things i want to remember

i haven’t been as diligent as i would’ve liked in jotting down each precious detail of liam’s wonderful existence, and it breaks my heart to think about all the hundreds, or even thousands, of little things i’ve already forgotten.

if you know me, you know i’m a wee bit obsessive. okay, maybe excessively obsessive. i write down everything — or, at least, i try. i’ve kept track of every single thing liam has ever ingested, and the hour he ingests it, since the day he was born. i’ve also kept track of every diaper change, and every bath, and every nap and every bedtime. does that make me insane? i’ll let you be the judge of that.

so you’d understand, then, why it upsets me so to know i’ve let go of so many special details. you know, the really important bits — what he likes, what he is like. i’ve had good reason, believe me; i’ve tried hard to be in the moment, to really live. but because of that, it’s doubtful i’ll ever be able to vividly recall the magic of those hazy newborn days, or the sweetness that was seeing liam’s first smile.

but i’m trying with all my might not to dwell on the past — on what has been lost. i’m trying with all my might to focus on the present, to write down what i can when i can, to be at peace with the fact that i simply cannot journal every single detail of liam’s life and that that is o-k-a-y.

the things i want to remember about
my little liam nathaniel, age three

he is the littlest bibliophile i’ve ever known, and his love for reading seems to increase with each passing day. he’s always asking to read to me, or to papa, or to his beloved animals.

the food creations he whips up in his play kitchen are rather fantastic. fish and carrot pizza is one of his recent specialties, and, according to the master chef, pairs beautifully with a mushroom and eggplant drink.

his long, golden hair is divine. the straight pieces and bouncy curls intertwine in a sort of ethereal dance.

his recent fashion choices are entertaining to say the least. he tends to go for mama’s character shoes, and papa’s hat, and a t-shirt the size of his whole body. when he dresses up, he tells me he’s a cowboy, or a ballerina, or an astronaut, or a “super baby.”

the order in which he counts: 1-6, skip 7, 8-10, skip 11-13, 14 14 14.

he doesn’t call sneeze “sneeze.” he has his own word(s) for it. after sneezing, he’ll say, “ha! i did a big bless you!”

he knows his name is liam, though he pronounces it as “weema” as he’s still workin’ on perfecting the letter l, but prefers to call himself “baby.”

his current dream is to “live at the farm with mama and papa and grandma and grandpa and uncle, and all the animals and all the goats!”

give him an empty pad of paper and a box of crayons, and he will be entertained for hours. his favourite things to draw are a “big guy” with a big smile, a boat on the water, a dragon with a long tongue, and mama and papa and “baby,” but he will try drawing anything you ask.

each time he sits down for a meal, he “needs” two paper towels — one to place beneath his bowl and bottle, and one to wipe his messy hands on. he also “needs” to neatly organize the items atop the table before he eats.

whenever he has something important to tell you, he puts his finger over his lips and says, “shhh, listen, listen,” then grabs your chin and pulls your face close to his.

every time we pass by a flower, he asks to stop and smell or touch it.

his paternal instincts are off the charts — he has been carrying my childhood doll around with him for weeks, and has started calling her his. he tells her stories, reads her books, feeds her meals of his own creation, and tucks her lovingly into bed for long afternoon naps. each time she “cries,” he insists she needs a hug and a kiss because they “make it better.”

nothing makes his eyes light up quite like rainstorms, especially when they are accompanied by crashing thunder and brilliant bolts of lightning.

when i tell him it’s his turn to pick the record we listen to, his usual go-to is “twist with chubby checker.”

if he doesn’t request complete privacy by the closing of the door when he’s sitting on the toilet, then you can bet he’ll ask that we sing the same two songs, “five little monkeys jumpin’ on the bed” and “four little monkeys swingin’ in the tree,” over and over.

he does not appreciate getting his head wet, unless he does it himself, so we have to save washing his hair until the very last minute during bathtime.

almonds are his all-time favourite snack, but a good ol’ slice of peanut butter bread comes in a close second.

using his wild imagination, a plain cardboard box can be anything from a space ship to hogwarts castle.

the moment we step out into the sunlight, he starts frantically asking for sunglasses and telling the sun to “go away!” he might be part vampire.

he loves picking elsie moon, the cat, up and dropping her in the bathtub to “get clean.” she does not love it.

when papa is away at work and liam wants something from the store, he uses his play remote as a phone to “call” papa and say, “hi papa, go to the store, i need food! okay, bye!”

he still uses the same blankets we swaddled him in as a newborn. he is quite attached to them, particularly the blue one, and can’t rest properly at night until they are found.

he calls the long, thin lines that the blinds make on the loft walls at zebra o’clock “daniel tiger stripes.”

his favourite animals change almost daily, but at this moment, they are: cow, crocodile, sheep, monkey, goat.

his favourite scene to make believe is “beach day.” he sets up a white blanket as sand and a blue blanket as water, two chairs for himself and a friend to sit on, and spoons to scoop up the sand and build sand castles.

he always insists on being the one to carry elsie moon’s food bowl into our room after it’s been filled.

he is far from stingy when it comes to hugs and kisses and “i love you’s.”

any time he wants to talk to god, he looks straight up at the ceiling.

whenever i complain of a headache, he likes to plays doctor and look after me as though i was sickly. he insists i lie down, puts a pillow under my head, covers me from head to toe with blankets, and tells me i need to get some rest because “when you’re sick, rest is best, rest is best.”

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