Are You KIDDING Me With This???

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Turtle. The Other Other White Meat

Turtle is three now, which means there have been a lot of changes since we first brought him home from the hospital. Most of them have been good. After all, I don't have to change diapers any more, which is a big improvement from the early days. Some of them are questionable. After all, he's talking now. In a manner of speaking. (And when I say he's talking now, I mean his mouth NEVER. STOPS. MOVING.) And some of them are not so great. After all, he's stalking around the house, committing murder-suicides on a daily basis with his plastic go-gos. This does not bode well for his future. Or mine, for that matter.

But what is most interesting to me have been the unexpected changes I have seen in Turtle. For example, I had assumed the worst about the first several months of Turtle's life. I had envisioned severe sleep deprivation, potential colic, late-night screaming jags and those moments that make you wonder why humans don't eat their young and whether you should consider trying it, just for kicks. Instead, Turtle was pretty much the best model of newborn on the market. He started sleeping through the night at 6 weeks. He didn't have any kind of colic or stomach problems that a good nap on Mommy's or Daddy's chest wouldn't solve. He had an extremely loud scream, but was easily appeased. And I never wanted to eat him, except in that "you're so cute, Mommy could just eat you up" way.

Now, though, my easy-to-manage baby has given way to a rambunctious, fiercely independent, strong-willed preschooler. He doesn't want anything to do with Mommy's chest, unless he's pumping it full of imaginary rounds of ammunition. He throws temper tantrums complete with deafening screams and he's not finished until he decides he's finished. And that whole sleeping through the night thing that I thought we had down cold? Yeah, we're not fond of that anymore, either. Instead, Oscar and I find ourselves waking up with him a couple of times a night. At least now, he can articulate his problems, which, by the way, run the gamut from "I need to go potty" (two thumbs up for recognizing it, thanks!), to "I lost my binky" (shhh, don't tell your doctor we still let you HAVE a binky!), to "need blankie" (seriously, kid, we live in Arizona and it's not that cold; you will live!) to "I scared" (don't worry, buddy, Mommy will make the monsters go away.)

It all makes me intensely curious as to what the next three years have in store. I worry for my little boy, who in another three years will be in school and on the playground with other kids who may not realize what a beautiful soul he has. Who may tease him because he's very sensitive and hates to see people hurting. Who may take advantage of his giving nature. And who may shun him because sometimes that's just what little kids do. On the other hand, I can't wait to see what happens when his language skills are even more fully developed and he can really communicate how his mind works. I can't wait to see how he takes care of a little brother or sister, if Oscar and I get to that point. I can't wait to see his eyes light up when he learns something new or stuffs a frog in his pocket to bring to Show and Tell. I can't wait to see what new surprises he has in store.

Because honestly, this kid is a mystery to me. Every time I think I have him figured out, he changes the rules on me and he's just smart enough that I'm not sure whether or not he's doing it on purpose. But mystery or not, one thing is certain: I can't imagine my life without him. I can imagine a life without the 2:00am call to find his favorite stuffed animal. I can imagine a life without making pancakes EVERY. SINGLE. DAY because it's the only thing he eats with any kind of consistency. I can imagine life without the Legos on the floor that I find with my bare feet while walking down the dark hallway. But I can't imagine life without that boy.

Which is probably a good thing, because given how his muscles have developed since we first brought him home from the hospital, I would think he would taste pretty gamey by now.


At January 31, 2007 11:46 AM, Blogger Flip said...

My kids are 17 and 23. Since they were born there have always been sleepless nights...the reasons just keep changing.

Turtle is very lucky to have you and Oscar for parents, and you are very lucky to have Turtle for a son. It's nice when it works out that way.

Hugs to all.


At January 31, 2007 4:12 PM, Anonymous McMama said...

Beautiful post Cymber. I definitely agree with Flip - the reasons just keep changing. Turtle is a delight. How could he not be? He has great parents.

BTW, if someday you need someone to kick some kindergarten a**, I'll make myself available. Because I'm just that way when it comes to my grandson!

At February 01, 2007 5:39 PM, Blogger country girl said...

Dykewife told me about your blog. I love it. Sassy women are wonderful. I wouldn't worry about your son's temperament. My son was sensitive and kind; then he got to pre-school. At our first parent-teacher conference we learned that he was the class clown (teacher's label). The teacher wanted him to raise his hand to answer a question. Not unreasonable, we thought. He disagreed with and had the following response: "nobody else knows the answer so why raise my hand." He's now 31 and is a wonderful man who still brings me great joy. He plays trumpet with the Albuquerque Symphony Orchestra. You just never know what they will do next, even when they are in their 30s.


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