Thursday, September 27, 2007

Sweet Mason James

Last night as I walked up to bed the thought popped into my mind that it was to be my little Mason’s birthday the following day. I had a moment of panic, “Ack, I’m not ready. I haven’t planned anything.” I felt as if I’d almost not realized it was that close.

But it’s appropriate, isn’t it. Because a year ago at that same hour I had no idea I was to have him the following day. As most of you know, he was a month and change early. I was expecting to have a little Halloweenie. Instead, I had a September baby.

Today wasn’t as emotional as I feared it would be. Perhaps because I was a bit of a woman on the edge. Both kids screamed for approximately 75 percent of the day. And my house is a mess. And the laundry’s no where near finished. But that’s not really what this is about, is it?

I did wish Mason my best before anything else was said to him today. Then once Steve had fed him the most enormous bowl of oatmeal and raisins I pulled out his mega gift. Rather than a bunch of punk kid toys we threw a bit of money at a tunnel/tent system from Costco. Frankly it was the one toy we didn’t already have some version of from Cooper. I genuinely wanted Mason to feel this day was his own and apart from anything we’d done for Cooper in the past.

The tunnels were a mild success. Mason acted a bit overwhelmed by it all. He must have sensed the pressure we were putting on him. We had the camcorder out and we were hollering like it was the fourth of July. No wonder he balked. But eventually he figured out it was fun and he and Coop spent the rest of the morning playing and arguing in turns.

Then Mason took a 3 hour nap. What? That is actually quite unusual for him. I took the time to print out 24 pictures that spanned the past year and put them together in a little book for the NICU nurses and doctors that cared for him during the first two weeks of his life. That was a refreshing experience.

So then, didn’t wake up until 1-ish. Then we fed him a big lunch of rice and beans. Mason absolutely loves rice and beans. Not sure which he likes the best, the rice or the beans. But the beans leave an impression on all of us, if you know what I mean.

He was such a mess following this late lunch that we decided to get on with the next planned birthday activity – cutting his fine, blonde hair for the first time. It was Cooper’s turn in the barber chair first (oh that would be a bar stool in the kitchen at the hands of mom). I’d hoped that Cooper would make it look fun and relaxing. But he promptly had a freak out and cried. Something about hair in his nose… and ears… and neck… and back. Such a complainer. Wink wink.

Then it was Mason’s turn. Oh boy, this was the only moment of the day I wanted to cry but didn’t. But just barely, just. In an instant his old man feathers… as I liked to call his wisps… were gone. Now he looks like a chemo-treated cancer patient. This was all followed by a bath.

Following the bath I got him all cuted up and we drove to Wendy’s. OK OK OK… I realize this isn’t super high-class. But, he’s 1! We brought our food back for a little picnic on the patio and Mason had yogurt with granola, a handful of fries, and some chili. Again with the beans. It’s a cry for help, really. There was a few hours of nonsense following dinner and then bedtime.

All in all I think Cooper screamed the song, Happy Birthday, to Mason about 471 times. And to recap all that he can do right now:

1. He has 3 ½ teeth. Since the breakthrough of tooth no. 4 there’s been much grinding and gnashing. It’s gross.
2. He won’t be getting immunizations tomorrow, as planned, on account of a runny nose.
3. I think he’s saying “see” and “ick”. I do know he points at stuff then looks at us and utters something that sounds like “see.”
4. Current favorite book is, “Funny Face.” A sweet tale that has illustrations of various faces a baby could make from naughty to mad to happy. At the end there is a mirror. Mason always kisses his reflection about seven times before we read the book over, again.
5. Still loves to sing Itsy Bitsy Spider and wave good bye.
6. He’s fascinated by bowls and cups. Likes to put things in and take things out. Will even pick up individual crackers or cheerios that he’s spilled out of a cup and put them back in the cup for a second before popping them in his mouth.
7. Laughs when he toots. (Hey, it’s gross but he’s a boy and I expect that it will get worse before it gets better.)
8. Loves playing peek-a-boo and his version of hide-and-seek.
9. We can’t keep him off the stairs. Really loves climbing up, not so sure how to turn around to come down once he’s at the top. But if you stop him in the middle he will back down the steps like a pro.
10. Drives trucks, trains, cars, motorcycles and anything with wheels everywhere. He drives them up the pillars, the walls, along the baseboards, etc. etc. etc.

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