Thanks to Jennifer Fulwiler for hosting!
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I had an opportunity to see a new baby this week! A good friend (and cousin-by-marriage) had her baby in May and the summer was crazy and I didn't have time to make it over there. So I finally planned for us to bring dinner over and hang for a little bit one evening this week. He is about 4 months old and seeing his parents (who are a bit later on in life starting the journey of having children) going through the first few months of raising a child brought me back to those early weeks with each of mine. Literally, I operated in a fog for about 8-10 months and I wonder how I did it? But, I did, and it's over and then it's kind of bittersweet to think I'll never go through that again, because I really do love the little babies.
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I've been hinting at it when I mention Sarah, I think, but my relationship with my children is changing and it's new and exciting, but it's also -- not scary or anything -- but it causes me to sit and wonder more than it did before. Over the years, I've always been more of the caretaker of my children, but I feel my role changing away from that a bit. it's really hard to explain. But in general, I find that Vincent often prefers his siblings to me for some things that my younger kids had always relied on me for (an example: Vincent just requested that Dani retrieve him from his crib and get his chocolate milk this morning). And my older kids are happy to comply with the younger kids' requests and all of a sudden, I have 10 extra minutes I didn't used to get to finish up this blogpost (or something).
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It used to sting a little bit when Vincent started preferring others to me. For the first 15-17 months of his life, Vincent wanted me all the time. Then, all of a sudden, he really wanted Daddy. That hasn't really changed much at all (and now he's 27 months). But now, Vincent likes to show affection for me the way he sees Helen and Dominic do it -- he runs to me when I get home in the evenings to hug me and give me a "tiss" and says "Ah miss yew wots, momma!" but he doesn't hang around -- he is usually off for some new mischief shortly after his greeting.
He's even requested that Sarah do his diaper change and I know he prefers that his Daddy give him his bath (I am far to impatient at bath time).
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Dominic likes to show me how much he knows or what he's learned. Granted, many times it is in relation to Angry Birds or the new Star Wars app he found on the iPad when it was his turn. But I find that Dominic does not require a lot of discipline. He is a sweet boy who aims to please and stay out of the way, but likes hugs and things. Dominic is the kind of kid that wants to come and start a conversation with me about video games or what he read. All while giving me a full body hug. The girls have grown past this age long enough that it's hard for me to remember, but I don't think any of them struck me the way Dominic does with the conversation. I guess the point is, that I don't have much to do in the way of "parenting" Dominic other than forcing him to eat at least 4 bites of his dinner (because he's 4...and we've had trouble with him not eating in the past), make sure he's going #2 regularly so he doesn't have an accident from holding it too long, and giving him lots of cuddles at night and reading stories. It's a strange, but fun feeling hanging around Dominic.
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