Thursday, October 25, 2018

Luigi Turns One

I haven’t really written much about our third son Luigi after he arrived home from the hospital in September 2017. He was supposed to add some additional content to Sean’s Ramblings, but he really hasn’t. No wonder television shows have babies go from newborns to walking and functioning kids so quickly. There’s only so much you can write about a baby. Let me rephrase this. There’s a lot that you can write about your first child as he or she develops, but by the third kid, it’s already been covered.

Let’s start with basics. At his one year appointment, Luigi was 20.6 pounds (25th percentile), his height was 24.1 inches (14th percentile) and his head circumference was 42.6 centimeters (85th percentile). Look at the size of that noggin!

Actually, his head looks proportional to the rest of his body, but anytime I can add a reference to So I Married An Axe Murderer, I’m going to do it.

Overall, Luigi is a pleasant kid. He sort of has to be because of how much time and attention his brothers The Moose (7) and Pedro Tulo (4) need. His favorite toys are doors, garbage cans, and especially, our cat, Ziggy. Luigi absolutely adores Ziggy and lights up when he sees him. Ziggy is quite patient with Luigi too, often allowing the child to grab him and pull his fur before walking away.

It’s been quite a year for us and Luigi. He arrived almost a month early, and despite being 6 pounds and 13 ounces, he spent the first week of his life at the NICU where he was cared for by some amazing nurses. The next few months are a blur. My wife stayed home with him until January, and I just remember shuttling the older kids back and forth to and from school and preschool. I guess I worked during this time too, and I helped out at night, so there really wasn’t much time for sleep. One night when Luigi was about a month old, I was holding him on the couch, and we both fell asleep. Somehow, I accidentally dropped him onto the carpeted floor. That obviously woke us both up and was probably the most scared I have ever been as a parent. He calmed down fairly quickly, but I was terrified that he got hurt, perhaps seriously, because of me. I read everything I could find online about dropping babies, and it helped that he had a doctor’s appointment sometime in the days after this. He was fine, but I think that may be why he didn’t like me much the first few months. Well that and that I’m not the mama.

At three months, Luigi had hernia surgery. Although the doctors said that he wasn’t in any discomfort due to the hernia prior to the surgery, I’m not so sure. He seemed like a happier baby after this. Even in the hospital, he smiled at the doctors and nurses after the surgery.

While I took time off work immediately after all three of my kids were born, I only had a week alone with both The Moose and Pedro Tulo after maternity leave ended. In January, my wife went back to work, and I planned on taking the entire month off with Luigi. It was terrific spending so much one-on-one time with him. One of my goals was to get out each day whether it was meeting a friend for lunch, running errands, or becoming mall-walkers. Nearly every weekday over a 2-week period or so, we joined retirees and other moms with young kids at the mall. Let's go to the mall!

I found that the best time to go was around 9:00, prior to the stores opening at 10. There was something comforting and fun walking around when the stores were still closed and few people there (except outside of the Apple store), yet there was a rush of employees preparing to open their stores. At one point, Luigi and I saw a few other moms with their kids in strollers meeting in the middle of the mall and exercising. It turns out that it was a group called Fit4Moms which has franchises all over the country. I was tempted to ask to join, but the fact that Moms was in the title dissuaded me. Still, Luigi and I would stroll through the mall and try to see if we could find the group. I would have conversations with Luigi asking him where they went. And then I'd ask him why there are two separate Auntie Anne's in the mall and so many places to get a haircut!

Our planned month together ended a little more than a week early when I fell and dislocated my wrist. That was a really difficult time for me. After spending so much time with Luigi, I couldn’t do anything with him before and after my surgery. With only one available hand, I couldn’t pick him up to get him in and out of the crib. I couldn’t change his diaper. While I could feed him if someone handed Luigi to me, trying to rotate him to burp was not enjoyable for either of us. So for about six weeks, I basically would try to get him to smile and lay next to him on the floor. I could still take care of the older kids, but my wife was basically on her own with Luigi.

Now, a little more than a year old, Luigi really is a happy kid. He started crawling around 9 months and he doesn’t stop moving. He hasn’t started walking yet though he’ll cruise on furniture and can walk if holding on to our hands or pushing one of his toys. Plus, he’s on pace to walk before his brothers did at around 17-18 months. Luigi eats just about anything you give him, and the transition to milk went smoothly. Now, we need him to start using cups more rather than bottles.

Luigi loves his brothers, and his brothers love him. While The Moose was all in as soon as Luigi came home, Pedro Tulo ignored Luigi for the most part until just a few months ago. Now, it’s the cutest thing to see Pedro Tulo go into Luigi’s room in the morning and say “Good morning Luigi.” Luigi always smiles at this.

A belated Happy Birthday Luigi! Now, can you please sleep in on weekends!

No comments: