Zachary’s third week started with his first Thanksgiving. Aside from being thankful for a happy, healthy baby, I was also super thankful that we only had one stop to make on Thanksgiving. My in-laws came to my mom’s family get-together, so we were able to have a leisurely morning, watch the parade, get naps for all three boys, and then take well-rested and mostly functional children to see their extended family.
I had promised myself that I wouldn’t let the family visit turn into a game of “pass the baby.” Zachary was just a day past his two-week birthday, and you just never know where people have been or what germs they might have. I’m not usually terribly paranoid about germs with the kids, but having a tiny baby brings it out in me. Still, I had to intervene when someone had just finished talking about how sick her entire family was, then reached out to touch his tiny baby fingers. I know baby fingers are irresistible, but they also go in baby mouths, and it’s one of my pet peeves that people insist on trying to touch them. I’d rather not have to say anything to people. It makes life so much easier when they just use common sense so I don’t have to!
So, I was a baby hog for most of the family dinner, but he’s such a snuggly little sweetie that I didn’t mind. I also got to indulge in things like dinner rolls, sweet potato casserole, and pecan pie; all of which had been off-limits during my pregnancy because of my gestational diabetes. It was also fun to have a chance to show my little guy off to all our relatives, and get his picture taken with his three-month-old cousin in their matching “First Thanksgiving” bibs. As I watched my nephew, who is about 11 weeks older than Zach, being so interactive and animated, cooing at everyone and smiling, it made me both excited and sad: excited that we have all that fun to look forward to, and sad that this teeny-tiny newborn phase won’t last much longer. I’m just trying to remember to soak up as much as I can.
Thanksgiving weekend was also pretty full for us. My husband is continuing his work on the new rooms down in the basement, and he used the long weekend to rent a drywall lift and get the drywall on the ceiling in the family room, hallway, and playroom. Max insists that it should be called “dryroof” since it goes on the ceiling. That gave all of us a good laugh. With my husband down in the basement for most of the weekend, I spent most of my time corralling children and trying to keep them out of his way. We put the lights on the Christmas tree and got out most of the Christmas decorations. We still need a stocking for Zach, and we’ll have to re-space the stocking nails on the mantle. I love the idea of six stockings hung by the chimney with care. Hopefully I’ll find one for him before Christmas actually comes!
Two stories to share about Zachary and Jack this week: one funny, and one that almost gave me a heart attack. At least two or three times a day, two-year-old Jack comes to me with the Boppy pillow and says, “Hold-a-baby!” He loves to hold Zachary, talk to him, and play This Little Piggy. This time, my husband was helping Jack hold the baby, when he called me in from the kitchen and told me to grab the camera. Jack had Zachary on his lap on the Boppy, lifting up his shirt, pointing to his exposed chest, and saying “Drinky milk! Drinky milk!” Apparently he’d been watching me breastfeed Zach, but didn’t quite get all the details of the situation. He was insistent that he could feed the baby, and was totally cute about the whole thing. Best of all, we got it on video so we can show his girlfriend in about 14 years.
A few days later, I was getting dinner ready while Zachary slept in his bouncy seat and the three bigger kids played nearby in the living room. I heard Jack say “Hold-a-baby!” and looked up to see him bear hugging his sleeping baby brother while trying to carry him across the living room. It only took a few seconds to get to him, and there was no harm done to the baby, but it was one of those situations when time seemed to stand still. The few seconds it took me to cross the room felt like an eternity, and it took everything in me not to yell or do something to scare Jack and cause him to drop his brother. I had only turned away for a moment, and Jack took it upon himself to pick up his brother and try to bring him to me. I’m just so thankful that nothing happened, and now Zachary naps only in his crib, where nobody can get to him.
The common thread of these stories is how much Jack loves his “Baby Zachie,” which is really sweet. All three kids, but especially the boys, have bonded with their brother. They want him to help tuck them in at night, and kiss him or stroke his head almost every time they walk past him. I’m thankful that my kids seem to have a nice bond with one another, and they have adjusted pretty well to having a new sibling. I’ll just have to do my part to make sure they don’t literally love him to pieces!