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Happy Birthday Duncan - Elizabeth Unexplained
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greyautumnrain
greyautumnrain
Happy Birthday Duncan
Duncan turns one year old today. My baby boy isn’t really a baby anymore, he’s transforming into a little boy before my eyes.

I recently read through both Margaret’s and Duncan’s birth stories in my archive. The contrast is amusing. Margaret’s was all about the details of labor, and what I was concentrating on to try to insure a good result. Much of Duncan’s birth story was taken up with how pissed off I was with Mt. Auburn. Part of that is that I spent so little time in active labor with Duncan, and part of that is that on balance I think I had good reason to be pissed off. As I watch the latest snow storm out the window I have to think that sending me home at 1 am might not have been the best call they made, especially when I showed back up at just before 11 pm fully dilated and ready to push. Sure, there was no snow that day, but I have to wonder if on review they wondered if they should have kept me. Certainly the doctor who delivered Duncan showed every sign of being annoyed to suddenly have a woman ready to push on her hands so near the end of her shift. It’s a good thing last winter wasn’t like this one or Duncan may have been born on our bathroom floor.

A year later what I remember most fondly of my time in Mt Auburn with Duncan is the wee morning hours of February 2nd, just after Duncan and I got settled into our room together. I nursed Duncan for the second time and settled him into his bassinet and he slept soundly for four hours straight. I’d have slept too if we’d been in a single room, but alas, I had a rather noisy first-time mother as a roommate. Still, I appreciated that Duncan was sleeping so well in those first hours, doing his part to let me have the rest I needed. I remembered thinking what a good baby he was.

At a year old Duncan walks, though he prefers to crawl if the distance is great. He says several words, with “this” being by far the most common. He has a winning smile and is quick to laugh, and he and his sister get along really well for such little kids. Duncan has recently discovered that the best way to get attention from me is to request a book, and I often read the same book to him a dozen times in a row, and when I won’t read that one any more he’ll get another book. Lift the flap books seem to be especially appreciated, but I’m having trouble finding good ones. His precocious mobility and his desire to explore the most dangerous thing he can reach mean that he’s currently at a much more high maintenance stage than that first night in the hospital, but I expect that it will start getting better come summer.

Duncan is still much more prone to chill than Margaret is, and I dress him in wool sweaters nearly every day, though this is risky. Even after felting a beloved baby sweater, Hongmei seems a little unclear on the concept of not washing wool things with the rest of the laundry. She recently laundered Margaret’s dry-clean-only winter coat after Margaret had thrown up while wearing it, and Duncan’s vest turned just turned up in a load of laundry suspiciously felted even though I had not put the vest in with the laundry. I no longer make anything for the kids that isn’t at least superwash wool, and I’m thinking that perhaps future sweaters might be better in wool-bamboo blends. I can’t not dress Duncan in sweaters for fear that they might make an unauthorized trip through the washer, I know that Hongmei is only trying to help, and since I’ve not been successful at getting the ‘don’t wash wool’ concept across I need to find a fiber with wool content that will survive. My boys loves his sweaters, and I think he looks very handsome in them.

Currently Duncan’s hair is blond, and his eyes are somewhere between green and hazel. I expect the hair will get darker as he grows up, but in the mean time I’m having fun calling him my fair-haired boy. I am still nursing him, and so far he hasn’t had any formula. I plan to continue to nurse until we start IVF in an attempt to get a third baby, but there’s no date for that yet. I’m tentatively thinking that summer would be the best time to start cycling again in order to shoot of a more sane age gap but still start before I have another birthday. In the meantime, I’m enjoying the two kids I do have very much indeed.

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