Sunday, November 29

Stop the clock, please. No, really. Stop it.

One huge overindulgent poultry feast complete and here I sit. I've spent the last few weeks gathering up the necessities for a Stewart-esque Thanksgiving appeal for my home and have quite frankly not had the time to write.

I guess that's partially true. I have a bunch of recipes I'd like to post and I really was embarrassingly busy making my own centerpieces out of recycled goods for a green approach to decor, bordering on the line of questioning my own sanity it was taking way too blasted long.

But really, I think- I know- a part of me has been avoiding the idea of writing like the plague of all cliches. Every night I go to sleep ignoring my journals beside my bed, and every day I see the computer I avoid blogger for no other reason than absolute denial of the pace life seems to travel these days.

Every school year begins the chaos of celebrations around our house. From the beginning of October, every two weeks is a birthday or a holiday which finally ceases after New Year's Day. Right now, I'm avoiding the day my baby turns two which is quickly approaching in two weeks, now that Thanksgiving is behind us.

There are times when I grip the reality my kids are growing up and I accept it with a decent amount of grace bestowed upon me. Now, however, is not one of those times. I'm fighting off baby fever daily, but as I've mentioned before I feel our days as parents of infants are long gone.

Peyton turns two ten days before Christmas. He was an indecisive, stubborn little guy who could not choose quick enough for my liking whether or not he was ready to meet me- not that I blame him. I was in and out of triage at the hospital a lousy three times before the fourth admission finally was the charm. From that day until now I sometimes feel like Peyton stood in the shadow of his big brother and sister. I was consumed with the responsibilities of mothering a not-so-toddler-14-month old and a teenager, so this lil' newborn was very alien to me. I think somewhere inside he knew he'd melt my heart sooner or later.

For a long time I struggled with that uncertainty a new child brings to the picture, questioning whether or not I could possibly love this new baby as much as I did my other. Falling in love with him did not happen over night as it did for me with Mason. But it did. Eventually, and I can't tell you the moment but now I see him becoming his own little person with his white blond straight hair that sticks in every which direction haphazardly, the way in which the subtle roundness of his cheeks match the tiny curve of his nose, his bright blue green eyes adorned with curled eyelashes, and the subconscious habit of grabbing my finger clasped in his hand while he sits on my lap sucking his other thumb.

And he's finally standing up to Mason sneaking in a sucker punch or two to his brother's rib cage when my eyes are diverted from him. At times his incessant need to verbalize everything gives me no sense of solace in a day, but just when my patience is maxed out he utters one of his favorite things to say: "Hold you!" with his arms outstretched to me.

Up he'll climb onto my lap with his blue "bankie" and his stuffed black lab puppy. He gravitates toward me in ways that Mason never did, and of course it made it quite simple for me fall so deeply in love with him. He's quick, feisty, ill-tempered, and yet gentle enough to sit on my lap playing with individual locks of my curly hair for 17 minutes yesterday. I sneak into my sons' bedroom every night and while they drift off into dreams I etch in my brain the way my angelic devils look at peace and how Peyton still sleeps the way both boys did as babies.

The way he tucks his little arms under his belly and scoots his butt up into the air just oozes innocence I sometimes forget when they're pulling out each other's hair by the root fighting over who gets to play with the fire truck.

So I guess two sounds mighty old to me but truly is just the beginning of the sand dropping in the metaphorical hour glass. So cheers to that little bit of sand that's dropped for you dear Peyton, so for all the 723 days that passed us by I'll just tuck them away for now, and hold on tight until they too are just other faded memories of yesterday.

Tuesday, November 10

Uh-uh, no he didn't.

In a recent effort to dumbfound their parents, both Mason and Peyton have picked up the pace a bit in the world defining toddlers.

Last week I sadly regretted leaving Peyton for five minutes too long while I threw the wash into the dryer downstairs as he remained seated in his chair at the kitchen table. Jason always warns me that Peyton is a Jason-in-the-making kind of kid. My husband, who was not your run of the mill little boy, turned every one of his parents' hairs gray by the time he turned 18 months. No, no, I say-- Peyton has a smile that will melt you in 2.8 seconds if you ask him if the whelt on his big brother's back came from his tiny little fist.

So back from the laundry room I came, and there was that little smile again. He already has his gig down pat. As I slowly walked up the steps I peered at his heartbreaking smile and I swore he batted his eyelashes a few times, something he may have learned from his father. Sitting between his tiny hands was my mug. Full of coffee. That he retrieved off of the table with his disproportionately long arms, also something he inherited from dad. Good for basketball. Bad for reaching anything without his name on it.

"Maaaaaamee! Yook it's cooopee!"

No, buddy, you finished that mug of coffee. Bone dry it was. All that remained of my Peppermint Mocha Cream with a touch of Columbian fresh ground coffee was the trace amount on Peyton's upper lip. He was a little wind-up toy well past lunch. Lesson from Peyton: keep ALL beverages at unattainable heights until he has entered into college.

The second mini-lesson was merely a vicarious experience through Jason a day later. Thank God.

Mason, the potty training guru of the house has become, well, stagnant in his porcelin throne degree. The process is difficult for all parties involved, it goes without saying. Often by evening hours Jason takes reign of the duties if you will.

Not surprisingly, Mason was reluctant that evening and so Jason took the wee one upstairs. I secretly smiled at the bickering I heard overhead thankful that I was not in the potty tantrum whirlwind at that moment. More screaming from Mason resisting. More retorting back from Jason. He tried calming Mason. He tried raising his voice. Rewards. He conceded to stay in the bathroom all night if need be.

Then, "MASON, what are you doing?!" More crying. Then silence. Toilet flushed. Out scampered Mason's little feet so fast I'm certain he left a trail of smoke in his path downstairs to me. It reminded me of the same fearful expression I would see on my dog's face when he did something like, oh I don't know, pee on the carpet.

Jason came thundering down the steps next muttering something under the paper towel he was blotting upon his face.

"Huh?" I asked.

"Pee! He peed on me! No I mean he really peed on me," almost as if I couldn't understand just exactly what that entailed he continued. "I said 'Relax Mason,' and he leaned back on the seat, screaming and crying, and out came the pee. On my clothes, on the floor, and as I yelled at him in response it... it went in... my... mouth!" Lesson from Mason: face masks may be an upcoming trend for swine flu prevention, but also for deflecting the offshoot of my wayward potty trainer.

Lesson three: never doubt what a toddler can consume or what they can regrettably serve.