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I’m Batman

There has been a rash of sickness at our house. We have all been trading a sinus infection around like baseball trading cards. Wash was the last one to be sick.

I indulge the boys more than normal when they are sick so I let Wash stay in his Batman shirt for three days. It could have been more, but honestly, I lost count.

He slept, ate, and even left the house multiple times with that shirt on. No, I did not wash it in between wearings. Yes, I took my sick child out of the house.

On Sunday, he wanted to wear it to church, so I told him he could wear it under his dress shirt.

Me: You can wear this shirt over your Batman shirt. It’s your secret identity.

Wash: I’m Batman.

Me, buttoning up his shirt: Don’t tell anyone. It’s a secret.

Wash: I’m going to tell everyone my secret identity. I’m Batman.

Me: I think you’re missing the point.

Once at church, he unbuttoned his shirt to show everyone.

I’m Batman.

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I recently shared with you that Gideon believes that Mom does “all the things.” I have further evidence to support this idea.

Wash is an adorable 18 month old chap. He does everything his brother does (no matter how naughty), eats like a man determined to gain weight (he IS growing), and still only has 5 teeth (though he is working on two more). What he does not do yet is talk. Much.

He says some words: Ma. Da. Daw (dog). Mo (milk). Sna (snack).

Every once in awhile, he will say a word, like “down’ or “papa”, but then not repeat it again for a week or two. What is the most amusing, is his use of the word “ma.”

“Ma” means a lot of things. It means Mom, obviously, but it also frequently used to indicate the following:

  • Hey, look at me.
  • Look over there.
  • Put on my shoe.
  • Put this sock on my foot.
  • Gideon won’t stop laying on me.
  • Gideon won’t stop tackling me.
  • I want some milk.
  • I’m hungry.
  • I want a bath.
  • I’m ready for bed (this is accompanied by him man-handling my chest since bedtime is the only time he is nursed).
  • I’m excited! And yelling!
  • I peed in my diaper, please change me. Also, there may be poop.
  • My hands are dirty because I got tired of using my spoon for the yogurt.
  • My water is gone, please fix that.
  • The TV is not on. That needs to change.
  • Look at the ridiculous thing this Elmo kid is doing! Mr. Noodles is an idiot.

Ma can mean many things. Why? Because Mom does all the things.

This would be sad and tragic if I had a husband who was uninvolved in the house and our boys. That could not be farther from the truth. I am blessed with a man who does many, many things around our house and who adores spending time with his boys.

It has become the family joke, that I do all the things.

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Now that we have two children, the times when I can choose to do something uninterrupted is virtually non-existent. It does happen every other week or so, for about 20 minutes. Mostly, I have to catch small moments during nap times, when one of the boys is asleep. At this stage, having them both asleep is like the Holy Grail of parenting and we have not achieved that yet.

That being said, this past weekend, Ries went out of town (on a boys weekend to Colorado, jerk) and I sent Gideon to his Oma and Papa’s for the weekend. I felt like I was alone, with only the Wee Wash to look after. Well, and the huge slobbery dogs. Saturday, Wash took a long nap and I was able to sit down and write over 3600 in my new writing project, the most I have done in one sitting, I think, so far. It felt great and I was very happy.

It was quiet here, without Gideon, and I was happy to go pick him up yesterday night. When I arrived, he was playing with some wrenches from Papa’s tool box. I walked up to him, holding a Sonic LemonBerry slush. He took one look at me and said, not “Hi, Mom!” or “Mommy!” or “I missed you.” with a huge. No, he said, “Hey, did you bring me one of those drinks?”

So, on the grand scheme of things, I rank somewhere lower than a Sonic LemonBerry Slush.

Ries on the other hand, ranks higher than both the slush and me because today at lunch, Gideon and I had the following conversation:

Gideon: Our family is missing something.

Me: Oh? What?

Gideon: Daddy.

*eyeroll* Moms are never appreciated. Perhaps it is because we do not come with that fabulous Sonic ice. 🙂

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Over the Smith family dinner tble we have a lot of interesting discussions, ranging from what we did that day to national and international news. Gideon participates, asking questions and adding quips. He usually interrupts the more boring conversations to him, the news, with requests to help him spell (sound out) words, his new favorite thing to do.

Last night, I was recounting Wash’s doctor’s appointment to Ries over dinner. Washington’s stats at 4 months are:

Weight: 16.03 lbs (60% percentile)
Length: 25.25 in. (50% percentile)
Head Circ.: 17.25 in (95.88% percentile).

We were laughing that the short, fat, large meloned babies the Miesmers are famous for definitely did not skip our boys as infants. I told Ries that the doctor said that his head was big because it has to “hold all those brains.” I added that Wash will be smart, just like his brother.

Gideon looked at me from across the table and said, “Now that’s a problem for you.”

I laughed and told him that indeed, it was going to be a problem for me. In fact, it already is most days.

Washington is progressing just like he should, babbling, laughing, grabbing things (and putting those things in his mouth), and doing push-ups during tummy time. He eats great and sleeps like a champ, going to bed around 9pm and waking up between 3:30 and 6am. That is a whole lotta sleep for this momma!

My boys keep me on my toes, with those big brain-filled melons, and I would not have it any other way.

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When Ries sees that Gideon has an excess of energy, which at three is about 70% of the time, he simply tells the ball of energy to, “Run around in circles.”

Gideon is always happy to comply and will immediately start running in tight circles for about 5-10 rotations, gleefully laughing. At the end of the rotations, he staggers like a pirate on a rum bender, still running at top speed. After he regains his vertigo, Ries will yell, “Do it again!” at which point the cycle continues.

Last night, I was watching this familiar drama when…

Gideon, after a couple cycles of running circles yelled, “I know what I am doing!”

And then promptly ran his forehead into the high chair at which point his parents laughed like loons while our three year old tumbled to the floor.

*People, do not try this at home. We are untrained professionals and have no idea what the hell we are doing.

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(For an explanation of this post, see the first post in this series for Ries.)

Today started out better than yesterday, but ended badly.

I woke up this morning around 4:45 to a sound I could not immediately place and then it dawned on me, it was raining. Actual, honest moisture from the sky. It rained for about 5 minutes! This was the 5 minutes the dogs decided, of course, that they had to go out right away or they might die.

Ridiculous.

Gideon had fun with Chloe and Miles this morning. And guess what, it rained again this morning. At this rate, the grass (which has hardly grown since February) will be 2 feet tall when you get home.

The afternoon was a series of arguments Gideon wanted to have with me. For instance if I tell him the container of juice we have is pineapple, he will argue that it is apple. I wish you were here to help me with this arguing. You know the baggage I have that makes these encounters especially trying. I try not to argue back, however gently, because it is useless and soul sucking. He neither cares, nor wants my opinion, regardless of its truth, and wants to argue for the sake of… whatever I have not yet deducted. Regardless of how I avoid the argument, he is right there with another. I want him to feel like his opinion is valued, but he has to understand that constantly arguing is both hurtful and disrespectful. I am going to try a new approach tomorrow that will involves a heart to heart with Gideon about how arguing makes other people feel.

We had dinner at Lupe Tortilla with some of the ladies from Bible study and their kids. Gideon was great during dinner, even though our food took forever. We sat outside, by the big sand and play area they have there so the kids could play after they ate. I gave Gideon a warning when it was time to go, but made a huge scene and then disobeyed me again when we got to the car. To top it off, he had peed in his pants at some point, though did not tell me and then did it again when we got home.

It was a less than stellar ending to a pretty crappy afternoon.

I hope the well digging is going better than the home front. No amount of chocolate ice cream will make up for me being alone after such a day and waking up to start it again in the morning.

On the bright side, Wash grabbed for and held onto a toy today. He was very pleased with himself when he shoved it in his mouth.

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Today was one of those rare days in Houston at this time of year: There was a breeze with just a touch of cool, but the air had a latent heat and the sun was shinning. It is the kind of day made for Jimmy Buffet or Bob Marley and some frosty margaritas or good beer. We usually have a few, precious few, of these days before it gets so grotesquely hot that no one, not even the bugs, venture outside. The boys and I spent the morning at a friend’s house, playing in the sprinklers and enjoying the day.

While I write this, I am uploading some pictures of Gideon coloring eggs and I realized that I take a lot of pictures of him in underwear and nothing else. I would not be surprised if the internet thinks that I never dress my child. He does occasionally wear clothes, but he would go naked all the time if it was socially acceptable.

Before we had Washington, I was warned that going from one to two was hard. I started to be a little worried about my ability to cope, but I am glad now for the warning, otherwise I might have wondered who stole my easy, biddable child and replaced him with an argumentative, uncooperative toddler.

Gideon is a great kid, but he is almost three and the main employment of a three year old is figuring out what they think, what they can do, and what they can get away with. Having a smart almost three year old means I also have to content with his highly rational reasons for why he chose to do whatever thing he was not supposed to be doing. We have spent the last month in power struggles with Gideon over the silliest things. Unfortunately for Gideon, he is not in charge of this house or himself even for most things, and it has been a hard lesson for him and a harder lesson for us to continue to enforce.

I have, many days, vacillated between wanting to beat him or wanting to cry at the futility of parenting. (no, I do not beat my child though some days, I really want to!) With a lot of prayer and some careful time spent doing more activities with Gideon (that is all he really wants anyway, a 24 hour play-mate mom), things are improving. He still has his 3 year old moments, he is three after all, but we have more good days than bad now.

Wash is still a pretty wonderful newborn, sleeping and eating night and day away. He is such a different eater than Gideon; we are just starting to get into our groove. I love having a nurseling again. His legs have fattened up enough to start wearing his cloth diapers, thank goodness, and I am very happy about that as well.

Being momma to two boys has been interesting so far and I expect it will continue to be even more interesting as they both get older.

I snapped this last weekend when Ries and Wash took a snooze on the couch.

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