You did it, buddy! You made it through your whole first year and so did we, your tired old parents.
The pride we feel in our chest when you pop into our minds is so overwhelming. It’s all consuming and I’m not afraid to confess that we are completely obsessed with you. Your biggest fan club, right here.
The other night while you were sleeping, your Mumma and I sat down and watched a slideshow of all the photos we’ve taken of you this year. We watched your face change, your hair grow, your teeth appear. We saw your cheeky smile develop and were reminded of just how far we’ve come. We chatted and became sentimental, exchanging stories. Memories from the early days when you were just a tiny, squishy newborn. Memories of the hard times when you really needed our full attention, 24/7. And of course, the many happy memories of the funny, joyful times. As we neared the end of the photos, your Mumma commented that we must be doing to something right as parents to have nurtured such a blissfully happy child. We decided to pat ourselves on the back because she’s right. You really do ooze sunlight, my son and we hope that never changes.
In the last month you have grown up a lot. Your personality is really starting to plant its roots and everyday you are showing us snippets of the boy you are going to be. You’re actually quite a show off and we think it is hilarious! If we laugh at something you’ve done, you make sure we are still watching and immediately do it again. You LOVE praise and our words of encouragement never fail to put a smile on your face.
You still love the water and bath time is always a winner in our house. You play so independently these days and enjoy emptying draws, throwing balls, pulling tissues out of the box and anything with wheels. You also have decided that you love food now! After a long time of being quite indifferent to foods, you now put everything and anything in your mouth. It’s actually a bit gross as you seem to think it’s perfectly acceptable to eat crumbs off the ground. The other day you tried to put a misplaced dog biscuit in your mouth which was a rather disgusting. I didn’t freak out at you, eating dog food is basically a childhood rite of passage. Don’t believe the other babies, Oscar. Trust me, they’ve all done it.
We put on a party for you and invited a bunch of people to help celebrate with us. We set up a little play area with a ball pit, musical instruments, puzzles, books and toys. We also had a jumping castle, a water play table and balloons all over the place. I’m sure you would have been more than happy if we plonked you down with a box of tissues and an arrowroot biscuit but we decided that having a first birthday party would be great fun. And it was! It was a big day for you but you were delightful, right to the very end.
I’m curious to know what you have in store for us over the next 12 months. Watching you learn and explore lately has been so interesting. The wonder that I see you experience, actually creates wonder in me. You are constantly reminded me to stop and appreciate all the tiny things.
What a gift you are, kiddo.
Happy first birthday!
It’s been 8 weeks since I have posted an update that wasn’t just a photo entry. Why, you ask? Well, I would say it’s part exhaustion, part even more exhaustion. I feel like Candice and I have spent the last 2 months desperately trying to find our feet since I have returned to work. The good news is that I think we have finally found a rhythm. It’s been difficult because not only have I returned to full-time work but full time time shift work. On top of that, Candice is super busy at her work right now, with deadlines looming so she has been working an average of 3 hours overtime everyday.
It’s been hard, it’s been hectic and we’re pretty beat.
If you don’t follow our story on Instagram, you wouldn’t know that Oscar’s first daycare didn’t work out. Although it was a gorgeous centre, we did not like the staff. And come on, the staff are the only thing that matters when you are leaving your child in the hands of a childcare centre. The great news is that we were so, so lucky to get him into a daycare that just started up in late August. Not only does it open earlier in the morning, it’s slightly cheaper, allows a maximum of 8 babies in the nursery (compares to double that at his previous one) and is closer to home. Oscar has settled in there so well! He has never shed a tear when we’ve said goodbye to him in the morning and he has formed a really cute bond with the nursery leader. Honestly, I think Candice and I mention to each other, almost daily, how amazing this place is. They want to know all about us as a same-sex parenting family, which is so much more important to me than I had ever imagined. They also want to know everything about Oscar and all his favourite things, what he gets up to on the weekend, his fears, etc. We get little family ‘assignments’ such as writing a brief paragraph of something exciting that Oscar has done on the weekend. For example, we wrote about a camping trip we went on and the very next day, they brought in and set up a teepee for the nursery room so all the kids could “share and experience camping” with Oscar. Seriously, it’s the little things like this that make leaving him, to go to work everyday, that much easier. He is always happy when we pick him up too. Seriously, sometimes he gets distracted on his way to me by a ball or toy. Um, hello, kid! You haven’t seen me all day, show me some love! If I’m serious though, this is the best reaction I could want as it means he is happy there.
I don’t think I can begin to explain just how difficult the whole returning to work after maternity leave experience really is. The guilt that I felt in those first few weeks was overwhelming. I cried a LOT and I felt incredibly lost. Since becoming a parent, I have really learnt to listen to my instincts and boy did I feel them. So you can imagine the internal struggle I felt at leaving him to return to work. It was the strangest, most heartbreaking experience. And no one prepared me for it.
Yet, here we are, barely 2 months in, and everything seems to have fallen into place. I’m not saying that it will be this hard or easy, depending on how you look at it, for everyone else. I’m just giving you a tiny insight into our experience. What a roller coaster it has been!
I am going to aim to post everyday for the rest of the week as there is a lot I should catch up on. Oscar is now one!