A couple of weeks ago, my 10-year-old was working on a school project that involved interviewing his siblings about their early life. So of course that led him to asking me some of the earliest questions, such as their weight and length when they were born.
For the first few years after their births, that information was right on the top of my brain and I could recite the details by rote. But through the years, that information got buried deeper and deeper in my brain, next to all the phone numbers I used to know by heart and underneath all the many passwords that I’ve had to come up with through the years.
When the time came to gather this information on my oldest son for the report, I pulled out his baby book and found all the details needed. Many of the pages were filled with information, including the one-photo-each-month-for-the-first-year pages and photos from his first birthday party.
When my 10-year-old needed his early details, they were also in his baby book, along with the invitation and a napkin from his first birthday party and a handful of photos.
I’m a little embarrassed to say what I found in my youngest’s baby book. Keep in mind that when he was born, his brothers were 21 months and almost four years and my husband was working long hours.
So this note is for you, A, so when you come across your baby book as an adult and wonder why it’s so empty.
The content in your baby book does in no way represent my love for you. Just because your oldest brother’s baby book has pages and pages of tiny notes about every new food he tried and his reaction to it and your list only includes eight foods and only two reactions (when you first ate peas you “looked surprised at first then gobbled it” and you enjoyed squash), it doesn’t mean you didn’t like food and that I didn’t care whether or not you ate. (Plus by then I had started a blog about your early years, which I started about a year after your second oldest brother was born. For a sample of what went on the blog instead of in your baby book, here’s one sample from when you were 5 weeks old: “Baby smiles and other simple pleasures.“)
So please don’t take the content of your baby book personally. I hope you understand. Read this to see that your actions did NOT go unnoticed, they just were noted on the blog instead of in the baby book: “The littelst one.”
When my oldest was a baby, I could write reflections about his life in his baby book (and take a shower and eat) during his naps. After my second son was born, there were occasionally times when both napped at the same time. After A was born, forget having any extra time. (If you read this post from July 2010, you’ll have a good idea why: “Wherefore art thou, sleep?“)
One of the reasons I started the blog was so I could share information about the kids with my mother-in-law so it served a dual purpose – I could both document the children’s early years and keep her informed. Plus writing is always what keeps me sane so when times were especially challenging, it always helped to know that it would at least make an entertaining blog post at some point (posts like “There’s a turtle in my shoe.”)
So to anyone who may be comparing their baby book content to the content of their older sibling’s baby book: Don’t take it personally.