Monday, January 19, 2009

Eating baby cheeks

I really love my kids. I know I'm supposed to love them and it's considered somewhat dysfunctional if I don't, but it's amazing how much the requirement of loving your children doesn't even play into it. When I snuggle them in at night, I feel like I hit the parenting jackpot. Sure, they drive me crazy sometimes. I drive them crazy sometimes. They're messy. They're loud. They throw toys and food. They debate the merits of wearing roller skates on the stairs. They bicker over who got more cashews in their bowls.

Motherhood can be insanity-causing on even a normal day.

But these little fabulous people make me so happy! Jack is so inquisitive and articulate and kind. He has such a mature perspective on situations and so much love for his siblings. That means so much to me. He'll come out of his playroom to say to me: "Mom, you're the best." And then go back to building his TinkerToy robot without another comment.

We've been doing trial runs on food to which he used to have allergies, so he had his first slice of pizza the other week. We told him we were going to try foods one at a time, so we could see the effects and know if they were okay in the future. His follow-up question was: "So...once I poop out the pizza, then can I try alcohol?" Oh my. What lies ahead with this boy?

Andrew cracks me up! Having conversations with a tiny little creature is the wildest thing. Or him sitting on the giant stuffed tiger and shouting out to Jack: "Pull me, Jack!" He'll empty out the dress up trunk and say: "I want a tail." He's not my little baby anymore, and I'm not sure what to think about that. He's this big, chatty, fabulous Big Kid. There's still so much baby tucked away, and yet so much of the person who awaits us. I LOVE watching him growing and changing. Today at Jumping Monkey, he asked Steve to take him to the bathroom to pee. This kid is self-toilet-training, I guess. I was so prepared to not shove him out of the baby-stage too quickly with Simone's birth, and yet he still wants to charge full steam ahead. I admire that in him.

I think he's getting sick, and we sat and rocked for about an hour today, with him snuggled into the flannel sheet like a little baby burrito. He just soaks me in, wanting his face squished as close as possible. He's so active...running all over the house...turning everything into a baseball and throwing it across the room...jumping off stairs...scaling countertops. But then, he will drop everything to snuggle with mommy. When he woke up tonight, he asked: "Snuggle with Simoney?" I told him she was sleeping, and he nodded and said okay. But that his precious little heart wanted to see his baby sister just fills me with the most indescribable feeling of love. How much he cares for her is breathtakingly beautiful. I keep finding her chewing on little dinosaurs and cars that he's brought her. I love watching the bonds of family thread between everyone, not just parent and child.

And little Simone. Sweet Simoney! She woke up and needed to nurse earlier tonight and I came upstairs to be with her. I saw her lying on our King bed, looking so utterly miniature. Almost fake, like a little doll in the middle of my bed. I felt my heart splintering with love looking down at her little being, rubbing her eyes and rolling side to side, her little knees pulled up to her chest. Her beautiful little form. Someday, she'll be a grown woman out in the world. We'll talk on the phone. She'll go off to the mall with friends. And here she is now, curled up in her little hammock bed next to me, snuggled into the lambskin, with her tiny fist resting on her face.

I tell my children often: "You're so cute I could eat your little face." The boys think it's funny, Simone just loves everything I say to her. But really! I want to munch their little cheeks.

Motherhood is so freakin' hard in so many ways (like wiping a 2-year-old while nursing a 6 month old while helping a 4 year old read his book), but that feeling of Cheek Munching...man, nothing beats making these little people to love.

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