To Boo Boo, Upon Turning One (a 7QT post)



How does a name like “Boo Boo” become associated with a child, anyway? Perhaps the same way this child…

Michael sleeping

becomes this one…

Thanksgiving 2012 064


It’s my name for him, no one else’s, although Nicholas has tried to adopt it. I have all manner of permutations, every one you can imagine: boo boo, baby boo, boo baby, boo boy, boo boo boy, boy boo (you get the idea). It was my brother-in-law who first called a baby “boo boo,” but in my nephew’s case I don’t think it stuck…except in my head. But somehow it didn’t feel appropriate for Alex, who was known as Mr. Bug, or for Nicholas, who had a few permutations of “munchkin.” Somehow, this time, it just seemed to fit.


There’s been a lot of life lived in the past 366 days (don’t forget leap year): NICU and bad latch and battles for big sister’s education and laundry piles that move, field trips and homework and constantly, constantly, the feeling of having not quite enough of me to go around. A fourth baby doesn’t get the spotlight the way a first or second does; he’s playing perpetual catchup, trying to hold his own among his siblings.


Which is perhaps why Michael walked at ten months, two months ahead of the earliest of his siblings. And why he’s carrying a bath “flute” (i.e. recorder) around the house blowing sounds on it, when none of his siblings figured that skill out until 18 months. And why he’s throwing baseballs when none of his siblings was even allowed to touch something that hard until age 2 at least, and then only outside. (How do those baseballs keep showing up in the house?????) Although he won’t sign, preferring to communicate by yelling, which routinely shreds my nerves to tiny slivers that blow in the wind around the witching hour.


I know that’s why Michael was given milk the day before he turned one, and peanut butter and corn two weeks before he turned one, and tomatoes two months before he turned one, in defiance of the parenting experts’ paranoia about food allergies.


It’s hard to believe…I keep shaking my head at the thought of myself, one year ago this morning, sitting on the couch talking to my doctor at 7:30 a.m. and making the decision to pack up and head for the hospital, apprehensive of the drama but really having no idea what form it would eventually take. Hard to believe it’s been a year, and yet I can still feel the mattress of the hospital bed I slept on for ten days, my body sweating and shivering simultaneously in the chill of a hospital in December, walking up and down hallways at 2 a.m. for NICU feedings. Meals stored in a tiny refrigerator and heated in a microwave. Mass in the hospital chapel for the second Sunday of Advent (I had to leave early because I was in so much pain that morning, four days post-op), and for Immaculate Conception (eleven a.m., and I managed to stand up for most of it…I was so late, waiting to talk to the doctor before I came down, that there were no more seats).


He’s so big now, so full of life and verve and, well, boyhood. Paper clips and marbles and Lego in the mouth. DVDs, CDs and VHS tapes strewn all over the floor. Coming back to the computer to find spinning its wheels trying to find a calorie count for

“;Aza,Pdcccccccccccccccccccccccmyju jm u 9fewewewewewewewewewewewdscx qws dl,.”  (I put that on FB the other day and Christian joked, “We’re not having that for dinner AGAIN!”) Pieces of food held out to the side of the tray and, with a cunning “whatchagonnadoaboutit” look on his face, dropped. He sleeps on top of his blankets, no matter how many times you cover him up. He wants to walk, walk, walk and get into things at all moments of all days, except when I need him to keep himself occupied, at which point nothing will do but Mommy’s arms.

Happy first birthday, Boo Boo. I love you madly.

Michael and birthday cake

7 quick takes sm1 7 Quick Takes Friday (vol. 198)

5 thoughts on “To Boo Boo, Upon Turning One (a 7QT post)

  1. Love this post! Is ;Aza,Pd ccccccc ccccccccccccccccmyju jm u ewewewewe wewewe wewewewdscx qws dl,. what I see on his highchair tray? I know we’ll all want the recipe…..

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