Friday, February 16, 2007

Weepy, curious, talkative, tasty, fishy and stubborn business

I’ve planned all week to post a million little Noah tidbits for me to remember and to keep the interested up to date. But it’s hard to start that post because today I had a major Mama meltdown. As I’ve mentioned before I haven’t yet dropped our naptime nursing because on those occasions when I’ve made an attempt to put Noah down for a nap without nursing him to sleep, he’s not slept at all. And today was another one of those. After over an hour and a half of Noah being in his crib, talking, jumping, asking to be let out – I gave up, took him out of the crib, and started crying. And I couldn’t stop. I was crying because I can’t seem to reach a solution and it seems like he’ll never nap without “Boppy.” I was crying because I was tired, emotionally and physically and I needed a nap. And I was crying because no matter how much it’s gonna suck making this change whether it means no nap or not, that stopping nursing my baby boy means he’s one step closer to moving out. And then I was crying because yesterday a woman at playgroup told me that upon having her second child the bond with her first child was changed immediately forever. And then I was crying because I was sitting on the floor weeping uncontrollably in front of my very sensitive and quite concerned two year old. So you can see, I’m a bit of an emotional mess today. A chubby one at that. With acne.

And now the boy. If you know Mark at all you know that he’s smart guy, but more than that he has an unquenchable thirst for knowledge. In fact it seems he doesn’t’ feel like he can make a fully informed decision about anything because there is always more to know. It’s both noble and self-defeating. So it’s no surprise that Noah already wants to know EVERYTHING. He’s constantly questioning. If you use a word he doesn’t know he’ll ask you to define it. If you’re up to something he needs to know your agenda. If you pass someone on the street he wants to know who they are, where they are going and where is their Mama. A couple of weeks ago we were at my Mom’s place and Noah started in on my Mom’s fiancé with the royal inquisition. The poor guy was on his way out the door with a trash bag and Noah railed him with “What’s in bag? Where are you going? What is dumpster? You coming back?” and Larry just stood there with a quizzical and lost look on his face as if to say “Can I go yet?” This is par for the course. Here are a few things Noah has recently asked me to define: What is close? What is sausage? What is poop? What is exhausted? What is snow? What is June? What is hospital? What makes coffee?

Noah is a master of role playing. He’ll say to me “You are Lisey. I am Hunter. Daddy is Aunt Jess.” Or “I am Pa Joe. You are Oma.” He also loves to make all the toys talk to each other. A typical bath time ritual is for Noah to put his blue tractor on the bath tub ledge in front of a plastic moose and say “Mama, make Moose talk.” And then proceed to say in a deeper voice (because tractors are very manly) “Hello Moose. What doing?” What follows is a long and involved exchange which could be about any number of things – the Disney magic trick he saw in the Thanksgiving parade, the tractor’s job as a counter at BJ’s, or the jazzy train songs that Erin Flynn sang at the Please Touch Museum. I’m always baffled by the things that that tractor can come up with. The interplay is a million times better when it’s Mark’s turn at bath time – his moose is a far superior conversationalist.

I’m sure I’ve mentioned how much Noah loves to be in the kitchen. Our kitchen is the most used room in our house. It’s a nice sized room so we tend to just hang out in there and we have a storage unit in there that actually houses most of Noah’s toys. But aside from that Noah just loves to cook. He likes to help make cookies, pizza, chili – anything I will let him help out with. And when he’s not being my sous chef, he’s at work prepping his own meals. He’s got quite an array of plastic culinary treats and he knows how to use them. And he’s not afraid of using daring combinations for unexpected flavor profiles – he’s a regular molecular gastronomist. He’d be the first to tell you “I’m a good cooker and a chef!”

On Monday we went to the Camden Aquarium with our friends Wendy and Victor. Little Victor is nursing a major fish fascination and is fast on his way to becoming a marine biologist. Noah really loved the aquarium – but his enjoyment was much more like “Cool. Pretty red fish.” The funniest thing was that he constantly asked me to reassure him that the fish could not touch him. This was most pronounced in the shark tunnel. When a shark swum over his head I felt him tense up so I asked “Are you done with this now?” and he said “I’m done with this now - I’m done with this now - I’m done with this now” until we got out of the tunnel. I was also surprised that he was a bit afraid of how dark the aquarium was in some sections. He’s never seemed afraid of the dark at home, but I guess a strange dark place with fish that could swim out at you any moment is a different thing.

I’m often going on about how Noah is my angel baby – and I’m sure that is tiring to read about, so you’ll be pleased as punch to know he’s been testing boundaries and having fits a little bit more regularly. Transitioning from one thing to the next is often a battle. Apparently whatever he is doing RIGHT NOW is the coolest thing ever – and whatever is next sucks royally. So now we are more prone to whiny, crying jags- which are often a charade. I was detailing this new development to my friend Holly today and she said “You DO remember that he’s TWO, don’t you?” But the thing that is killing me the most is that he’s learned to talk back. In recent battles he’s told me that “No, you don’t love me” and it just about broke my heart. And yesterday after I explained to him that the piece of black plastic he had in his hand did indeed look like a trash bag it was in fact a car window shade, not only did he repeatedly tell me “No. It’s a trash bag” but ten minutes after I thought we let the matter go I heard him mutter under his breath “Trashbag.” Where on earth this child got stubborn I will NEVER know.

And as always I have a lot more, but I have to return to my husband, the DVR and a bag of dark chocolate covered pretzels.


Missuz J said...

Yummy. I love chocolate covered pretzels.

Something I forget with Soph since she's so freakin' smart (well--she IS) intellectually, is that she's only 4 (or once 3, or 2) emotionally. (That was re the temper tantrums.)

While I'm sure there are many more tears to come, I hope the ones from earlier are dry and that you're feeling better. My mom has always assured me that your love for one kid doesn't affect the others. I believe her. I don't think there is any force on this earth that will change your bond with Noah.

OldMotherHubbardSharesAll said...

If my bond with my eldest changed because of 2nd or 3rd child it was to one of conspirators like "Help get the baby to sleep by being quiet so we can play barbies" But the love for her did not deminish with additional children nor did the love for them.

As for the melt down - I think children need to know we have emotions and bounce back to normal from them just like they do. (Besides how else will he know hormone emotions in his wife are NOT the end of the world but to see them in his favorite woman!)

I think it's great that Noah is so inquisitive! Your doing a great job!

Jen said...

Sorry you got the weepies, but it is probably inevitable that it happens sometimes. Noah will understand.

He's so funny; I love to hear about how his little personality is developing.

Stine said...

oh honey, big hug for those emotional days.