One of the greatest things about parenthood, aside from getting love (I mean smiles, cuddles, and kisses, how great are they), is watching your child learn new things. Watching their delight at the discovery of something new and fantastic.
Nick is especially delightful when it comes to food. For the most part, he treats new foods as the most fantastic thing he ever tasted, with strawberries, chocolate, and ice cream topping his list. Also anything you’re eating. Even if he has the same thing on his plate. You are eating it. Therefore it must be better.
Food falls into four categories for Nick: “Ba”, which indicates he wants something to drink, usually milk, but also water or juice. “Nana”, means he wants a banana, although they usually end up half eaten and thrown on the floor, unless they are your banana and then they are the best ever. “Nack” means he would like a snack, preferably Fruit Loops, but animal crackers, Cheerios, Kix, and Gerber Yogurt Bites also satisfy.
Finally we have “that”, which can be used in other situations”, but indicates that he wants some of whatever it is that you are eating. If you don’t feel he should have some of it (we’re still sketchy on fish and soda, and of course diet food), he responds by yelling “that, that, that, waaaaaah.” Really, it’s fun…
I’ve also enjoyed watching Gabe’s progression with his legos. He still prefers the quatro legos to the duplos as his love for giant towers has no end. However, he has started making patterns with the blocks and leaving room for windows and doors. His buildings have roofs. It’s quite a change from the baby Godzilla he used to be. Who would demand towers and then eagerly knock them down.
Unfortunately, Nick is at that stage. Except he doesn’t have to demand towers, as usually Gabe has already built one. Poor Gabe. He gets very frustrated when Nickzilla attacks one of his towers.
We have lots of nicknames for our boys. While it took quite a while for me to call Gabriel, Gabe, Nick had always been Nick, not Nicholas, despite having that on his birth certificate.
When Gabe was first learning to talk he often doubled the first syllables of names and words. His beloved monkeys were monkmonks, noodles were noonoos and he was Gabegabe. Sometimes we still call him Gabegabe, even though he has moved on from that stage with his vocabulary. At one point, before Nick was born, Oscar even had GABGAB as he personalized license plate (and yes, I have a personalized plate now, this is
Due to his love of monkeys, Gabe also gets called monkey a lot.
We also refer to both boys as Bob when they’re upset about something. As in “Bob is not happy” or “Bob is mad”. I’m not sure where this came from, but it usually helps us defuse what could otherwise be a tense situation.
Nick is often called Nickel or Nicknack or Nickelpotamus. To go with that, Gabe is also sometimes called Gabel.
I also call them my baby monsters or my baby children or my beebles (have no idea where that came from, I just like it).
They are my darling boys. And I love them so very much. They are growing up too quickly and I’m trying my best to hold on and cherish every moment we have together.
I regret that I am not the type of mother who writes every milestone down in a baby book or dutifully writes dates on the back of all her pictures and then immediately files them in a photo album.
I will never scrapbook.
My memories of their youth will be hazy. I will not have the exact day they walked their first step or said their first word etched in my memory.
But I will have loved them. I will have enjoyed our time together as they grew up. I will have been there for them when they needed me. I will have done the best that I was capable of doing.
And that will be enough.
Because I loved them.