I am such a bad blogging mother! But, I really can't be too down on myself.. given that I also no longer get regular eye-waxes, or pedicures, or hair-cuts, or stop to match my outfit to my shoes/purse/etc.. or stop to clean the melted m&ms out of my diaper bag pocket... Being the mother to two little ones really doesn't allow much time for any special me-time extravagances, but I really do feel guilty about the lack of documenting. Because MY goodness, so much happens. On a daily basis. Good AND less-good. So many laugh out loud moments of 'did you really just say/do that?!' and then some moments of what can only be described as white-hot raw frustrating rage. Oh yes, we experience it all around here.. daily. It's a full spectrum of emotions, and let's not kid ourselves, it's 100% thanks to a certain 3 year and 9 month old child. The 7.5 month old baby really only lends to the cuteness-overload side of the emotional spectrum. It's not fair of me to say that, but life isn't fair, is it?! And it's true. Babies can be intensely frustrating, but seriously, they can't TALK BACK to you. Your back may ache from carrying them all day, but do they ever glare at you & tell you that they don't love you anymore?! No. But 3 year olds do.
I love you, Andrew Clark, but man oh man, you are a spit-fire of a kid. And you fool them all, that's the thing. When I tell anyone about these behaviors they think I have lost my mind. Or am surely making it up. Because you are so very sweet to friends/family/total strangers. So mild-mannered. Shy, even. But we get the grand pleasure of witnessing you in your most comfortable of comfort zones. Home. You boss us around like it's your job, and while I think some parents wouldn't tolerate a lot of it, I happen to think it's kind of cute. Perhaps (definitely) it's because I am a first-born child myself. and this bossiness resonates with me.. I get it. So when you leave the kitchen, just before I am to feed Avery, and point your finger at me with a very-serious expression and say 'OK. Don't let her spill anything. And make sure she opens her mouth, ok? And tell me if she drops anything, ok? OK.' .. I am just really tickled. You don't get to get away with a lot of other things.. things like pounding your fists on the table during meals (you love this, and it ends the meal for you at the same time).. kicking non-ball toys/items (bigtime trouble for this one).. not wiping after a poop (don't even get me started on this one, though I have to say, if this is your ONE potty regression, I'll take it). You are so specific. It's maddening sometimes, and sometimes just plain impressive. Was I as smart as you are, at the same age? I really would venture to guess NO. This doesn't bode well for me, because I remember what a little toot I was to my parents.. and if you're already way smarter.. well, crap.
Your glares have been slowly fine-tuned... any hormonal teen would be proud of your perfected sneers. Just the other day, on a long drive home from Grandpa's, I couldn't help you out with your ipod (watching Curious George, because what else?) because, well, it would be dangerous! I was driving in traffic, during rush hour, and no. I wasn't going to lose my focus driving to help you along with the next episode. (we've since taught you how to do it yourself though) And when I unintentionally snapped at you, saying 'I'm! Driving! The! CAR!!!!!' (in my head there were expletives), your glare was just.. indescribable. I kept glancing in the mirror, catching your deeply furrowed brow and very-mean face. And I had to cough to hide my laughter, because WOW. It was just SO very intense, for a 3 year old! Trust me, I know glares. I had mine down pat as a teen, and yours is just something to be admired already.. I fear the future. But it's still cute. And funny.
All this fury though is very much tempered with your funloving ways. Things like Halloween and Christmas and birthdays and so forth are just sooooo much more fun than they ever were. You get so giddy over every little thing. So awed by the same Christmas lights you see almost daily. Just playing catch with you always ends up in some kind of breathless laughing fit.. It really is a joy, having you around.
Off the top of my head, I recall yesterday, I had just finished giving Avery a bottle after her nap, and I called for you - you LOVE to burp her. A little too much, if you get my drift. So I really strive to let you burp her immediately after a feeding so you can actually GET (hear) a burp from her. (rather than incessantly trying to burp her an hour after a feeding, and getting nothing but the sheer pleasure of whacking her on the back) The excitement this brings is just unparalleled. So I call you in, you successfully burp her, and then you very adult-like ask me how she did with her bottle. I say good! And then you say 'great! how about I go put that in the sink?' And I'm all SURE most-awesome amazing little helper of mine! See. Some moments are filled with intense glares of rage, and some are just brimming with helpful cuteness. Like all things in parenting, it balances out in the end.
And then there was this morning.. lately, at mealtimes, (mostly to distract you from misbehaviors that have become more daily) we play this game where you say something funny that we should feed Avery, all non-food items, like 'a firetruck!' or something similarly weird. This morning, you initiated the game by looking at me and saying 'I know what Avery can eat! a big bag of POOP!!! hahahaha! that's disgusting!'... Yep. You're a total boy.
You are such a chill little baby. You love to be carried and held. You could spend all day long hanging out in the Ergo carrier. Lately, you've really loved to sit in your high-chair, as I do kitchen-related chores. If I put you in the Jumper-roo, (in the kitchen) you wail and just throw an all-out fit. If I put you in the high-chair, you are content as can be. I think you like to feel more a part of the action.. more eye-level. :)
You still love the 'where's Avery?' game. I hold you out in front of me, and then all of a sudden start frantically looking around, everywhere but directly at you, saying 'oh no! where's Avery? where'd Avery go???'.. and you smile SO big and make some kind of noise to get me to look at you.. wherein I go 'THERE SHE IS!' and you just eat it up.
Speaking of making noises, you make some pretty good consonant sounds already.. a lot of 'yayaya' and 'bababa' and 'dadada'.. notably absent is the MAMA.. but I know this'll come in due time, and I'll be hearing it 1200 times a day!
Life is hectic. But so very good. We are blessed, I have to count them more often than I do, I know this. It's funny, before you have kids, you still feel blessed and lucky to be living a good life - full of fun date nights, and a good house, and awesome meals with great friends.. but once you have kids, it just really hits home how blessed you are. How your heart is now walking around, outside your body.. absolutely terrifying, and yet just so unspeakably amazing. You want to thank God for all this, but you know there's just no words good enough and descriptive enough to show your thanks, so you try to live your best life, to show your thanks. I know some days are less a representation of this thanks than others, some days are just plain chaotic and stressful, but I want to be able to find the joy even in those days. Because my heart is running crazy in the backyard, getting dirty and being loud, and my heart is also in the living room, in soft pink pants, under the coffee table, with a bucket on her head. My heart is very thankful, indeed.