It’s been a while since I’ve written and I have so much to say, so here’s a little bit about a lot of different things.
I spent spring break with my boys and all I got was… Well, nothing really. But Riley coughed on me a lot so I imagine I’ll catch something by Thursday.
I’m proud of myself because… I discovered a way to put both boys to sleep. At the same time. In the middle of the day. Without coercion or drugs. If I keep them in the bike trailer long enough, they fall into a blissful nap. The exercise is great, but the quiet time outside is priceless.
I love it when… Riley says “yes.” His version is “esh.” We can suddenly communicate about anything. What he wants for lunch. Which shirt he wants to wear. Whether he wants to watch Dora or Diego. What he thinks about 2012 presidential candidates. It’s awesome.
I’m sick of hearing… “Stay home.” Dylan has developed a habit of trying to stop everyone – and I mean everyone – from leaving by whining “stay home, stay home, stay home.” He does it to me any chance he gets, and he does it to Mike every morning as he leaves for work. He does it to strangers in the grocery store and waiters at restaurants. He even did it to our exterminator last week! Now Riley says it because Dylan says it, and Dylan says it like Riley says it (“nae hoe”) and I don’t know what to say about any of it, except…
The theme of this spring break was… Regression. Last year’s theme was potty training. I think that was worse, but sibling rivalry is messy, too. Let’s see, over the last nine days, we’ve had baby talk, pee accidents, running off in parking lots, talking to strangers, talking back, whining, pouting, arm crossing and lots of crying. I’m referring to Dylan here, the boy who doesn’t want to grow up. It’s been a tough week to put it mildly, and I don’t mean to leave Riley out. He presents his own set of challenges, like refusing to nap and demanding finger painting at 5:30am.
A few bright spots of the week were… (1) Riley started sleeping past 5am when we changed the clocks. [UPDATE: Since initially writing this, Riley has gone back to his early bird ways. We’ve been up at 5:30 every day since last Friday.] (2) Dylan put his empty plate on the kitchen counter yesterday after eating lunch. He cleaned up after himself without being asked. I nearly passed out.
The week ended with a bang when…Riley celebrated his second birthday. I remember so clearly the morning he was born and the day we brought him home from the hospital. I was drowning in love and fear, and I knew the next two years would be the hardest of my life. They have been, but I’m humbled by the funny, stubborn, sweet and polite little boy he’s become. Happy birthday to my little love.
And finally, miracles do happen. For Riley’s birthday, we gave the kids bikes – a tricycle for Riley and a bike with training wheels for Dylan (to take the edge off the sibling rivalry). Riley can’t pedal yet, but he rides around like Fred Flintstone on speed, and once Dylan got the hang of it, we couldn’t get him off his bike. On the bike = happy. Off the bike = pouting, whining and arm crossing. On = good. Off = bad. Like a light switch! It was amazing, but that wasn’t the miracle.
On Sunday evening, Dylan asked all of us to go on a bike ride together. (That alone was a small miracle because he asked us so politely.) We put Fred Flintstone (Riley) in the bike trailer and Dylan, Mike and I rode our bikes around the block. Two things happened along the way. First, I realized we’ve become a family with two boys instead of two babies. I had to catch my breath because suddenly I could feel time passing too quickly. Second, I caught a glimpse of Dylan, with the wind blowing in his face, loving the independence of riding a bike all by himself alongside his Mommy, Daddy and little brother. He was free. I could feel it and I’m pretty sure he could, too. That was the miracle – that he broke out of his rut and tasted the wonder and joy of growing up, even if it only lasted a few minutes.
As I sit here now, making the last edits to this blog entry, the boys are back at school and I’m in the house all by myself for the first time in nine long days. That’s a little bit of a miracle, too.