I like to bitch a lot about my kids, how hard it is to stay home with both boys, how exhausting it is, etc. And it’s not that it’s not true–in fact that’s probably the general rule–but it’s not a complete picture either. There are some days like yesterday. Toddler B was sweet for almost all of it, wrapping his arms around my neck in affectionate embrace or playing gently with another little kid at the Discovery Museum for an hour. Baby G rode the placid waves as well–it was if we all had swallowed a Xanax. Only once did I lose my temper–when G refused to sleep in the morning–and even then I only let loose with a quick yelp of frustration that fazed neither boy (I guess they are getting used to my outbursts).
Unfortunately, the peace–an armistice?–was but temporary. B woke up screaming in the middle of the night and when he rose this morn he picked up from there, sobbing nonsensically. What did he want? We couldn’t figure out, I just tried to steer clear but then Mama left for work and he was all mine. G was nonplussed as B fussed while I got him dressed for school. Then when we arrived in the parking lot B refused to go in. He did this on Monday, too, and I caved and took him back home with me. Today I told him that he was either going to walk or I would carry him but he was going into school. He chose the latter option (of course) so I threw him under my arm, grabbed the baby in his car seat and lugged them both in.
Once inside, B collapsed into a ball and I sat on the floor with him between my legs, rubbing his back. G sat nearby, looking up at all the unfamiliar faces. Twenty minutes later, I walked out with the baby, looking back only once, my nerves sincerely frayed, the stress taking root in my lower back. I sped out of the parking lot and yelled (through the windshield) at the stupid people on the cross walk blocking my progress.
A couple of hours later, I picked B up from school. He was sweet again, so was I. The afternoon was going great. We played with Mega Bloks while G bounced in his jumper. Everything was going great until around 2:30 when G lost it, screeching and arching his back in frustration while I tried to get him to sleep. I started to lose it again. Things here go round and round.
I have to admit that it took a couple of months to truly appreciate my first baby. For a while, the little wriggling larva did nothing for me. When I got home from work I’d take a look at baby B and then head next door to drink beer. Then something happened, maybe it was when he started smiling at me, but in no time I was in love. Ever since–for the past three years–I’ve marveled at him (and now at burgeoning baby G), how smart he seems, how far he can throw a ball, and physically just how good-looking I think he is.
None of this has changed but there was a rude awakening when he started school about a month ago. Suddenly he was just one of a group of kids with parents that I’m sure feel the same way about theirs. More than anything, I’m disappointed that his teachers haven’t pulled me aside to tell me how astounded they are by him. While I don’t ever want to be one of those parents who holds up their child’s crayon drawing like it’s the “Mona Lisa,” I believe my kid has a little something special inside him. I don’t care whether the rest of the world knows it or not … yet.