I remember those days well. When I would put him in a swing or a rocker and he’d stay right there. When I laid him on the floor and he’d lie there, mesmerized by the ceiling fan instead of trying to pull every book, video game and DVD off the nearest shelf. When the only food option was a bottle and he was good with that. It would never end up thrown on the floor, spit out in disgust or smashed with his hands.
I remember when I would change his diaper and he would lie there and smile at me instead of trying to use the back of his head to pivot off the change table. I remember when he didn’t know how to open cabinets, climb the stairs, throw things and take off his socks. It wasn’t too long ago that I could block him in our living room by placing one small pillow in his way. Now he’s almost figured out how to scale the baby gate.
All joking aside, these little hassles are nothing compared to the great things that have happened. He knows who I am; he even says “dada” when he sees me. He can entertain himself and expresses what he wants and needs. He laughs and “talks” to us all day. We can take him with us anywhere and not be worried in the least.
So where does that leave our precious morning routine? In a shambles. What once was a fine-tuned morning is now chaos, with new challenges each day. Now that he is completely mobile, the difficulty level of getting out the door has increased tenfold. If it weren’t for the mystical power of Cheerios to keep him in one place, I would never make it out the door.
But I’m proud of my wife, Lauren, and of me. Elliot’s birthday was just as much an affirmation for us as it was for him. We’ve made it one year without either of us getting fired, arrested or investigated by CPS. Our house is still standing, and our pets continue to live. We have some big challenges ahead, the weaning process has started, and it’s been tricky, to put it mildly. He’s walking everywhere and has taken some amazing spills along the way. He’s even graduated out of the “infant” class at his day school. Our sweet little baby is growing up.
I know it’s a cliché, but I can’t explain to you how fast this last year has gone by. It doesn’t even seem possible that it was over one year ago that we were at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas welcoming him to our family. I can’t wait to see what the next year brings, even if it does go by too fast.
Jordan Echols is a Marketing Manager at Texas Health Resources and dad to 1-year-old Elliot.