This boy, you guys. Do you have satellite radio? If so, you've undoubtedly heard the commercial I hear twice, three times each day. The one with the exasperated mom, with the kid named Jeremy, Jeremy who is a backtalker and a defier and once slammed a door in her FACE. And this ad will come on, and I'm driving the Suburban packed full of kids, my teeth grinding and my coffee working its way through my veins to give me the strength I need to make it through the grocery store trip or pediatrician appointment, and nine times out of ten there's backtalking or defiance or sister torturing going on two rows behind me right that very MINUTE and I'm listening to this ad with the wits-end mom and thinking "just that ONCE, Jeremy slammed a door in your face? Like just once, yesterday? Or just once, EVER?" Because I'm getting doors slammed in my face. And the backtalking and defiance are a given, usually before the breakfast dishes have even hit the table. We're trying (or have tried) it all. The points chart. Positive reinforcement. Time outs. Regrettably, the occasional spanking. Taking away toys, blankies, everything but the pillow in his bedroom. Frustration induced yelling when the day's grown long and my patience has grown thin and there's just nothing left. And some of it works. Some of it works for a moment, some for a day, some of it works for a week, but without a doubt at some point, he'll fall back into the backtalking. And the defiance. And the occasional door slammed, sometimes in my face. A few times, lately, I've done something not on the list of behavior tips and tricks on my (long, long) list. Something against my instincts, when I see this boy I love to bits do something so shockingly unlovable, like step on his baby sister's hand, purposefully and with a "so what" look on his face. When what I WANT to do is pick up the poor innocent crying baby and run into my room and lock the door and hide under my sheets nursing a bottle of wine until his father comes home to deal with it. And, you know, cry.
Instead, I pick up this boy of mine. And set him in my lap. And I hold him tight and breathe in his little boy smell that reminds me how tiny he really is, how actually new to this world that he's still learning how things work and why and when. How small, that he can still BE picked up and set into my lap or onto my hip. And I look into his eyes. Really LOOK. And in those bright blue eyes of my boy, beneath the defiance and the challenge of this moment, I see him. My Anderson. The sleepy, deep set, dark blue eyes of the newborn baby Anderson we gingerly carried through the doors of our house, after so many many months of thinking no baby would ever be carried through the doors of that house. The mischievously glinting eyes of the toddler boy Anderson who, without words to use just yet, would stand pounding at the front door. Looking back at me with wild, begging eyes until I took him out into the dripping Texas heat, gripped his hand to cross the street to the park, where he'd wiggle his hand out of mine and bypass the brightly beckoning playground and speed-toddle down the greenbelt path. And how I'd keep on his heels, breathlessly scanning for snakes or esophagus-sized stones, kicking away stabbing-sharp sticks set out in the world to harm this precious, hard-fought child of mine. And if I look really deep into these eyes of his, the ones passed directly through the genetic gene pool from his father to his little boy face, I see the future big boy Anderson. The one who will probably be a calming, eye-rolling sidekick to me when we're smack dab in the middle of the teen years and his sisters are screeching and hair pulling upstairs over the new issue of Seventeen, or over a cute boy they both think they love. I imagine that he and I will exchange a look, shake our heads, dig deeper into our bowls of ice cream and wait it out. We'll get there, to these calmer days, I know we will. His heart is so good. His affections so genuine, so loyal. His enthusiasm for adventure and exploration so infectious. He's good, I know he is, and sometimes it takes these moments of gluing him to me and looking, really LOOKING into those eyes of his, to ground me. And maybe in doing so, he's getting exactly the thing he needs. My undivided attention. My time. The affirmation that though he's no longer the only, wasn't for all that long, really, before sisters came along and divided the time and patience and snuggles ..... he's my only Anderson. Will always be.
Finally, I let up on this hug-lock I've got him in. I kiss him once more upon the waves of his ashy-blond hair, whisper some tender parting words into his ear before sending him off to play for ten minutes before the next infraction inevitably happens. "Sweet boy? Step on the baby's hand again and I'll take you into the woods and feed you to a hungry bear. Mommy loves you!"
hi! welcome to my blog, where i write about our life in durango, colorado. mostly i write about being a sahm to our three: anderson, vivian, and the newest addition, mabel gray (mg, mabes, etc.) yeah, three babies in just under four years. wheeeeeee! sometimes i write about stuff other than the mom stuff. like ... um ... okay, it's pretty much all about the mommyness up in here. i own it.