Monday, October 14, 2013

My daughter, the parolee.

This morning, Bug was very carefully placing the magnetic letters that stick to our fridge in alphabetical order. This is a very time consuming process involving her singing the ABC song repeatedly down to the last letter she placed in order to know which one comes next.

Yea, and then there was great mourning in all the land because she discovered that we no longer have a Q.

"I don't have any letter Q," she said, her eyes large and sad.

"Yeah, that's true," I said, dismissively, after a cursory glance at the fridge to make sure she hadn't overlooked it. "We'll have to go get more letters at the store sometime."

(As an aside, I'm not sure about your kids, but mine are still young enough that a veiled and vague reference to replacing an item at a later, unspecified date is almost always enough to defer any further heartbreak over an issue.)

"It would be good if we went to the store and stole-ded some new letters," she said, shrugging nonchalantly.

Wait, what?

"Bug, why would we STEAL it? That would be a terrible choice!" I said, sputtering a little in my shock.

"Yeah, we could stole them because all the other kids would want them, too", she said. And I'm telling you, in her eyes was a diabolical sort of sparkle that sent shivers down my spine.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Motherhood is so glamorous.

Bug has been fully potty trained for more than a year now. Any reduction in the number of diapers I find myself intimately acquainted with on a given day is cause for celebration, and the successful toilet training of my oldest is a parental victory I will carry with me to my grave.

Nevertheless, simply making it to the potty on time does not an entirely independent toileter make. For the sake of hygiene, parental oversight is, on particular occasions, still a necessary help. To her eternal chagrin, this means Bug will occasionally find herself stranded on the toilet shouting at the top of her lungs and (gasp) sometimes waiting a moment or two until her mother can arrive for inspection.

Today, the magnetic pull of Henry the Hugglemonster playing on the t.v. in the basement proved too much for her small reserve of patience to override. Unaware that she had even gone upstairs to use the bathroom, I looked up from the laundry I was folding to see her clutching the handrail on the stairs for dear life, awkwardly lumbering down the steps with her ankles tethered together by her bunched up underwear and pants.

Ignoring the surprised expression on my face, she clumsily trotted over and immediately bent over at the waist, eagerly awaiting my review and anticipated stamp of approval.

So, what did you do this morning?

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

And then somehow, it's nineteen months later.

My sweetest Mister Baggins,

 My darling boy, I simply cannot accept that you are so grown up. Look at you! All big boy hair and wide grins. It seems like just yesterday the doctor handed over a sticky, squishy, chubby little baby with a scrunchy pink face. To me, you should still be wearing nothing but footie pajamas and awkwardly flapping your little baby arms in the sky. Instead, you are a big boy, running and climbing and wrestling. Each day you are less my baby and more a little dude.

You are a charmer, my little peanut snack. (Maybe that's a poor choice in nicknames, what with your peanut allergy. You are only allowed a tiny bit of peanut butter each week, and we must be very careful not to get it on your skin or you'll break out into hives. We are hoping you might grow out of this so you don't have to sit at the No Peanut table in school because that would be sad.)(Also, because Reese's Peanut Butter cups. Right?) You are soft and cuddly and oh-so-funny. You have a toothy little grin that lights up the whole room. You are very much like your daddy, with an unendingly sweet and cheerful disposition and easy going personality.

I’ll tell you what, for such a quiet little guy, you sure have managed to earn a whole lot of attention recently. Despite your fantastic pediatrician reassuring us that you were just fine—those were his exact words, “He’ll be JUST FINE”, with a friendly wink and nod to your Mama’s neuroses—we decided to have you evaluated for speech development. You don’t say a lot of words, see, and in comparison to Bug, who from dawn until dusk jabbers and chats nearly incessantly, the contrast is stark.

The workers from Early Intervention came out a couple of weeks ago and played on the carpet with you using all their special little toys. It was fun to see you warm up to them and accomplish the little tasks. Your chubby little fingers pinched the coins and dropped them neatly into a slot, your little grin betraying your quiet pride when you got it right. You pointed at objects and chased down the ball and didn't even squirm when they tested your hearing. You won over their hearts in an instant, little buddy, and they agreed with your doctor, (“Just fine, Mom!” they said) pronouncing all areas of development, including receptive language, as right on target with the exception of expressive speech where you lag behind a bit. They promised to come back a couple of times to help you learn new words. Right now, you know 'doggy', 'mommy', 'daddy', Bug’s name, 'bubble', 'uh oh', 'hi', 'eye', and you’re working on 'diaper' and 'shoes'. We're sure that quite soon, you'll be able to fire back at Bug with the sort of vicious rhetoric that mouthy little girl needs to keep her in her place.

Speaking of Bug, that little princess is your very best pal. The two of you have such a funny little friendship. In your eyes, that little redheaded bit of spunk is the sun and the moon. You adore her, and she loves you, too. To you, she can do no wrong. (Only trust me on this one-- yes she can!) Occasionally she acts like a grumpy big sister (as a big sister myself, I can spot all the signs) and does something that makes you scream. A couple of days ago, for no reason that I could ascertain and while she thought I wasn’t looking, she put both hands between your shoulder blades and shoved you forward.

“Block in the back!” I thought. “Unsportsmanlike conduct! Ten yard penalty!” She marched off to her room to serve the necessary time out while I wiped your tears. Before I could even give you a proper hug, though, you pushed yourself off my lap and trotted down the hallway after your playmate, her trespasses already forgiven. You are so sweet.

And, to be fair, you've perfected a wicked little pop on the head with the wooden spoon you love to play with, so the tables are evening out. 

You are a physical little man in all the very best ways. Unlike your sister, you love to snuggle and cuddle. Daddy has a favorite game to play with you when he gets home from work. As soon as he can peel his tie and dress clothes off, he flops down on the fluffy green rug in the living room, lying flat on his back. Just as fast as your stubby little legs can get you there, you are right at his side, tumbling onto his tummy and wrestling back and forth. We shout, "TOUCHDOWN" and your pudgy little arms swing straight up in the air; "First down!" and your one little fist swings down and points forward. Your daddy is in heaven. You are full of dinosaur growls and lion roars and loud, smacking kisses. You are a dream. 

You fill my life with joy. Between your sister's spark and your overwhelming goodness, your daddy and I are overwhelmed with good things. Sometimes I am not as filled with gratitude as I should be. I’m ashamed to admit it, son, but sometimes rather than celebrating the way my life overflows with joy and goodness, I instead find the well of my heart filling up with drips of sorrow for the things I don’t have. I sat on the couch in our poorly lit basement a few days ago, wallowing at bit at the laundry that needed to be folded and the things that Mommys wallow about sometimes, and found myself watching you as you watched Doc McStuffins, your two fingers lodged in their comfortable spot in your mouth. You leaned back on to my lap, your head leaning sideways on my leg and the rest of your soft little body curled up next to me. I felt the weight of you resting contentedly against my body and I ran my fingers through your soft hair.

He is a treasure. The words twisted into shape my mind and swelled until there was room for nothing else.


I marvel at it, at the perfect description it is of you. A treasure. Of course. You are my treasure, son, and I am blessed beyond measure to have you. Our family is blessed to have you.

I love you to the moon and back, buddy.