Monday, August 27, 2012

How is it possible that my baby is almost 19 months old?

My little tiny 6-pound baby is a big boy.  Almost a grown-up, as I see it.  Not only is he the size of a 2.5 year old (over 3 feet tall and about 31 lbs, and most impressively wears a size 7 shoe), but we went away on vacation for two weeks and he came back both able to speak in sentences and very interested in playing independently.

We rented this awesome farmhouse in upstate NY for two weeks -- it was an old house that had been expanded and redone and was both very spacious and comfortable as well as super cozy.  And it had central air, which is huge for us city dwellers that live with window units all summer long.

Best of all, the house was on 200 acres and there were pastures with a herd of cows and a bard with three horses right across the road.  And since it was a pretty quiet dirt road, it was very easy to get to them every morning and say "hi cows" "good morning horsies."

It was a great trip -- we would take a walk in the morning, all eat breakfast together on the porch, and then have some sort of activity for the day -- whether it was driving into the nearby town (30 minutes away) and having lunch and going to the bookstore or going to the park with the lake for swimming, there was usually something new to do.  But honestly, there were probably a couple of days where we just hung out in the backyard and Ben played with dirt and sticks (can someone explain to me the whole little boy fascination with sticks?) and threw things into the small stream that ran behind the house.  And it was wonderful.

Maybe because we live in the city and there aren't as many clean places to play like that, I worry that Ben is missing out on a lot of unstructured play that is important to childhood.  Because while we are very lucky and live right on Central Park, I just don't get the same wholesome feeling from him playing in park dirt that I did when we were out in the country and the dirt was "clean."  So I think that this will be our last summer that we are not away most of the summer -- it's too nice to be outside and to have space and fresh air to restrict it to only two weeks.

We keep talking about buying a place upstate, but this, like so many other things, hinges upon whether we have another kid.  Like so much else, we really don't know what will make the most sense for our family until we know whether we will be three or four.

But while we are sorting that out, I still am in awe of what a big, grown-up boy I have.  Last week he told me "mommy put buckle through loops close it" which basically means I put my belt through the loops and then close the buckle. And every time he hears a plane he looks up and says "I see airplane! See it!" And he has, once or twice, spontaneously said "I love you mommy."  And honestly if that he is the only child we ever have, for that alone, he will be enough.

WIth that, I will leave you with some photos of my big, grown-up boy playing on the farm. It was really wonderful just to sit back and watch him play.  Now that he as (mostly) stopped shoving rocks and sticks in his mouth, we can give him a lot more room to roam!


  1. Now THAT sounds like a relaxing vacation! I'm glad you were all able to get away for a while and enjoy some time together away from the hustle and bustle. He is so precious, definitely not a 6 lb baby but still your little guy. :)

  2. He's amazing!!! And so incredibly cute. The upstate farm sounds like a dream. Big city playgrounds sort of skeeve (is that a word?) me out too, so I totally get the joy of letting your kid get clean/dirty (even though country dirt is not necessarily any 'cleaner', rationally!). Furthermore, I can't believe that B can not only put on his own belt, but can also speak sentences about it??? He is seriously precocious.

  3. He is a sweet one. Look at those eyes! I am a farm girl myself and would make the distinction between city dirt and country dirt. What a lovely description of your time. I am jealous of all that wonderful nothingness and peace.

    I especially like that last photo. I forget what joy a simple hose used to be when I was a kid. Pure entertainment.

  4. Very very lovely. We have a wee place in northern VT and I love watching my big boy (18 months) playing outside and eating all the blackberries he can grab!

  5. I grew up in upstate NY on 57 acres of woodland. Truly there is no better life for a child than the fresh air and clean dirt. I miss my childhood for that very reason.

  6. Happy holymoly, 19months. How is that possible???
    Adorable, and big like Della.

  7. I am breathless at that hose and bucket photo. So totally perfect. And yeah, he looks like a BOY, for reals. He sounds just extraordinary, like such a joy to be with.

    Ah, clean dirt. I grew up with it, and wish Bun Bun and Bunlet could have some too. I've got a yard and all, but it's still such a different experience from real OUTDOORS. My family is working on getting our place in rural New Mexico fixed up so we can have a family clean dirt site.

    Oh, and Bun Bun can't get enough of sticks. Loves 'em.

  8. That sounds like an awesome vacation. I love driving out of the city for a long weekend upstate.

    I somehow was convinced that you lived far away in Brooklyn. We also live quite near Central Park, and up by us there is quite a bit of wild stuff and dirt for kids to play in (not the same as upstate, I know, but I was truly shocked by how far away from the city it feels, especially towards the East side above the Conservatory gardens). Anyway, I'd love to meet up someday in the park and get our boys together (longdistanceinfertility at gmail). We often walk from our neighborhood down to the big playgrounds at 59th Street.

  9. Wow! 19 months? Crazy! He's adorable!

  10. what an amazing little guy you have! and what a great trip. I love your description of "clean" dirt. I so get you there.