My children are growing faster than I can keep up. It seems like every time I turn around, they're stronger, taller, and more capable. Henry can drink from a regular sippy cup now, and even a plastic tumbler with no lid. Rowan is reading books with no help from me. I just keep thinking, Wow! What happened??
Yesterday we cut Henry's hair. This is a Big Deal. Henry is two, stretching for three in November, and for a long, long time he has not let scissors near his hair. He would quite literally scream and thrash like we were cutting his legs off--even when we tried cutting it in his sleep. I loved his long hair, but the ends were poking his eyes and obviously making him very uncomfortable, so we knew it was time. Matthew held the sobbing Henry down while I sheared.
It was brutal, thankless work. I held him and snuggled when it was done, and he clung to me. I put him in the shower to rinse away the loose hairs and he sobbed some more. Dried and dressed, I took him downstairs for chocolate, a cup of milk, a blanket, and Mickey Mouse. That seemed to do the trick. It's difficult to cry with chocolate in your mouth. Sadly, I had to leave ten minutes later and head for Salem. My good friend/almost sister/godmother to my children Savanna took care of Henry for the evening.
When I got home around 7:30 Savanna was rocking Henry, who hovered on the brink of sleep. I left them to it, and soon Savanna joined me downstairs, having laid a sleeping Henry on my bed. We put on a movie and I snuggled with Rowan, who fell asleep within forty minutes. Hurray!
Today my boys have been wild and silly, running and jumping and playing. Rowan helped Grandma Carol pick a cucumber from the garden for dinner. Rowan and Henry have chased each other all over the house, giggling madly. I took advantage of them playing upstairs this afternoon to crash for a short while on my bed. I've been living on Benadryl the last several weeks and my eyes don't always want to stay open.
They both ate dinner around 6:00. Let me reiterate so you really understand: They ate dinner. As in, the planned menu, not a PBJ fixed up last-minute. This almost never happens. Well, that is, Rowan usually eats a smidget of the menu, then frequently asks for a poached egg in addition "for protein." He won't touch anything with tomato sauce, including pizza and spaghetti. Henry also shies away from tomato sauce.
Tonight, though, we had leftover "fajita macaroni," as Carol called it. Essentially it's macaroni, tomatoes/tomato sauce, ground beef, and veggies. For Henry, who has recently become a fruitarian (with exceptions made for all starchy foods), this meal could have been pulled straight from Things I Won't Touch Ever. Rowan asked what it was and I said, "Noodles with meat, and we'll put cheese on top." He was satisfied, and he actually ate nearly all that was on his plate. Ha ha!
Henry resisted. I put a plate of food on his high chair tray; he ignored it. Then he tried to dump it quietly. I put it back. He sat there for a long, long time, eating nothing. Finally he reached out and tentatively picked up a noodle. He examined it closely, flicking off anything that looked suspicious. (This included the shredded cheese.) He took a bite. I won't say he gained any enthusiasm for the dish, but he ate it. He ate. I am thrilled!
Upstairs again, I decided to continue the furniture rearranging I've been working on for the last two months or so. Things get done slowly around here. I was busily vacuuming a patch of carpet that hadn't seen the light of day in years when Rowan called out, "Mommy, look at me!" I looked up and there was my 5-year-old child, feet and hands braced on either side of the frame, perched at the top of the doorway to my bedroom.
I don't know why I was so surprised; I did the same thing as a child. Maybe it's just that he's so young. Anyway, he was clearly very pleased with himself. "Rowan, where did you learn how to do that?" I asked. "I've always known how to do this," he replied in a lofty voice. "Always, huh?" I asked. He replied, "Mommy, I've known how to do this since before you were born." I laughed and congratulated him, and he announced his intention to climb from there to the loft.
Maybe I should explain. Upstairs there are two good-sized bedrooms and a bathroom. The bedrooms each have a large loft, but there is only one ladder, which is kept in the boys' bedroom. We haven't been in our own loft in quite some time, and it's rather dusty and cobwebby. I really, really don't relish the idea of my small child going up there. But I can't tell him not to strive, not to accomplish! I told him he could try, but I hoped he was too short.
He hadn't made it by bath time, which lessened my anxiety considerably. Henry tried desperately to copy Rowan, putting his little hands and feet on one side of the frame. He did manage to pull himself up one pace, but I think (I hope!) it'll be a few years before he's scaling it. In the short space of time that it took me to hang up Rowan's towel after his bath, however, he had managed to get his chest over the top of the door. I took hold of his legs and told him firmly that he was not allowed to climb naked.
We went downstairs and had snacks, then the two boys raced back up the stairs. By the time I made it up, Rowan sat waving at me from atop my bedroom door. I told him to come down, and promised that he could try to climb to the loft in the morning. Oh, help! I don't think Matthew will be too pleased with me!
Well, I always have said that Rowan reminds me of my brother Ken....