M. Giant's
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Wednesday, October 12, 2005  

I met this guy a year ago today. He wasn’t much to look at at the time, but I could see he had potential.

He was so weak he couldn’t walk, stand, or sit. He had to lie around inside this plastic shell. He was all wrapped up in blankets so he couldn’t move, and the blankets had all of these wires and stuff coming out of them, and the wires were attached to all these machines that would go off if he somehow screwed up a simple task like breathing or maintaining a cardiac rhythm. At the top of his voice, he was capable of making a noise like dog’s chew toy. He slept all the time, weighed less than five pounds, and wore a dorky hat.

What a difference a year makes.

Now that helpless, squinty little blob of protoplasm is walking around our house, constantly trying to figure out how to get past the baby gates or into the heating vents or behind the sofa, trying to put everything in his mouth but food, laughing, babbling, pointing, and dancing. And needing a haircut.

(He’s still kind of helpless, though. Ask him to open a home equity line of credit and he’ll just wander on by without looking at you.)

A year ago yesterday, we were wondering how we were going to finish all the preparations that had to be done in the next seven weeks. A year ago today, prep time was over.

Yes, it’s been a year, and that nearly weightless bundle of flesh is not only still alive after being in our care that long, but is many times bigger, stronger, smarter, and funnier than what we started out with.

I always thought the first year of being a parent would be the hardest. So far, I’ve been right. But saying goodbye to that first year is hard too. There are things I’ll miss. Wrapping him up like a burrito with a head. Being amazed when he did something like roll over. Balancing him on one forearm. No toys lying around except the ones Trash and I took out. Knowing that what he just spit up on me is nothing but formula.

Other things, I won’t miss. Driving to the hospital in St. Paul every day, sometimes twice. Not being able to drive to the hospital in St. Paul that one day. Setting the alarm for 2:30 a.m. Feedings every three hours. Going downstairs first thing in the morning and wondering if he’s still breathing. Waiting for him to raise his head, roll over, sit up, crawl, walk. Not having one earthly clue what I was doing.

Last year, I met my newborn. Today, I met my one-year-old. Happy birthday, M. Small. Bring on year two!

posted by M. Giant 9:06 PM 15 comments


Aw, M. Giant. That was really sweet...it almost (almost!) makes me want to have a baby.

I was born fourteen weeks early and weighed twenty-two ounces (this was thirty years ago). You should meet my parents for schnapps and share stories...

By Blogger tina, at October 13, 2005 at 2:14 AM  

Ok, the fact that the 2nd picture has a date stamp from the camera of 1/1/02 is just freaking me out. Did you take M. Small back in time and snap that picture or something? Glad he's doing so well, and you're still loving that whole parent thing. :)

By Anonymous thatgrrrl, at October 13, 2005 at 3:50 AM  

I don't have kids, but I have nephews, and M. Small is one of the cutest kids I have ever seen. Or does he just photograph well?

Either way, HAPPY BIRTHDAY, M.SMALL. Along with the kids at Dooce and Darn Tootin', you're going to be famous!

By Anonymous Sara, at October 13, 2005 at 6:56 AM  

Awww, so precious :)

By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 13, 2005 at 7:09 AM  

Happy Birthday to M. Small. I first started reading your blog right after he was born. I can't believe he's a year old already!

By Blogger Rebecca, at October 13, 2005 at 11:53 AM  

i just wanted to say HAPPY BIRTHDAY M SMALL!!!!!!!!
He is geting so big. I wach him grow though the pics and i can not believe that he is geting so big. I am happy that he is a figher. Now he can get though anything. Thank you for the pics

By Anonymous melissa, at October 13, 2005 at 8:03 PM  

That was very touching. M. Small is a very lucky boy to have such a loving father... in fact, two very loving parents. I was honored to have met you all very recently (that's my daughter's hand in the 2nd photo), and I wanted to tell you that you have a very special family.

Happy Birthday M. Small!

By Anonymous Drew, at October 13, 2005 at 8:35 PM  

I just read my comment again and noticed a very startling lack of distinct adverbs. So embarrassed...

By Anonymous Drew, at October 13, 2005 at 9:54 PM  

I love reading M. Giant's posts about M. Small. You can just tell that he is a great dad, and that Trash is a great mom.

Happy Birthday, M. Small. Here's to another great year.

By Anonymous Karen, at October 14, 2005 at 7:03 AM  

Happy BD, Little Tyke! Our guy just turned 3 in late August and is growing an average of 4" each year. Wardrobe changes happen fast.

By Blogger just sayin', at October 14, 2005 at 9:17 AM  

He's pretty darn cute. Happy Birthday M. Small!

By Blogger Sara, at October 14, 2005 at 10:15 AM  

Happy Birthday, M. Small! What a handsome guy you have.

By Blogger Teslagrl, at October 14, 2005 at 10:59 AM  

Congratulations to your whole family on this momentous occasion! :D

By Blogger Charlotte Smith, at October 14, 2005 at 3:39 PM  

You guys have so much to look forward to - year two is going to be even better and even funnier than year one, I swear. He really is a beautiful child.

By Blogger Nancy, at October 14, 2005 at 6:34 PM  

Happy Birthday M. Small! Here's to a fabulous second year!

By Anonymous Mandy, at October 19, 2005 at 6:24 AM  

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