Monday, March 4, 2013

Wanna-Be Streakers and Criminal Masterminds

There seems to be a great deal of change on the horizon, and I don't just mean the impending arrival of baby number three.

Abby is going through all kinds of stuff right now, including a newly-developed hatred for wearing clothing, and a bit of a mini-language explosion. Though she will usually cooperate when it's time to get her dressed up to go out somewhere, pajamas seem to have become her arch-enemy. She throws a fit when it's time to put them on, and eventually takes them back off again if she's wearing them deep into the morning (or, as happens all too often, into the afternoon as well). I'm terrified that she's going to become one of those kids who starts taking off their diaper and leaving messes in their wake, so I dug up one of only three onesies that still fits her, and have been putting it on under everything when it's available for use. Though I've caught her undoing the snaps at the bottom, and stretching out the neckline, she hasn't actually removed it completely (yet), and I'm hoping that it will stand strong as a barrier against total nakedness for as long as possible.

In the meantime, her language is evolving in subtle but exciting ways. Though she often falls back to the third person, more and more I've heard her utilizing "I" and "my." Her sentences are generally becoming more complex. And on Sunday, she rattled off a compound sentence. It was during lunchtime, after our return from church, where she had spent about five minutes shouting nonsense cheers with a friend in the middle of the Crying Room. "Abby was saying boo-dee boo-dee sock, and Abby was jumping while she said that!" She recounted to me excitedly.

All this while, Michael, who has shown subtle hints of inherent deviousness for some time now, continues to develop his talents. He's a born ninja, and particularly gifted in "bait-and-switch" strategy. I must have run back-and-forth at least ten times today, trying to redirect him from either peeling the decals off of the playroom wall or pulling diapers out of the changing table, only to have him take advantage of the fact that I temporarily left my Kindle Fire perched precariously on the edge of the loveseat across the room to physically remove him from his unsanctioned activities. Each time I got up, he was off like a rocket in that direction, and though small and still unsteady at times, he often outran me, huge and bumbling as I am.

You would think I would learn to move the Kindle aside first, but I didn't, and he got me every time.

Michael, by the way, was finally given an outlet to roam around the Crying Room himself, this past Sunday. He's been walking steadily enough for a couple of weeks now, but I've been feeling too protective to allow it. This week I got brave, and Michael was more fearless, still. It looks like I've got two wandering toddlers on my hands now. The fun part about it all, though, was that Michael made it to the back of the room, where sat a family with a 15- or 16-month-old little girl. She's a brand-new walker, too, and in the middle of the aisle, she and Michael stopped just short of each other.

It was magical to behold. They were completely entranced with each other. Each little face held an almost identical wide-eyed amusement, amazement, and open-mouthed half smile. They haltingly reached for each others' faces, hands, hair, clothing. I sat right behind Michael, waiting for that awful moment when he would grab a pigtail and try to pull too hard, but he didn't. The girl's father noticed my unease and said, "It's okay. I think she's just fascinated because she rarely sees babies her own age. Her brothers are so much older."

"It's the same for Michael," I said. "His sister is so much bigger than he is." And we continued to look on, feeling nearly as enthralled as our children, I'd imagine.

Clearly, I need to find Michael some playmates.

I wonder what he'll think of little Raspberry?