Right. So. Both boys are walking. Our lives have changed. They both also somehow seem to have the energy of a swarm of chattering monkeys. Both of them. So, like, two whole swarms of chattering monkeys in our house, all the time. Thousands of monkeys. Everywhere. All the time. In just two little boys.
I have said before, we know and expect that the boys will learn new skills and get into new trouble. So far, this has been a somewhat gradual process, so it gives us time to adjust. Along with learning to walk, both guys have learned to climb on furniture, and also, BONUS, fall off furniture. They have varying levels of dexterity, and neither have an ounce of self preservation. I saw one boy “walk” off the couch, stepping into the void as though the air was something to stand on. He fell down and toddled off. It didn’t even phase him. He didn’t learn a lesson. He’s going to walk off couches for the rest of his life.
I’m their mom, and so I am biased, but their new walking ability is adorable. Little drunken destructo babies. And with this new found mobility, their personalities have gotten “bigger.” They get to go where they want. They have new autonomy. Their sightline just got a little higher. They are more aware of what they want, and, more upset about what they can’t have.
As I said, most transitions have been gradual. But the new awareness and autonomy have hit like a ton of bricks. I have caught myself staring into space, as chaos swirls around me, wondering if I am really cut out for this. This…motherhood thing.
After putting the boys down for the night, Dave and I have quietly shut their bedroom door, looked at each other, and unloaded heavy sighs of relief. If I’m honest with myself, I can’t say I feel good at the end of the day. Truthfully, I thank my lucky stars it’s over.
I suppose feeling this way is de rigueur for parents of young kids. But I can’t say that I like it. “Thank god the kids are in bed.” At night, I zone out on the computer for an hour, read a few pages in a book, and then I too am in bed, usually asleep by 9 pm.
The great thing though, is that at 5:30 am when the boys wake up, they squeal and wiggle in their cribs, they are so happy to see us in the morning. And I can’t wait to see them.
I’ve had many little moments where the boys do something adorable or touching or silly, and I think “I’ve got to write about that.” The days go by in a blur, and I try to grasp those fleeting instances of quiet and clarity. Because I wonder if I will be pissed at myself later for not making greater effort to document the boys Growing Up.
When we eat, the boys’ highchairs face each other. They each have a tray that becomes an extension of the dinner table. They both have foods that they prize, like noodles, or dried cranberries, or frozen peas or corn. They both have food that they dislike, like anything orange (carrots, sweet potatoes, yams, cheddar cheese). And there is food that one likes, but not the other. Ham (Loyal likes, Casc dislikes), string cheese (Casc likes, Loyal dislikes), grapes (Loyal likes, Casc dislikes), avocado (Casc likes, Loyal dislikes). Etc. Casc likes capers, but not strawberries. I…I just don’t understand.
They will grab food from each others’ trays. I don’t think they yet feel territorial about “my tray” or “his tray.” I once saw Casc straining, straining to reach a noodle on Loyal’s tray. It was just out of reach, just beyond his little baby fingers. He grunted and wheezed, trying to get this noodle. They both love noodles, of course. I waited to see what Loyal would do, when he saw Casc trying to steal his noodle.
Loyal finally noticed the struggle. He picked up the noodle. And gave it to his brother.
I nearly died. He did it twice.
Both boys have comfort items that they sleep with. They both have a teddy and a tiger. One boy is very, very attached to his tiger. I’m not going to say which one. Because, here I am, writing about my sons on the internet. And there are people out there who think it’s an invasion of kids’ privacy for parents to write about them on the internet. Greedy parents raking in millions of dollars writing about their poor innocent children on the internet, how dare they! Millions of dollars! Greedy parents!
So, one of my sons, I won’t say who, (and I’ll have you know, it’s costing me lots of money not to reveal who I’m exploiting here) is very attached to his little yellow tiger. Specifically, he’s very attached to the tag that is sewn on the tiger’s butt. Babies love tags. This baby loves the tag on his tiger’s butt. He grabs his tiger and flips it over and sucks on its butt. He falls asleep this way. The tiger’s butt eventually turns icky and black from all the butt sucking. This boy loves his tiger.
We’ve struggled with allowing him to play with the tiger during the day, as opposed to it just being a sleepytime friend. The tiger has become such a treasure, I’m nervous about it getting lost or mangled somehow outside the crib. But if the tiger is within arm’s reach, our son will try to pull it through the bars of the crib, like springing a friend from prison.
He struggled to do this the other day. The tiger is not quite small enough to easily pull through the bars. He pulled on the leg, then he pulled on the head. The tiger seemed to be stuck. But, what luck! The tiger’s butt was sticking out. And that’s all our son really wanted. He leaned over and awkwardly slurped on the tiger’s butt through the rungs of the crib. It was adorable and a little disturbing at the same time.
For Christmas, I got the boys a little table and chair set. It seemed like it might be a little too big for them, at first. They are able to climb up onto adult chairs and couches, but the little chairs seemed to confound them.
I figured they’d grow into them, and I was right. It took about three days for them to figure out how to sit at the table. I set them up with sippy cups of water, and they both sit at the table together.
If one sits at the table, the other rushes to join him.
I put a few toys up there, and they sit quietly together, drinking water and playing with toys.
Ah, little boys. You make me melt. Thank you.