free falling

18 months and Climbing

I was sitting in the chair with my phone while Eddie watched Curious George before bed.

Out of the corner of my eye, I saw Charlie sneaking behind the coffee table on my left. Of course I don’t think anything of it…other than perhaps in about two minutes I would be changing a dirty diaper…and I keep concentrating on Words With Friends (I mean, what do you do with 3 A’s, 2 I’s, a T and a J?).

Suddenly, there was a curly-haired stage diver dead-weight free-falling onto my lap.

Charlie had climbed up next to me on the table, stood up, and let himself “trust fall” (face forward) at me faster than I could say, “Hey, we don’t climb on tables.”  In fact, I think I only got out the, “hey we d–” part before he was plummeting toward my lap.

“BIRD! WHAT ARE YOU DOING?” I gasped, sure that he was milliseconds away from crying since I was pretty sure his head hit the chair arm and his gut landed squarely on my elbow.

He rolled off me onto the floor in a fit of giggles.

His too-long hair (“He looks like a dirty hippy,” Cort is always saying), was flopped into his eyes and his right foot was not in the footsie part of his jammies. He was sprawled out on his back at my feet, and he was laughing his crazy little head off.

I just stared at him.  O_O

“Eddie. Did you just see that?”

“Yup. Bird is crazy, mom.”

“Cort, did YOU see that?”

“I caught the tail end of it,” he said shaking his head.

“Charles Thomas,” I sternly said as I stood him up to look at me, “we do NOT climb on the furniture like that! It’s dangerous! You could’ve gotten seriously hurt!”

He furrowed his brow and pouted his lips and shook his little finger at me.

“NO NO NO!”

I shook my head. “That’s right. No, no.”

“NOOOO. No. NO!” He said sternly to me.  And with that he bent down, collected his Pipey and his Puppy, and rubbed his eye with the back of his chubby little fist.

Then he turned and flung his face to my lap and made some tired sounds, “mmmm ma ma ma mmmm”.

I scooped him up into my lap where he pressed his face into mine and shook his head.  That is his way of cuddling. Of showing you he wants to hunker down and be your cuddle buddy for a while.

He is my fearless child.

He will climb anything, heights be damned.

He may fall a time or two, but he doesn’t dwell on it by crying, and he the fall doesn’t keep him from doing it again.

He trusts completely that we will catch him, and if we don’t, no big deal.

But if we do, he smiles with his whole face…his whole body even.

And his laugh fills the room.

18 months

closeness vs cuddles

A tired Eddie at 6 months with a tired Mommy

Can we talk about sleep for a minute?

I am happy to say that for the most part, I have birthed good sleepers.

Both boys were “sleeping through the night” by all definitions by about 2 months.  (I know, I am a VERY lucky girl. This fact does not escape me).

That is where their sleeping similarities end.

I thought Eddie was a cuddler. I mean, he was my first and I had nothing to compare him to, but he really REALLY didn’t want to sleep alone. Ever.

The nightly routine

Naps were fairly non-existent for Eddie until he was older. He wouldn’t sleep longer than 20 minutes by himself in bed or the swing or anywhere.  And night time was the biggest battle ever.  It was like his crib had giant teeth and sharp talons that might shred him to bits if he let himself get comfortable and fall asleep.

It was the nightly routine for someone to cuddle him up until he fell asleep.

Then it was always a crap shoot as to whether he would wake up once and need rocking back to sleep or 700 times.  On really bad nights, one of us would take him to the couch and sleep there for the majority of the night with him all balled up on our chests.

But he was really was a good sleeper.  The bad nights were exceptions to the rule.  Most nights were were blessed with a sacked out little guy…once we could get him that way.

And he just wanted to be held. Always.

We had a cuddley baby, right?

Apparently not.

Well, not compared to his baby brother.

even in a winter coat, Eddie did “airplane arms”

It took until Eddie was well over a year old before he reached for anyone. He would shout and scream when he wanted to be picked up, but he would NOT put his arms out toward anyone.  And once held, he did NOT hold on.  In fact, he sort of had an aversion to his hands touching people.  He would do what we called “airplane arms” when held: thrust his arms straight out at his sides or slightly back, like he was avoiding you.

He wanted the comfort of being held (all the dang time), but did not cuddle into the hold.

The Bird and his daddy.

From Day One Charlie was different.  He didn’t need to be held to sleep at all, but he adored the cuddles.

When we were in the hospital, I would take him out of his little plastic baby aquarium cart thing and put him in my bed with me.  He would turn his face into me and sigh. Every time.

This boy had the mommy-wooing thing down pat right from the start.

first person he started reaching for? Eddie, of course.

Charlie has always napped well.  When he is tired? He sleeps. Or he lets you know he wants to sleep so you’ll put him in his bed–yes, the same bed that Eddie was convinced would injure him, Charlie adores and falls right to sleep in.

At night, Charlie just goes to sleep.  We put him in bed, maybe rock him for a bit if he is overtired and needs help, but usually it’s just to bed, end of story.  He rarely wakes up in the night unless he is having a growth spurt that requires a middle of the night feeding.

And he definitely loves the cuddles.

Could have done this in his bed, but we both like the cuddling better.

Charlie has been reaching for Eddie for over a month now.  And recently he started reaching for Cort and me when he wants to be picked up or held.

I just need a quick hug, daddy.

Charlie will lay his head down and hold us when he is tired or needs a buddy.  Eddie never did this.

At night, Eddie would still rather have a friend lie near his bed or in bed with him until he falls asleep.  He won’t cuddle up, but it makes him feel safer while succumbing to his exhausted body and mind to have someone he trusts near.

Charlie will take a cuddle any time he can get them, but doesn’t require them for comfort or safety the way his older brother needs us.

Classic Charlie: roll to side, pass out

They are so similar, yet so different.

One needs closeness for comfort, the other enjoys cuddles for coziness.

Eddie gives us hugs now, but on his own terms.

Charlie will give anyone who smiles at him a good nuzzle.

One thing is for sure: Both of our boys love fiercely.  And that makes me very happy.

“like”

It’s funny what opening up your soul and letting your feelings vomit all over your blog will do for your mental well-being.  After writing through this lonely feeling I have been having, I have purged the yuck and replaced it with hope and joy and fun.

If these things were listed on facebook?  I would click the thumbs up and “like” them all…

the smell of Charlie’s head right after a bath

all the extra hugs and cuddles Eddie gives me lately.  It’s like he can’t get close enough.

newborn grunts…even when they are producing poo.

taking Charlie out on almost-daily adventures.

the way Cort can fit his arms all the way around me now that I am not pregnant.

the first taste of coffee in the morning.

baseball season.

watching Eddie bound for the mailbox with his daddy each day they come home.

the way Charlie prefers to sleep with a buddy, and that he prefers that buddy to be me.

listening to music all day instead of having the idiot box TV on in the background.

the way Eddie’s curls stand up all over the morning after bath night.

the absence of depression and anxiety.

Charlie’s awake times when we lay on the floor together and coo.

the occasional Starbucks run during the week.

being present in the moment.

the little noises Charlie makes when he is getting ready to wake up.

Eddie’s voice each day saying, “Hi mommy!” when he first walks through the door after being away from me all day.

Charlie’s man-toots.

the way Eddie rushes to see “Baby Cha-wee” immediately after greeting me each afternoon.

Target runs.

reading blogs each morning…even if I can’t comment because my arms are full of baby.

the way Charlie turns in towards me when he is trying to fall asleep.

catching Cort checking me out.

smelling baby on me when I am not home with the baby.

the way Eddie can’t get his face close enough to Charlie.

5-hour stretches in between night feedings.

that moment when Charlie’s breath and mine meet and we both surrender to sleep.

Cort reaching for me and rubbing my back as I fall back in bed at 5am.

making time for a hot shower each day.

writing.

how attractive fatherhood looks on my husband.

naps.

giving myself permission to just hold a baby and drift in and out of sleep with the ball game on TV.

being productive.

accomplishing nothing.

this:

oh and this:

click photo for credit

(hat by CUTEure Creations, which you CAN “like” on facebook)

Life is so beautiful.

Thank you all for reminding me and bearing with me while I worked to find the beauty again.

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