Friday, March 21, 2014

Heart of My Own Heart

Mommy, the sky was so beautiful, Judah recounted to me. It was blue and pink and purple!

Mommy, I love nature. Let's go on a nature walk. Nature is so beautiful.

Judah on a "nature walk" cira 1.5 years old.

I'm sure we all feel stirred by the glory of the skies, but very rarely do I hear people talk about it, and even more rarely do I hear little kids have self-originating, completely unprompted thoughts on it.

When I was in elementary school I first became aware of how my heart felt like breaking while staring at cumulus clouds slowly sailing across a piercing blue sky, or the rivers of gold in a vermillion sunset. I often exclaimed to friends, "Look at that sky! Gosh I love nature! Isn't it so beautiful?"

I've rarely if ever said that to Judah, maybe because I'm too distracted making sure he (or Noah) isn't eating dirt or about to get run over by a car. So to hear him echo back the unspoken beats of my own heart was pretty trippy.

I guess he really is mine.

Friday, March 14, 2014



Noah is turning out to be a little comedian. I'm pretty sure he thinks he's hilarious when he does his little comedy routine called "blowing before nursing".

He's picked up on blowing his food to cool it down because he sees me do it all the time. He does it sometimes as I spoon-feed him mac n' cheese or steaming rice. So now he 'blows' on my boob before nursing as his little inside joke--ha ha Mom, see what I did there? I'm cooling it down before I eat it, ha ha ha. I'm hilarious!

How do I know that's what he's thinking? His tell-tale little smirk and the glint of his eye as he does it. Is 12 months too early for babies to "tell" jokes? Not this kid.


Sometimes I wonder if I infantalize Judah too much. I often help him do things that other kids much younger can do for themselves, like get up and down his step-stools and put on his jackets.

So today I asked him, "Judah, do I treat you like a baby?"
Without skipping a beat he replied, "No, you treat me like a slave."

Well, there you go. Someone feels like he's not being babied enough!

Actually, Judah has a good point. I've gotten in the habit of barking orders at him--Hurry up! Put your socks and shoes on! Get your jacket! We're late already! Drop that crayon WE HAVE TO GO!!!!

Sigh, it's because we can never make it on time to his preschool. And then his teacher gives me the stink-eye because we're late. Again. I need to start waking up earlier.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Sometimes He is Good

Can I brag a little?

Yesterday I experienced one of my parenting's proudest moments.

We were walking around and Judah found a dandelion and instead of wishing for his usual stuff ("t-rex gunner car" and "that I have a cooler toy than Noah") I heard his little voice say "I wish that no one would get sick or have nightmares." WHAT?!

Stop the presses. What did he say?! Did I hear that correctly?! Seriously, was that just in my head? Oh my heart, he actually said that! And it was completely unprompted and self-originating!

I'm realizing more and more that I can get my kids to obey me externally (by threatening all kinds of unpleasant consequences) but it's much harder to shape their inner moral life.

I don't just want them to share because they have to. I want them to want to share. Because they care about others' feelings. Because they are kind and gentle-hearted. Because they understand compassion.

I honestly don't care if my kids are "successful" or "accomplished" or wealthy. If they can just learn to wish for a better world for others, I will die a happy woman.

Wednesday, March 05, 2014

The Grown Up Baby

Noah is 90% walking now.

A week ago he took 4 tepid steps before crashing.  The next day he took 8.  The next day he walked half way across the room.  And now he's on 2 feet more than he crawls.

Knowing that Noah is 99.99% likely to be my last baby, watching him reach this milestone (to borrow another mommy blogger's expression) just hurts so good.

The night he started walking half way across the room, I dreamed of my once 2 week old burrito of love all fuzzy-headed and sweet-scented.  And I wanted THAT guy back again.  Which is completely insane because during the actual experience, I remember I was pretty miserable and wishing there was a button I could press to magically turn him into a 2 year old.

But parenting, as they say, is the ultimate disparity between the "experiencing self" and the "retrospective self." Things look diametrically different depending on where you stand in relation to the event. And looking back is always only chock-full of the mushy gushy good stuff.

But Noah could care less about my mush gushy nostalgia.  He is just trying to race ahead, even faster than Judah grew up it seems. Maybe that's what it means to have an older sibling--you just want to copy everything the bigger person does.

Noah doesn't smile or laugh a lot, but his biggest, brightest grins are always reserved for those occasions in which he knows he is copying his brother.

Noah only wants to drink from straws, like Judah.

He loves coloring, like Judah, and then whipping up his paper to show his handiwork, like Judah. He loves sitting in Judah's chairs and booster seats.

Coloring while sitting in Judah's favorite chair--the epitome of big-boy-dom for Noah!

And he absolutely loves wearing Judah's clothes. He is forever opening up Judah's drawers and pulling out a 3T shirt that he then tries to put over his head.

Noah is thrilled to be wearing Judah's everyday go-to jacket.
Noah raids Judah's closet like a fashionista looking for couture.
But I'm pretty sure, no matter what big boy skills he develops, I will forever think of him as my baby.  I wonder how that will play out through the years as he really does leave his babyhood far behind him. Will I be trying to hand him sippy cups of whole milk as he goes off to college?

Let's hope I get a grip on things before then.