In a few months, I probably won’t remember what the first two weeks of Kaleb’s life were like. They go by so quickly, and a lack of sleep doesn’t help the old memory. Looking back, I only remember a few things about Gavin’s infancy – exhaustion, spit up, and choosing sleep over showers and food. But, as I watch Kaleb grow, I’m reminded of many things about Gavin that I had forgotten. And, while I don’t want to do a compare/contrast, it’s interesting to see which things are similar and which things are completely and utterly different.
First, Kaleb and Gavin have exactly the same eyes. Given Gavin’s cleft lip and palate, it’s hard to tell how much they look alike, but they definitely have exactly the same eyes – which makes me happy because Gavin’s eyes are incredibly beautiful.
Kaleb has old man hair. It’s hard to see in photos, but in person, you can really tell. He has barely any hair in front, save a small tuft at the top, but he has a ton of hair in the back.
Both Gavin and Kaleb had the hiccups a lot in utero, but Kaleb still gets them. Every single day. And, they’re squeaky. Pretty much adorable. He also sneezes a lot. It’s kind of a package deal: huge burp, two sneezes, commence hiccups.
Every day, we do “tummy time” twice a day. After tummy time, I’ve been picking Kaleb up and allowing him to put a little weight on his legs. Every time I do this, he has the most surprised look on his face. I’ve tried to capture it, but I can’t because I’m holding him, and I haven’t figured out how to take a picture with my phone in my mouth. I’ve also had Gavin try to take a picture. That didn’t go well. I just ended up with a lot of blurry pictures and pictures of the Jake and the Neverland Pirates episode that was on the TV.
Gavin is madly in love with his brother – for now. He hugs him and kisses him constantly. When he wakes up at 6:30 in the morning, and I try to catch a few more minutes of sleep by turning on cartoons, he sneaks out of my bed to go touch his brother’s face. He proudly tells everyone that he’s a big brother, and he has shown very little jealousy. I’m thanking my lucky stars for that right now.
I have noticed, however, that Gavin has become more affectionate since Kaleb’s arrival. He is constantly coming up to me and saying, “Mommy, don’t forget your hug.” He also requests that I sit by him and snuggle him often – even though he doesn’t always follow through on the snuggling part. On more than one occasion, he’s ended up in my bed, telling me he missed me or just wanted to be close to me. And other than his feet constantly kicking me, I really don’t mind. He’s only going to be four once, right? Often, he tells me that he and Kaleb are both my babies, and that he knows I love my babies. He’s right.
I’m probably going to jinx myself by saying this, but Kaleb is a great baby. Obviously, things were very, very different with Gavin, so I constantly remind myself of how fortunate I am that Kaleb is as laid back as he is. He hardly cries – only when he’s hungry or has a burp that needs to come out. He eats well. He already has his days and nights figured out. When he wakes up in the middle of the night, he eats and goes right back to sleep. Most nights, he has one five-hour stretch between feedings, allowing me a good four-hour chunk of sleep. The past few nights, he’s been on an eating binge, but it’s still not too bad considering how quickly he falls asleep after he’s full.
I honestly don’t mind getting up in the middle of the night to nurse him. I take my phone, turn on some music, and just relax and enjoy my time with him.
And, as crazy as this sounds, there’s nothing I would rather do right now than take care of and spend time with my boys. Many times lately, I’ve been reminded of how precious my time is with them, how quickly life goes by, and how they grow up in the blink of an eye. I don’t want to miss any of it. Or, as little of it as possible. And, maybe I’m missing out on other things – things I want to do personally, places I want to go, goals I want to achieve – but, I’m okay with that. I think that, in ten years, when Gavin is 14 and Kaleb is 10, I won’t regret making these sacrifices in order to enjoy the brief childhood of my sons.
So, this is my effort to document their childhoods. That way, when sleep deprivation eventually robs me of my memory, I’ll have a record to look back on and be reminded of all of these priceless moments – moments that I wouldn’t trade for anything on this Earth.