I do still have the two children, although Petra has been getting more airplay lately on this blog. The reason for that is that Silas is going through a lot of stages right now, none of which lend themselves to being blogged, particularly.
The first, and funniest, one is that he’s going through a nudist phase. His skin is so desperate for sunlight after the long winter, he wants to expose it all and catch as much as he can. Although I’ve taken a few pictures, they are not circulating–I don’t put pantsless pictures of my children (or anyone else, come to think of it) online past age 1.
Secondly, he’s very into reading, but he does a weird ritual around it. He takes a little toy or sticker or something like that, and holds it over the illustrations. He’s very methodical about it, moving with serious deliberation from one character to the next. He makes it look like Little Bear has a Darth Vader head, and then does the same to Mother Bear, for example. Or he puts tiny swords in their hands. I really have to get a picture of this, because it is interesting, but he stops when he notices that I’m paying any attention. He will do this for very long periods, and it’s hard to photograph.
Third, he has a number of irrational fears. I know that it’s normal at this age, but it GETS OLD. How many times do I have to explain that he is too big to blow away? Also big fear of water, and, apparently, llamas (yes, I asked if he meant “lamas,” which are much less common in these parts, but he meant “llamas.” If a one-l lama is a guru and a 2-l llama is an animal, what’s a 3-l lama? A massive fire in Boston. nvm). Anyway, it’s hard to photograph him when I’m busy holding him and trying to calm his terror. As far as writing without pictures, in this case, there’s not much to say. He’s scared. We acknowledge his fears as real. We hope they will end soon.
Fourth, oh the tantrums. Oh my. Why can’t I take the toast that is in ten pieces and turn it into nine (eating one just enrages him further)? Why can’t I understand that he wants to listen to The Wizard of Oz soundtrack AND Peter and the Wolf simultaneously. On one iPod. NO DON’T GET YOUR IPOD I WANT IT ON MY IPOD! Apparently this is normal for this age–one of the other preschool moms told me that HER three-year-old threw a tantrum because she (the mom) refused to eat the sandwich she had already eaten. One of the preschool dads said that his three kids had pretty well skipped the “terrible twos,” but had a really rough time with three. It’s nice to know that this is normal, but that doesn’t make it any less grating. All I can do is respond with firm calmness and wait for his cognition to develop. Oh, and find people on the internet who totally get it. It’s funny how this is helping me understand my parents. My dad used to threaten to send me to “nursery military boarding school.” Now I understand why he would say that. I remember when I was a kid, I thought it was a real thing. The other day, I googled it just to make sure I wasn’t missing out on a great opportunity for Silas…
Fifth and last, there’s also a bit of a defiant stage going on. The other day, my in-laws where here. I asked Silas to put something (that he shouldn’t have had anyway) away in the shed. He threw it on the ground and gave me essentially the look I’ve captured in the top picture. This happens several times each day right now. My mother-in-law said, “Oh, he’s in that stage, is he? They all go through that.” I’m assuming by “all,” she means her four children. He certainly didn’t get it from my side of the family.
(We’re more sneaky than openly defiant.)
I hate to be all “woe is Mom,” as my friend Greta brilliantly put it, so I just let that stuff be–unless I’ve had a breakthrough or am absolutely at the end of my rope. I sometimes wonder if I’m editing my life for this blog, but I just hate whining. We do have some successes. The fear of the wind and general agoraphobia are much milder than they were. He’s started exploring on his own more.
We even manage to have fun every day. Being able to go outside helps. Being patient helps (a little). Taking a deep breath helps.
Other than that, sometimes I just want to lie down and scream “HELP.”
And then he helps.