Our Christmas ends up fabulous, traditional and with the added bonus of daddy as Santa! “Santa, I know you are Daddy” hesitant 3 year old boy laughter; “daddy, you in there?”
At baby girl’s nine months check-up after Christmas, her pediatrician is concerned because she is not meeting any of her nine months’ mile stones. She is not steady on her feet, she doesn’t cruise yet, she doesn’t even crawl, she doesn’t wave, clap or point and even her preemie milestones (at 7 months) are iffy at best. I get slightly worried, it feels like we have been playing “catch up” her whole little life. It feel unfair but reading about “micro preemies” (or any baby born before week 30- which could have been our baby) puts it all in perspective.
The doctor explains that our girl is testing approximately two months behind and that this is not uncommon. We will probably be playing “catch up” for at least two years- even if our baby is not considered born “that early”. Her pediatrician refers us to two different developmental specialists and physical as well as occupation therapy (wait, I thought this was common and nothing to worry about?). Apparent PT and OT are both common for preemies born before week 36 as well. Both appointments are set for January.
Our New Year’s Eve is about as glamorous as it can be with kids. A bunch of us parents bring food, alcohol and our best attempts to stay up until midnight! (Did you know sleep deprived parents don’t actually do BETTER under the influence). We get all dolled up (as much as we can while trying to make sure our kids don’t kill themselves-or each other) and pretend not to get upset when our kids spill (or otherwise get messy) BEFORE we head over to the party. This couple I have known forever (which is nice when you come from another country and I guess the closest thing to “roots”. Even if life happens and you become different people, you still stay in touch and spend New Year’s together almost 15 years later- that is quite nice!) is fearless enough to host more than six couples and twelve kids.
The husband has even built a huge table for the occasion (pretty cool), and not only that, he has also managed to come up with an elaborate scavenger hunt- complete with clues and points! Whenever did he have the time? Who cares if certain individuals give up half way through (quitters!) kids get half frozen and people get lost (including someone’s older parents), it’s fun and it’s creative! What an initiative (naturally I volunteer to stay home with my own and a bunch of other people’s kids- disappointed of course!) but I am impressed!
I’m also impressed by all the food (I just brought my potato gratin-which is indeed quite yummy-but others brought chicken, homemade shrimp salad, baked bread and even a caught whole fish!), the great attitudes and the kids’ ability to not only stay alive but (mostly) unharmed and (mostly) happy! I drink my first alcohol in almost two years and I’m excited it is champagne- my fave! (And it’s the good stuff!) I time it just so baby has a full belly (nursing in the Kid’s playroom- hopefully none of them scarred for life) and then I hand her to daddy for at least an hour.
What a great night! And it is impossible not to mention the “to-die-for” ocean view …and the poor winner of the scavenger hunt who came back cold and exhausted hours later. He did not give up under any (quite extreme) challenges and circumstance! We cheers around 8 (or was it 9 pm) which is quite impressive as we originally planned on 7 (or was it even 6?). We have a friendly “guys versus girl competition” (parent edition) and are all quite happy (read dead tired) to leave at a time we probably started getting ready to go out only a few years ago.
I say “Happy New Year” to myself at midnight (can’t stray from tradition) while everyone else is fast asleep upstairs! What an emotional yet blessed year it has been!
The next day is bitter sweet- it’s a new year- a clean slate yet January has always depressed me.
2015- Here we come!!!