Wednesday, August 17, 2016

He's (Always) on the Move

My day starts like most people who've got a couple little kids I'd bet.

The alarm goes off and I fight it for as long as possible before finally relenting, rolling out of bed and beginning my day. It usually starts the same way it ends, with a quick check on the boys.

Wake up time and eating time elicit similarly
happy responses.
I go to the New Little Guy's room because more often than not, I can hear that he's up. Most days he's sitting up in his crib just squeaking, squealing and chattering away giving notice that he's awake.

When I crack open his door, I'll observe him on his own for a moment or two then I'll make a noise to draw his attention.

Invariably, he'll turn his head and smile and instantaneously wash away my early morning malaise. After all, when a kid greets you like that, you've got to at least pretend to be chipper.

In short order, I'll retrieve the guy from his crib, he'll pat my back with his closed hand as if to say, "Let's go old man, I've got things to do."

In no time at all I am indeed a little more chipper, no need to pretend.

Next up is The Boy and this is more of a crap shoot.

Some mornings he too is wearing an ear-to-ear grin while others he'll pull the covers over his face and say to me, "Would you like to leave you alone now?"

First-person, second-person confusion notwithstanding, his message is pretty clear: "Dad, leave me alone."

Just as frequently he's smiling and quick to suggest we go downstairs and make breakfast.

After these exchanges the routine loosens. I'll often head back to my room with the little guy. I'll play with him on the bed for a bit before realizing far more time has passed than I'd thought.

Sometimes The Boy quietly reads a book as we
we get ready. Other times he dances on
 the couch with his gigantic zucchini. 
Then Mrs. Blackwell and I begin the mad dash getting ourselves and a combination of the boys ready for the day ahead.

Outfits must be assembled.

Coffee must be brewed.

Lunches must be made and, somewhere in there, I've got to take a shower, as does Mrs. Blackwell.

In the midst of the madness the boy will often do his own thing; he'll sit on mom and dad's bed and play with a book or magnetic letters and, while the world swirls about him, the New Little Guy decides that he too wants to take part.

His goals however are not so multi-pronged as his parents'.

In fact, his goal is singular: whenever mom and dad aren't looking, get to the stairs as quickly as possible.

He's nine months old and while he can climb stairs, he's not equipped to descend them. And while we've got a baby gate at the bottom of the stairs, for a variety of reasons, we don't have one at the top.

So, we just have to be aware because he's clearly taken it as a deeply personal challenge to get to the stairs. It's to the point that, if Mrs. Blackwell or I catch him before he's made it, he'll accelerate his pace to a full-sprint crawl in the hopes that he'll outpace us.

It's equal parts hilarious and terrifying to watch your baby's chubby little legs and arms hustle as fast as they can toward a flight of stairs.

Caught! Moments before his next foray into
the shower.  
To combat this, we've taken to putting the New Little Guy on the floor in our bedroom — with the door closed — when we're showering or otherwise busy. He can crawl around in there while we do our thing and he's never a half-second out of sight.

So there are no stairs to concern us when he's confined to the bedroom but, God bless the little guy, that doesn't mean there isn't a way for him to keep the proceedings interesting.

Because he likes to be near the action, he's taken to staying in the bathroom while I shower.

He'll tug on the shower curtain and prop himself up on the tub. It's actually a further convenience for me because he's that much closer to me and that much further from trouble, or so I thought.

Earlier this week he negated this sense of security.

As I stood in the shower struggling to make myself presentable for the outside world, I closed my eyes and enjoyed the warm water for just a moment. That moment was — apparently — far too long.

When opened my eyes, the shower curtain was no longer fluttering under the little guy's grip. Instead the inside clear curtain fluttered inward toward me.

My gaze fell immediately to the shower floor and just as it did, I saw the little guy gently slide down into the tub with his big, blonde head leading the way.

When all else fails an orange Slinky provides about 30
seconds of distraction before he's again
trying to crawl into the tub. 
There was no thud. It was more like someone had slipped a wet fish over the edge of the tub and let its weight guide it down and through.

His upper body carried him clear through to the other side of the tub and the slick surface provided momentum enough for him to glide and rotate smoothly onto his back. I'm pretty sure the water didn't so much as ripple around his chubby, cherubic form.

My first reaction was a mixture of reflexive fear and shock. And, if the look on the little guy's face was any indication, he was equally shocked himself.

In a moment his eyes shifted, narrowed and his mouth started to turn downward. It seemed to me that he knew he'd bitten off a bit more than he could chew and with his bed time shirt and a — thankfully — fresh diaper getting soaked, he was getting less comfortable by the moment.

I got his clothes off, cut my losses and decided to continue the shower with the little guy in tow. Naturally, he agreed with that decision.

So, there we were taking an impromptu shower together. Me getting later for work by the moment and he, once again, grinning ear to ear pleased as punch to be part of the action.

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