How can they not recall?

Lamia cannot yet sit without support. And even with support, she has a tendency to slump one way or another. Most of the babies her age that we know are sitting on their own now, but she looks to be a million years from doing it. So we called Sprog’s parents to ask when he did it. THEY COULD NOT REMEMBER!

I know, he is their third kid. I am sure they meticulously recorded their first son’s every move, but Sprog is the third child and I guess by then they were a little busy and had been through it all before. Despite knowing this, it cuts deep that Sprog’s firsts could mean so little to them. They meant everything to us, and we missed them all. Sure, we got pictures. But a bunch of pictures every three months… well, he could have started sitting anytime from 6 to 9 months, and that is a long stretch at this point in babyhood.

I know they love Sprog. I know they do. But this cold little voice keeps telling me it is not enough. That we would have cherished his every move, as we do Lamia’s. That we would have a zillion deathly boring home movies of him lying on his back playing with his feet for the thousandth time. That he belongs here with us.

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10 Responses to “How can they not recall?”

  1. Ouch. I’m sorry.

    Not sure what else to say. Is there anything?

    Maybe just… yes. He’ll always belong with you.

  2. Well, Brad, you got my mind going again. Two different thoughts:

    First, I think that our children get different parents based on when they come to us. First children have parents who are acutely focused on them, both in fascination and sheer terror of ‘messing up’. They delight in everything, dismay about everything, and worry constantly.

    Second children get parents who are Supremely Confident of their magnificent parenting skills, having created and shaped the anointed first child. Second children give their parents a very rude awakening, shaking them up a bit and showing them that every child is indeed different and that what worked for the anointed one will definitely NOT work for the rebel.

    Third children get parents who have been sufficiently humbled, but who are actually more confident of their abilities. They get parents who are calmer and more prepared for anything that third child throws at them, having been ‘broken in’ by child 1 and 2. What they get are parents who are more willing to let them evolve as them.

    So, yeah, third children may not get the worship, the veritable ton of photos and moments captured on film of their VERY FIRST sneeze. What they do get is the freedom to be themselves while at the same time having parents who worry less and enjoy more. That’s why third children are more likely (statistically, really) to be artists or musicians than first or second kids.

    OK so having said that, here’s my now-not-secret confession. Danger Dan? The child who consumes my life? You’ve seen some of the reams of photos of him, million posts, etc? Well, he’s six now. Yesterday my friend L who had a baby in November asked me when Danno had slept through the night. Now, sleeping was not on Dan’s list of things to do as a baby, so it was quite the experience and topic for many hours of discussion, book reading, research, visits to the doctor, etc.

    So, L asks me “When did Danno sleep through the night?”

    And I couldn’t remember.

    Rotten parent. I can remember when his gymnastics and swimming are and his t-ball schedule and who he has playdates with and what he had for lunch yesterday so I don’t pack the same thing and when his pediatrician’s appointment is and that adorable thing he said the other day and to check the weather and be sure and pack the right clothes for our trip next week and that he’s sad because our dog just died so be sure to tell his teacher and also give him lots of extra hugs. But I can’t remember that milestone that was once the focus of my existence.

    Hm.

    Best,

    Regina

  3. Jensboys Says:

    I guess I wanted to say the same. I love and adore my boys. My first born, Tanner was the CENTER of my universe. Completely totally and unequivically. I moved with dh when 5 months pregnant to the God Forsaken end of the Canadian Earth. He was the focus of my every waking minute.

    I called everyone in my phone book the day he cut his first tooth. Apparently I bragged incessently about the first time he rolled a ball. Walking I DO remember because he was the old, old age of 16 months and I had taken him to the doctor to get an assessment.

    He turned 10 in October.

    I cant remember a thing. I think I remember that on his 10 months birthday I walked into his room and he was standing in his crib. I think it was anyways. On his first birthday I think he had 12 teeth. I think.

    But — BUT — I promise you as the years pass, the whens of that first tooth, or the first time they had pears or the first time they sat up fade into a glory of old photos noone looks at anymore and more recent memories of school plays, or hockey goals or bedtime stories.

    I could NEVER believe that I would say that when he was a wee man. But its a universal truth of parenthood. Life is simply too busy to focus on the past because the present is so engaging.

    I know it hurts – I know you feel the loss of that time with Sprog. But PLEASE judge gently. Even a year from now, you will NOT remember the first time Lamia slept through the night, or ate pears or ate a cookie, because you will be WAY too focused on chasing her down the slide, or her first ride on the swings or her frist full sentence. The present overwhelms the kid past.

    Its a sad an amazing truth of parenthood. I wish (and would suggest) that if these memories are precious to you, WRITE THEM DOWN just in case, one day, 30 years from now your new mother daughter calls to ask when did she first sit up because your blessed grandchild is not yet doing it. And you wont remember, without those notes.

    But mostly just enjoy the present because these precious, not sitting, rolly polly baby times are gone in a BLINK. And forgotten even sooner.

  4. Hi Jen 🙂

    Your writing it down reminded me of this. My cousin has two children, one who is 4 1/2 and one who is 2. She has kept calendars for each of them since birth. On each calendar, she writes down things like milestones, funny things they said or did, and things they seemed to enjoy or not like along with their respective doctor’s appts, etc. At the end of the year she complies the funny things and likes/dislikes into an email she sends out as a Christmas greeting.

    I’m amazed she does it and wish I had done the same for my son when he was young. I guess I figured there was NO WAY I could forget all those things and then they just faded. From “He walked on X day at Y time” to “He walked on X day” to “He walked in January” to “Umm, it was winter I think…” 😦

    So, Brad, you might want to think about using a calendar the same way, might be fun down the line to look back.

    Just a thought.

    Regina

  5. celera Says:

    I have to agree with the previous two posters. My kids are young adults now, and I remember that they did most things at about the times the baby books predicted, but I don’t really remember all the firsts. Partly because a lot of those firsts happen sort of organically as you go along, and it isn’t always such a well-defined moment as you expect.

    On the other hand, my birth father has been writing some articles for his small-town newspaper, about some events that happened to him the summer after I was born. It’s just some light-hearted outdoorsy stuff, and there’s no reason he should have spent the next summer in mourning or anything, but still, it felt a little weird at first that he is writing about this inconsequential stuff that happened in the year his first daughter was born and given away to strangers.

    Feelings don’t have to be reasonable. They just are what they are.

  6. Hey Brad,

    Got back from a very good visit with Danno’s birth dad & family. Want to hear something ironic? When Birth Dad was asked by a friend when Danno’s birthday was, he honestly could not remember. Truly. And this is a guy I am certain adores his son.

    So maybe it’s not so much about milestones as it is about moments.

    🙂

    Regina

  7. Oh hell yeah, I am hard pressed to remember how old Sprog is sometimes. I kind of put that down to a healthy squashing of Sprog-related thoughts over the years though.

    I know you are right. My mind is already fogging up over some of Lamia’s milestones. She has two teeth now and I do not recall when the first one appeared. I think it was April, which was only last month. But my wife is writing everything down. I think.

  8. mariah Says:

    Brad, I just happened to come by your site. What you said about your baby not sitting up yet reminded me of my nephew. He had something called a ‘carnitine deficiency’ which was keeping him from developing muscle strength. At a year, he didn’t even attempt to crawl and couldn’t sit up unsupported. After a few months of supplemental carnitine, he was off and running.

    this is the doctor who pioneered this field, and the one who diagnosed my nephew.
    Susan Winter, MD

    Dr. Winter has been the Medical Director of Medical Genetics/Metabolism at Children’s Hospital Central California for 22 years. Her academic appointment is Clinical Professor of Pediatrics at the University of California, San Francisco. She is a graduate of the University of Alberta Medical School and training programs in Pediatrics, Genetics and Metabolism at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, Ontario. Research interests have been in treatment of inborn errors of metabolism with particular interest in the use of carnitine for organic acidurias and fatty acid oxidation defects. Dr. Winter is the mother of 2 children, Laura (20 yrs) and Jeffrey (21 yrs).

  9. andrea Says:

    Stop whining! If you raised your child ( instead of ducking your responsibility’s) you wouldn’t have to “wonder”

  10. […] closed the blog for awhile. And I debated deleting. I looked over some of my old posts. And I found this. And I am ashamed because I must confess that now I cannot recall when Lamia sat properly on her […]

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