I began motherhood as a complex organism that required people to decontaminate before holding my firstborn. Food fallen to the floor may as well already be harboring maggots. (Eww. did I just say that?) When I finally consented to let him in the same zip code as another child, I was Mama Bear on a hair-trigger, but it turned out other kids don’t actually tend to hit babies.
Then came boy number two. Ian was remarkably civil with baby Isaac, probably because he hadn’t lost property rights to “his” breast. I did call the doctor the first time they ‘bonked’ heads, but things were loosening up. I let my guard down just enough to not stop Ian from placing a raisin in Isaac’s mouth, but applauded myself for rescuing my infant from certain demise. The next day, I discovered I had excised the second raisin.
I began to realize how futile it was to keep my youngest sterile with such a quick and creative older brother. Then once Isaac was mobile, they’d collaborate on all things messy. One mind-melting day, I de-evolved to “not seeing” the two of them slurping Jell-O off the kitchen floor and, later, letting Isaac continue yelling from underneath Ian just to “see where it would go.” For the record, Isaac can throw a mean one-two combo of elbow-to-chin and head-butt. At the pinnacle of insanity and fluster-ation, I actually barked at Ian, “Give Isaac back the knife!” just moments before I caught up with reality and disarmed them. These days, I try to provide them wise instruction on the meaning and responsibilities of family, but, really, how much cuter could a toddler spat be, with two boy cubs batting and bopping at each other to no effect?
Number three is on the way, and I don’t even want to know to what depths I will sink…