October was a month full of festivities and new traditions. Last October, Baby Checkers was only four months old and I had just recently come out of my postpartum fog. This year, I was able to experience my first time to the pumpkin patch with my baby girl.
It seems that whenever we have a special event planned, Baby Checkers gets sick. She caught her first bad cold right before her 1st birthday party (it is a miracle she was never really sick during her first year), and she was feeling under the weather for our trip to the pumpkin patch.
Even though Baby Checkers was not in the best of moods, I wanted to document the moment for her memory and mine. We managed to capture a family photo with her not crying. Smiling was not an option on this particular day.
A few weeks following, we went to a Harvest Festival at a church nearby with some of our friends with young kids. I dressed Baby Checkers as a sunflower this year. This costume was perfect since sunflowers have such a special meaning in my heart. As evidenced in the picture on the left, she was a little skeptical about getting into the costume, but by the end of the night she was a happy camper.
We had also made plans to go trick-or-treating with some friends this year, since this would be the first year Baby Checkers could walk around the neighborhood, knock on doors, ask for treats, and play with her friends. We gathered at a friend’s house early to eat dinner and dress the kids, but Baby Checkers was off that day. I thought she was a little fussier because she had a poor nap right before, and I just assumed she was tired and cranky. When I tried to feed her dinner, she refused, which was highly uncharacteristic of her because this kid lives to eat. It was not until she threw up what I imagine was an entire day’s worth of food all over herself and me, I realized she was sick. I had a change of clothes for her, but I rode the entire car ride home soaked in vomit.
I was sad my little girl was feeling terrible and would miss out on trick-or-treating on her first trick-or-treatable Halloween. She spent most of the evening like this:
In an effort to console ME, Mr. Checkers reminded me she does not know Halloween from any other day; this Halloween was more for us than it was for her since she would not remember it (and she was probably more grateful she did not have to wear her costume). But I imagined how much fun she would have had walking around the neighborhood, carrying her little pail, knocking on doors and asking for candy.
The next day she was feeling a bit better, and so on November 1st, Baby Checkers and I walked around the neighborhood holding hands, she happily swinging her pail. I saw a light on at my friend’s house across the way, and so I walked her up to the doorstep and watched her excitedly knock on the door. And my sweet friend filled my girl’s pail with treats, and my baby girl was able to have her first trick-or-treating experience one day late. My heart swelled to see Aliya so happy.
We went to one house that night.
Pooh Bear was a good sport. He was our Halloween mascot.
There is always so much expectation for these occasions, and yet without fail, Baby Checkers is sick for every single one of them. Babies will be babies – they get sick, they feel crummy, they have a bad night. As a parent you quickly learn to roll with the punches, dole out extra patience, cuddles, and love, and you learn how to improvise.
As we head into a month of thanks, I am thankful for my little family and the traditions and memories we get to build together.