Two and Two

Feb 10, 2005

Two and TwoIn the evening, I often find myself stopping my current activity to check on the kids. It’s a pretty natural motion and one I’ve been doing with regularity for a couple of years now. I sneak into their rooms and assure myself that everything is ok. That sound from the baby monitor was just the house settling. That bump on the ceiling was just the cat.

And sometimes, while replacing Cambell’s blanket for the third time
or placing my hand upon chest of our new little one to ensure that his quiet sleeping is just that, a realization hits me: I have kids. To be more specific, I have multiple kids. Plural.

It’s an interesting sensation, part fear and part adulthood, among other things. I truly feel blessed; I never forget that they are due to wake up. Soon.

Cambell, the elder, recently celebrated his second birthday. He has officially entered the terrible twos, although I’d argue he’s taking the transisition better than most. We need to watch him with the chalk, bedtime is more of an event than a scheduled time, and the wife just yelled upstairs to inquire about mysterious noises echoing down the steps but, from all accounts, we’ve gotten off pretty easy.

Two, I think, is the official age when your child starts to become a person. Communication is less of a chore. Poo poo and pee pee occasionally find their way into the potty. Toys are less momentary distractions than actual playthings. It’s an amazing age where experimentation abounds. The world is all about discovery.

His budding use of language is fascinating to witness. Trips to the store with the wife result in the chant of “Wait for ME!” chasing me through the aisles. After searching the house for his milk this morning, Cambell chimed in to help, “It’s in the kitchen, inside the truck.” Leaving the house gets me a heartwarming “I love you TOO.”

Two months, on the other hand, is all about becoming a child of your own. In the past, I’ve gotten in trouble with the wife for referring to newborns as “it”. My reasoning is simple. Until you can tell by inspection, it seems fitting, even though the parents of said child aren’t likely to agree.

Two months, I think, is the age where a child transitions from “it” to him or her, not that there was ever any doubt with Chase. His big tuft of hair left little doubt to his possession of a penis and, for the record, I’ll admit that being his parent makes the prospect of identification that much easier.

He’s smiling now. Chase has a real attention span. He likes things, like watching the mobile above his bed or watching daddy’s impression of a horse. His cries, while still being a slight source of mystery, are more directed, more readable. Most of all, he sleeps through most of the night, almost assuredly helping with his parents clarity of mind. I don’t know that I can discount the effects of extra sleep when trying to discern your beautiful child from a screaming poop machine.

From a parent’s perspective, it’s an exciting, and often exhausting, time. You chase one around the dining room table. You burp the other on your shoulder. One becomes a child before your eyes as the other becomes a kid wrapped around your ankles. Parenthood settles in. Two at a time, I think to myself, both too much and too little.

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