Friday, August 20, 2010

Little Boys, Little Boys

Preparing for Brotherhood:  Finny and his cousin, Reece
We confirmed yesterday that Finny will indeed be getting a baby brother. At the ten week ultrasound, Rose, our ultrasound technician had guessed it based on something she identified as a budding penis, and yesterday, she confirmed it with what looks very much like an office-party-gone-wild-photocopy of Baby Van-On-The-Way depantsed after a few too many trips to the Harry Buffalo Cooler.

Now that my belly is getting bigger and rounder, I’ve started telling Finny I’m growing him a baby in my belly. I want him to think this baby is our personal gift to him in an attempt to offset any jealousy that might occur once the baby is born (I think I probably read this somewhere). Last night, when I reminded him that there was a baby in my belly, he pulled down the top of my shirt and said, “I wanna see it!” Then, he kissed my belly.

So, how do I feel about my world being taken over by testosterone? The truth is: I’m delighted. Little boys, it turns out, are pretty wonderful people to have around. Oh, I know what they say about frogs and snails and puppy-dogs’ tails—just the babblings of a misandrist who clearly never met a man with a fantastic mother. My little boy is sweet and cuddly and lovely. He showers me with kisses, smiles, and affection. He’s sensitive and loving and friendly. And he thinks next to Blankie and Tissa, I’m just about the greatest thing on the planet. He laughs at nearly all of my jokes and stupid attempts at physical comedy, he thinks I have a marvelous singing voice and stellar dance moves, and he loves to hold my hand. It’s like having an even better version of David around. (David thinks a lot of my jokes are stupid and he runs and hides when I try out new dance moves. He does, however, still like to hold my hand.)

But, the good news is, it’s a pretty even exchange. I laugh at all of Finny’s jokes, think he has a marvelous singing voice and outrageous dance moves, and I love to hold his hand as well as shower him with kisses just about anytime I have him in my clutches. So, why wouldn’t I want another little boy just like him to pal around with everyday?

Well, I guess there’s that whole thing about boys not being as clean and tidy as girls. I may have more mud tracked through my house. I guess there’s that whole thing about boys being more physical than girls. I may have a few more fist fights in my house. And it seems that girls tend to stay closer to their parents than boys. I may have to travel a bit to see my sons.

But I’m not so worried. After all, it’s not all pre-determined by gender, is it? I do have some role to play in how they turn out. With a little training, I believe that I could convince my boys to make their beds and put the toilet seat down. With a lot of affection and attention to sensitivity, I believe I can teach my boys to be lovers instead of fighters. (We’ll talk birds and bees later, much later, but maybe sooner than 25 like my own dad did. Good work, Dad, trapping me in a half-daze at the breakfast table. At least you got it in before I got married.) With years and years of hard work in showing them what a total blast I am to be around, I’m even convinced that maybe just maybe someday they won’t be able to bear the thought of being more than fifteen minutes from home.

Besides the fewer the girls around here, the more clothes money there is for me. My boys and I may never attend a Mother-Daughter Tea or go out for Mani-Pedis, but I’d rather go for beers and a hike in the woods anyway. I wouldn’t even mind looking for frogs and snails, though puppy dog tails I could do without. So, bring it on boys. I can take it. Little league? No problem. Mud fights? Count me in.

But, just don’t expect to get out of the musical theater. Sorry, fellas. Man-up all you want: pound on your drums, crash all your hot wheels and blow all your millennium falcons to smithereens, but there’s no escaping West Side Story, Guys and Dolls and Sound of Music. You’ll know them all and love them all and believe me, my little lovers, someday, the ladies will be begging to hear you manly men sing just one more song from Funny Girl. They’ll eat it up. I promise. You can thank me later by marrying a girl as cool as me who would just die if she lived more than fifteen minutes away from her in-laws.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

They Were Right About the Blinking

"I Stuck!"
They always say it happens so fast. The growing up they mean. “Blink and you’ll miss it,” they say. I always try to keep this in perspective during moments when I feel as if it’s going on forever. The breastfeeding, the spitting up, the food throwing, the no-sleeping, the incessant whining, the mess-making—all little inconveniences that make motherhood somehow seem like a burden instead of a blessing.

But, they’re right, you know. About the blinking. It’s all started happening so fast that I can hardly keep up with it. The milestones. The moments. I need to take a minute just to think about them all. Just to get them down so I remember what an incredible blessing motherhood is. So I remember just how good it all feels. So here are a few Finny quirks that I particularly love right now…

When Finny drops something, he always “Uh-oh” and addresses the object he’s dropped by name as if it were the object’s fault and not his own. “Uh-oh, Milk.” “Uh-oh, Thomas.” “Uh-oh, Tissa.” He does the same thing if he deliberately throws any of these items across the room. I hope this isn’t a sign that he’s going to become one of those adult blame-passers we all love so much who end up in neck braces suing the pants of their local school systems for failing to make the lunch trays ergonomically-correct. Because right now, it’s just really cute and silly.

When Finny wants to see one of his friends or grandparents that he hasn’t seen in oh, a few hours, he pretends as if they’re coming over to see him right this instant. “Knock-knock!” he exclaims. “Who’s there?” I ask. “It’s Gramma! Knock-knock, Gramma!” and he goes running toward the door as if he can will her to appear at that very moment. Just last night in the bathtub, he put his rubber Thomas the Train up to the tiled wall of the bathtub and claimed he was looking for Gipetto. “Knock-knock!” he exclaimed. “Knock-knock, Gipetto!” I’m quite certain Gipetto and Thomas have never met, but I love the idea that Finny imagines they have.

Finny is also a pretty friendly little dude right now. Shyness strikes on occasion, but in general, if he sees a friendly face, he’ll greet you with a smile. To our neighbor, “Hi, Jim!” To Jim’s dog, “Hi, Mitsy!” To his Great Uncle Jack whom he’d only known through pictures until a week ago, “Hi, Uncle Jack!”

He does not discriminate between the living and non-living either. On the road, “Hi, Cars!” To his knee, “Hi, Dora Band-Aid!” To the TV, “Hi, Jiminy Cricket!”

Most recently, he’s started making silly faces and voices and calling out random animal names for no rhyme or reason. “A fox! A fox!” or just all of a sudden from the back seat of the car, I hear, “Gorilla!” followed by “Dogs, dogs, dogs, dogs, dogs! Ducks, ducks, ducks!” And during my recent sinus infection, when I was blowing the nose straight off my head, “Elephant Mommy!”

One of my personal favorites is when Finny is looking for something that we’ve lost. He walks around the house looking under couches and tables calling to them as if they might holler back at him from behind the refrigerator, “Where are you, Little Thomas?” or “Where are you, sunglasses?” Just a few weeks ago at his cousins’ house, he found a small Ernie doll and immediately responded with, “Where are you, Bert?”

David and I also enjoy watching Finny discover the amazing. Just two weeks ago, we had the pleasure of showing him the ocean for the first time in the Outerbanks, NC. “Ohhhh, ocean!” he said and his eyes widened with wonder. Of course, just two days ago, he saw the hand railings David installed on the staircase and said, “Oh, cool hand rail-kings!” as his eyes widened with wonder.

The thing is now that he’s approaching two, everyday he shows me something new. He’s sponging it all up so fast, I can hardly get it all down. On a daily basis now, my little Mama’s boy wraps his arms around my knees and says, “I want Mommy hold you.” And every time I fall to pieces. I want Mommy hold you too, Finny, and every last, simple, sweet, silly, adorable thing you say and do. I don’t have time for a lot of things these days and blinking is number one on the list.