In just over a month a certain lovable, mischievous, high-spirited baby is going to turn two years old.
Once you turn two, I think a little bit of that baby sheen wears off. Fortunately, Jules still has lots to go around, evidenced by how often I smooch those cheeks of hers, or nuzzle my nose into the back of her neck, or nibble on her ears, even though most of those actions elicit a semi-serious "No Mama!" from said Baby.
To some degree, I've taken all of Jules's milestones in stride, without quite as much marveling over the little things she does like we did with Sydney. Jules has been getting her two-year molars, but somehow I haven't felt the urge to write about it. Go figure.
Sure, we're quite smitten and entertained by Jules, but the first word and the first tooth seemed just a little bit less miraculous the second time around. Also, there has been virtually no consulting of parenting books with Jules. I just don't care that much what books have to say. And the pregnancy books that I poured over while I was pregnant with Sydney? Untouched the last time I was pregnant. Partly because I don't find pregnancy fascinating, and partly because I don't like someone trying to give me a complex about the tuna sandwich I'm eating for lunch. It's tuna, for goodness sakes. Not a martini.
But there's a new book in town, and it's not preachy, it's not stress-inducing, and it's even got me--a non-baby person by all accounts--pouring over the pages.
Amazing Baby is, first of all, a gorgeous book. Seriously. The book has pages and pages of beautiful pictures of babies, and it almost makes me want to have a baby just so I could take some pictures of her. I'm not talking Anne Geddes-style pictures (which I enjoy and have nothing against). I'm talking close-ups, action shots, pensive shots, amazing baby shots. At this particular moment, what I love the most about the book is the photography and the fabulous anatomy page-overlays that are quite informative. I can hardly remember what else I want to say about the book, so distracted am I by these adorable babies.
There's other good stuff too, though. Like the whole premise of the book, which is that it delivers all sorts of amazing facts about the first two years of life. It mostly skips past the gestating stage (not completely, but enough so that I wouldn't call it a pregnancy book) and delivers on what is so amazing about these little babies we have.
- Newborns can swim
- There are seven reasons why a baby cries
- Babies are born with several automatic reflex actions
- A baby's brain makes up 10% of her weight; it's only 2% for adults
- Babies best fall asleep hearing the heart beat at 72 times per minute, the rate a relaxed pregnant mother's heart beats
- A two-year toddler is an amazing word-learning machine
That last one? I knew that. Favorite word around here? Gum. It's the only leverage I have in getting Jules to eat breakfast, take a bath, and get dressed.
More than your standard (or even a-typical) parenting book, author Desmond Morris has written a book that celebrates the achievements of babies and just how remarkable their young lives are. The tone of the book is encouraging, engaging, and educational, filled with helpful suggestions to make a child's early life even more remarkable. My only complaint is that Dr. Morris credits evolution as the reason why babies are so irresistible and amazing. I heartily disagree on that point.
Nevertheless, this beautiful baby development book is one that could just as easily go on the coffee table as it could in a gift bag for a new mom. First-time moms may want to consult those tried-and-true pregnancy books, but this would make a great compliment. Second and third and fourth time moms will appreciate this book for its unique perspective of seeing life from the child's point of view.
I feel like I probably ought to give the book away, since I'm not pregnant (although I do have a child who fits in the category of under two-years-old), but I can't part with it. Plus, someday there may be another baby in my life who reminds me not to take the amazing development of life for granted.
But don't worry, Jules. That won't be for a long time. Plus, no baby can replace you because you, my sweet, are amazing. And I know I haven't told you how amazing you are for being able to feed yourself, or put on your own pants, or choose your own shirts, or open the fridge and get your sippy cup and an apple, but you are. Amazing.