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Time is On My Side

Family’s First Spring

Jacqueline Fennington
MSN Class of 2010

(4/2012) I cannot help but think how lucky Lucy is to have two parents who love her unconditionally and think she is just the greatest living thing on Earth. We will not turn into the parents who obnoxiously brag about their kids being the best at everything, but we are incredibly fond of our little one for valid reasons. If you have met Lucy, you already know.

With Spring blooming all around me, allergies inevitably surfaced, but worse than ever before. I surrendered to the air conditioning a bit early for my liking, but it helped keeping the pollen out. Lucy also showed signs of allergies and had trouble sleeping, bringing us back to her early days of life when we spent all night awake together. It was the most pitiful thing to watch Lucy try to put herself to sleep by sucking her thumb like she does every night, only this night she could not breathe out of her nose with her thumb in her mouth. You could see her frustration. When I heard Lucy having difficulty breathing, I knew it was going to be an all-night affair, but it did not bother me one bit. I was just happy to be able to comfort Lucy while she was sick. Every kid wants their mommy when they are sick and it felt good being the mommy this time rather than the sick kid.

Lucy is now becoming a pro at sitting up, rolling from one side of the room to the other, screaming at the top of her lungs and "walking" with assistance. Mom and Dad are developing a few more tricks up their sleeves too…

Mr. Mom

During March I worked a weekend job while Sean stayed home with Lucy. I never doubted that Sean could take care of Lucy without me. I knew he would be fine, but I was still pleasantly surprised by just how well he did.

When you go through a daily routine you develop a rhythm to make things go smoothly. In my daily routine I make sure to wash Lucy’s dishes after she’s done eating, but still sitting in her highchair so that they are ready for the next feeding – you never know what will happen in the next hour or two to prevent you from doing the dishes you left in the sink. There’s a method to everything – diaper changes, laundry, baths, feedings, etc. – and sure enough, Sean came up with own methods as well.

We have been trying to make sure Lucy gets a full 24 oz. of milk throughout the day, per the doctor’s recommendation, and I had been having trouble with it during the week. It seemed like Lucy was just not hungry and would not eat as much as she was supposed to. I warned Sean about it before I went to work and said good luck, hoping it would go okay. On Sunday night we talked about the weekend and how everything went.

"How much did Lucy eat today?" I asked, expecting to hear a number around 18 or 20 oz.

"Yesterday she had 25 oz. and today she had 26," he said.

"What?!" I was ecstatic and shocked at the same time. The surprises continued… "Did she spit up a lot?"

"Nope," Sean said proudly. "She didn’t spit up once all weekend!"

I was shocked and so happy. Dad figured out the magic touch. He went on to explain how he would feed Lucy and the trick to each different bottle design. It was funny listening to Sean explain these intricate details of bottle-feeding, some I never thought of. I could not help but call him Mr. Mom.

The CPR Fake-Out

Introducing new foods to Lucy’s diet is a treat for all – Lucy and spectators. Every green light we get from the doctor to try something new makes me feel like Lucy is growing up so fast. First it was the rice cereal and now we are on to fruits, veggies and even juice. Keep in mind every new item is liquid or mush, but it still feels like it will be no time before Lucy is sitting at the table eating our food cut-up into tiny little bites.

I kept hearing how much Lucy is going to love all these new things like adding fruit to her cereal and giving her a sippy cup with juice, but her reaction was far from loving it every time we introduced something new. The day I got the green light from the doctor to try a fruit or vegetable mixed with her rice cereal, I was ecstatic and could not wait to get home and puree an apple for Lucy to try.

Dinner time rolls around, Dad is home from work and Lucy is in sitting in her highchair anxiously waiting for her green bowl of yummy rice cereal – arms flailing and legs kicking out of excitement. Little does she know it contains a very special treat. I mix up the cereal and apple-mush, Dad gets the video camera ready and we give Lucy her first bite of "real" food. She looks at us in utter disgust – mouth open, but not smiling – and lets the food just trickle out her mouth. If you have ever seen the movie Elf, Lucy’s facial expression was similar to Will Ferrell’s when he sprays perfume in his mouth. Being the mature parents that we are, we could not help but burst out laughing at the ridiculous face she made.

I try feeding the second bite and this time she eats it, but then immediately starts gagging. I freak out and go into panic mode thinking she is choking. I immediately want to rescue her from her highchair and perform CPR. Sean reassures me that she is fine and Lucy then gives a devious smile while still letting out little coughs. This happens on repeat and every time Lucy gags with the taste of new food my heart skips a beat thinking she is choking. And sure enough, she smiles big every time while still coughing. She’s such a little trickster, faking out her parents. Lucy is taking on quite the persona and has all the accessories and facial expressions to match it (see photo).

Read other articles by Jacqueline Quillen