He’s two. He’s two.
He is my baby, my youngest. He is my most affectionate child. He was my most exhausting newborn. He is walking and running and climbing and talking, and he is now two years old. I still haven’t caught up on my sleep, but he seems to be doing just fine.
I love him beyond reason, beyond measure. I joke (okay, it’s not a joke, but I have to make it sound like a joke, or else I’m just complaining) that having that third kid is what tipped me over the edge, life-wise. Everything resembling organization and routine unraveled and fell apart after Cian entered our world. We are officially in survival mode, and quite honestly, I can’t tell you how well I’m even managing that. Those of my friends out there who are about to add on to your families–more specifically, entering into a reality where there will be more tiny offspring than parents living in your household–let me just do what few others did for me and warn you, straight-up: life is about to get nuts. Like, out of control. Bonkers. In case I’m not clear enough, just hear me: YOU ARE ABOUT TO LOSE YOUR MIND AND NEVER FIGURE OUT WHERE YOU PUT IT.
But also…the love. The love, the love, the love. There is so much of it in this house. There is so much of it in my heart. And if Cian will be the last biological child–and he is--well. What a hell of a bang to go out on.
Here’s a little of what life is like with two-year-old Cian now:
His favorite toy in the world is a train. He loves to be read to. He wants to be picked up, taken places. He will sit at the kitchen table, arriving before anyone else, and rest his head on his crossed arms as he waits for food at mealtimes.
He says “Bless you!” when somebody sneezes.
His walk is a loping one. He has the swagger of a high school sports star, and the aimless wander of the baby of the family.
He learned how to say his Uncle Paulie’s name, which he uses to address his Aunt Sarah: “WALLLL-ee!”
For many, many months, everyone he loved was called “Ma.”
He was recently so overwhelmed to see me come back from a few hours out of the house that he giggled, then burst into tears.
He speaks in full sentences now, calling us each by name, but there are still a few favorite words that are his favorites, said solo, because they’re all he needs:
“Up,” said while standing directly in front of us, arms raised. He’ll add in some good manners (“Peees?”) if he sees us hesitate. I don’t know why we ever hesitate.
“Mom.” Said all the time. ALL THE TIME.
“THO-mah.” That’s Thomas the Tank Engine, which he more or less inherited from his biggest sister.
“”Doh.” That’s his word for “car.” And I just realized that he grew up hearing the girls’ call David’s car “Dinoco” (from Cars), and now I’m wondering if that’s not where he got it.
When someone tells him “no,” he bursts into tears, then comes running to me for comfort for a minute. He’ll obey the person who tells him no, but boy do those feelings get hurt. I am the only one of his parents who finds this trait endearing.
He still doesn’t sleep well. He very rarely naps. He still assumes that he will be held and rocked before bedtime (which he is, of course, because last baby). He wakes up in the middle of the night with a wet diaper, and even at three in the morning, wails with the most indignant drama if he isn’t cuddled a bit longer before being put back to bed.
He can’t stand having a dirty diaper, will flick his fingers at the zipper of his pajamas, his mouth turned down in distaste: “Di-puuh. Ew.”
“Mahm! Mahm! MAHHHHHHMMMM!” His voice is the bray of a goat. His cry is exactly the same as Quinlan’s. So, two goats.
I emailed a friend the other day–she has three boys, all around the same ages of my kiddos. And I told her–I said, look, don’t want to get all gender-stereotype-y, or “oh my gosh, he’s such a BOY,” but I don’t remember my girls running headlong into furniture for fun. I don’t recall them ever hurling themselves to the ground, throwing themselves onto rugs and pillows, rolling around saying, “Whoa! Whoa! Whoa!” I didn’t tell her that I do remember the girls at that age running circles around the kitchen island, or using the ottoman as a trampoline, but there wasn’t that…violence to it that there is in Cian’s play. That roughness, or reckless abandon. And I asked my friend, is it normal for tiny boys to run around the house like a cat does when she goes crazy, sliding into walls and racing off again like they’re possessed? Instantly, I had her response:
“Oh. my. gawd,” she said. “They never STOP.”
The trio of the kiddos are home this morning, off school for the holiday break, playing in the dining-room-turned-play area across the way from where I sit now. They play beside each other and with each other, Cian actively watching everything his big sisters do. I see him take it in, practice it on his own, mimic them in voice and action. He has so many people after whom he will model himself. And yet, I’m really digging the person he is right now.
“Hey, Mom!” Cian just ran into the room where I’m typing this and edged around the corner of my desk. He wrapped his arms around my waist, lay his head against my side just for a moment, then ran away again, looking back once with the kind of smile only a two-year-old would give: tiny, flopping, completely genuine. The baby is gone, replaced by this little boy looking back at me. He is my last-born, my third.
And he is magic.
I was on the phone with my mom the other day, laughing about my parenting…
The girls and I are sitting on the couch, talking about…food. It’…