Before Jedidiah was born 13 months ago, I used to see little boys running around at the speed of light, climbing furniture like chimpanzees and banging on things for no reason.
I used to see them fighting, yelling and jumping and I would roll my eyes when their moms would inform me, “Oh, he’s just being a boy. Boys will be boys, you know.”
“Yeah, right!” I would think to myself. “If I ever have a boy, he will never act like that! I never even had to baby-proof the house with any of my girls!”
Alas, the irony of my own predictions has struck yet again.
Don’t get me wrong. I love my baby boy. He means the world to me! But here is a sampling of what he’s doing to drive me nuts (so far):
He wakes up before anyone else and proceeds to smack the bluebird music box on the side of his crib with the palm of his hand - BANG! Bang BANG! Bang! - over and over until I come in to get him. He grins up at me with his little moon-shaped face and big blue eyes, all cute and unassuming.
He is thrilled to have a new day! He is thrilled to be alive! He pulls on the crib rails and stands up on wobbly legs to reach for me. Only then do I see that he has somehow yanked off his pants, his socks and lost his diaper. He is thrilled to be naked!
I love mornings with him before everyone else is awake. Even though he's wiggly, I can usually buy some butt-wiping time by handing him the little cat figurine from the shelf above the changing table (if his hands are free, he feels compelled to stick them in poop.)
When we snuggle together in the rocking chair, I love the way he nuzzles his little fuzzy head down between my neck and my shoulder...we cuddle under his cozy blue and yellow ducky blanket and nurse and rock and usually I sing him a song or two. He smiles and coos at me then reaches up to poke one finger in my eye and the other up my nose.
And this is the calm before the storm.
He's VERY impatient for his breakfast, so as soon as he is done, he slides down my legs into the floor and he is gone. If I happen to look away for two seconds, then I’ll be all over the house looking for him, calling out “Jed! Jeddy!” as if he's going to say, “Hey Mom! In here!”
Over the next several hours (until the arrival of glorious naptime), I may find him enjoying one of his favorite pastimes:
Making Cheerio soup by mixing his cereal with the water in his sippy cup
Sneaking dog food out of the bowl and cramming it into his mouth
Crawling up the stairs, full-steam ahead, laughing and looking back over his shoulder
Sticking his hand in the toilet and swirling it all around
Throwing food all over the floor and rubbing the leftovers into his hair
Opening cabinets to pull everything out and dump it on the floor
Hammering any object he can find with his little wooden hammer (including glass doors)
Opening the kitchen trash can so he can rummage around in it then get his fingers stuck when the lid closes
Pulling books, CDs, movies and anything else on a shelf off the shelf
Turning on the bathtub faucet so he can splash water everywhere
Tearing up his sisters’ artwork, craft projects, dollhouse, Polly Pockets, ponies, dress-up clothes – you name it
Climbing up on the bathtub, the bed, the chairs, the play kitchen counter – anywhere he can gain a foothold
Getting stuck under the table, the kitchen chairs, the desk, the coffee table – anywhere he will fit
I know that these are not terrible things; sometimes they may even be deemed cute things. They are not, however, things that I’ve ever had to deal with before. It’s exhausting!
I guess it’s a good thing he’s my youngest, though; if I’d had him first, I would’ve probably been way too tired to have any other kids.
Much to my dismay (and former disbelief), apparently boys WILL be boys.