Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Between 2 worlds

A toddler's life can be tough.  They want to taste that sweet nectar of freedom and independence, but sometimes they just need that little bit of extra help from mom (or many times, mom needs to beat it and only dad will do). 

Niall turned 2 1/2 yesterday and I can really see the struggle unfolding between his two worlds-- the 2 year old who is still living in a baby-proofed house vs. the 3 year old who is a real boy.

There are days when he shouts from the rooftops "I WANT TO DO IT my-SELF!!!=*u(@$&^#" and then there are days when he timidly hugs my leg and asks "do you want to play with me, maybe, mommy?"... that's the point where I melt into a puddle and drop the laundry and dishes and say "Of course I do!"

Honestly, on most days, he's the 3 year old.  The grown boy, doing things himself, running and climbing as far as he can without ever looking back.

He's really getting there.  And it's exciting to see him conquer these hurdles. But I have to admit, it's also a relief when he occasionally turns around and decides that he doesn't want to go any further without mom by his side.

I remember vividly when Niall was 7 weeks old, Matt and I just wanted to freeze time.  It was this one particular day and we knew he would be turning 2 months soon, which just sounded like he was slipping right out of babyhood before we could blink.  We didn't want him to get any older; we just wanted him to stay a tiny little baby forever.

But then he turned 2 months, then 3 months, then 6 and then a year.  And at every milestone, there was that split second of sadness for the baby we were losing, but then this overwhelming amazement at how it was even possible that he was getting cuter and funnier and everything that we never thought he could become any more of.  But he did.  He just kept getting better and better.

So now Brendan comes into the picture...

And suddenly I don't want to freeze time anymore.  I surprisingly want it to move forward.  It's not just that I know he's going to become so much more fun every single month, but I can't wait for these two little guys to be able to play together.

And Niall really can't wait.  He's so ready, he's taking matters into his own hands-- dumping train tracks and helicopters and all kinds of hard plastic toys onto Brendan's lap (and head).

Even though Brendan can't physically join in yet, he is already participating with his eyes and his expressions.  He loves watching Niall play-- actually it kills him because he wants to join in so badly.  He flails his legs and arms and lets out these excited grunts when Niall puts toys on him and plays in front of him...

Well, most of the time.  But sometimes, he gives me this look:

The "Mom, are you going to save me from this crazy kid any time soon?" look.  And instead of saving him, I run and get the camera.

Anyway, Brendan is getting bigger even faster than Niall did.  He's already grown out of the newborn phase.  He's now an infant, holding his head up, smiling, rolling over and too big for me to hold like a football anymore.  And it should make me sad, but this time it doesn't, because there's so much to look forward to.

I just know they are going to be such great friends.  And somehow that trumps holding onto those sweet little baby faces and chubby little baby thighs for dear life.  I'm willing to make an exception this time and let Brendan graduate from babyhood and move onto brotherhood.  Something tells me it's going to be worth it :)

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