Elliot, mom is sappy today.
My second son. My baby. But–as you are insisting and I am realizing–you stopped being a baby a while ago. You’ve been on this earth for 20 months, 13 days. It’s completely surreal for me to look at you now and remember that you it wasn’t so long ago that you were an an 11.8 pound, 6 month old.
I should have known from the moment of your birth that you’d do things your own way. Labor was quick–we arrived at L&D at 6am and you were born at 7:20-ish. Epidural? Nah, Elliot wasn’t interested in waiting. Nor was I. I believe I responded to the nurse’s edict to “not push until the doctor arrived” with a “fuck you, someone better get down there to catch.” Doctor got there and caught. Yes, he charged us full-price.
You were a tiny thing, with a dimple in your right cheek and baby blue eyes that didn’t turn. I was grateful to you for being a reasonable 7 lbs. since it made that unintentional natural childbirth much easier. That and the lovely nurse in training who had just finished an elective class on Lamaze. Since I hadn’t even bothered to watch a YouTube video on breathing techniques, he was most useful. His name was Mark and you were his first birth. Someone else who will never forget you.
In some ways you are easier than your brother. From the beginning you put yourself to sleep. I can count on one hand the times you’ve “requested” that I rock you to sleep. You started attending playdates at 5 days old–totally passed out in a Moby Wrap. You didn’t poo a whole lot, which made cloth diapering a breeze and was deemed normal breastfeeding behavior. We wouldn’t find out about your food allergies until later.
You loved staring at shadows. You’d just lay there and stare. You definitely let me know–loudly–when you were quite done with Elliot-alone-time. You still do.
In many ways you are harder. My child, you and I share a lot of the same personality traits. Words that would not be used to describe us; laid-back, patient, and easy-going. Your father and brother are those people. We are not those people. I can see struggles in our future, because I’ve lived those struggles in the past. We have a battle of will every day. I assume I’m still winning, though probably not as often as I think. You’ve finally started to get the whole “learn/use words” thing, for which we are grateful. I chuckle every time I hear you yell “no,no,no,no,MINE, SHOO” to Zach when he’s trying to re-appropriate your toy. Zach isn’t as pleased with your verbal progress.
Your curiosity gets you in the stuck in the damnedest places. You see a mountain and start a plan on how to climb it. You are tenacious and driven. Redirection has always been more of a challenge with you. You’ve been chasing the big kids since you could move. Now you almost always catch up.
All of that is a nice way of saying that you can drive a person crazy, turn an entire head of hair to gray, and disappear in less than 2 minutes. You did stuff at a year that your brother didn’t think of until he was 2.5. Because you had your brother to learn from.
You are determine to boldly go where you haven’t been before.
Elliot, you might be little but you have never let your size stop you. Ever. I laugh each and every time someone gives me that look. It’s the one I’ve gotten your entire life from moms who don’t know you: “Oh my, bless her heart, look at that mom letting her 6 month old (when you were a year) climb up that slide.” I love smiling so sweetly at them when you proceed to climb/slide/ride/run/hold-your-own-with-big-kids. Because you, my dear boy, are deceptively strong. Not just that, you are also full of joie de vivre. And sometimes you are full of piss and vinegar.