Wednesday, June 24, 2009
The Boys :: v2.2
Here we are, venturing deeper into the territory of two, no turning back the clock. It feels as if their birthday was eons ago, that time blurring slightly. It was the ‘golden time’, so easy to hold in memory as a day and age when things ran smoothly and they listened and they did not defy and they were happy. Sure, I know, this sounds a bit dramatic, but so are the changes that have come to us in the time between now and then.
There are days when I wake up and wonder who these little boys are that live in our house.
Sometimes I wonder because they are so difficult, so ornery and mischievous and challenging. There is the immediate thought that someone stole my child and left a changeling, but I thought that only happened with newborns. Then there are the days the thought occurs because they are so charming and loving and lovely.
Owen, you went from a quiet-ish child with inquiring deep looks but little talk to a screaming banshee in the last two months.
I love you, baby boy, but Oh My God, what happened? I thought you would be the one that would breeze through two, instead you dug in your heels, laid down the line and started to tantrum. Tantrum if you wanted something, if you needed something, if you were denied something. Ack. And the whining, child, that is an inhuman sound. I know in part the molars finally coming through had a bit to do with it, you seem to get super annoyed with prolonged pain, as I am sure any of us would. But it is also a personality thing.
And yet, yet, your nurturing side exploded too and you want to take care of babies and doggies and your Mama and your Daddy and your brother. You still observe our actions so carefully and mimic them days later. I watch you gently wrap a baby doll in an old washcloth or diaper your Spaceboy and see the potential for such depth of caring. It makes me feel so loved when I receive a spontaneous morning kiss, or when you touch my dry cracked hands and say “Mama, wash booboo?”. You have the memory of an elephant…one day we put an old paper bracelet on your wrist and told you you would need it later to ride the train at the train park. You did not like it on and promptly removed it, but much later that day you walked up to the ticket booth at the park and told us “Train, star, on?” and held your wrist out for your bracelet (um, which, had nothing to do with the train park. You will come to find your parents are weird in some ways, like telling spontaneous white lies. Sorry). You were very concerned about the lack of it and kept asking for quite some time. A good reminder that we need to be careful of what we say and what we do as you watch with a keen eye and apparently can hear with your keen ears. Could have fooled me with the hearing thing as there are definite times when they seem not to work at all.
Mason, oh, my Mace. I was terrified when I thought about you turning two. I mean, you are the wild child, always were. Sp punk rock. Born kicking and screaming and looking in all directions.
And then those first years were doozies, a lot of coaxing to sleep, so hard for you to find a way to go down at night. It seemed like sleep would be forever elusive in your case. And then, wham, two comes and you are content to sleep in a bed, as long as it is with your brother. You willingly go to bed at nap and at night, you tell Owie to ‘shhhh’ and you pull the covers over your head and wrap yourself up and snooze away, well past Owie’s waking and sometimes through his tantrums. Guess keeping you in close proximity of each other all this time is really paying off.
You are fearless, but then you always have been. Whether it is you jumping off a 10” box or trying to do a flying 360 degree turn off the couch, you charge, head first (literally) most times. The big change is in your behavior and your ability to consider others. I love to watch you curiously study other kids. There was that one time at Kidspace when a much older boy was totally freaking out over your desire to share a puzzle. No coaxing by his nanny would help and his behavior started to escalate. You watched him wail and carefully set down the puzzle piece and backed away. What I loved was the mixed look of bewilderment and pity on your face. And I loved that a few minutes later you walked over to gather the now abandoned puzzle, free to explore as you pleased. You remind me of me. I think that is a good thing.
Together we are growing and I can feel the tension and stretching that is growing up. I can sense the ways you both have changed but cannot put a finger on it. It is less tangible than the early years, full of growth spurts and milestones. Now it is underneath the surface, synapses in your brains firing, connecting, recalling. You can form memories now, though some would argue that even baby infants can do that. But these are the ones that stick, that will flit on the edges of your acute memory when you are my age. I watch as you lightly touch your fingers to the whirlpool created as the tub drains and sharply recall doing that when young. And though this challenge set before us, this moving into to has been hard, I want it also to be memorable. To be beautiful.
But I may ask for a few conditions to achieve that…
Can we ditch the whining please? No. Hmmmm, then….
Can you concede that you might be too young to attempt to fix your own breakfast, lunch and dinner? No. Hmmmm, how about…
Will you surrender your very effective weapon of running in opposite directions and when caught becoming either limp or too squirrely to manage (consequently reactivating an old shoulder injury in your Mama and throwing out Daddy’s back). Was that a no? Thought so…
I will then settle for you halting at once the new practice of doffing your pants and diaper in any public space when the urge to pee hit you (ahem, Owen especially). Agreed. Thanks, kids.
As a concession I promise to stop threatening to bring you to the gypsies when things get to be too much for me...and I will stop showing you YouTube videos of said gypsy families in order to scare your pants off. (They only seem to delight you anyway....the strategy could likely backfire on me and then I will find you grow up to go and join the circus).
And you are kids now, right? It just seemed to happen. And took my breath away when you stood proud and tall declaring all our names and telling me all about your days with your Daddy. There is nothing like the two of you.
And your Mama loves so so very very much.