Tavin Jared Fleming was born on May 25th, 2009 at 5:58 PM. He was stuck in the birth canal because of his huge head! ("Have you seen the father's head!?" the nurse announced with sudden clarity, staring straight at Jared.) So I had a C section. We spent a week in the hospital with Tavin because he had some serious blood sugar issues and then jaundice. After bringing him home, we suffered through 9 months of colic, a hatred for anything that required him to be strapped in (car seats, strollers, swings, etc.), and nearly no naps whatsoever!
On the other hand...
I started reading to him and playing classical music for him while he was in the womb through a speaker system. After he was born, I continued reading to him almost everyday. We played countless Baby Einstein DVDs for him, as the music and bright, bouncy colors were the only things that seemed to soothe him that first year.
As a stay-at-home mom, I invest a LOT of my time teaching Tavin how to count, read, spell, and behave properly. If you think I'm silly for doing all that, think again, because this brilliant child can read, spell, count and behave properly!
At our last doctor's visit (mere days after he turned two), she told me that Tavin has a vocabulary and behavioral skill set of a three year old. I wasn't surprised, and neither was her next comment: "The biggest challenge you will face is how to challenge him." Tell me about, Doc!
Instead, though, I do challenge him. I challenge him to be a decent human being. "Say 'hi' to people when you pass by. Say excuse me when you burp. Put your cup on the table. Put your toys away when you're done playing with them. Be gentle with the animals. Thank you, God…" And I explain everything I do in explicit details. Again, silly?
Tavin can make his own breakfast with a little help from mommy. He's even made an entire pie before. He knows the last letter in the alphabet, and will suddenly say, "Five, five, five," when I hand him his diaper...because the number five is on it. After dinner I'll say, "Do you want to take a b-a-t-h?" And he screams in delight: "BATH!!"
Tavin is fascinated with the moon! He knows most of his shapes and can recognize nearly every barnyard animal, as well as jungle animals. He can even sing and mimic sounds perfectly. He loves football--especially the Packers--and we often find him skipping from side-to-side through the house yelling, "GO TEAM!"
He's been able to help himself get dressed since he was one. His favorite foods are cake, cake and pie. He also loves vegetables, and that’s because I used to make his own baby food from fresh veggies and fruit. He's also bananas for bananas, and ice cream cones.
Take him to a grocery store--if he can sit still long enough--and he can name just about every food you pass by. Take him on a drive and he'll call out, "LAKE," if you're within five blocks of it. He adores kites, stars, bike rides, rocks, pulling labels off can goods, and removing wallpaper from his wall.
He's a smart kid with good manners. He wasn't born that way, and too many parents these days expect that to be the case. Tavin is one of the most amazing kids you'll ever meet, and it's because he has a mommy who only wants the best for him and does everything in her power to make that happen. (My oldest son, Josh, in the background.)