(Thanks to Arun at The Parenting Pit for this great writing idea!)
What they are saying:
M: “I’m not a boy. I’m a superhero!”
J: “Boobies are good for me.” “No kisses. Just hugs.” “It’s not a tushie. It’s a butt.”
What they love doing:
M: Playing with superheros. Watching superhero movies. Telling his sister what to do, and getting frustrated when she wants to do it her own way. Reclaiming his spot in the family bed, and loving the cuddling. Inventing new superpower abilities and being absolutely convinced that he has them. Using Google PicLens to look at all sorts of pictures of his favorite interests: sharks, dinosaurs, dragons, Easter Island, and Nudibranches. Gymnastics.
J: Cuddling with Arp and I. Nursing hourly. Watching Scooby Doo. Listening to us read ghost stories, especially her “scary book” from the library. Playing in the sandbox. Creating nests in the top bunk with stuffed animals and her brother. Shouting out the names of the characters, along with M, at the beginning of the Justice League episodes. Debating which superhero is her favorite, and reminding me of the real names of each superhero. Going over all the names that everyone goes by (Daddy is also Arp, is also Arpy….Mum is also Mommy, is also Trish, is also Trisha…). Mixing up all the tempera paints until they look like mud, and then swirling in more color. Painting herself.
What I am loving about them:
M: How he has taken on the superhero persona and gotten this amazing confidence. He has none of the fear or shyness that I had for so long as a child. He believes that he can do amazing things! It’s so inspiring that I’m beginning to think that I can too.
J: She is just so darn cuddly and loving. We really care about each other, and it is so wonderful to have that relationship with my daughter.
Some of their quirks:
M: There are so many things that he wants to do all by himself (opening car doors, putting the ovaltine in his milk, velcroing his sneakers…) and yet there are some things that I absolutely have to do for him, like helping him get on his pullup at night, or his socks in the morning. His preferences as to who does each thing seem to have no rhyme or reason, they just are, and they are absolute.
J: She just loves to be naked. I know many little kids do, but she does it with such wild abandon that even I am sometimes amazed. The way she will throw off her clothes and then run out the door and across the yard so fast that it is all I can do to peek outside and see a glimpse of her tush streaking by. The days when I could be that free were so long ago, and I hope to prolong it for a while for J.
What I want to remember from today:
The talk I had with M about his impressions of New York City. The comfortable and safe feel of nursing J and reading to her. J’s happiness when she wakes up and sees her Daddy for the first time each morning and takes his hand. Rolling over in bed and seeing M awake and smiling at me, knowing that he is happy and trusting of me since he happily came back to the family bed, to welcoming arms.