Had enough of the weepy story about having a child and the world falling apart at the same time? I have – but the story is not over and, while it doesn’t appear to be so, it is a rather nice story. My son is now 6 and doing great. Shall we continue?
This lovely picture is when I was giving Caiden a bath with me and he decided the water was warm and a perfect place to drop some poop. Like I said, “A lovely picture!”
We bought him a swing as we were told this might help to settle his tummy. Daddy lovingly put it together and we plopped him in it. Of course, my child immediately would start crying and screaming to get out. He wanted nothing to do with the swing and the motion it would cause on his stomach. The swing got relegated to a quiet corner of the house, not to be touched by this child until much later in life.
On December 10th, 2006, Caiden Mark ***** was dedicated back to God. In the Assemblies of God religion, this means that we formally thank God for the gift of our child and give our child back to God, acknowledging that we are only caretakers of His creation. This is how we dressed for the day and he was extremely well behaved but I think the Pastor did wonderfully when Caiden spit up on him – He didn’t miss a beat!
The spring and summer of ’07 is a blur. A few fragmented memories of trying to get him to lay on his stomach that failed miserably and of him learning how to roll over so quickly after he was born but then screaming his head off to get off his stomach. He was exceptionally bright and learning new things was a breeze for him. We don’t remember much of him between learning how to roll over, scooting on the floor on his knees and then he was up and walking, running, climbing. Because of his stomach issues, he didn’t stay on his stomach for more than a minute and, long before turning one, he was walking and running around the house.
Mom and Dad were told to make something for him to look at on his tummy – to get him used to the idea that laying on his tummy wouldn’t hurt him terribly.
It was at the point of learning how to roll over that my dad told me we were in trouble with him later in life. My dad pegged his intelligence at only a couple months old but we didn’t quite realize it until a little later.
Checking out his reflection in a mirror – on his tummy! That idea worked so well, we ended up putting a long mirror on the floor against the wall so he could stare at himself.
He was so small!
One hilarious part of Caiden’s babyhood was the weird positions he would sleep in. We were constantly popping in on him with a camera to see what position he had gotten himself into, this time.
You can see the excema on his poor little body.
During his second year of life, before turning 3, I actually took him to a child psychologist to discuss him. He was constantly not sleeping and I worried about him. He would stay up half the night and fight sleep with every breath in his body. At one point, daddy and I turned the doorknob around on his bedroom door and would lock him in his room as a way of forcing him to stay in bed. It was an awful feeling for a mother to do that to her child but that was the only way I would ever get any sleep for myself.
The doctor said there was nothing wrong with him. He was a perfectly average (I hate the word normal) boy and would outgrow the no-sleeping phase. He did say, by way of explanation for Caiden not sleeping, that Caiden was exceptionally bright and did not know how to shut his brain down at night. He recommended some white noise, music, a movie to fall asleep to as ways to calm him for bed. Well, that failed. My son would watch 5 movies before passing out, would sing along with the radio and getting white noise was terribly difficult. My doctor mentioned that the average child learns at an alarming rate when small but my son was learning too fast and was unable to stop learning long enough to fall asleep. He mentioned that, once my son started school, they would wear out his brain with new things to learn and sleep would come earlier. (He was right – when my son started full-day kindergarten, he started passing out before bedtime and still does, in 1st grade).
From Daddy, “He still can’t have any distractions at bed time or he won’t sleep. If you leave a TV on he will only pass out from exhaustion.“
In all this growing for the first few years, my son attached himself to trains. It didn’t matter if it was toy trains or real trains, my son memorized each and every part of them and would instantly settle down to relax when a train show was put on or train book was given to him. We spent countless money indulging him in this train obsession and lament now, as he is getting older and starting to set that aside for other boy-ish desires.
(we’ve spent all day searching and can’t find any ready pictures of trains. we found plenty of videos but no pictures)
He also loved Elmo and he got an Elmo doll for Christmas from the local thrift store. Daddy didn’t like the idea of Caiden having an Elmo, so he hung it by the neck until dead.
His first word was, “Fish” and that was because of a huge fish tank I had in the living room at the time. One of those fish are still alive and the fish tank is in the Nanny’s room, for the moment. I haven’t found a place for it in our new home and she loves it as a night light.
Daddy built him a high chair so he could sit up to watch mommy in the kitchen or eat some food. He completely skipped baby food, going straight from Enfamil AR to table foods – mostly because of his tummy. I think back now of all the times we were dirt poor, without a penny to our name and I would smuggle out some sample cans of Enfamil AR from the doctor’s office when I went for visits. I’m ashamed but I did what I had to for my child. Especially since they also willingly gave me quite a bit to keep my family and I going.
Caiden going for a swing with daddy. By this time, he was much better off as far as swinging, even though he wasn’t quite a year old, as yet.
Because of medical bills and all that having a new baby (one with problems) entailed, we had to move out of our home (we were facing foreclosure) and find another place to live in April of 2008. I was a month from giving birth by scheduled cesarean to Brendan when we moved. While we were there – for the summer of 08 – Caiden would ride with daddy for long hours while he mowed the couple acre yard with a riding lawn mower. Caiden would fall asleep while daddy drove and wake only when daddy stopped. The lawn got mowed – probably more than was necessary – and all was right with the world, for a time.
Living out in the country for that period of time, my son was amazing at hearing and seeing airplanes and helicopters long before daddy and I would see them. He would point and jump up and down with such excitement, even though he was not quite 2 years old, yet.
Visiting Daddy at work – February of ’08. Daddy loves this picture because of his reflection and such. Caiden just decided to take a walk away from Daddy towards the snow.
Daddy reminded me to tell you about how he would also love to play with the garden hose. He’d douse himself quite proper every chance he got. He had a great summer, living in that rental house from April of 08 to August of 08.
It was also during this period of time we got him his first 4-wheeler. It ran on batteries and he loved it. We fought to get him off of it when it was time to do so!
I love to tease daddy about the 4-wheeler. Not only did Caiden get a 4-wheeler before daddy did, he rolled his 4-wheeler before daddy ever got one! He was trying to take it up a hill and failed, this little thing didn’t have enough power. And, even while I was running to pick him up and kiss him all better, he got up (not even 2 years old, yet), righted his little bike and got back on to try again!
Also at this secondary home, my son was amazing riding on the little yellow bike that his Grandma Donna gave him for Christmas. He would run all through the hard wood floors of this house and have a great time of it. We were scared, at times, thinking he was going to crash and burn. He never did.
This is him riding that little yellow bike outside at a park in the summer of 08. He really did love that thing.
Have I mentioned he loved to wear my boots around the house? He looks awesome in them and now, he’s starting to grow into them just a little bit. They don’t sit so high on his legs when he puts them on!
August 20th of 2009, he’s out fishing with Daddy and Uncle Travis. He had a blast and, to this day, still tries to buy himself new fishing poles to go again and again and again. Of course, his favorite part wasn’t the fishing. It was the cast and reel.
That’s about it for now. It took all day to write this post. Not only did I get sidetracked by sorting thousands of pictures into date/year order, I was trying to stay away from fall of ’09 because that’s when all hell breaks loose, again.