Saturday, October 4, 2008

Does the sweetness ever end?

I was snuggling Jack into bed tonight, and said to him:  "Andrew and Simone are really lucky to have you as a big brother."  And you know what he said?  "Yeah?  Andrew and Simone are really lucky to have you guys, too."  Sometimes, I think my heart might implode from the sweetness.

Yesterday: I told Andrew I was going to get a haircut, and he ran into the bathroom and got out the bag with the hairclippers Steve uses on him.  I couldn't figure out why he ran away after I said that, and had to laugh when he came back.  My little helper.  

Life seemed like it would be so much easier if Andrew would poo in the toilet instead of his diaper first thing in the morning.  I've been adamantly opposed to any form of toilet training with Andrew, for a number of reasons.  One being the hassle of a training toddler.  I found diapers so much easier than the chaos of finding public toilets, etc.  Plus, it was a strange mind game to have Jack "train" so early and then have all these weird false starts.  Not so much a regression so much as a strike against toileting.  He flat-out informed me that it was boring to pee in the toilet.  We tried to spice things up by having him go in the bushes, in the parking lots at the store, whatever.  But my 4yo who has been using the toilet since 18 months has now decided to wear pull-ups during playdates so he doesn't have to take time out to pee.  Whatever.  I pick my battles, and that ain't one of them.  Heck, I'd wear a Depends sometimes if they didn't sound so darned uncomfortable. It IS a pain to have to go to the bathroom sometimes.  Much more efficient to keep playing and pee in the pull-up, so I respect his free choice.  I roll my eyes occasionally in private, but I generally respect it. 

Anyhoo...so you can see my lack of urgency about teaching Andrew about the toilet.  He started asking about the toilet awhile ago and would announce he had to go.  I'd ask him to just go in his diaper, and we went on with our day.  But then the realization hit I'd love to not have the morning poop diaper...and I decided to get him a little potty (the old one didn't work well for boys, so I donated it).  I set it in the corner and figured I'd start chatting with him about it later.  He went over, took off his diaper, and stood over it to pee.  Nothing.  I thought it was a cute re-enactment, but then....the next morning, he was running around in his typical nude state.  Every time he had to pee, he'd go over to the toilet and stand over it and pee.  Adorable!  To frost the cake, he also dumped the "pee catcher" himself into the toilet and put it back on the potty.  I hope the novelty keeps up, although I know better now. ;)  He'll likely still be wanting pull-ups at age 4 when his friends come over. =)  But the fewer cloth dipes he needs, the less laundry I need to fold!   I can't complain.

When he'd gone in the toilet a few times, I scooped him up in a snuggle and said: "Look at you! Are you my big boy?"  "I'm a big boy baby," he corrected.  I wish I could add audio to my blog entries, so my future self can remember the precious way this sounds.  His little 21-month-old phonemes are about the cutest thing ever.

And Simone!  I mean, she's not really at the age yet for cutesy little stories, but omigodsheisthesweetestlittlethingever.  The whole family is head over heels in love with her, as most of her waking hours are spent staring at giant persons peering at her and saying: "Aaaaaw.  Look at how cute/sweet/tiny/precious she is!"  Whenever she cries, Andrew announces "Help baby!  Baby sad!" and goes running into wherever she is. 

 There's a trace of terror in her eyes when she sees Andrew coming, but he always means well.  Today, he was brushing his teeth with the astronaut toothbrush.  Simone was on the floor kicking her legs contentedly.  Steve intervened when he saw Andrew pulling open her mouth and attempting to stick the toothbrush in her mouth.  What was going through her little infant brain?  A survival instinct that wanted to "fight or flight" (nevermind that she can't control her limbs very well yet)...or did she know she was utterly and absolutely loved in that moment by this little monkey person?   

I catch myself wanting to fast forward through this tiny-person time and meet my children's older selves.  What will they become?  What thoughts will they have?  What will they look like?  Who will they marry?  I can't wait to take them places, like one-on-one trips to Greece or New York or whatever they want.  Go hiking in Peru.  And then I hold Simone's little baby head up to my nose and remind myself to notice everything and embrace how incredible it is that they will never again be so little.  I know my prime parenting is still ahead of me...I love watching them unfold and becoming "themselves."  The more they explode, the more in wonder I am that these are the little persons who grew inside of me.  But I also know I'll look back with this sense of wonder that I could once hold them on my lap and snuggle them, and might long to get those moments back.  

There's this beautiful ornament I found for Simone's first Christmas, a pieta of mother and child.  Whenever I'm rocking Simone and holding her, I find myself wondering about the day she might be holding her own child - and hoping she feels the same sense of absolute completeness that she gives me.  She is the most incredible little person, and Steve and I are both in awe at the loving spirit we already see in her.  Her eyes just sparkle!  My heart hurts from the love for this new little bundle.  

I can't believe I get the chance to be these marvelous little persons' mother.  I can be crabby and impatient and have some really lousy mothering days.  I mean...really, really lousy mothering days.  Where I have to apologize to everyone as I tuck them in, because they deserved better that day.   But perhaps poking through those really trying times, they might come away with some pleasure that they've made my life really awesome just by being around.  

This has perhaps been one of my most perfect days in awhile.  Weird, because it was just a plain old Saturday.  I slept in, which was awesome.  Steve deep cleaned our house, which was awesome. We went to the grocery store as a family.  I went to Target by myself.  Steve got me a dozen roses at the grocery store, which was awesome.  We had a real dinner and I actually choreographed it so that everything was ready at the same time (I love to cook, but dinner choreography is a major handicap of mine).  But at the end of the day, none of those were really what made today so great.  It was as I was putting together the salad for dinner that I looked out into the living room and saw my whole family collected in there.  And for whatever reason, all the "stuff" that sometimes gets in the way of appreciation (stress, sleep deprivation, junk food hangover, whatever) weren't there and I could fully appreciate that I was freakin' lucky to have all those people in my life.  My soulmate and the three monkeys we made together.  

I owe the world some hard-core community service to make up for them.  


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