Saturday, December 25, 2010

Weekly Winners: 382 Baths

She's 399 days old now.

I've given her a bath every evening for the last 1 year and 34 days (except for those first 6 days when she had that icky umbilical cord stump. Plus a few other late evenings when she fell dead asleep in the car on the way home from somewhere...)

I estimate that I've given her about 382 baths. Maybe even more when I consider the spit-up, the poopy diapers, and the Gerber sweet potatoes. Let's face it: some days, one bath simply isn't enough.

She's going to be my last one. My mom always told me that I'd know when I was done, and I know. My heart knows, my head knows, and my ovaries know. When I see itty-bitty-baby clothes, with adorable embroidery and in the softest fabric I've ever touched, I never think about having another. I remember having each of my five, but I never think about a number six.

Knowing that she's my last almost makes it feel like she's my first. With my first baby, I was too nervous about being a mother and "doing it right" that I forgot to take time to snuggle her and gobble her toes and dance around in the living room to "Old MacDonald Had a Farm". I spent way too much time reading parenting books and trying new techniques, when I should have been reading Dr. Seuss and just winging it.

But she's my last, and I know that this is my last chance to snuggle and gobble and dance. This is the last time I'll watch all the first things happen, like first teeth and first steps and first haircut and first birthday. I want to savor every. last. moment. I want to burn every minute of her life into my memory. I want to remember every time she ever blew a raspberry at me, or clapped at her brother's silly antics, or drifted off to sleep in her carseat.


I'm cursed with a horrible memory. I jokingly call it early-onset Alzheimers. What's that they say, "Many a truth is said in jest"? Maybe that's the reason I've become a photographer. Then I will have proof that she really was once this little. That I didn't miss it. That I was really here, taking care of her and loving her and giving her baths and haircuts and gobbling her toes.

Some days I breathe deeply and rejoice, "THIS IS THE LAST TIME I'LL EVER HAVE TO DO THAT!"

Other days I sigh and say, "This is the last time I'll ever get to do that."

Go check out the other Weekly Winners over at Lotus' place!



Texan Mama

33 comments:

Shannon said...

I'm a mama of one from California. Reading this post made me glad that I gobbled my little girl's toes from day one. It also makes me want more kids.
Your daughter is beautiful!

Amy said...

Beautiful, beautiful post. Thank you for that.

Gigi said...

What a beautiful post! Makes me *almost* want another baby......

Wait! What the hell am I saying? No, I just want to go borrow someone else's for a little while.

Prairie Mother said...

So sweet!

Prairie Mother said...

So sweet!

Crystal said...

THat is a simply beautiful post. I don't know if #4 is our last or not...but your words want me to go squeeze him tight...squeeze all 4 of them ,really! Your words along with the precious pictures bring nostalgia and joy and a little sadness...they grow so quickly. And all of us will have to let our babies go one day. Thanx for sharing such a lovely post!!

Hope you had a very Merry Christmas.

GunDiva said...

What a great post! I think you have some great advice for first-time parents in there. The bit about more Dr. Seuss and winging it is perfect.

Betty said...

I am a grandma of seven and there is always another 'first'. lol Enjoy every moment since they are only THAT moment!

What a cutie she is!

Sarah said...

So touching. I knew I was done...I know I'm done...and physically I'm no longer capable...so I knw the feeling well...even with just my three. *sigh*

tara said...

The look on her face in the first is priceless. So great to appreciate all of her milestones...it goes so fast! I'm about to have my second (and last) very, very soon.

Denise said...

What a beautiful post!! LOVE.

Jennifer said...

Love it.

Tara R. said...

Such a sweet tribute to your baby girl. The photos are precious.

Terrie said...

beautiful series!

Sarah said...

My husband would get mad when I took pictures of the kids in the bath but now he's more lenient on it, as long as all is covered ;)

Gorgeous shots :)

SECRET AGENT MAMA said...

What a sweetly touching post.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Soapbox Girl said...

*sniffles* This is a beautiful post. Thank you for sharing.

Anna See said...

Aaargh. So true and so perfect!

misssrobin said...

Beautiful in words and photos.

Loralee Choate said...

Oh, I hear you. I am covered in damp clothing from Butterlump's evening bath and I know it won't last for ever! WAAAAH! P.S. THOSE CHEEKS!

CK said...

Awww! This makes me sad for having my last baby... even though I am sure I haven't had her/him yet ;)

-CK

Broot said...

Yep I've definitely been there, done that. My littlest is at school now and I still think that to myself. Makes me clucky every once in awhile and I go in hunt of babies, but then I'm happy to give them back.

Happy SITS day! :)

Carrie said...

Oh, YES. Thanks for putting words to what I feel!

Truthfully, I really really want another baby but know I just can't do it again. The whole "pregnancy" thing was miserable the first two times and I just can't do it again. Also, my second (and last) child is 9 months old and is still not sleeping through the night. I'm desperately tired. But through the haze I think the same thing-- this is the last time I'll have to do this. And most of the time that makes me so, so sad!

Especially weeks like this, where I've wiped his nose approximately 567 a day as he whines because he feels so sick. Then I think, "this is the LAST time I'll have to do this!" Until the next cold, of course. ;-)

Happy SITS Day!

Adrian's Crazy Life said...

What a great post - I can so relate! I have the worst memory in the world and I wish I'd taken a lot more (and much better) pictures of my kids when they were little because I can barely remember any of that now.

I had my 3 boys almost a decade apart, so I would have that time to enjoy each one and gobble the toes and all that fun stuff, although now it doesn't seem like such a smart move when my youngest son is turning 13 while my oldest granddaughter is 11! Oh well, live & learn and enjoy them all you can!

Nicole said...

I love this post! I had twins a year ago and I wonder if they will be my last...because I still think about more. And then I think....are you crazy? After all we went through with these two! But, the pregnancy was scary and I didn't get to enjoy it. Then their first three months of life was in the NICU - so there's that stress. Now, they're into everything and so much fun.....and it's a new level of chaos. So we'll see after we get through the twos and threes....maybe then. :-) Stopping by from SITS!

Kristi said...

Sigh. Teary-eyed. Your post was so beautifully written and spot on. I'm not sure if my second girl will be my last so I have many of the same feelings as you about her. I too wrote about how bittersweet it is to watch your baby grow up (called "Bye-Bye Babyhood" on my site). By the way, I adore your writing and your photography and would love to have you guest post for me if you ever felt so inclined!

CoachFitChick said...

Love your photography!

TryItMom said...

Happy SITS day! What a gorgeous post! I'm on #2 now and trying so hard to enjoy every moment and forget about the cleaning/laundry/etc. It goes by so fast!

Life with Kaishon said...

She is so sweet. I am glad you got to be the Mama to five little blessings. I think you have such good advice for all mothers! LOVE it.
I was SO happy that you were the SITS girl of the day. You know I am crazy about you!

Morgan said...

Okay ... thanks for helping me to tear-up today :) I am a momma to four and I'm loving on my last baby, too. She's two years old ... and growing too fast! So glad there's another mom out there who feels the same way!

Happy SITS day! :)

jalopy and gray said...

Wow. My first just turned one and I'm already so emotional about some of her "firsts" being over. I can't imagine thinking about my last firsts....

Thanks for your post. I'll have to think twice next time I tell her I can't pick her up because I "have to" clean the house. Too many precious seconds fly by way too fast.

Marie said...

After 5 kids I can see why you think your memory isn't as good as it used to be, ha!

Your child is adorable by the way. ;)

Dacia said...

Visiting from your SITS feature. Such cute pictures and a great post. I have yet to feel that done feeling, but I sure can't wait. I have 3, but the hubby wants 1 or 2 more. Yikes, I'm not getting any younger :)