Sorry Jen, but I’ve got to say it…. this precious time with my boys just keep flying by, and I’m always amazed at how fast they change. Since I have not yet figured out how to stop time, I’m going to try to capture it with my words. Maybe it will help me hold onto the memories a little better? One can hope.
Parker (my 3 year old son) seemed to take a while to fully embrace the imaginative/ pretend phase, but he’s there now. One of his favorite “let’s pretend” games is “kitty.” Even after the cat incident of 2013, Parker still loves cats. Usually the game is something along the lines of, “you pretend to be the mommy kitty, and I’ll pretend to be the baby kitty.” He crawls all around saying “meow,” and occasionally our conversations will sound something like this: “How was school today?” “Meow.” “Did you do anything fun?” “Meow.” “Would you like to read a book?” “Meow.” It’s a very productive conversation. My favorite is the whine combined with the meow. It leads me to believe that a cat will not be a future pet of ours. Parker’s kitty character is named PoPo. I love the names he comes up with. He named his monkey Birdie (the obvious choice). And at Thanksgiving, he decided to nickname one of his grandpas, “Grandpa with the big dogs.” I think it’s awesome that it’s not just Grandpa with the dogs, but Grandpa with the big dogs. In his defense, our dog is not quite 20 pounds, and Grandpa’s dogs are bigger than Parker is.
When I do get an answer to the question about how his day was, it’s almost always a story about a friend that hit him, or didn’t listen to his words, or some other such offense. This isn’t actually what happened, but he isn’t exactly lying either. He just likes to make up stories. He doesn’t understand the concept of lying yet– to him, it’s just a story. He also doesn’t have a good concept of time. Yesterday to him might mean a month ago. So long story short, you have to take the things he says with a grain of salt.
Besides cats, Parker has a few other favorites, such as the number 10. I don’t know why, but one day he decided he liked that number, and it became the answer to everything… even at times when it wasn’t in his best interest. For example, we’ll ask, “Do you want to take two more bites or three more bites?” and he’ll say, “I want to take ten more bites.” Ok, ten more bites it is. Lol. He’s also decided his favorite color is red. That was fluctuating for a while, but we seem to have landed on red now. When he draws, most of the time he draws a rocket ship, which usually looks like a few vertical lines. One of my favorite things is that he doesn’t drive cars, he vrooms them. As in, that’s the word he uses instead of drive: “Momma, you vroom this one.”
Austin (my 8 month old) came out so different than Parker. First of all, he was born in 4.5 hours (I’ll do a post about my unplanned home birth soon) when my labor with Parker was 27 hours. Parker was born with almost no hair, and Austin was born with a full head of dark hair. Parker has brown eyes, and Austin has blue eyes. Parker is on the shorter side, but Austin is even shorter. Parker was sucking his hand immediately after birth and that quickly turned into sucking his thumb. Austin was never interested in sucking his thumb, but he turns to Momma’s milk for comfort more. Parker was good at self soothing whereas Austin needs a little more cuddling. Some of the differences are so obvious, but many of the differences are so subtle that it’s hard to put words to them.
One thing they have in common is that they both were fascinated with their little bodies from a young age. For Austin this meant rolling at only a couple weeks old. Parker was not all that interested in rolling, but he had amazing neck strength and quickly learned how to scoot around. Now Austin’s getting quite good at standing on his own for short periods of time, and he loves walking by pushing his toy dinosaur around. Parker started walking at 11 months old, but maybe Austin will be even sooner?? When he’s not crawling or walking, you’ll probably find Austin banging something as that is another favorite activity. We got Parker a drum for his first birthday that he was never all that interested in, but Austin loves it, of course.
*As I’m writing this, I’m noticing I can’t talk about Austin without talking about Parker because the two are so intertwined in my mind, and I’m so fascinated by their similarities and differences. I guess that’s just the way it is with the second child. For better or for worse Austin, your story will always include your brother.*
Austin will get fussy if he’s held too long because he loves being able to explore. However, he will be content for long periods of time in the Bjorn, even if it’s time to eat or sleep… it’s amazing. Sometimes though, you can’t put Austin down if you don’t want to hear his impressive bloody murder scream, but that’s often just an indication that he’s getting tired or hungry. Also, when I arrive home from work, he will go from playing happily to insisting that I hold him, and I can’t put him down again unless I nurse him, even if he just ate. It’s almost like that is the way he likes to reunite with his mom after a day apart. It can be frustrating at times (like when I just want to eat dinner), but mostly it’s sweet. Austin and I have had a special relationship from day one. Even though we loved each other right away, it seemed to take about a month for Parker and I to feel connected like mother and son. I imagine a lot of that was the first time mom experience, but I think some of it was his personality too. With Austin, it seemed like he knew I was his mom immediately, and he was instantly attached to me and comforted by my voice and my touch. Austin and I also bonded over our love of sleeping in. Parker used to wake at 5:00 in the morning (fortunately that eventually became 6:00 or 6:30), and then he’d be ready to go. Austin, on the other hand, would go back to sleep, and we’d both happily sleep in and cuddle together (unfortunately now that I’m back at work, he’s adjusted to waking up about 6:00 or 6:30 too).
Having two boys is the best. I just love my Parker— my first born— who can drive me crazy and be such a handful, and then turn around and be the sweetest kid ever. He’ll catch me off guard with super sweet comments like, “Momma, your hair is beautiful,” or “Cider is the nicest dog,” or an unexpected, “Thanks Momma” (like today when I gave him his antibiotic for his ear infection). Austin is my baby— my cuddly, smiley, little chunk. I love having one on one time with them, but my favorite thing is watching them together. Tonight they had fun chatting with each other as they were falling asleep, and I suppose I should be frustrated that they were keeping each other up, but really I just love that they’re enjoying each other. Watching their love for each other develop is the best. Austin is so fascinated by Parker. He wants to do whatever he is doing, which sometimes means he makes Parker mad by destroying his train tracks or climbing on him. Most of the time though, Austin just cracks up at Parker’s antics, and Parker enjoys having such an appreciative audience. My heart just melts when Parker says things like, “I want to wear green socks like Austin because we are brothers.” Maybe one of my favorite moments yet was when Parker was upset, and the only person that could calm him down was Austin. Parker saw Austin smiling at him, gave him a big hug, and poof, his horrible mood was gone. Amazing!
I could go on about my boys forever I think, but I’m out of “takes.” If you want more quick takes, head on over to Jen’s…