"That's not very polite."
"...May I be in your way, please?"
Little Bear has been keeping me on my toes lately. It seems like every time I'm feeding the baby or working in the kitchen (so, pretty much all the time), he sees it as an invitation to come up with awesome ideas of fun things to do... like setting up the fireplace screen as a target and trying to knock it over with ceramic ramekins. Or stacking the rocking horse on top of diaper boxes to reach something up high. I just can't... How does he even come up with these ideas?
And yet... and yet. There are plenty of frustrating moments, what-are-you-doing moments, don't-you-dare-poke-the-sleeping-baby sort of moments, but overall, having two kids has been so great.
I was standing in line to have some fleece cut at the fabric store yesterday with Kit while Little Bear and Daddy checked out a new sporting goods store, and several of the women cutting fabric and standing in line had such negative things to say: you're lucky you only have the one; they only get worse as they get bigger and become siblings; you're probably not getting any sleep, are you? oh, she sleeps? don't have any more, you won't get another perfect one!
I was shocked, rather insulted on my children's behalf, but mostly saddened; how wounded a person must have to be, to look at a beautiful baby girl and her happy mother, and say such things. How broken our society is, when none of those women seemed to know how to respond to my smile and "Oh, siblings are wonderful! Her big brother is such a help, and he loves playing with her." What a terrible blindness, this inability to see children as blessings to love instead of burdens to complain about.
Matt was out for about an hour this afternoon, and as a treat (and so Kit could try to go to sleep), I let Little Bear watch an episode of our favorite cooking show. Kit nursed, dozed, nursed while he watched, totally ignoring the TV, but as soon as the garage door began opening her head popped up and she turned to look at the door, breaking into a smile as soon as Daddy came in. She has already learned that that sound means Daddy is home! For the next five minutes, she smiled and stuck her tongue out at him, babbling happily.
Forming the burgers for supper tonight, I called Little Bear into the kitchen to entertain Kit while my hands were messy. He ran in with a blanket, and started playing the game they developed together this week. Together, and she's not yet four months; I was surprised when I realized that she was actively playing along, but she is: he shakes out the blanket in her direction a couple of times, covers her with it ("only up to her nose," I remind him), and she kicks it off, giggling. Each time the blanket hits the floor he pretends to be surprised and goes to pick it up again, and each time she smiles and laughs, waving her arms and kicking her legs as she watches his every move.
I love watching them play together—it's so different than when Little Bear was a baby, and I was the only one he had to play with all day. And as Kit gets bigger, becomes mobile, eventually learns to use words, I know that some things will be more difficult, but I can't help looking forward to the coming weeks, months, years and seeing them learning and growing and playing together. I don't know that there's any sound more beautiful than little ones laughing together; the two of them bring such joy into our life!