Watching my children grow has very quickly become one of my greatest joys in life.
My little boy used to just scream for milk when he first woke up. Then he would ask, “Bwee?” (play outside?) at 5 or 6am. Then he’d say, “Eat! Eat, eat, eat!” and then “Oh, hi!” or “Hi, waffle?” Then yesterday he said “Hi, Daddy. Morning!”
It all just flies by.
All of it. “Mom? No nap. I no like sleep. I awake. Go play.” “Me go green park uh library with Daddy.” “I go to church with Daddy. I play uh the kids an eat burgers.” “Baby, no bite truck. No like it.”
When? When did this happen? I mean, he’s been building to this point but in a matter of days it went from “No! Badeee, no bite!” to “Baby, no bite truck. No like it.”
And this baby, jeez Louise! She was already crawling all over the place, but now she’s crazy fast. She crawls through the living room and hallway to come find me if I’m brushing my teeth, crawls up to the baby gate to “call” for us if we’re in the kitchen. She’s also pushing herself into a standing position pretty frequently now, and since the weekend she suddenly prefers to nap and sleep in a playpen instead of in bed with us. Ryan is still doing a victory dance but I am admittedly a little sad about that. Ryan HATES to be touched in the night and I miss having a tiny person to snuggle up with!
Sometimes in the morning Ryan and I kind of lounge around in bed while the toddler plays and the baby blows spit bubbles in bed between us. Well now the baby is in her playpen so the toddler has taken it upon himself to shout (SHOUT) “BABY! You awake! I read uh you!” and then reads her a book or two. He reads a colors book word-for-word, which is awesome, but I especially like it when he doesn’t. “Mouse cookie! Mouse cookie MILK! Uh-oh, mess! Clean, clean! Uh… uh… mouse… uh, mouse color! Mouse milk! Mouse cookie!” Name that book. ;] He sits on the edge of our bed and actually holds the book so she can see it through the playpen mesh. And she totally just sits and looks, because after all, Big Brother told her to!
I just love all of this. Watching the speech and the gross motor skills and the fine motor skills, the logical thinking, the minor manipulations. I love watching the gears turn, seeing all this growth right in front of me.
There are a million and one things I love about Ryan, but they are already there. They were formed long before I came along, by his family, his peers in school, the books he read and TV shows he watched, the scenes he witnessed in the mall or bowling alley. His growth has of course slowed down, but it’s still there. He still learns new things all the time, still grows in character and wisdom and experience.
But our children? Right now we get to watch all this growth happen. We get to see how our son’s compassion and grasp of kindness grows when he steps out of timeout and says “I sorry I grouchy at you.” We get to see our baby’s view on the world change and grow as she starts to realize she can pull herself up, reach into this box, peer over that edge.
It’s kind of amazing.