The Second Child: Some Notes on Two

I get distracted. By life. By stupid stuff. I’m trying to do better at putting down the phone with the Facebook and the Pinterest and the Etsy and focus more on the amazing young men I’m blessed enough to spend my days raising. They are both turning into such awesome little people. But it’s not easy sometimes. Especially being pregnant. And now, third-trimester exhausted by every little exertion pregnant.

But I have been meaning to write down, somewhere, the unique things about my current two-year-old, to whom I have unfortunately tapered off the monthly letters like his brother got up to two because he happened to be the first. At least I never was one to do baby books, because there would surely be a vast inequality in those as well.

But some of the things that Andrew is doing are things I’d like to remember. And just in case I don’t, here they are.

  • He wants to be just like his brother in all things, including bad attitude moments and temper fits. He tries to cross his arms, which he can’t quite do yet, and he will say, “Humph!” just like Michael.
  • He will come and ask for something, to play the tablet, the Wii, for a snack, etc. If the answer is, “no,” he will say, “Not talking you, Mommy!” and storm off to find the right answer elsewhere.
  • He loves his boxer shorts. So much that he’d rather wear a diaper instead of briefs when all pairs are dirty. He calls them, “bocket shorts.”
  • I don’t know if there is anyone else in this family who can make him laugh harder than his brother can.
  • He loves the Lego Movie and Star Wars. When I think his brother at this age was more into Curious George, Elmo and Thomas. Andrew doesn’t really seem interested in monkeys or Muppets in quite the same way as other little ones. Because his brother’s so long over it all, of course.
  • He is a climber and a jumper. Again, he watches his brother and will practice each move over and over until he gets it. Just like when he was a baby and working to crawl, stand and walk, he is tenacious about mastering those big-kid skills.
  • He’s pretty good at playing soccer. 
  • His use of utensils to eat is pretty impressive. Probably because he can’t stand to have food or anything remotely food-like on his fingers or hands.
  • He is a wonderful imitator. He can put on Michael’s mannerisms like a costume, and it’s pretty amazing and amusing to see this little mini-version of your big kid strutting around.
  • He is shy in new places unless his brother is being wild and crazy, then he will just do whatever it is Michael does. If he’s by himself, though, he is a lot more hesitant until he feels comfortable and confident enough to venture out on his own or hold a conversation. 
  • With family and friends he knows, though, man he can be quite the chatterbox. Which is great to see because his mastery of language and use of new words is quite impressive at this age.
  • Sometimes, he will just look in my eyes and smile. He says, “Mommy have brown eyes… and Andrew have brown eyes.” He knows the eye colors of Daddy and Michael, too, but he always seems happy that his brown eyes are like my brown eyes.

I’m so glad I get to hang out with him every day. And as much as I will miss my big kid when he starts first grade (!!!) in a couple of weeks, I am excited to have some more one-on-one time with my soon-to-be-middle child. He is wonderful and amazing, and I can’t imagine my life without his energy. Even if it occasionally reaches decibel levels I’d prefer to avoid.

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I love you, buddy.

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Three Years

On Tuesday, James and I celebrated three whole years of marriage. We did some math and realized we’ve known each other a long time. We’ve been together eight years and have known each other about twelve or thirteen. That’s almost half as long as we’ve existed in these bodies on this planet. It kind of blows my mind.

I haven’t had much time to reflect on stuff lately, much less put it all into some manner of cohesive paragraphs up here on the old blog. The days, though we’re in the thick of the summer, seem somehow lacking in hours. And though I don’t have the same will to while away precious minutes in front of the computer during these shorter days, I must say that the quality of my recent hours has been rather wonderful. For example, Tuesday.

We’re all working hard in this household. We’re trying to keep our heads above water, financially, which means that even on an anniversary, a day off work for the both of us is pretty much out of the question. But though James had to go into the store, he was able to come home early, and we headed out to dinner, which we haven’t done in a really long time.

We had discussed the possibility of getting a sitter for the boy, but when push came to shove, it wasn’t in the cards. I’m good with leaving him in the hands of family, because I don’t feel the need to leave elaborate instructions. We usually stay with the folks, so they tend to have a pretty good idea about his general rhythms. I’m not so sure about leaving him with someone he’s only seen a handful of times. Though I’m sure he’d be fine (he’s easy going like that), I think I would worry about leaving something off a list of elaborate instructions and be unable to let go and enjoy my evening. So we brought him along.

It was like he knew it was a happy day. He napped well in the afternoon and dozed in the car on the way to Old Town. We ate at one of our favorite little restaurants on King Street, and M was smiley and content. He flirted with the waitresses and shared my potatoes. Meanwhile, James and I made googly eyes at each other and talked about how lucky we are. We also talked about work and a cell phone bill issue, but mainly we just laughed and connected like we don’t always have the time to do.

Wednesday and Thursday, I worked, and we ate dinner after M was asleep. We hadn’t really gotten the timing right with dinner and bedtime until just this week, and I think we might have to continue doing it this way. Which may mean a slightly earlier bedtime for baby, but you know what I’ve learned? My husband loves to cook. He loves to make delicious meals that I eat. And I love to eat them. Now if I could only find someone who loves to do dishes, I’d have it made. I suppose in a few more years, we’ll have a little boy to take on that task, but until then, it’s not the worst thing in the world to have to do some dishes from Mediterranean chops or lemongrass chicken.

But back to the anniversary sap for a minute. As we start out our fourth year of marriage, I am still amazed.  Maybe even more than when we first began. We are not perfect, and we have to work pretty hard sometimes on the daily maintenance. But with all the big events that the last three years have seen us through–a wedding, a home purchase, the birth of a baby–we are incredibly happy, tremendously blessed, and looking forward to all the hours and days we get to spend together in the future.

James, I love you. Thanks for marrying me. Thanks for giving me a son who is a perfect mix of me and you in someone entirely himself. What else can I say?