Monday, September 27, 2010


Here's what I feel like saying to the universe on the eve of Will's second birthday:


No more growing up for me, thanks. My rational brain tells me there's so much to look forward to--just like it did when I hit thirty. And it's RIGHT; I'm already loving my thirty-first year and all the benefits reaped from my birthday promise to be truer to myself. I just don't know why wisdom has to come with the passage of time. Someone should get on that, stat.

My wistfulness about my own birthday has turned into outright moping as Will's draws nigh. How on earth did we get here? Yes, I remember: we went through the caverns of breastfeeding failure to arrive in the meadow of twelve-hour nightsleeping, trekked through the Mobile Baby forest and hooked a left at the brook of babble--and then maybe we took an express train all the way to Two, because it seems like I was just dreaming about preschool selection and Big Brother tee-shirts--I woke up and it was time to say goodbye to my one-year-old.

How do I avoid turning this into an indulgence of my melancholy? Oh, I don't think I can. Just as 30 was the first number that truly felt wrong on me, so I feel about William and that hulking numeral, 2. I used to think:

When he's two, he can take classes at the aquarium, ride a tricycle even!

But today I held him and my grip kept slipping--literally, I mean--and this baby who grew out of 2T clothes nearly a year ago didn't feel at all like a baby, and my stomach rolled sideways as I thought, "He'll never be smaller than he is right now." As big as he feels, as unwieldy he is balancing on my hip or hurling his arms over my shoulders, that's as COMPACT as he'll ever be. I feel like I've just discovered time, and I hate it fiercely for marching on, for altering my boy.

I know I should be thankful; I hope tomorrow I'll wake up with a sunnier take on this birthday business, happy that Will is healthy, that he kisses me, requests me, loves me.

But tonight I sulk instead. I want him here, this size, always as he is right now, perfect. Enough.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Verbal Gerbil

"What's that? What's that sound?" Will says now, all the time.

He touches his hair and says, "Getting soooo long."

In the bathtub, he informs us that he "need to wash froggy's hair."

I'll say, "You have two stuffed animals in here," and he'll say, "Three animals...even!"

His blueberry waffle is a tugboat--then it's a rocketship.

"Airplane just like rocketship," he observes.

To his little brother, he says, "Finny, you are standing!"

"Daddy, you...bring...laptop! Take...lunch bag!" he reminds his father every morning. "Wonder where Daddy is," he muses while Dave is at work.

"Mommy rub Will back," and "Mommy sing...ONE! more song," were frequent refrains at bedtime--before the big boy bed made its debut and we established that 8 o'clock means his eyes are closed.

"I want ICED tea!" he'll proclaim, laughing at his own joke.

"Backhoe! Backhoe!" he'll shout, then whimper when it's out of sight.

"Want different diaper," he'll announce. "Read other book."

But my favorite is one of his most recent language experiments.

The other day, I called out in a warning tone: "Hey, Bubba!"

Will turned around to look at me from under his baseball cap. "Yes, Mom?" he hollered back.

He's said it ever since, every time I call out to him--even once when I yelled for him to stop running as he approached a driveway.

"Yes! Mom!" he answered obediently, without the question mark at the end. I don't know where he gets this old-soul persona from, but it sort of knocks the wind out of me.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Big Boy Bed

The twin bed was delivered yesterday, and Will was very excited to try it out. We'd gotten him psyched up by purchasing a set of sheets with the very same Curious George design as the one on his favorite crib sheet. We let him sleep with a pillow cloaked in the George pillowcase two nights ago, and we kept reminding him that his "cozy big boy bed" was coming! You get to sleep in a bed just like Mommy and Daddy! And so on and so forth.

Will took a while falling asleep last night; he was silent, but Dave stayed in there with him, sensing his alertness to this novel sleeping situation. He was awakened at six-thirty or so by some rumbling truck noises (argh) but went back to sleep with me until seven-fifteen, when he blearily remarked, "Clock says seven. Time-a-get-up."

Nap was more...daunting than bedtime. Will has always been a champion night sleeper and an inconsistent-at-absolute-best napper. (This is the opposite of news to most of you, I know.) He's been so smitten with his new bed, but the idea of putting him in an even LESS restrictive setting for his MORE troublesome time of day--I won't lie, it scared me down deep inside.

I told Dave it was time to cut out the gray area for naps and require Will to have "crib time" from one to three every afternoon, no matter what naps he'd taken before and/or refused to take once one o'clock rolled around. The emphasis was on the "crib" part of the phrase; I didn't want to have to bother with a kid getting up and hurling himself over the guardrail or coming out of his bedroom every other minute to see if I was still willing to put my foot down.

Luckily, Mamp swung by to see Will today after a few days' absence and read him some books in the new bed. I told Will a couple of times that he'd have to be asleep from one to three and asked him if he wanted to sleep in his bed or his crib, to which he firmly answered, "Bed."

I know, the suspense is killing you, no?

I sang him some songs, and when I put him in bed and cozied him up under the comforter, Will started to whimper.

"Bubba," I told him with the voice of someone who is desperate to turn over a new naptime leaf, "if you cry, I'll put you in your crib until three o'clock."

"Be in bed," he countered mournfully.

"Then you go to sleep, and I'll see you at three."


And he's been asleep ever since.