Tag Archives: babies

Evolution works! (Or: Five reasons why babies are cute)

A flashback from three years ago when Rebecca was a baby.

I’m not really going to get into a theory of evolution debate here—really, the more appropriate headline would be “Natural selection works.” I totally believe that and I see evidence of it in my everyday life (“natural selection” is just a lot longer than “evolution”).

franklin-family-045crop
Genetics at work: my mother and my daughter

As a mother of very young children, I can tell you exactly how demanding and frustrating babies and toddlers can be—but I’ve come to believe that a babies’ cuteness is, in fact, an inherited defense mechanism against some of their most motherly-frustration-inducing behaviors. My evidence:

  1. Cuddling: Although waking me for the eighth time in six hours is decidedly not a good way into my good graces, a quiet, sweet, snuggling baby is pretty tough to stay angry at.
  2. Gurgling giggles: It’s five AM and the infant thinks it’s time to get up for the day. But before I can burst into tears, she sees my face and wham—instant gales of excited laughter. Even if I’m not quite as happy to see her at that hour, it’s hard not to forgive her when she’s just so happy to see me.
  3. Nap time: When I reach my wits’ end, I know it’s time for a nap (for me and/or the kids 😉 ). This can be a double whammy, especially if the baby or toddler is obviously tired but still averse to said nap, and spends half an hour screaming—because when they finally succumb to the much-needed sleep, it’s all the sweeter to peek in on the peacefully slumbering angel (and pray it lasts!).
  4. Baby talk: Sure, you can argue their articulatory muscles aren’t fully developed enough to appreciate the nuances of the lateral approximate, but let’s face it: somewhere in his DNA, my son knows that “I yub you!” melts even an annoyed heart faster than plain old “I love you.”
  5. Stoic tears: Okay, this one might not be entirely genetic, but who wouldn’t forgive a tantrum from tiny child who bravely insists that he must wipe his own tears?

What other naturally cute behaviors have you seen that totally take the wind out of your frustration?

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Things you never get used to as a mom

A while back we talked about the things you surprisingly get used to as a mother–but there are some things that no matter how many times you’re confronted with them, you never get used to them.

1. Never getting what you need (or not enough of what you need): Whether it’s time or personal space or your own dang bowl of ice cream

2. The awe in a child’s eyes at the sight of snow (even if it’s the fourth time today)

3. How quickly you go from the most important person in their life to the one they wouldn’t be caught dead with (and back again)

4. Never getting a vacation (you take trips, but those are just stress somewhere else!).

5. How hard it hits you during those amazing moments: you love this, and you love them.

What do you think? What will you never get used to as a mom?

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Slipping away

My sister had a baby one week ago today! This is pretty special for me, too: this is the first time any of my sisters has ever had a baby. My first niece or nephew on my side of the family. The first grandbaby for my parents that wasn’t provided by me. Welcome to the world, Preslee! I wish I could be there to snuggle you up, too!

Hayden was a week old when I first felt the time slipping away. Suddenly we weren’t counting his age in days anymore. He hadn’t changed a whole lot since birth (I suppose he was a little more aware and awake, maybe), and yet somehow that change in words made him infinitely older. It presaged the change to months, then years. It was the first time I was losing my baby.

(I had been very sick all week; maybe I was a little melodramatic 😉 . But, then, maybe I do this for every child. New mommy hormones?)

Time does seem to slip away from us mothers faster than we can even grasp at it. My baby—my third baby—is one. My sister is a mother. Time marches on and life goes with it.

I want to try not to mourn the recent past instead of enjoying the present. If I obsess over what’s passed, I’ll miss what’s going on now. I have a hard time remembering what Hayden was like at Rebecca’s age or Rachel’s age, but luckily we have photos and videos and blog entries to remind us of that time in our life.

In the mean time, let’s enjoy the present while we have it. (Blah blah blah it’sagiftgagme.)

What are you doing to enjoy the present?

Photo by Kat

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Guest Post: Unlovable Lovable You

By Shannon Johnson

The other day Tom asked me, half (or more) seriously, why I love the baby best — why I never get mad at her, why she always gets kisses and exaggeratedly-happy greetings, and how I can cheerfully drop everything to take care of her ficklest of whims.

Evolutionary biology, I said.

But I do have three other kids; the oldest is ten-going-on-teenager and all four of them are girls: emotional, hormonal, sweet, cutting, endearing, curious, determined females. I’m not entirely sure how we’re going to survive the next twenty years, especially because the memory of my own middle school experience is so fresh, but here is what I have learned:

When kids are most unlovable, they are most in need of love. When they are sour with sickness or stinky with kid sweat and suspicious-smelling mud, they are most in need of hugs. When they are frustrated and impatient, they are most in need of compassion and patience. When they feel most unworthy and insecure, they are most in need of praise and security. When they make choices impossible to understand, they are most in need of understanding.

And when they are angry or sad enough to shout that they hate me and wish I wasn’t their mother, that is when they are most in need of exactly me: with all of my impatience and insecurity and frustration, all of my love and forgiveness and here-take-the-last-bite-of-bread (but don’t touch the brownies), they are most in need of me.

About the author
Shannon Johnson makes her home in Utah with her husband and four daughters. She blogs about coming to terms with motherhood, parenting, raising daughters and life at Seagull Fountain.

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Peekaboo!

Rachel is now cruising on the furniture, and even standing unsupported for a couple seconds these days—but this is my favorite trick of hers. She fussed extra hard when I wiped her face during a feeding and wouldn’t quiet until I surrendered the rag.

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Things you get used to as a mom

When I first became a mom, the adjustment was hard. Looking back now (five short/long years later), I realize so many of the things I thought I’d never get used to are just part of my routine now—and that’s not a bad thing!

1. Taking three times as long as it should to do just about everything.
Especially, but not limited to, taking a walk, shopping, using the stairs, outings, reading, crafts . . .

2. Running on empty, like all the time.
This doesn’t mean that you won’t throw the occasional grown-up-tantrum when the baby wakes up for the day at 5:30 after a child had you out of bed every hour since you dared to go to bed at midnight. But you’ll make it. Not fun, but physically possible.

3. The cuteness of childhood, adorable as it is.
You take for granted that they’ll be that way forever. Just this week, Rebecca started saying “p’ee-p’ease” instead of “mee-mease.”

4. The present.
It’s almost as if they’ve always been this size/capable/annoying/wonderful.

5. Being needed, like all the time.
And if for some reason your kids don’t need you, somehow we find other ways to make ourselves useful. Or other people or things who need us.

6. Being dirty.
It sounds gross, but seriously, from the stages of nursing to the diapers to the mud-pie stage, you realize that a little dirt isn’t the end of the world. (And if it’s not you physically, it’s probably the kids or the house. Or all three.) Just makes you appreciate the clean even more!

7. Having these sweet strangers around.
It seems like the older they get, the more they become their own people. It’s almost as if we can’t really know them the way we did when they were our babies. But we love them and love to get to know them a little better every day.

What have you gotten used to as a mother?

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