The brilliant thing about toddlers is that they are more independent.
The not so brilliant thing about toddlers is that they think they are a lot more independent than they actually are.
Miles is at the wonderful stage where you can tell him to do something, he understands you, and will do it. Chores are still fun. He willingly throws trash away, recycles, washes his hands, cleans dishes, puts his Tilty cup in the fridge, does "prayer hands" at meals, burps the baby (or at least his Grover doll) brushes his teeth and puts his laundry in the hamper every night, and gives kisses to the whole family on demand.
Miles is at the awful stage where he's lost half of his play silverwear to recycling them when we are not looking, turns the water on and off incessantly while washing his hands and brushing teeth, demands you let him keep the water running while washing dishes--oh, and washes the floor at the same time, requests you open and close the fridge so he can put his Tilty in and out 100 times, puts his blocks or even the nail clipper in his hamper not to be discovered until after the load has been completed, and requires rounds and rounds of kisses and "family hugs" every night even after you've told him "ni-night". (Sometimes, there has to be a limit to kisses. We'd be smooching until midnight if not!)
And when you don't acquiesce? The decibel moan starts...and doesn't stop. Crocodile tears, going boneless...he's relentless.
The worst is that now he has decided he is big enough NOT to hold Mommy's hand while in parking lots and it takes is 20 minutes to walk 200 feet to visit his Dah-Dee on the track every day. We even try the "Okay, Miles. Bye bye! See you later," hoping he'll run and follow us. And he's all, "Bye-Bye!" And off he goes.
We baked homemade chocolate chip cookies for the first time this weekend, and despite a floor dusted in flour and a few rogue chocolate chips that made it to his mouth (he has not had chocolate like that before), the cookies are AMAZING. And we gave him a bite of one, and now he is constantly signing "cookie!" and even knows where we hid them. He'll saunter off when we are not looking and pine for a "cookie" until we tell him "no" and then he dissolves until the decibel cry.
The most challenging part is when he looks you square in the eye as he is misbehaving. And he grins the whole time. He'll start putting his legs up on our coffee table, smiling at us as we firmly say "NO!" What's hard is Eric and I find ourselves laughing a lot of the time. It's hard not to encourage it--sometimes, it's just funny.
Unpredictable? Oh yes. Maybe it is because some of the kids at his childcare are potty training (oh, we are not even CLOSE to that. Let's wait a year or so. Miles could sit in his poop for days if we let him), but he has started putting his hands down the back of his diaper. And then it happened. Eric and I were watching Canada vs USA hockey on the DVR, and Miles was playing in the portable crib that will eventually be Felix's crib. We filled it with all the soft toys we could find, and covered it with a play mat to create a fort. He found an old pacifier and puts it in his mouth and just let it hang there. We turned to see that Miles was okay in his playland, and we see his head popping out, with the mat/cover resting on his head, the pacifier dangling from his mouth, and HIS DIAPER IN HIS HAND. And wouldn't you know that kid had a grin the size of the Pacific Ocean on his face. And you know what? Eric and I errupted in laughter. And that's when it started. This kid tries to take his diaper off all of the time now.
He's an exhibitionist, people. Loves his bare skin. We took off his shirt tonight b/c we (ahem, Eric) spilled his fish oil supplement on it and we needed to launder it quickly. Miles ran around the house singing some sort of Me-lez song, brushing his bare chest with his hands, enjoying the feel of being shirtless. It is moments like those that are burned in my memory.
The unfortunate part of the unpredictability is that the past 2 nights he has graced us with his presence at 2am. Correction--graced Eric. I'm already up with Felonious. I have no idea what his deal is, but he gets up and cries, and then Eric works to get him go back to sleep for at least an hour. Sleep regression? Perhaps he is feeling left out of our pajama party? I don't know, but we have worked SO hard to get this child to sleep from 7:15am until 6am, and I feel like we are at square one again.
With the intensity that I despise his tantrums and fussing, I love his silliness and idiosyncracies. That's why we don't all return them for a refund at one and a half to two years.
Finally, speaking to the whole cancer being unpredictable, I should rephrase and say it is the treatment. Eric's surgery was moved from the 17th to the 24th...until the scheduler called Friday afternoon and said we could be on stand-by for the 9th. Eric said no at first because it wasn't convenient for us in terms of getting care for the kids, his work requirements and track schedule. And then his tongue started hurting more over the weekend and we spent Friday night for the first time since his diagnosis talking about the whole little c and what it means in our life. I think Eric has been in denial--and his life has been so busy with activity, he hasn't had to think about it as much as I have. Remember, I spend my days as his Cancer Warrior (I wouldn't have it any other way), drowning in scheduling, researching, organizing, etc. It's overwhelming.
And then I told him cancer isn't convenient, and we agreed that we should gamble and go for the 9th. I left a message with the scheduler over the weekend, and she kindly called me Monday morning. So, we have a 50/50 chance of going on the 9th. It all depends on if there is a last minute emergency (e.g. transplant). The worst part is that we won't find out until after 1pm the day before. In all honesty, I am praying for it to happen on the 9th. I'm sick of waiting...sick of that thing on Eric's tongue bothering him. It's like a cancer, growing slowly and sucking the life out of him. Oh, wait. It IS cancer.
Pre-op will happen this Friday no matter what. And then, we wait and pray it happens on the 9th. And if it doesn't, we deal with that hurdle just like we have dealt with all the rest. Right now I am in the throes of making sure the boys have care for them in any situation. Oh yeah, and my maternity leave is just about up. I'm not quite sure how we'll get through March.
NOTE TO SELF: having two boys 19 months apart is a wild, outrageously crazy, fun, and bold adventure; but I don't recommend one of the parental units being diagnosed with cancer before your 2nd child even hits 2 months old. It can drive you nuts...