Especially when he's full of smiles, which is basically all the time. In the middle of the night he'll stir and wake up, which causes me to wake up (he sleeps between my husband and me). My first instinct is to be PISSED that 17.5 pounds of baby is all that is coming between me and a much needed full night of sleep. But then I look over at Jon and he catches my gaze and (just when I'm about to be full of exhausted rage), he gives me this giant, mischievous beam of a smile. Basically he's communicating the fact that he knows he's a pill but that he knows he can get away with it because he's so darn, freaking cute. At my own frustration, my anger dissipates into thin air and I immediately start grinning back at him.
I just can't say no to this ball of adorable human flesh! And he's growing up way too fast for my heart to accept. He has two bottom teeth (has had them for quite a while actually), and he's rolling all over the house. And he's SO close to crawling. For fun, he gets up onto his knees or all fours or his hands and toes and rocks violently back and forth. He can also scoot himself backward at warp speed. He just hasn't figured out how to propel himself forward yet. And for that I am very thankful (I say this as I eye the large tub of small Lego pieces at the other end of the room).
My Jon Bear doing his pushups
He's a mover and a shaker, literally.
More pushups. Hey Jon, you're making it harder than it has to be!
Because so much of my focus is on Jon (being an infant he still needs me for pretty much all things), less focus is being sent Ryan's way. And I feel absolutely terrible about that. Despite the fact that he is three and very stubborn and particular and capable on many levels, he is still really little. When you stop and think about it, being three years old is pretty much like being a newborn relative to the average adult male life span of 70+ years, right? Unfortunately, I'm only reminded of his babyness when he gets hurt or upset and crumbles into a mess of tears. As his face erupts into a storm of emotion, I can see the little baby in him once again. I feel bad for always trying to hurry him or rush him or getting angry when he's unwilling to do something on his own (it's hit or miss as to whether he will use the potty without one of us assisting him even though we KNOW he can do it by himself).
He's still recovering from his recent ousting from former position as baby of the family. I get it. I totally do. But still....I only have so many hands. Usually, with Ryan, it comes down me having a choice as to whether I will act in a manner that is efficient/convenient or ultra-nurturing. And this choice usually occurs at the end of the day when I'm already exhausted. Efficiency wins almost every time. I just hope he and I are both not being robbed of HIS remaining babyhood as I also try to revel in Jon's.
Ryan often crawls into our room early in the morning. My wake up call very commonly looks something like this:
So, wise internet, I have a question. How am I supposed to absorb and appreciate every second of the precious, passing years for each of my children? How?! I can't even remember what I wore yesterday! How can I thoroughly enjoy them when most days they are physical and emotional energy leeches that I can't wait to send off to bed? Also, why isn't sleep at the top of Maslow's hierarchy of needs? If someone could please invent a brain computer where I can download and relive all these precious memories at my leisure, I would totally appreciate that.
I was mulling over these concerns yesterday after dinner when Jacob ran up to me and asked, out of the blue, if we could go to the pool. Tonight? Psssh, it was already 7:30pm. My practical mommy control board was already preparing its practical mommy response of, "OF COURSE NOT!" when I stopped to think about it a little bit more. Seriously? Why not? It wouldn't be the end of the world for the kids to go to bed half an hour late. Someday I may look back and give anything to have enjoyed more impromptu adventures with my children. Moms don't ALWAYS have to be practical. Moms don't always have to say "no."
And that's how I ended up waist deep in pool water at 8:30pm with a splash-happy infant, a screaming three year old who refused to use the scary locker room potty, and a six year old who refused to get out of the pool. But you know what? Despite the insanity....I really didn't regret it one bit. The look of pure, uncontained joy on their faces when I whisked the kids off to the car for a very special and unexpected pool trip was priceless and worth all the sanity and the years of my life that I may have lost.
While there were no special pool trips this evening, we did celebrate Jacob's last T-ball practice today. To cap off the practices we played T-ball, parents (and Ryans) versus children. It was so fun to watch the dads get into the game and to hear the kids whoop and holler whenever they struck an adult out (yes, it happened!). I even hit the ball a couple times. And after my own experience, I'm less inclined to judge when one of the kids misses an easy pitch during game time (yipes! It's harder than it looks!).
Kids v. Parents (and Ryans)!
We got home, rounded up the dirty and cranky kids for dinner, yelled at them for not sitting and eating, put them straight in the tub for a wash, washed the clothes that Ryan peed in when he refused to go to the bathroom for no reason whatsoever, went through the numerous rigorous steps necessary to put three children to bed. Only then did we stop and breath and take a moment to realize that OMG, it's our anniversary! "Happy Anniversary! Now excuse me while I pack the diaper bag for tomorrow, make several sets of lunches, and finish drafting a motion that's due tomorrow!"
And this is just further proof that I am simply a supporting character in my own life.
Our nightly routine frequently involves trying to feed a bouncing baby who is constantly trying to undress himsel
And a chapter or two of Harry Potter before bedtime.