The day was warm and our house windows were wide open, as were my car windows. I heard our toddler son’s wails as I pulled into the driveway. I hurriedly parked and dashed into the house, expecting to see him missing a limb by the intensity of his howls.
With older kids in high school and middle school, we decided to have another baby. Of course many think he was a ‘whoops’ or ‘surprise’ baby, but he is truly the only one we actually planned. Not quite ten months after our decision to go for it we were blessed with a beautiful baby boy, much to the joy of his older brother and sister who had been begging us for a baby brother.
During the discussions to add another child to our household, we agreed on no daycare, and that our older kids wouldn’t be ‘parents’ to their new sibling. In order to orchestrate this, my husband changed from day shift to swing shift, and I went to work early, coming home in time for Steve to leave for work.
For us this worked great. The baby slept in, so Steve could sleep in. He had one on one time with his youngest son without me hovering over them. I was able to spend some of each day with grownups. A win win situation for all of us.
Our kidlet’s first birthday was just around the corner when Steve began forgetting to give him his formula. The routine each day was simple – or so I thought. They would wake up, have breakfast, bottle at ten, lunch, bottle at two and then I’d be home. I left formula bottles ready. Several days in a row I came home to see forgotten bottles, so I patiently explained that our ‘baby’ would need to continue on formula until sometime after his first birthday.
This day, running in the door, I was horrified to see our darling boy seated in the center of the living room, screaming his head off, his shirt front soaked with tears. I snatched him up, and calling for Steve, looked baby over but couldn't see anything amiss. Steve finally came up from the basement where he had been hiding from the racket.
“What’s wrong?” I asked. “I don’t know.” “How long has he been crying like this?” My ashen faced husband replied “From before his last bottle.” “You fed him both bottles?” I asked incredulously. His answer was affirmative. “What did you feed him for lunch,” I continued to search for an explanation to our little one’s distress. “Nothing,” Steve replied, “You said to only give him bottles.”
On the morning of this fateful day, I had stuck notes on the coffee pot, fridge and range hood. “Remember to give bottles at 10 & 2”. Our son had been eating solid food for six months, and dined with us at every meal.
“Seriously?” I was flabbergasted. “He always eats! The bottles are in addition to his meals! You feed him every day!” “Well, you didn’t say so in your notes.” I handed little one to his father, slapped together a sandwich and watched as this starving child inhaled it in three bites. He then beamed from ear to ear and burped.
This was several years before Steve’s Aspie diagnosis. They were tough years. It took a while before I could laugh about this one.