Dexter’s Second Birthday Scrapbook

Lucky, lucky kid Dexter Ian turned two years old April 10.

We kept it pretty low-key. Matt and Theo and I woke Dex up singing, then made him wear his “It’s My Birthday!” crown immediately. He wore it to the mall while we ran errands and got lots of birthday greetings, which was nice and made me glad we practiced “What are you going to say when someone asks you how old you are?” even if sometimes it takes Dex both hands to raise just two fingers. 

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Dex and the T. Rex: Theo is one month old

Theo Rex turned one month old on April Fool’s Day.

London insider tip: If you’re going to waltz around the city with a newborn baby, you sure better be ready to have long, in-depth conversations with British grannies about how lovely the baby is. Woe is me, I get to brag about my charming, adorable kid to a rapt audience. It’s a real trial, it is.

Theo’s overall aesthetic is grumpy old man who occasionally disarms with a beaming, gummy grin.

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When Dexter met Theo

When Dexter met Theo, the new baby and I had been in hospital for a full day. Dex was wearing the special outfit I’d bought for him, envisioning adorable photos which of course didn’t happen, because as we’ve discussed, toddlers don’t give a damn about their parents’ photo ops.

Dex came into the curtained, shared room (weird), saw me on the bed (weirder), eyeballed Theo, who was still very tiny and kind of red (even weirder), and backed up, like, “No, thanks.” He wouldn’t get onto the bed with me and he really did not want to hold his brother. We gave him the gift that “Theo” had bought him and Dexter did give the baby a kiss on the top of his head before he left with Matt to have dinner and go to bed.

Theo and I didn’t make it home until almost the end of the second day. We hoped Dex would be more interested in his brother when we were on his home turf and our hunch was correct.

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My Wiggle Walk morning with Dexter

As certified parents of two kids, Matt and I are officially switching from man-to-man to zone defense.

I am exclusively breastfeeding, which means Theo gets most of my time and attention, while Matt either hangs out with Dexter or Dex plays independently and Matt gets stuff done around the house. I’m finding moments to give Dex hugs and kisses, or play with him for a few minutes, but we’re not really getting any quality time.

I see him all day, every day, but I miss him so much. I guess I miss Us.

Dexter’s and my favorite playgroup meets Monday mornings, so I decided I wanted to take Dex, just the two of us. Last night, a post appeared on the group’s Facebook page: 

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Postcards from postpartum

Theo is a week old today!

He is tiny. Theo was just under 7 pounds at birth – Dexter, a week earlier, was around 7 and a half – and has a completely different build than Dex, with skinny legs and a bony little bum and fingers like birthday candles. Not only is it a completely different experience, holding a baby this wee, but Dex was under NICU staff care for the first few days of his life, so all of the first-few-days baby stuff was brand new to us, too.

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The story of when Dexter was born

“I’ve helped a lot of women through labor,” I heard our doula whisper to Matt, maybe a little nervously. “But I can honestly say that’s the first time I’ve seen anyone bite her husband.”

Dexter Ian, then known as Biscuit, was born April 10, 2015.

I had a Strand burger for lunch and was at my office April 9 when I started to feel strange. I was 37 weeks and 6 days pregnant and that morning, I had “graduated” from my high risk doctor, which means he shook my hand and we bid farewell to my every-other-morning appointments where I’d sit on an armchair with elastic bands around my belly, clicking a button every time I felt a kick. No diploma or tassels. As the strange feeling intensified, my instincts screamed “THIS IS IT,” so I called Matt and told him to come home. 

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