I did it so much more when Otis was little. I would sit there and force myself to file away every possible memory I could. How he would shut his eyes tightly when he was trying to sleep and I was talking. The weight of his tiny 10 pound body in my arms. How he grabbed at my shirt while he nursed. His smell. I could get high on his smell.
I’m not present as much now because there’s so much more movement. The stillness of the newborn years are gone, and instead I’m chasing a 3-year old around Lowe’s helping him test drive every zero-turn lawn mower in sight.
Not being present is normal for this stage of the game, I get that, but I so don’t want to forget anything. And since that’s the real purpose of this blog, to remind me of what an amazing life I had when the memory loss begins, I thought I’d jot a couple of my favorite things down…
1. Bedtime Routines.
Our bedtime routine has no story time or lullabies. Otis (still) sleeps with us so around 9PM Otis and I go and hide from Daddy. In bed. Under the blanket. And we giggle until we snore. Every single night.
2. Miss you!
Whenever I got home from work I would greet Otis with, “I missed you!” And now that’s how he expresses love. “Miss you, Mommy!” “Miss you, Daddy!” Never “Love you!” Always “Miss you!” I kind of love it.
3. His run.
I can’t even describe it. Like a little linebacker. And how his face says that he truly believes he’s the fastest kid on the planet.
Any time he does anything he wipes his brow and whispers, “Tired.” I feel you, Little Man.
5. Parking lots.
If you’ve ever seen Otis and I out and about you’ve probably wondered, “Why is Marie carrying that big kid around?” Because Otis wants to be carried everywhere and I usually oblige. There is one exception. The only place he wants to be his own man is the parking lot where he INSISTS on running free: Parking Lots. Wonderful.
6. Going to class.
Otis has never been to any kind of classroom, but he loves playing “school”. He pulls out his chair and shows me where to sit and what to read to him. I just want to go ahead and apologize to his future teachers for giving him a very warped idea of who is in charge at school…
He loves peanut butter and honey sandwiches, and will eat them for breakfast, lunch, and dinner if we let him. Which we might. But only a couple of times. I promise.
8. The tantrums.
Most days I want to forget these. But there is something really neat about watching a little person learn a) what they like/don’t like and b) learn how to share this information with the world. He is big on throwing things to make his point, and it’s hilarious watching him throw things that don’t make that big of an impact (like a blanket) and get more frustrated because of it. It’s also hilarious that he can be very angry, but will still calm down enough to ask to throw something (“Have glasses?”).
9. The smooth moves.
I don’t know if every kid is like this, or if this is a predominantly male thing, but he knows just how to melt my heart after a tantrum. I held my finger up to his face while telling him to quit screaming, and this wise guy stops screaming and kisses my finger. KISSES MY FINGER. And then giggles. “Miss you, Mommy.” #dead
10. Absolute excitement.
He still can’t play it cool when he gets excited. It doesn’t matter if it’s seeing a stranger that resembles Santa Claus or being next to a semi-truck in traffic, when this kid is excited about life the whole world knows it. I have never killed anything before, but if anyone even thinks about stealing this part of his spirit I will destroy you.