Tuesday, March 01, 2011


You know what, that Charlie is not really all that bad. Perhaps I enjoy a little drama, sympathy, and whatever else comes of complaining about that kid. Most of it is justified. Still, if you don't know Charlie all that well for yourself, you might inaccurately conclude from my tirades that his screaming fits and fiendish pranks are not compensated with some pretty irresistible toddlerisms.

He's actually a pretty nice kid.

Now on my third child, I finally get that my kids are, simultaneously, the cutest and best kids in the whole wide world AND incredibly average in everything.

I mean, with Ellie, I think I literally understood that she was the cutest baby ever. I recall being devastated when she and I were ill and had to miss a local baby beauty pageant because I was absolutely positively certain that she would win.

And then when Erik was born, I found myself a bit baffled that HE was the cutest baby ever. Was I so fortunate as to procure from the heavens their two sweetest and loveliest babies of all time?

So I came to discover, as second-time mothers tend to do, that my kids are not really as cute and perfect as I think they are, and that's okay. My mind is all the wiser, but in my heart, they remain unbearably scrumptious.

It is miraculous to feel such a powerful array of euphoric emotions toward another human being (upon the birth of a first child), and then to have that feeling multiplied, never diminished, with each family addition.

Thus, Erik and Charlie may not enjoy all of the attention and novelty of the eldest child, but certainly that ridiculous amount of love I felt for Ellie as a newborn babe is precisely the same ridiculous love I have always and will always feel for my kiddos.

It is with this understanding that I justify my occasional venting about Charlie's special little behaviors. He drives people bonkers everywhere we go, sometimes including me, but many times, not so much. I love him the very most, after all.

If only you felt the way about him that I do when he puts me in a choke hold, scraping the flesh of my neck, yet believing whole-heartedly that he's tickling me.

Or the way he grabs his diaper and notifies me ("bee boo" = pee poo) when he's relieving himself or otherwise filling his diaper.

Or how he obediently chucks his nuk back into the crib after a nap, and then experiences immediate remorse, calling longingly for "nuh nuh" through the netting.

Or how you better watch yourself if you lay down because Charlie's got a diaper sandwich coming for your neck and/or face. Faces make the very best of chairs in his book.

Or the way he lets out violent squeals of protest and jealousy if I dare hold anything but him, including a camera, a book, a piece of fruit.

Or how he confuses "night-night" with "knock-knock" (which are both "nuh nuh," of course) and knocks on his head to bid us good night.

Or how he suddenly decided he doesn't really hate books and actually very much likes them (in 20-second intervals) and can often be found perched on the edge of a chair, legs dangling and kicking, flipping wildly through pages.

Or how he sticks his head between his legs waiting for a little push to finish off his somersault.

Or how he has a 50 world vocabulary, but pretty much all of those words start with b, d, or n.

Or the way he signifies thirst or recognizes a waterfall, a picture of a water buffalo, or the lobster tank at the grocery store with a loud gulp.

Or how he starts waving and emphatically bidding the cashier "bah bye" the moment I swipe my credit card.

Or how his onomatopoeia for pigs sounds like he's gagging and for horses and sheep it's a courtesy laugh.

Or how he slept in until 7 am today.

Yep, if only you felt the way about Charlie that I do, well... I daresay nothing else really matters.


Marilyn said...

He was asleep most of the time for our last visit so now i'm feeling cheated.

nimbus said...

I love your words.

Anonymous said...

Oh, I love that handsome little boy. And, I love you. Thanks for being such s good mom.

Mish said...

Ohh, I DO feel that way about Charlie, I swear it! He doesn't even like me! I don't care!

Joe and Christie said...

That kid is so precociously precious. How fortuitous that we're related and he is therefore part MINE! Let the countdown to fun Phoenix times begin...