Thursday, August 5, 2010

Piley Bot

Silas Park...

Siley Pie...

Siley Pot...

Piley Bot.

The evolution of a nonsensical nickname.


I spend my days searching these big eyes. I'm clue hunting, is what I'm doing. Who are you, really? What do you think of all of this? Of us?

He's a mystery, this one. Numbers one and two arrived at more impressionable ages. Let's just say "impressionable" isn't the word that springs to mind with Siley. He is given to irrational fits of toddler angst, far beyond the scope of that which I've experienced before. (And I've experienced his sister, just for the record, so that's saying something.)

For roughly 60% of his day, he believes that his world is unjust.

I wrote the following yesterday in an email to friends,

"And in between cleaning, I'm lamenting the sad state of my perennials (I want to send them all to the guillotine) and putting Silas in time-out and deflecting Silas's hitting and ignoring Silas's screaming and telling Silas to NOT drag his wooden high-chair around the house like a pull-toy and telling Silas to NOT play with the fan and suggesting to Silas that he NOT stick a mechanical pencil into an electrical outlet.
I'm plum. Wore. Out."

He slays me daily with his infinite cuteness. And his smell! He is the best smelling baby this side of the equator.

But beyond the cuteness and the heart-bursting, always and no-matter-what love I hold for him, there is also the drama. Oh Law, the drama.

I have to remind myself, as I have always had to do, that this stage will pass. I remember knowing with all certainty that Calvin would be trucking off to Kindergarten with a new backpack, 2 glue sticks, a 16-count box of Crayolas and a pacifier.

Sure enough, school starts next week and the pacie is but a hazy memory.

I lament that we have to spend so much time redirecting, correcting, negotiating, when all I want us to do is wrap up in the ugly blue blanket and rub our noses together. I worry sometimes that he thinks his flights got mixed up and he accidentally ended up at boot camp, where even the other smallish inmates are pretty bossy.

About a month ago I began a new routine with him. Each night, we sit in the rocking chair and I say, "Silas, Mommy needs to tell you something." Brown eyes locked, I continue, "Mommy and Daddy will never leave you." The first several times I said this, he burst into tears. Now, he just sort of whimpers. I finish by saying, "We will always be your Mommy and Daddy. We will always love you and take care of you." Every single night, I get to the end and he laughs. And then? We rub our noses together.

I know these long-day stretches will soon veer off to quieter back-roads. I know in one year, six months, things will be easier. Or at least, they will be different.

What I have to remind myself is that I don't want to miss a single moment of this. I don't want to take my eyes off of him while he learns to trust that our boundaries spell out love. I want to catch every one of the moments that he looks up at me all sparkly eyed, his little overbite charming me to the ends of the earth.

He is learning this week to hold our hand when we walk somewhere. For now, we're focusing on walking hands-clasped from the kitchen to the living room. Toddler steps. It's fascinating, the things a little person can not know. He does not want to give up any control. He must feel safest when he's calling the shots. He has protested this with every known form of baby ammo. But we are not giving up and I could swear I felt his tiny fingers hold back today - just a little.

The day will come when he will run to me and grab my hand without even thinking about it. He'll do it because it's second nature to him. Because of all the hands in the world, ours are the ones he wants most. We make him feel safe.

The day will come.