Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Tiny piles of pebbles

We have some seriously cute kids.

Since I posted last about the snotty noses, I took the ruggies to the doctor. We just didn't feel comfortable with how long the kids have been coughing and the low grade fever that JB seemed to have (even in 80 degree pre-summer weather).

Long story short: JB's left ear tube (that was just placed in jan) is definitely OUT of the ear drum, resting uselessly in the Eustachian tube. And that ear is infected. Furthermore, ML's ears (BOTH OF THEM) are infected... didn't really see that coming.

Just to put it in perspective for you, ML had a double ear infection brewing the week he learned to crawl, pull himself to standing, wave, clap, and eat egg yolk for the first time. This kid is the happiest baby on the planet. His smile just lights up the joint. And man is he on the move. We don't ever remember JB going this fast at things...

For JB's part, he has been exceedingly whiny, crying at the drop of a hat and a little on the pissed off side. He yelled at the chair yesterday because he ran into it:


KT: We do not yell at things. And when we make a mistake, we do not blame or take it out on someone or something else. And we do not call anyone 'Bad'.

JB: (throws himself on the floor in a sweaty, snotty puddle)

The thing is, he is so transparent. They rave about him at the new school. How good he is, how polite he is; how well-mannered and helpful... I ask them about the amount of whining, they look at me like I am crazy. I get that he does this at home with us b/c he is safe here and because he needs to try to feel in control of something, but it is amazing how different he is with us compared to other people. It is likely that this is just what we need to put up with for right now (and don't forget, he is on antibiotics AND has an ear infection) but it does make me wonder if we are doing something wrong- are being too hard on him somehow, or too lenient...

But when the little animal inside him settles, he is just so wonderful in his questioning of the world, his sensitivity, his intellect.

He has a teddy bear that he traded in "Teddybear" for... Remember? "Teddybear" was a soft brown bear that he was addicted to... then he found the soft white bear that was given to ML by the same friends that gave JB Teddybear. Since ML can't have a sleeping partner for a while, we let JB adopt the white bear. "What do you want to call him, JB?" I asked

"Bear-y." He replied. "White... Bear-y White."

(You can see the imagination this kid has for names)

Katy and I laughed. So now, we have Teddybear and Barry White. And it's true, JB cannot get enough of this bear's love. He falls asleep dragging these soft paws all over his face and belly and arms. If he's feeling particularly cuddly with you, he will turn your hand over and rub Barry's paw on yours. It is as generous an offering as the last spoonful of an ice cream cake. This week he told me, "i have a secret i wanna tell you." and when I lent him my ear he whispered,

"I love my Barry White."

This is just one example of his sweet, quirky ways. Some others:

If I seem a little quiet, he might look over at me and say, "Mommy, wanna tic tac?"

He'll remind us on the way out of the house not to forget our sunglasses or to put on sunscreen.

When ML is crying he touches brother's head and says, "It's okay, ML" or the other day he told us, "I'll get my guitar and my pick and play him a song."

He likes to collect little things. I keep finding piles of tiny rocks around: There's one in the garage, one on the front porch, one in the cup holder of his new car seat- 5 or 6 rocks in a line or in an imperfect circle. I just went to wash his coat and found these in one of the pockets:

God help me if throwing shit you think is interesting or cute into your pockets is hereditary.

I am home today, getting ready for our trip, and when I went to put this load of laundry in, I was picking up towels- lots of towels... Before we had kids, katy and I would use like 2 or 3 towels a week, total. But now, I use a new one more frequently instead of reusing- either because one of the boys has needed mine that was hanging up OR b/c they are showering with me or because we had to wipe snot with one and don't want to cross-contaminate us or them... or whatever the reason...

As I'm picking up all these barely used towels to launder, I'm struck by how clean and lotioned and towel dried and buffed and fluffed our kids are. They get cream and sunscreen in the morning. They get a bath every night. They get liquid soap and shampoo and conditioner and a combination of 4 different types of moisturizing ointments. They get their noses wiped with puffs plus and diaper wipes and soft cloths. They get toothpaste and lip balm and they stay soft and gorgeous. Sometimes I want to be all like,

These beautiful children are brought to you by the makers of:




With all the whining and crying and griping, sometimes it is hard not to stare straight ahead from 5-9 pm in an exhausted state and wait for this "period of our lives" to be over... But I don't want to forget what is going on right now. We are pouring all the love we have out onto these little ones.

Even when they kick us and cry and scream, and take their frustrations out on us (and the furniture); even when as mommies, we aren't always evolved enough to avoid taking our frustrations out on each other, I don't want to forget the way we are rubbing our love and intentions onto them. And the way we are washing tears away with soft cotton and kisses and hugs. When you use your hands to do this, it soaks into your flesh too.

Katy and I do it instinctively, but purposefully- we care for them in this very physical way every day (wipe and clean their faces and bodies and work to keep their skin healthy and intact). We do this sometimes in a sleepwalking state, sometimes out of habit, but often as if it is the most important thing we will ever do.

Because it kind of is.

And it comes back to us in totally random ways- like piles of rocks carefully selected and left as if a work of art. In the report from the teachers that every day at school, JB asks for a napkin at lunch time and then other kids follow in his footsteps and do the same. In the way ML spends his first double ear infection jungle-gym climbing the furniture and laughing at his brother...

We are lucky lucky mommies!


Sarah said...

beautiful post. Thanks. I really needed one like this today.

dl004d said...

Unlike Jake, I have a reputation for whining both at work and at home.

Michelle said...

I have a 5yo daugther who is also perfect at daycare, for babysitters, at sleepovers, etc. and then comes home and gives me more attitude than any tiny girl should have at times! My theory is it is because he knows that you are his mommies and you adore and love him unconditionally. These other people, however, they may need some convincing! I've just accepted it. If people choose to believe that I've raised a perfectly polite daugther who never sasses, then I guess I'm ok with that.

Tracy said...

Amen to that.