Starting at the beginning of last week, the boys have seemed to turn the energy up a notch. They are nearly 13 months. They are both scooting, using their feet and arms to “swim” across the floor. They are both “cruising” furniture and whatever else they can pull themselves up on. Cask bulldozes through any barrier I put up to keep them out of the kitchen or away from the kitty food. Loyal happily follows. It suddenly feels like a circus at our house, except none of the animals are trained.
The other day, Loyal, the little one, woke from his nap crying. This is usually an indicator he hasn’t slept enough. Most often, they wake up happy and chipper. So if they wake up crying, I usually try to see if he’ll fall back asleep. But this time his cries had urgency. I crept into the nursery and scooped him up. His brother was still sleeping, his face mashed into the mattress, his feet crossed, and his little butt in the air.
We call Loyal “the little one” because he was baby B, and he was born a minute after his brother. He was also over a pound lighter at birth. He continues to be about a pound lighter than his brother, though now he is actually about a half inch taller. He looks more like a miniature little boy than a baby, albeit with chubby knees and elbow dimples.
I carried the little one out of the nursery and to a rocking chair in the living room. He was hot and teary faced. He rested his heavy head on my shoulder and cried. Neither boy likes to cuddle at this age. There’s too much to see, and too much wiggling to do. Loyal has never liked to cuddle. Not since he could hold his head up himself. But now he clung to me as I rocked him. He hitched his breath and as energy allowed, he bellowed a litany of complaints.
As unhappy as he may have been, I sort of enjoyed the surprise closeness with him. I kissed the top of his head, smoothed his blond hair and shushed quietly. The wailing turned to moaning, and then to fussy little grunts. He contently rested his head against my chest and I continued to rock him. Perhaps he was going to go back to sleep.
I looked down at his face, but I couldn’t see his eyes. Just his brows, his eyelashes, and his nose. He was awake.
He grunted. I grunted back. He smiled a little.
He grunted again. I grunted back. Another smile. He grunted. I imitated him. A giggle. I couldn’t help but laugh a little too.
He fell silent and sighed, his face still pressed against me. Wow, it’s exquisite to cuddle a baby. My little boy. Especially when he usually has no desire to sit and be calm. He’s such a wiggle worm, so interested in everything, so full of energy, always moving. I’m usually running and chasing him, or struggling to entertain him and his brother. It was a treasure to have this fleeting, quiet moment.
He grunted. I grunted back. He giggled. I laughed too. I couldn’t stop. I giggled quietly and he knew, he knew he was making Mama laugh. He grunted, and I grunted back and he screeched with delight. We both laughed and laughed until I had tears in my eyes.
His little face popped up with a big toothless grin. His blue eyes are slightly lighter, slightly grayer than his brother’s, whose eyes are darker and more cobalt. The little one’s eyes are more like mine. He absorbed my face.
Then he gleefully slapped me.
Ah, thank you little one.