Not a lot of Time for Ruminations

Blogging happens on the long stretches of road from there to here, or in the held breaths behind camera shots. Blogging happens in the quiet mind’s reflection or recollection.

Blogging, therefore, does not happen easily when knee-deep in toddlers. Yes, there are actually only two of them; barely enough to be considered a flood, but they move around a lot, which makes them seem like a surrounding force. Between dancing to nursery rhymes and acting as goalie to keep a determined baby head from seeking out the brick hearth, all thought gets wiped from my mind. A good thing, perhaps: most of the time, I think way too much, anyway. So, I am liberated from blog-thought, and blog-camera, and usually anything but the present, as little kids are mostly in the now.

I’m reduced to babbling. Quinn has taught me this. When he’s sated with pureed peas, turkey, and carrots, and all his bits of finger-food have disappeared beneath his soft fingers that grasp so purposefully, like deliberate sea anemones, he puts those same fingers into his mouth to make mouth music and frowns if I don’t take the cue. Finger to lips, I bubble a saucy scat song, and am rewarded by a stellar baby smile. Noah always clucked deep, fascinating noises to Skye when she was a baby and now, I know why. This is the language of the house.

Skye is quick and lively, and each night, I watch her wheels begin to turn as she feels the day ending and the tired creeping in. Our presence has definitely disrupted the routine of the household with our projects and funny little dog. There’s happy excitement in the air, but something brittle there too, that could break into toddler frustration over needing something but having no communicable word for what it is.

William Saroyan told it best in one of his short stories, when a little boy wanted something from his grocer father in Fresno, CA. With increasing emotion and frustration, the child rebuffed all offerings, and by process of rejection, they finally arrived at ‘cookies with raisins in’. In Skye’s case, it’s ‘grown-ups with Skye in’: to remain amidst the grown-ups, who are unfortunately tired and hungry and waiting for the collective ‘Ahhh’ of having all children tucked in with all needs met and for a wee bit of grown-up time over a late dinner.

Still, the flip side of this toddler hood is the welcoming smiles as we show up like a bedraggled circus at her door; the sweet snuggle into our sides for a story; the ineffably sweet hug or kiss before bedtime, the triumphant ‘ta-daa!’ after a skillful somersault (she’s a natural athlete); her memory of a story or something shared, when we thought she wasn’t even paying attention. Her imagination is an absolute delight. I mean, where else could I get ‘chocolate tea’ poured into my a cloth cup, and then watermelon tea?

Unlike the general concept of No. 2 trying harder, the No. 1 child has to try harder, as a baby simply needs to grin and burble to effect an eclipse. Naturally, when he retires for the evening, the empty stage is tempting. Noah and Josh were 5 years apart in age, which made a big difference. In the quiet of the ePod, I find my singleton self caught in ruminations about the destiny of birth order. Good-night moon-baby Quinn, good-night Skye.

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