In two more days, my baby will be three. And he knows it. Somebody told him already that when a human turns three, he's considered a a bonafide kid. He's shedding the baby and suiting up for this adventure as a Real Boy Child.
And y'all... he's hilarious. That's not just my mama pride showing through. The kid is a regular miniature comedian. He knows not only that, but he's pretty secure in how he's got his mama wrapped. Oh yes, tightly wrapped. He's got his sisters pretty enamored of him, too. Kid knows how to work the system. He can smell even the remotest inth of sympathy and he'll play that person like a violin.
He learned to open doors a few weeks ago. It's the end of the world as we know it. He'll cajole one of his sisters into pulling him out of his crib and then he runs for our bedroom door. I can hear him coming, a quick succession of thud, thud, thud, thud, thuds getting louder. Then he wrestles with our doorknob for two or three seconds and comes busting in the room.
"Good mow-nin!" "Here I am!" or my personal favorite... "I'm a person!"
Those are just a few of the phrases I hear from Daniel as his morning greeting. I giggle and try to convince him to crawl up in the bed with me. He'll usually oblige for about .26 seconds and then he wiggles down to start The Busy.
Yesterday I was telling a friend that he still hadn't learned to get out of his crib. I'm pretty sure he overheard me. Because last night....
Joshua and I were sitting on couch watching a show on television. I grabbed the remote and pressed pause and sat up straight to listen. This is always kind of funny, because we keep a big box fan running upstairs after the kids go to bed to drown out noise that we make (and, frankly, noise that they make so we can pretend they are obeying perfectly). So I'm sitting on the couch with my ears tuned to kid frequency. I was just sure I'd heard a yelp, which is an infraction worth going upstairs for. (giggles and quiet thumps on the floors or walls are things we try to ignore) All was quiet, but I went upstairs just to double check.
As I neared the top of the steps, I saw a light was on in Daniel and Anna's room, affectionately dubbed the Kids Room. Tom's Room and the Girl's Room were quiet and dark. I was already suppressing a grin as I reached for the doorknob.
Here's the scene: Anna is obediently on her bed, sucking her finger and hugging her favorite stuffed animal and her blanket close to her, her bright blue eyes watching her brother. Her brother who is out of his crib, sitting in the middle of the floor contentedly playing with toys.
He glanced up at me when he realized the door was open, adopted a pitiful expression, and put his hand over his mouth.
"I huwt my mouf," he explained.
I was fighting the giggles as I scooped him up.
"I scared of da dog," came the next bit of sadness.
I turned the light off, carried the 'baby' down the steps, and plopped down on the couch next to Joshua. I continued to fight to keep the giggles at bay as I explained the 'situation' to him.
Daniel sat in my lap and did his best to look small and innocent and pitiful.
And he totally pulled it off.
"He hurt his lip," I started telling Joshua. Then I looked at Daniel. "Did you hurt it when you crawled out of your crib?"
"Did you hurt it when you were turning on the light?"
"Did you hurt it while you were playing with your toys on the floor?"
Joshua looked at me and said, "You spanked him, right?"
I shook my head, knowing that if I tried to speak, the laughter would tumble right out.
Daniel, ever the little violinist, said in a small voice, 'Don't pank me."
Oh. My. Y'all.
I handed that boy off to his Daddy and listened as his Daddy explained to him that once he was put in bed and the lights were turned off, he was expected to stay in the bed and that if he chose to disobey, he would have to get spanks.
Daniel squeaked out a small "yes, suwr" and was transferred back to my lap where I tried to control the shaking of my shoulders as I hugged him goodnight again. And then we tucked him in.
I leaned down and whispered to him how very much I love him.
I turned and kissed Anna again, and told her that if Daniel got out of his crib again, she was allowed to get out of bed to come tell me. She grinned and assured me she would. (Mom just gave me permission to get out of bed and tell on my brother!!)
He stayed in bed the rest of the night. And I'm still giggly about it all.