You’re six months old now and you’re far from being the tiny blob we brought home from the hospital.
You’re our Oscar. And you are a friggin’ delight to be around (lets say 97% of the time) and I should know as I’m with you 24/7. You mum and I never would have believed that someone of a mere 6 months could ever be as funny and interesting as you are. Congratulations kiddo, you’ve won our hearts for life.
I’ll admit, I’m a bit alarmed that you are half a year old already. Before I know it, you’ll be taller than me and doing all kinds of gross boy stuff. Your room will probably smell funny, you’ll be eating enough food to feed a village and leaving dirty socks all over the house. We can blame your mum for that last one as you’ve probably learnt it from her.
I am fine with all of these things, they’re no big deal. If that’s the worst you’re doing then you’ll have 2 happy mums.
Lately we’ve asked ourselves, what kind of kid, teenager, man would we like to see you grow up into?
Well, here is what we have to say on the matter.
Bullying – Just don’t do it. Ever. Don’t physically bully someone, don’t cyber bully someone, don’t mentally bully someone. I’m warning you kiddo, there are very few things you could ever do that would disappoint us but bullying is one of them.
Driving – Don’t drink and drive, don’t text and drive, don’t show off by speeding and don’t yell out of windows like an idiot.
Manners – Use them. Saying ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ can go a long way. Don’t interrupt when someone is speaking and make sure you listen. Please always eat with your mouth closed.
Study – You’re lucky enough to live in a country that values education and although it won’t alway feel like it, school is a privilege. Study hard, focus and commit to it. Education is GOLD.
Be a gentleman – When you’re older and have a girlfriend/boyfriend be courteous, polite and respectful. Give flowers, give compliments, open doors and always make sure they’re comfortable.
Bad language – Please don’t swear before you are an adult. Your mum and I swear now but we try not to around you because we don’t want you to learn it from us. We can’t stand it when we overhear kids or teenagers swearing. It’s just not nice. Once you’re old enough to pay your own bills, by all means feel free to drop the f-bomb as often as you feel necessary.
Asking for help – There will be times where you might feel that we don’t know anything but don’t ever be afraid of asking for help. Or asking for advice. Just try us, we might surprise you. After all, we will be old (according to you) and wisdom does apparently come with age.
The word ‘No’ – We’ll be frank here. When someone says no, then they mean NO. In any circumstance, no means no. Okay? Good.
Honesty – Use this in every aspect of your life. Be honest with those you love and always be honest with yourself. If you make a mistake, fess up and take responsibility for it. You’ll feel better for it.
Courage – Try new things, stick up for the rights of others, jump in, dream big, and dance like no one is watching.
Call your mums – We will always be hoping to hear your voice on the other end of the phone. When you are older and out on your own in this world, we are going to miss you. We will want to hear all about everything. When you visit, bring a kiss and a hug. And don’t forget to say “I love you, mum”. It will be music to our deaf old ears.
Every time I go to bed, no matter how tired I am, I will usually be kept awake by my worries. Now that we have Oscar I feel like my worry-o-meter has sky rocketed. Before him, my concerns would generally be work related, finances, future plans and sometimes even the weather. I’m a useless worrier and it’s probably one thing about myself I would like to change.
Lately, what is keeping me awake is the eventual need to put Oscar into childcare. I return to work full-time in September and I already feel uneasy about having to leave him with someone else. Candice and I recently visited the centre that Oscar will most likely be attending and everything was fine, it’s a good centre. But i won’t be there and I get nervous thinking of how this might make Oscar feel.
Anxious, sad, confused, abandoned. These aren’t feelings that I want Oscar to suffer.
I’ve been told that it’s the first month or so that will be the hardest for him but that he will adjust. And in time he will actually enjoy going and childcare will simply be part of his routine and something he knows. This information is doing very little to comfort me right now though.
I have big concerns about him feeding as he still refuses a bottle and he often uses breastfeeding as a comfort tool. I plan to express breast milk for him to have at the centre but I’m so worried that he will refuse it out of a bottle and be hungry. My mother in law pointed out that when he gets hungry enough he will eat, which I know is true but my heart absolutely breaks, knowing that he could be starving and desperate before he finally eats.
We want to start trying the bottle at home a bit more to get him used to it. I adore breastfeeding him and don’t want to stop but if I can just get him used to taking milk from a bottle once a day then it would make me feel a lot less stressed about it all.
Whenever we go out to eat we always take Oscar with us but it’s becoming increasingly difficult. He is at an age where he wants to be mobile but isn’t capable yet so he demands to be held instead. He wants to grab everything in front of him and isn’t content to simply sit on our laps anymore. This makes eating so hard! For this reason we would like to start calling on Oscar’s grandparents to see if they would mind babysitting for a couple of hours here and there. Before we can do that though, we would need him to be able to drink from a bottle. Just in case he gets hungry the minute we leave him. He is very new to solids so we can’t really rely on that to fill him while we’re gone. We’ll be working on that over the next month. I can’t wait to be able to go on real dates again with Candice where we get to eat at the same time and have a proper conversation without Oscar’s fingers trying to dig into my mouth.
But back to childcare. The first few weeks are going to be horrible, for all of us, I expect. I doubt I’ll be able to concentrate on anything at work which is no good as I’m probably going to need to be retrained in several areas. I’m going to be reading the new lab methods and not be absorbing a single thing, I know it. I’ll be thinking about Oscar and his face as I left him with strangers. I’ll be worried that he hasn’t eaten or slept. If he feels scared. I’ll be seriously questioning if returning to work was worth it.
The thing is, I know that returning to work is overall the best thing for our family. Firstly, it’s best for us financially. Candice is doing superbly at supporting us at the moment but it isn’t fair. We would like to be able to pay extra on our mortgage, take holidays again, continue with our house renovations and a whole lot of other things that a second income would allow.
Secondly, I also know that once I get past the initial difficulty of being apart from Oscar, I will want to be working. I love my job and do miss it a lot some days. Plus being around adults again all day will surely improve my sanity.
Thirdly, it gives Oscar a chance to socialise with other babies. Both my sisters have said that their kids really thrived in childcare and were able to learn so much. There will be things I don’t want Oscar to learn from the other kids such as bad manners and behaviour but there will also be great things. He will make friends and if he is anything like my nieces and nephews, Oscar will be excited to return to ‘school’ as they call it after they have a few weeks off at home.
I need to stop worrying about this but it’s so hard when I look at him sleeping next to me, all small and helpless.
But I’ll try to.
Oscar is growing up.
I know, I know. I keep harping on about it. But listen, it’s frightening me a little.
Next week he will be 6 months old and I just don’t think we are ready for a the boy that he is going to become. Or should I say, the boy that he is already becoming. Not because I think boys are horrible but simply because it means he won’t be our baby anymore.
I realise that I will look back on this post in a few years and think that at this age he most certainly was still small and dependent enough to be considered a baby but I’m honestly seeing him less and less like that every day.
You want proof? I’ll give you proof.
Exhibit A – He eats food now. And sometimes he even feeds himself with a spoon. A friggin’ SPOON.
Exhibit B – He giggles when you tickle him. Pretty sure babies don’t do that.
Exhibit C – He doesn’t get swallowed up by the Ergo anymore when he falls asleep. Why? Because he’s too big.
Exhibit D – He wears shoes and they basically make him look 31 years old.
Exhibit E – And finally, well… he looks like THIS. Hello little boy.
There you go, proof.
Our baby is well and truly on his way into boyhood and there’s no slowing him down.
Excuse me while I go cry into his size 00 onesies that no longer fit.