This Spring in Minnesota has been long delayed, with snow and cold weather extending far longer than expected. But recently, the sun has come out, it’s getting warmer and we’re finally seeing signs of Spring. This new relief is very very welcome.
Similarly, in our house, we’ve gotten our own version of a late Spring, as Timothy has stopped spitting up after meals. It sounds like a small thing, but, like the advent of Spring, this is a game changer.
Our girls never did much spitting up when they were babies, and so when T started spitting up after meals, it was a new deal for us. And because he often spit up, it required us to adjust our habits, from accessorizing our outfits with burp cloths to wearing clothes that could be easily changed and washed. And we needed to hold him upright and not let him be too active after meals.
Just like the arrival of Spring, this newfound freedom allows us to expand our wardrobe. There were many clothes that I would not wear around Timothy because I didn’t want them spit up on. Hopefully (mostly) gone are the days when I’d show up at an event, only to realize that there’s a large spit up stain decorating the back of my sports coat.
For all concerned, it’s nice that Spring has sprung.
When a child reaches a certain age, he or she realizes that, not only do they not like being passengers in a backward facing car seat, but if they play their cards right, they can have a little say in the matter. The infant senses that if he or she could make the car seat process feel like trying to capture a small furry animal, the overmatched parent will reconsider the need for that trip to the grocery store.
Timothy is following in this rich Lee family tradition of less than passive car seat resistance. Just like a baseball pitcher draws from many different types of pitches (fastball, curveball, etc), Timothy has developed quite a repertoire of escape moves to avoid being snapped into his car seat. Like many kids, the ‘pelvic thrust’ is his most common way to start complicating the restraint process. However, he knows that he can’t hold that position for very long, and so he usually progresses to ‘the Squirm’. Sometimes, he tries an ‘Alpine climber’, which finds him attempting to scale the seat. And he’s perfecting a new move which we’ll call the ‘maybe if I curl up in a ball they won’t notice me or won’t be able to uncoil me’.
I’d like to say that these guerilla tactics only baffle the first time parents, but they work pretty well on us cagey veterans as well. And TRBL knows it.
The struggle for the car seat brings back another great moment in parenting. It was a decade ago, we were over in France, and had lunch at the home of the French family I lived with while studying over there. Following the visit, we bid ‘au revoir’ and had waved good bye to the elderly couple, and were in a hurry to get on the road, but Catherine chose that moment to refuse to get in her car seat. With the doors of the car now closed, we struggled to get her into her car seat and I got very frustrated and may have yelled a few things. When Catherine was finally secured in her car seat, at the moment of what should have been a time of celebration, we made two embarrassing discoveries – not only were Monsieur and Madame still standing at the curb waving good bye to us and watching the scene unfold, but the windows of the car had been open the entire time, ensuring that most of the little French town was able to hear my tirade. Oo-la-la.
We close by congratulating a family friend, Father Tom Hunstiger, who is celebrating 50 years in the priesthood. He has shown what an impact one person can have by dedicating himself to faith and the service to others. And we’ve been lucky that he’s been a part of many Lee family celebrations, including Timothy’s baptism.
Thank you and congratulations, Father Tom!