Yesterday in the span of 10 minutes X-man made it clear to me how strong the urge for independence has gotten. I had tied left over birthday balloons to a couple of their matchbox airplanes in the attempt to keep them from hovering to the highest point in our vaulted ceiling for me to retrieve for the 38th time yesterday. After playing with them like that for a while, X-man requested that the balloon be removed because it is much more fun to watch mom balancing on her tiptoes on top of a chair every 30 seconds to once again return said balloon to its rightful owner. I begrudgingly fulfilled the request, being the glutton for punishment that I am, and because those forever long eyelashes are so absolutely persuasive. I quickly retrieved a pair of scissors from a bathroom drawer and snipped the string, setting his beloved airplane and bobbing balloon free. He was elated. As I was rushing about the house trying to get things tidied and the boys' shoes in their rightful places (on their feet) so we could make it to story time, I was only half-heartedly responding to Gokey's pleas to have his balloon removed from his airplane and X-man's requests for a drink of water. Gokey was finally sitting on my lap, wrestling with me while I attempted to get his socks and shoes on and X-man proudly emerged from our bedroom with Gokey's freed balloon. "Here, Gokey," he touted as he handed over the prize and gently patted him on the head. It took me a minute to realize what X-man had been up to. I rushed to the bathroom where I found the airplane that the balloon had previously been tied to, discarded in the middle of the floor. I asked X-man if he cut the string with the scissors. "Mmmm-hmmm," he nodded proudly, hands behind his back and chest puffed out. I asked him if he put the scissors back where they belonged. Again, "mmmm-hmmm," nodding with his proud little smirk. Wow! I couldn't really get mad at him...he had fixed Gokey's problem...a problem that I had ignored for the last 15 minutes. It was truly sweet. I made a mental note to move the scissors to a safer place so that next time the snipping of the shower curtain or chunk of luscious baby hair or little toddler finger would be prevented. By the time I returned to the living room, I heard thumping around in the kitchen. As I came around the corner, I witnessed X-man trying to keep his teetering cup steady on the edge of the towering kitchen counter as he lifted the very heavy, full pitcher of water with a grimace to attempt his first pour of water all on his own! I quickly intervened, but not wanting to dash his little moment of independence, suggested we move his cup to the floor where it would be easier for him to reach. I barely assisted, only because of the weight of the pitcher and once again his little chest puffed up as the water rose in his cup.
It was a very grown-up span of minutes. After listening to his and his brother's pleas for my assistance and being ignored, he went into solution mode and, without complaint, fixed the problems he saw around him. *Sniff sniff* Every stage my boys have gone through I think I have said, "this is my favorite age," and then they exceed my expectations with the next milestone that comes along! The mundaneness of everyday chores...ones that I obviously ignore...are suddenly new and full of new opportunities to grow and soar! I have the best job in the world!
My boys: then & now
Oh...and Happy Half Birthday to my littlest man! :) *smooch*