Three years ago I had a little boy baby. He was a sweet and funny little lump, not walking until he was 15 months old and never bothering to crawl. You know where this is going, right? It's such a cliche. Heavens! My second baby is not like my first baby! It's just that I'm in a constant state of "Whoa" with little Elliot.
He runs. Like one of those zombies in 28 Days Later. And is just as destructive. He just turned 13 months old. A few weeks ago I brought out Alden's out music table for him. He jetted over, flipped it and ripped off a leg.
By this age Alden was good for a little chat. Elliot has two words. Both verbs. Always expressed with an exclamation point. "Look!" which he picked up after a week at Disney World hearing us say, "Look! Goofy! Look! Segways! Look! Fireworks!" all day long. Recently he added, "Up!"
Come to my house and watch Elli run to me, shout "Up!" then, once lifted, yank my hair and yell "Ow!" (Does that count as a word?) and then burst into tears. He cries when he hurts me, which often means you can find me forcing a cheerful smile through watering eyes after he's crashed his head into my face yet again.
I know I'm painting a picture that isn't quite right. Elliot is also a big snuggler, very laid back, cheerful. He's not a tornado. He's just often cheerfully fast-motion monkey climbing up the stairs or scaling the desk. And he only knows two words. "No" isn't one of them.
That's the root of my amazed consternation. By the time Alden was really mobile, I could reason with him at least a little. Elliot is unreachable in that way. He gobbles cat food and craft supplies, bangs on the oven door, jabs his fingers at light sockets and in no way acknowledges "Hot! No! Danger!" I mean, he knows when I'm telling him to stop doing something, but he considers all those admonitions specific to the moment they're being given. The sockets are fair game in his mind five minutes later. He's just still got a baby brain in a very capable and energetic little body.
He's only five pounds lighter than Alden. Did I mention that?
So yeah, Elliot is blowing my mind. I'm grateful for his goofy, gangbuster self. He's teaching me a whole different way of mothering.This is the only picture I got of Elliot at Boo at the Zoo. I spent the rest of the night racing after him. He ran down every dark path, waving Alden's witch broom in his left hand, hollering like Braveheart, and ripping off his costume with his right hand.