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Falling in Love

by Ann E. Butenas |
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I am resting on a blanket on the living room floor with my true love, gazing dreamily into this beautiful set of ocean-blue eyes, which dance with mine in a rhythm set to the music of our hearts. I run my fingers through his soft blonde hair, caress his cheek and tell him how much I love him. I give him kisses all over his face. I give him a big hug. I tell him how wonderful he is.

He never speaks, yet through his smiles, I can tell he feels the same about me. We continue in this manner for several minutes. The world around us does not exist at this moment. I am deeply in love with this guy and I want him to know it.

Then it happens.

A light breeze pouring through an open window carries the obvious scent up from the floor to my awaiting nasal passages. "This guy needs a diaper change!" I realize.

Okay! So I wasn't on the floor with my dream man, but I was spending precious time with a little guy with whom I am madly in love. "How can that be?" you may question. "In love with a baby?" It is possible and it does happen, whether we are ready for it or not. Baby love is something that is not easily explained, yet it is readily felt.

I had three boys in a three-year time frame. With the birth of each, I was amazed at how the bond developed. However, it was not until I had my third son that I realized what being in love with a baby was all about. Sure, I love, and am in love, with my older two, but their births were so close together and while diapering one, I was anticipating the birth of the other. The third son's birth would be the last child to whom I would choose to give birth. Three children -- that is where my husband and I would stop. As such, I decided it was truly important to cherish the brief time that my baby actually was a baby. I want to stress that no love was taken from the older two. It is just that the love for the youngest was propelled by the notion that he, too, would soon get bigger and there would not be another baby in the household. The older two boys would rather play with toy tools and trucks, anyway. "Yuck!" one will say, as I attempt to kiss him. My baby, though, almost two now, has been my love these past two years. Even my husband has noticed it. He will sometimes be sitting across the room and observe Noah and I at play. "You two are something else," he will comment. "You cannot take your eyes off of each other." In my mind, I am flattered that the mutual exchange of love is obvious to an "outsider," but at the same time, I feel somewhat guilty that I am carrying on with this silly feeling of love more with my son than with my husband.

Nevertheless, I continue on in the growing relationship with Noah. While at times his moments of fussiness and nighttime awakenings are a source of frustration for me, I cannot wait until I can get down on the floor and play with him and snuggle with him. He just melts into my arms. What is it that makes this type of love so special? For obvious reasons, it is unlike any loving relationship we have with our spouse or significant other. It is really something that transcends explanation. When we see our baby for the first time, there is that instantaneous "click;" that feeling that says, "Hey! You belong to me. You belong with me. You are part of me." I have been there for Noah since Day One, and he knows it. Right now, he basically needs me for everything. Through his needs, however, I believe he feels love for me and by me. He wants me to hold him and play with him as often as possible. When I have been away from him for a few hours, he will run to me, arms held out, and gleefully proclaim, "Mommy! Mommy!" I can't help but love him.

Over the past couple of years, I have often said to Noah, "Mommy loves you." When he was closer to one year of age, I would ask, knowing full well no verbal answer would come, "Who loves you, Noah?" I continued to ask this question for months. Surprisingly, when I asked him this question one day last month, he responded without hesitation, "Mommy!" With my heart jumping for joy, I continued to ask, "Who do you love, Noah?" "Mommy!" He responded. Wow! He has reached the point now where he will caress my cheek or put his cheek to mine and just sigh. I know I love Noah. I also know he loves me. I will always be in love with him on that certain level which Mommies understand. I also know there will be a day when Noah will fall in love with someone else. I just hope that he will continue to exchange our little expressions of love. When we snuggle now, I will sometimes just hug him and say, "Noah, I love you." He will respond by wrapping his little arms around my neck and just say, "Mommy." He knows what I mean. I know what he means. For all I care, he can say, "Mommy" for the rest of his life whenever I tell him I love him. I know what it means. I love what it means.

Now, if I can just get the older two boys to at least hug me for a moment! Noah -- please don't outgrow me! After all, it is almost Mother's Day -- please give me a big "Mommy" cheer then!

Ann E Butenas is a stay-at-home mom of three preschool-age boys. Ann currently owns and operates ANZ Publications, a publications business specializing in family-oriented projects.
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