Tuesday, February 02, 2010

nineteen months and counting

I went to a staff meeting today. One of the speech therapists has a little girl Silas' age, and no childcare on Tuesday morning (nor would I, typically, but for the grace of my neighbors), so she brings her daughter with her. That baby sat in her lap for over an hour - drinking her milk slowly, eating Cheerios and pineapple, coloring a picture. She would occasionally say, "Mama!" in excitement, but she was never once - did you hear me? NEVER. ONCE. - reminded to stay seated or be patient.

I don't birth babies like that.

I tried to picture Silas in a staff meeting. He would sit in my lap for approximately 24 seconds, then he would exclaim, "Get down! Go play!" I would pull out a snack. He would eat it in two handfuls, dump the crumbs on the table, and screech, "GET! DOWN! PLAY PLAY PLAY!" I would remind him calmly to be patient. He would fold his hands, smile at his obedience, and then climb on top of the conference room table.

Then the meeting would begin.

I don't know if demure babies are created by God or by their parents. All I know for sure is that I'm a reasonably attentive parent, and I haven't stumbled on one of them yet. Last week we joined our church, and took both children into the service to be a part of the announcement. I basically had to manhandle the boy to keep him in the pew for fifteen minutes. We were in the front few rows, directly in Brian's line of vision, and Silas kept calling, "DADDY! 'MERE!" But he loved the worship time. He kept watching my mouth and trying to sing along with me, or Brian's fingers on the frets and trying to imitate him with his own little hands. So sweet.

It was a year ago this week that I sat in my pediatrician's office with an (uncharacterically) shaking voice and said, "I feel like I have a newborn. He screams all day long," and she - always calm, always engaged - said, "That sounds like reflux to me." God bless her for taking me seriously. A year ago this week marks the time that I stopped surviving Silas' babyhood, and began enjoying it. A week later I saw him laugh at his brother for the first time ever (I KNOW). It was a year ago this week that the fog lifted.

When you throw a child into mid-air, there is a quarter second when he is suspended in nothing, not yet falling back toward your arms, not yet sure if their breathlessness foretells doom or exhilaration. He'll catch his breath, wide-eyed, already grinning, already anticipating the fall, never looking away from me.

Silas lives in that moment.

Everything is worth trying, everything is worth opening or splashing or (God forbid) drinking or throwing. The nature of the rush is yet to be determined, but even if it's disastrous, it's still going to be fun. And though his voracity takes my breath away, I just can't get enough of that kid.


Aristaeus said...

"Silas lives in that moment."

Me too.

Great post.

Lisa said...

This sounds so much like Olivia at that age. After forcing her to sit through Mass every Sunday of her life (which was always as much a chore for us as for her), she is finally, at 26 months, able to behave reasonably well and follow along to some extent. So I know they can be taught and can grow out of some of those "ant-in-your-pants" tendencies. But I still marvel at parents who have children who will sit still for any period of time without being strapped down.

You always have a beautiful, almost lyrical way to describe your boys. I love it.

Madame Rubies said...

I used to think those babies were fake. But, so far, my godson IS one of those babies. I know his parents, and they are good parents. Perhaps even better than me. But, I see no explanation for Caleb's calm demeanor. I took him with me to visit my dad and he sat in my lap, playing quietly with an empty baby food container for an hour, at least. My dad kept staring at him and repeating, "Babies shouldn't be that calm."

Michelle said...

I love the way you write about the boys. It is wonderful!!

Stephanie said...

Thanks guys!

Stephanie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
papilio588 said...

So blessed to have that sweet little fella as my godson! I agree, I LOVE the way you write about your boys!

okierivermama said...

I was gonna say maybe its something about us mama;s with the name stephanie that we aren;t meant to have boys like that...Now and then I wish I had at least one who would behave like that but I love that they take my breath away and I am so thankful they are more like thier dad in that way than scared of their own shadow like I always was...