As a parent, there are times when you can’t get enough of your kids. They seem extra cute, extra cuddly, extra special. Luckily for us, we’re in this phase right now.
This comes after a period in which your behavior and general emotional state led to a lot of aggravation and stress (see previous post about your screaming, hitting and biting). Things seemed to have calmed down; you’re happier, playing more with your brother, and keeping your teeth to yourself.
This doesn’t include the ruckus you caused when we went to mass recently with Grandma Z and your cousin (it’s amazing what she’ll get me to do with a promise of La Bella Pizza). At first we tried sitting next to Grandma’s friends, but you became squirrely fast. We moved to the enclosed “baby room,” but you began sneaking out into the adjacent hallway as a mischievous way to push limits with Mom.
I thought this was OK because it kept you occupied and the hallway wasn’t directly connected to the rest of the church. But suddenly the lights went out in our area because you found a crucial light switch. Later, you made a run for it when I was distracted. When I finally caught up with you, you were trying to steal a man’s glasses from his seat while he was kneeling in the pews.
At that point, I scooped you, clutched your wriggling body against my side, and headed for the exit. The crowd near the back doors parted like the Red Sea.
You almost broke your arm at a friend’s rehearsal dinner, so that was also exciting. You kept rocking back on your chair facing the wrong way, eventually losing to gravity, and your arm somehow got wedged between the backrest and the floor. The sound of your cry was awful, and I guiltily envisioned a tough night ahead for us in the ER. Miraculously, an angel appeared out of nowhere and said, “I’m a pediatrician. Do you mind if I look at his arm?”
Why, yes. Yes, you may.
Luckily, she said you just bruised it, and you were soon running around with the other kiddos. Phew!
You’ve definitely reverted to some kind of oral phase in your development. I picked you up from school one day and your jacket’s sleeves and collar were soaked. I thought you’d been playing in the sink while washing your hands, but the teachers said you were gnawing on the fabric all day.
Alex, your stuffed alligator, is practically missing his entire face at this point. What’s left is perpetually covered in your saliva, which you horrifyingly try to stick in my face to be funny. In fact, Grandma B wrote an entire poem for you at Christmas about your favorite stuffed animals and love of chewing them.
You also clog the toilet. Like, every time. It’s become such a funny occurrence in our house. How can something so big come out of someone so small?!
As mentioned, you’re getting along better with Charlie. The first thing you do when you wake up is search for him in the house, even if he’s still sleeping, lucky him. In fact, Dad and I get to “sleep in” on the weekends, meaning that you and your brother usually play together until the arguing starts to escalate (usually around 7:15). It’s nice that you’re old enough to spend this time with one another.
That isn’t to say there isn’t fighting. You recently came up to me with big, worried eyes and said, “Mom, Chawee is crying because I didn’t do anything.” Sure, kid.
I spent a few hours in your bed one night because you were struggling with a cold, and I woke up to you repeatedly smacking me in the head. You were completely asleep. Bet you’re dreaming about your brother, I thought wryly.
Your sweetness toward others, however, is unmatched. While visiting recently, Grandma Z announced it was time she headed home. “You can’t go; I wuv you!!,” you shouted. At the dinner table, I said I was chilly. “You awh cold?” you exclaimed, “I wull give you a hug!” and you wrapped me up as tight as you could in your little arms.
You burst into tears when our gardener cut down our roses for their January pruning; you thought they’d been hurt.
I took you to see “Mary Poppins,” and you snuggled in my lap the entire time. Last night I crawled in your bed to say goodnight after I got home after bed time, and you caressed my face until we both fell asleep.
Your brother is nearly nine (holy crap!), and I’m constantly confronted by how big and adult he’s looking. While Charlie refuses to hug me in front of his friends, you still rush at me with squeals and kisses every time I pick you up from school.
For this reason, I’m sure, I cling to and treasure this sweetness. Jack, you bring so much love and light into our lives. Whether you’re covering me in hugs, or trying to take down the Catholic Church, I will always be your biggest fan.