The little man is rapidly closing in on his seventh month of life and when people inquire about my kids' ages, I have started referring to the proximity to the big guy's second birthday ('two in March') rather than spouting out 20-something month numbers... Which is, let's face it, just confusing and leaves most non-parents either lost momentarily in mental-math hell and/or feeling totally annoyed.
I still feel the need to quantify the little guy's preemie status when people are looking quizzically at my 11 pound seven-month-old, but the oldest is comfortably caught up to the size and (average) developmental status of his full-term peers. This is largely due to his enormous and seemingly insatiable appetite...inherited from his mother no doubt.
If you follow my Facebook feed, you know that sleep is a relative scarcity in our house. Apparently, seven months of living is just not enough to fully appreciate the true beauty of a full night of sleep. Still, things are generally improving and that precious eight hours of uninterrupted sleep seems to be looming somewhere on the horizon--between here and the spring thaw.
Meanwhile, my favorite part of being a mother to two under the age of two is watching my boys begin to interact with one another.
The little guy is quite often fixated on the antics of his big brother. He will sit and gaze, eyes wide, drinking in the absurd chaos and general mayhem that is involved with toddler play.
He will stare unblinking as his brother darts around the living room gathering up various objects redistributing them in such a way that may defy all logic to the casual onlooker, but apparently makes perfect sense to him, based on his furrowed brow and deliberate movements.
Likewise, the toddler seems to take an occasional (though generally fleeting) interest in the infant. He can occasionally be found offering 'soft touches' -- which are open-handed pats -- awkwardly to the top of his brother's head or thigh...or face. He will supply a pacifier and even shove it (with a bit more force than necessary) squarely in the baby's mouth, smile, sigh with satisfaction and resume his tireless galavanting.
About a month ago, we began supplementing the baby's diet with oatmeal and various other solid foods. Happily, the little guy has become quite taken with the idea of ingesting gloppy mash from a spoon, and I generally find myself twisting two fingers together in hopes that we will be blessed with two relatively un-picky eaters. Sadly, the solids didn't magically trigger the preferred circadian sleeping patterns in our fussy night owl, a theory vehemently supported by the generation ahead of mine (all of whom I suspect don't accurately remember their children's infancies and also seem to believe that most infant issues are best resolved by a bottle or bowl of rice cereal)
I was concerned that the toddler would take offense to his little brother's invasion of one of his favorite places in the world (his high chair), but on the contrary, he seemed happy to share. He will occasionally even climb onto our laps during meal times and insist on helping with the feeding process (by way of pointing and grunting like a Neanderthal until we un-hand the spoon). It is almost as if he is finally finding a common bond with his little brother: Oh, so...uh, you eat too? We should totally OD on bananas together sometime.
I joke that soon enough they'll be conspiring against us. Probably, the universe is smiling when I make comments like that. Yup, get your laughs in now lady...while you still can.