Thursday, December 4, 2014

Sam - Year One

Sam’s Year One

Well, this post is a few weeks late but it seems appropriate since every Sam post this year has been a bit delayed.  Second child syndrome I assume.  But let’s dive into this past year, shall we? 

A little over a year ago I was a week from my due date and cockily thought that I would be overdue again.  So I was pretty shocked when my water broke and I had to head to the hospital in the middle of the night.  I was so much calmer this time around though.  I’ll never forget driving with John on an empty LA freeway at 2am through downtown LA.  We were relaxed and chatting and couldn’t wait to meet our new little boy. The labor was better because I knew what to expect and, in what I would learn was true Sam style, he slid right into this world without much fuss, ready to party even though the doctor wasn’t in the room. 

The first few weeks, even months, are a blur.  I just remember being on the go those first four weeks when Sam was still asleep most of the time.  He hung out in the Ergo on my chest while I went to Jack’s play dates, led my MOMS Club meetings, and at every preschool pickup and dropoff.  While I had been scared to death to go to Target with baby Jack, I took Sam everywhere and anywhere.  Sam sadly wasn’t the greatest sleeper but he was better than Jack so it seemed like an improvement.  And besides, by the second kid, your sleep is totally screwed and you’re conditioned to wake up often so it’s just not as hard.  Nonetheless, I wouldn’t have complained if I had gotten a good sleeper.  Sigh.

I guess I would sum up those first six months with Sam as hard, but actually a little easier than I thought it would be.  Jack was just so so tough that I had psyched myself up to expect the absolute worst…so Sam seemed easier.  Plus it helped that I now had a great support system of fantastic mom friends who were always there to hold Sam while I chased Jack around a park, or juggled bags and car seats or whatever. 

Sam immediately showed us that he was going to be way different than his brother.  Even now, while he doesn’t talk, he is just the opposite of Jack in so many ways.  From almost birth, Jack loved hearing us read to him and would devour books.  Sam has read about a total of 3 books in his 12 months of life.  Jack was so clingy and upset in most new situations or big groups.  I would inevitably leave a play date early because he just wasn’t happy hanging on a blanket on the grass.  Meanwhile Sam can’t wait to be put down so he can go toddling off to strangers to say hi.  It’s such a different experience doing things with him…whether it be music class or trips to the zoo or anything.  He’s just a happy, smiley, social kid. 

While Sam’s outgoing personality made for an easier infant, I think it’s made him a harder toddler than Jack.  Just when I thought I had survived the hardest part (the first six months), life went and laughed at me and gave me a challenging toddler and a harder second half of the year.  Where Jack was content to be at home and, even from a young age, could play quietly and get engrossed in a book or toy, Sam was and continues to be the opposite.  He hates just hanging at home, is bored by just my presence, and wants to be out and about and entertained.  “Where’s the party?” is his motto I think.  If you know me, you know this is not my lifestyle!  So it’s been exhausting trying to keep him entertained and happy.  But it’s worth it because his little crooked smile is infectious and adorable. 

Sammy does have one thing in common with Jack though…he is stubborn as hell.  Those two brothers….  I feel like I’m Sam’s bodyguard most of the time, just trying to keep Jack from hurting him.  Jack wasn’t pleased when we brought Sam home and nowadays he isn’t much happier about the situation.  They will have nice moments together where Jack will hug him and say something loving.  But most of the time Jack is hitting him or pushing him down or yelling at him not to touch his toys.  Poor Sam only wants to keep up with him and copy him and he just gets pushed around all day.  I feel bad for the kid because he’s become conditioned to wince when Jack runs up to him.  And yet he keeps going back for more because there’s no one he loves more than Jack.  I think “Jack” was even Sam’s first word.


This first year was more challenging than I could have ever imagined…and in different ways that I could have imagined.  The sheer emotional and mental frustration that comes from juggling a baby and a preschooler…it’s enough to send you over the edge some days.  John has been my rock this whole year and we’ve had some days that were great and some that were fairly terrible.  When he’s having a hard time with them I can try to cheer him up him and vice versa.  (or we just keep each other from killing the kids.)  Thank goodness for having a partner who is totally invested in Jack and Sam and who is here for me all the time.  I really feel like I barely survived the year and I only did because of John. 

All of these challenges are at least made better by the fact that I know this is a phase, and a short one at that.  I try to keep that in mind when I’ve got a screaming sobbing over-tired baby tugging at my leg while I’m cleaning poop off my preschooler’s legs and hands.  I laugh about the fact that I used to have a career and take a shower every morning and get dressed to look presentable.  And now I’m cleaning vomit off of my pants because I have a toddler who is prone to gagging and throwing up.  It’s just funny how life works out. 

But I don’t think I’d trade it for the world, even on the worst of days.  Having Sam around to laugh, smile, and brighten my day is better than anything else.  I love when he’s a great mood after dinner and he chases Jack and me around the house, giggling like a maniac.  I love that his favorite thing to do is cover his face with his little lovey blanket and play peek-a-boo with me.  I love that he’s just starting saying “WHOA” and he uses it all the time…especially when we see Christmas lights.  He’s a little character that kid and I can’t wait to see what happens with him this next year when he starts talking and his personality comes out even more.  And who wouldn’t want to stare at his little face all day?  Happy birthday Sammy Matts!

1 comment:

  1. I LOVE this post! It's so beautiful! I can't wait until we get a chance to see you guys again - Sam is so big! (I also can't help but be shocked most of the time that he's just a little younger than Benedict, because he always seems older to me.)