiful post about baby nuzzling. I might be neglecting to remember a thing or two . . .

  12. I miss it. Can’t believe it is over. Sweet sweet picture. 🙂

  13. Recently my daughter took a class where she had to be a parent for 3 days. She brought home this amazingly life-like baby and this baby SOUNDED like mine when she took a bottle. It was intoxicating. I was mesmerized. My daughter laughed to see me so drawn in by that sound like one of Pavlov’s dogs. But there it was. I was transported in time by the sound of a baby sucking.

  14. I can’t believe that when I started reading your blog, you were pregnant and now Bun’s almost one!!!

    I loved having my daughter fall asleep on me when she was an infant. So rarely ever happens anymore, and now I’m looking forward to the “next round” 🙂

  15. I am doing the same thing with my baby who’s now 2. I savor and breathe it in and kiss and cuddle a lot and remember that my bigger ones are still all that underneath.

    • I love the idea that our bigger ones are still their little selves underneath all the lanky limbs and cranky attitudes. It’s an endearing way to look at it, and it’s giving me patience on this day when I truly need an extra dose!

  16. I miss the dead weight of my babies falling asleep on my shoulder. The toothless grins. The games to get them to open their mouths and eat. There is so much I miss. My youngest is 7 – at least he’ll still cuddle with me at bedtime. Awww this makes me so sad. 🙂

  17. Wow, I can’t believe he’s already 10 months – I still remember when he was born. I am one of those moms who didn’t appreciate her babies when they were little, and now I would do anything to spend one day with my son as an infant. I can’t describe it but I miss the relationship that we had as a new mom and a new little human being, like we were the only 2 in the world. It’s so unique to just that first year.

    Sorry to have been so out of touch!

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