Matt and I are always busy, struggling with balancing demanding work schedules as attorneys and quality time with Max, but I think we are doing a good job so far. Max seems to be thriving in daycare, and honestly, we call it school when we talk about it because they have a designated curriculum daily, and his teachers have backgrounds in early childhood education. He takes swim lessons, takes part in age science and math lessons, reads stories, goes crazy at outdoor play time, and loves trying new messy projects. Plus is loves is daycare bothers and sisters – some of which he’s known since he was 4 months old.
Max is now an independent, compassionate, and kind little boy. Yes, his own little boy now, no longer our little baby.
He is a boy with opinions and thoughts of his own. He will ask with words when he wants to eat and drink, and promptly say thank you when you give him that food, or even his favorite toy. This boy has very stubborn parents, and the apple does not fall far from the tree. Max knows what he wants and goes after it. He explores, jumping off the back of the sofa and climbing the outside of the stairs. He will let you know when you are not making him happy, usually with a demand of “MINE!” when a favorite toy has to go away.
He can be rambunctious, rough and tumble, as lots of toddlers are, but he also shows compassion and love. The world is so crazy now, a foundation of kindness and compassion for others is more important than ever. When Max sees someone sad, and he will give a kiss to say he is sorry. At school last week, one of Max’s teachers told me a younger girl was crying one day in class and Max’s response was to place his hands on her face to stroke her cheeks softly in attempt to make her “all better”. I am filled with gratitude that he cares about the feelings of others and understands, in some way, that his actions can have an impact on those around him.
Sometimes he gets frustrated or mad as all children do, and we try to teach him what to do with those feelings. I’m really happy he has reached the age where he understands taking a “timeout”. I never thought it would work this young, but he stays put in his chair and listens. We will explain what he has done and what to do next time, and he sits there with his lips pouted and tears welling in his eyes. while I never like to see him sad, it makes me glad to know that he can understand now when he has done something wrong and timeouts seem to help in redirecting his actions. Who knew at 20 months? (probably lots of people actually, but I was utterly clueless!)
And then there is our friend the potty. Max is still pretty young so we are just experimenting with his kiddie toilet, usually on the way to and from his bath. Last week he did pee pee in the potty for the very first time, and several times thereafter. I was so proud of that kid, and the look of accomplishment and satisfaction of a job well done on Max’s face was priceless. While we’ve started making progress on the pee pee, our batting average is not quite as good for number two… Baby steps…
I know talking, opinions, growing, timeouts and potty are all just normal kid stuff. He is the same as any other toddler. But that being said, watching him learn and grow in all of these new ways is fascinating to me, and we are so very proud of him. In our eyes, he’s the most special kid in the whole world.
Some days Max will just bring tears to my eyes. He will shoot me his coy broad smile, accidentally step on my fingers as a sit next to him on the floor, and clumsily wraps his arms around my neck and squeeze. Then he will pull his head away and look into my eyes, flash that huge grin again, and fall back into that giant hug. I can’t believe that’s our little boy, and that we are so lucky to have such a special little man in our lives. When I look his eyes and feel that gooey baby slobber on my face after a giant smooch, my heart feels like it will explode. I don’t know if it’s because we tried so long to have him we feel like this, or every parent just feels like this about their child. He is more than we ever dreamed we could have, and having Max in our life exceeds all of our expectations for how happy we would be…
There are so many complicated things he will have to learn about someday in this world. Some things will be scary, and some things will be difficult, but above all he will know that he travels through this life with love from so many people, including his daddy.
Daddy plays baseball and wrestles with him – he’s the fun guy who that lets him try sour patch kids and chases him around the house. But daddy also does the hard stuff. Daddy changes the disgusting poopy diapers, gives him messy baths, and rocks him to sleep so many nights when Max is teething and can’t get back to sleep. Daddy is a safe place for Max, a place of love and caring, a place of fun and a place of happiness.
Max will look high and low in the house calling “Dada?” when Matt is still at work, searching for his best buddy. If he doesn’t hear anything, occasionally he calls out “Matt?”, hoping for a different response. All the love and caring that this daddy brings into Maxwell’s life has helped our little boy grow into such a clever and compassionate boy. He is full of passion, determination and smiles. I’ve read that a dad is a son’s first hero, and luckily for Max, he’s got a superhero. Max’s daddy never once gave up hope though 5 years of Infertility treatments that we would have our little boy one day, even when I felt like giving up. Sometimes I would get annoyed, wondering why he didn’t cry the same tears and react the same way as me. I know now he was just being the rock that I needed him to be, and he knew that in his own time, our boy was coming to us.