When you have your second child, you are already smarter. You’ve been through the adventure of having a baby before and even though you are still clueless about what baby #2 is going to change in your life, you are not fully unprepared. And you have the little things figured out. You know: diapers, creams, bathing, first fever, … the whole 9 yards (and if you wonder why I am using a colloquial that is referring to an idiotic, stone-age unit as if we were animals – yeah: I don’t know, either).
In all of this, you are always trying to do your best, of course. And you are still screwing up. But here’s the thing with Thomas: he is making every interaction a joy. I know what you think: does this tyke not cry or what? ‘ course he does. And yes, this is as bad as with the next baby. The point is: little Thomas, who is now nearly a year old, is genuinely the happiest baby I have ever seen – hands down.
Don’t get me wrong: Oskar was likewise a very happy baby and he is a happy kid now, too. But the pure joy that Thomas is spreading with his smile and beaming attitude stands in its own right and is positively contagious. He is just so quick and generous with his smile. I cannot say it better than that he is full of love and a very gentle soul. You open the door in the morning to wake him up and whether he is still sleeping or already awake: it’s very likely you get a sweet smile right there. You lift him up, hug him and put him on the changing table: smiles for everybody.
And this is more or less how the day goes.
Not all the time. Not always. But pretty much most of the time.
What a joy also when putting Thomas to sleep. On a usual night, he will be in his cot sleeping or about to sleep within minutes after he finished his night bottle. We don’t get much crying or complaining from him then (it’s a little more difficult during the day for his naps, but still not too bad). Yes, that’s right: we are lucky bastards – live with it!
I love holding Thomas’ cute little hands in mine and watch him discover the miracles around him with these big, brown eyes. When I left to Europe he started to say “Papa” and “Maman” (or that’s what I want to believe but hey: I stick to it) and it’s sort of unsettling for me to know that he’s going to make huge development leaps during the time I am traveling. That’s of course the case for both my sons, but in the case of Thomas it is magical to see how a recently “hatched” baby makes all these jumps and turns into a toddler (as it is magical to see that Oskar seems to make these sudden crazy connections in his brains from one day to the other and masters new skills or does certain things).
Thomas is just on the edge of learning to walk. He started very carefully with 10 months and it looks like he is going to get really into it with 11 months. Aggie has practiced and still practices a lot with him, so I am curious to see how he does when I am back.
Apropos Aggie: Thomas loves her, of course. Oskar loves her, too, but her connection is even stronger with Thomas, which makes sense: she is spending so much time with him on weekdays after all. It’s certainly comparable to what we observed between Tess and Oskar. One could become a little jealous, but then again, I am so happy how well Aggie is taking care of Thomas (and of course Oskar). It just shows how lucky we are to have great help like this.
Opa: Thomas isst mit einem Genuss, dass ist einzigartig…
My dad observed this a while ago: that Thomas is a particularly avid eater. I thought this was a funny thing to say: every baby is an avid eater after all, I guess. They all are getting excited and impatient when it comes to eating (especially when you have flashed the milk bottle to them). Over time, as we have added more and more solid food, I must say that this observation is actually true: Thomas enjoys eating. A lot. And more than what we saw with Oskar. And Thomas is literally wolving down pretty much everything we put in front of him. He is an even more enthusiastic eater than Oskar was at his age. Let’s see how this continues (Oskar got also much more fussy and picky about his food as he grew older).
One last thing I want to mention is how well Oskar and Thomas get along. Oskar is really sweet with his little brother and Thomas looks up to him and always seems amazed by his big brother.
I admit, I am looking forward to Thomas growing a little more, getting a little older, talking and becoming more independent like Oskar. How great will it be when these two guys can play with each other and plot mischief. Until then, I know that Thomas is making it easy for us, not matter what.
I miss him.