Happy Birthday Justin!

Justin turns six on Monday. The little goofball was scheduled to be born on October 6, but had other plans. So instead of a cushy little planned c-section with no labor, I spent a whole night having contractions because the hospital had sent me home earlier in the day, and I didn’t want to bother anyone in the middle of the night. By about 5 am on October 3, I was through being considerate and started waking people’s asses up.

Justin Andrew, 8 pounds, 3 ounces. Six minutes old and not happy about it.

Justin was the quietest little baby. Unlike his two older brothers, who were prone to endless, stressful crying jags, he would just kind of hang out and look around. He started sleeping in his crib the first night we brought him home. The others all slept primarily in their car seats until about four months old. I’d rock that goddamn seat with Alex in it for hours before he’d finally fall asleep. Then we’d just put it in the crib.

But Justin was just so sweet. When he’d need a bottle at night he wouldn’t even cry. We’d just hear some faint whimpering. We kind of felt bad for him, it’s like he was too shy and didn’t want to cause problems. I remember Barry one night picking him up saying, “It’s okay, you can say something if you’re hungry.”

Of course the honeymoon was soon over. Our little bald, easy-going infant morphed into a one year-old, curly-haired, blond lunatic, prone to screeching when he needed something, or just for the sake of screeching. He was demanding, stubborn, persistent, and sometimes just downright mean. There were days where I just didn’t know what to do with him.

But now, he’s six, he’s in kindergarten, and in some ways I feel like I have my lovey little baby back again. Never a particularly affectionate toddler, he’s started to come around more to snuggle with me, or sit on my lap. He’s sweetly calls me “Maw-maw” instead of screaming out “MOM!!!” if he wants my attention. He likes soft pajamas, still sleeps with his “bear,” and all he wants for his birthday is a stuffed elephant he saw at the bookstore a few weeks ago because “it’s so soft.”

Not to say he doesn’t have his moments. He can still be exasperating, especially when he tag teams with Alex, or is encouraged by David, or is fighting with Cameron. But it’s so adorable when he comes home from school, and wants to show me right away what’s in his backpack, or uses a silly little voice to talk about babies, or kisses Penny every night before he goes to bed, or gets tucked in with his ladybug Pillow Pet. He’s finally losing some of that hard edge that made him so difficult to deal with as a toddler and pre-schooler. It’s even pleasant to have him around now.

Happy Birthday Justin!

© Jennifer Alys Windholz, 2011


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