Tonight, I told two little red-fleece-pajama-clad boys that it was time to go bed. You all got up, and padded in your little footie feet over to the bottom of the stairs. I took a photograph with my mind: puffy-diapered bottoms, chubby little legs, tiny little paws grasping at the banister, fat knees crawling up the steps. I read you half of three books, because your attention span doesn’t hold for the language-laden old school Thomas books, and Green Eggs and Ham is totally memorized, and the new Pooh book you found on the shelf was a last ditch effort to feel like I had done my job at teaching you to love books. We said prayers, you both sucked down some water, and I said goodnight. The evening ritual wasn’t over, though. It couldn’t be over without a few after-bedtime cries, whines, a misplaced lovey and a dirty diaper.
Daily, we’re amazed at the new little conversations that are happening in our house. Bubba, you walked into the middle of the family room the other day, stuck out your little belly and declared, “Mama, I wan bah.” Four words. A complete, albeit rude, sentence. A request for a breakfast bar, food of little demanding tyrants, apparently. I was so tickled that you uttered full sentence that I forgot to tell you to say please.
Bubba, you remain focused on…well, EVERYTHING. In everything. Touching everything. Reaching for my computer, my pad of paper, my pen. Putting your nose in my book, my iPhone, trying to convince me to give you the iPad, turn on another movie, let you go outside, let you stay inside, fix you lunch, let you carry lunch around the house, play-doh, crayons, oh my goodness, the list doesn’t stop. When we chastise you for being into EVERYTHING, you look at us with a cautious, testing glance before breaking into a large, charming grin. It’s not fair. You’re two. You aren’t supposed to be winning these battles with large, charming, grins.
Kiddo, you love soccer, riding your bike, going to school, playing with twacks (tracks, belonging to trains). When Bubba sneezed ten times in a row the other day, you politely asked, “You ok?” After Bubba nodded, answering your question, you said, “You ok, Bubba, you ok.” When the soccer ball was stuck under the wagon the other day, you came to your brother’s aid and helped him remove the soccer ball so that the wagon could move forward. Your daddy and I watched, and then told you how proud we were of you, helping other people. “Thank you, Mama!” you say, in your little sing-song voice, to which we almost happily reply, “Your welcome!” And I guess the manners practice is paying off, because when we tell you thank you, you promptly reply in darling sing-song, “You’re welcome, Mama!”
Charley, you have learned how to roll and grab things. The other day I put you on the rug, and turned around, and you had rolled completely into the other room. It’s a reminder that you’ll be crawling all too soon, and then I’ll have to keep track of three little moving heads. Crawling babies are a lot more work that babies that sit still, or even rolling babies, believe it or not, so we’re not in a huge hurry to teach you to crawl. You want to be a part of the party, though, so I think this whole crawling thing is going to happen despite my reluctance. All it takes is a brother in the room, and you want to be over there by him, grabbing his hair, or his leg, or his toy. When I get you out of bed in the mornings, you instantly start looking around for a brother, and shriek in a high-pitched squeal your delight upon first sight of one. We don’t have any girl toys, so you don’t have the foggiest idea what a Disney princess is, and prefer to play with keys, trains, these little plastic jungle and farm animals, and the monkey pacifier. One of these days, when you’re older, I’ll let you watch Hello Dolly and Annie and The Music Man and have crazy dance parties with you.
I love you all, so very much, and I every day I pray that you’ll learn to love the Lord, and with His help, all the crazy wonderful people in this world. I pray that I can teach you all the things you’ll need to know to make a difference on this earth, and I’m oh so grateful for all the things you’re teaching me about making a difference here, too. Thank you for your kisses, your hugs, your tackles, your cries, your giggles, your roars, your growls, your whines, your little conversations. They make these long days so worth it.