My Babies- Part 4: Gabriel
My last baby (99% sure about that) is going to be 3 this year. I can't even believe that! I was that little girl who played with dolls ALL THE TIME growing up and I pretty much carried my Cabbage Patch Kids around with me 24/7 for years. Now, I am devastated to say that I haven't used my Ergo baby carrier in months. The baby stage of my life is almost over and I'm already mourning it's passing. Gabriel, my youngest, is living with the implications of that fact. I'm keeping him in onesies for as long as he can possibly fit into them, and he still sleeps in a crib. (I'll keep him in the crib til he's 10 if it means I get an extra 20 minutes of sleep in the morning though!)
From early in his life, my relationship with Gabe was different than that of any of my other babies. When he was less than 2 months old it became necessary for me to work outside of the home full time. It had been more than 6 years since I had found myself in this type of situation. I was extremely blessed to be a full time mom from the day Timmy was born, and I handled my new employment situation less than gracefully. Some days when I got home from work and couldn't handle the madness of hungry 6, 4, and 2 year-olds, I would go into my room, snuggle up with my tiny baby that I hadn't seen all day, breathe in his newborn smell, stroke his baby soft hair, and all my worries would melt away. He was my calm in the eye of the storm. I know that God sent me Gabriel when he did because he knew I would need that angel baby to keep me centered during a rough patch. That experience was a turning point in my life. Luckily I was able to return to full-time mommyhood in just a few months, but I learned so much from that time, the most important of which was to savor every moment with my babies.
Enough about me though, this is supposed to be about Gabe! Right, Gabriel... how do you portray a 2 year-old in a positive light? Jk, there is so much to love about my Gabie Baby. He has recently made a big jump with his verbal skills, which is good and bad. Good because he says adorable things like, "I love you sweetheart Mommy," but also not-so-desirable phrases like, "You're a dummy head." (He picked that up from an older sibling no doubt.) Since we're better able to understand what he wants now his mood has improved considerably! Gabe's likes are dressing up, wrestling with his siblings, and playing in the playhouse in the back yard. He is my least picky eater and will eat almost anything we give him. He goes to bed at 6:30 every night and usually sleeps until at least 6 am- as long as he's in his own crib in his own room. I have tried to have him sleep in our bed on occasion, just to cuddle him a little longer, and I usually regret that decision by 8 pm because he tosses and turns more than his dad!
Something you might now know about my littlest little is that he didn't start walking until he was about 20 months old. That's on the late, late end of the curve. He didn't just start walking late though, he also has a hard time with his balance and falls more than your average two year-old. He displays physical characteristics that are extremely similar to Benjamin's, but his MRI gave a negative result for cerebral palsy. We're currently waiting for results from some extensive DNA testing. We did those tests in December, and it is almost March. I can't think too hard about how much I want those results or wonder for too long about what they will be, because if I do I might not be able to function. Knowing what little we do about the why behind Gabe's condition has given me a unique opportunity to find joy in the simplest things. When he started to stand up, it was a huge deal. When he took his first steps I was beyond overjoyed! I found more fulfillment from these milestones because I understand how much work goes into reaching them. Every time he squats down and picks something up without falling onto his bum is an accomplishment. Every time he reaches up high on his tiptoes to grab something I cheer inside because it means his little muscles are getting stronger and stronger. These little things make me so proud!
So this is a little bit about my littlest. He reminds me every day to make the most of the time I have with the ones I love. Because he is the last one I will have to hold like a baby, teach how to count, and sing to sleep at night, I savor it all that much more. Thank you Gabriel for reminding me that the little moments are important.
Here are some recent photos of Gabe that I love. Don't you wish they would stay this adorable forever??