Saturday, July 18, 2015

Stink Face

George was the first one up this morning. He walked in our room, I checked his diaper, as sometimes it's overflowing, requiring immediate attention. This morning? It was so so. Could be changed, but could withstand another urination if required. I stayed in bed. Eventually, Matt got up, showered, dressed, and left for work. I assumed he had attended to George's needs at some point in that process. You know what they say about the word "assume". By this point, all the brothers were up and at 'em. Well, except for Mitch. I'd heard a few noises over the monitor, but none that lead me to believe he wanted out of the crib as of yet. I nursed the baby. I found Brock and Curtis engrossed in a cartoon on the iPad. I didn't not find George. "Boys, where is George?" Two shoulder shrugs.
 I started off just listening. Listening at the top of the stairs, into the kitchen, living room and dining room areas - silence. Then I listened at the bottom of the 3rd floor stairs into the bedrooms and bathroom - silence. It has always been a somewhat silent fear of mine that a child would decide to go out the door and go "exploring" in the wee hours of the morning, without Matt or I hearing or knowing, so a bit of panic started to well up in my chest. But there were still LOTS of options as to where he could be, so I'll keep my wits about me for the moment.

"George? George!? Where are you?" No answer. I keep calling him, as I begin a much more thorough and detailed search. I actually go downstairs and walk through all the rooms. Then upstairs. Then the 3rd floor. No sight of George. I finally give in, and disturb Mitch by going into the nursery to check. No George.

Panic increases, I pick up the pace and the volume. "GEORGE!!! Where are you!!?? Get out here now! George??" I am now opening every closet. Looking through clothes, under blankets, in hampers, behind curtains. No George. Damnit. If a kid ever were to wander off, it WOULD be George. I am still calling his name while heading back into my room to find my phone in order to ask Matt when he left. I needed to know the exact last time the child had been spotted for my "Amber Alert" phone call to the police. As well as what he was wearing, in case Matt had changed his pajamas.

In my heart, I am sure he is somewhere in the house, but seriously, I had looked everywhere, and by now, it's been at the very least 10 minutes, but probably closer to 15. Hell, maybe even 20. I had been in and out of every room AT LEAST 3 times. Just as I get ready to turn into my room, I hear some pitter patters behind me, I turn to look, "SURPRISE!!!!" George has bounded into the hallway, completely and utterly naked, with the largest, most satisfied with himself smile he has ever mustered up, repeating, "I skeerd mommy." He is now doing some kind of jig as I just look at him. He could not contain his pride, so proud, so very very proud of his accomplishment. I just watch for a moment, completely unsure of my current emotional state. Was I mad? Relieved? Amused. Ugh, I was definitely amused. I had to hold back a smile, and try to act serious as I tried to explain to him why his {actually very funny and impressive prank} is not so funny as he is only 3 and should NEVER disappear from mommy for extended periods of time. He told me sorry, in an obviously non-remorseful way. We hugged. I got him dressed. We continued with the morning as if nothing happened. I, of course, called the grandmothers, Matt, and Leah to tell them of his shenanigans. Nothing like starting off the day with a laugh and a heart attack.

This is George.

I missed writing about him for his 3rd birthday. I've missed writing about a lot. But, this one story captures so much that is this hilarious, hard-headed, independent little boy. As my sister said, "I guess this is what you get when you combine Matt's love of a good prank and your (my) persistence." A three-year-old, willing to hide, naked, in a small box that is normally home to all the stuffed animals in the nursery, for no less than 15 minutes, without making a peep. Not a sound. To this day, I find myself wondering and curious as to what was going through that little brain while he heard me calling for him. Frantically searching the house, coming within inches of finding him.

Since that time. George has also taken it upon himself to walk around the block. Alone. (Causing a woman to abandon her running car, in the middle of the street to go escort him home.) He has forced us to lock the "candy cabinet" as well as the pantry door. He has forced me to store all cups, or toys, or items that could potentially store liquids up as high as possible. He has sampled nearly every pill and chemical that is within reach. If something can make a mess, and there is not an adult in sight, he will find this item, and make that mess. He is potty-trained, in that he knows when he has to pee or poop, he can hold it, and he can use the toilet independently. He is not potty-trained, in that he only chooses to use this skill about 50% of the time. He likes to get dressed on his own, and almost never gets the clothing on right. He will eventually stop putting his pants back on, usually by about noon.

The inability to take anything seriously appears to be extremely exhausting, as the child still naps almost 3 hours (sometimes nearly 4) everyday. In fact, his most common "disappearing act" is to find ZeeZee and just walk all the way up to the 3rd floor and put himself to bed. As much as he likes to get into shit, he doesn't when he naps. He simply sleeps, wakes up, comes directly back down the stairs, finds us and says, " I had good nap?". I know, buddy. I know you did.

His favorite song is "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star". But it's more like, "Qwinkle, qwinkle little star, how I wonder what you are, up above the so high world, like a hmm hmm hmm hmm hmm, qwinkle, qwinkle little star." His heart swells with joy when he gets some mom time. Or Mimi time. Or Magra time. Or, well, time with just about anyone without his big brothers. Most of the day, he hides his sensitivity behind his comedic act, but I see it in there. He is a very sweet, sensitive and extremely lovable little boy. He is not overly aggressive. He rarely, if ever hits. He has been known to bite a time or two. He loves, loves, loves, "baby seester, Di-eena". He's never met a stranger. He loves an audience.

Of all my children, I find him the hardest to fully understand and predict. He will have the same teacher as his previous two brothers, and when she asked about his personality, I didn't know what to say. I have no idea how he will behave in a school setting. A little piece of him loves to please, to follow the rules, to be praised. But another, slightly larger piece, loves to push limits, find boundaries, create new borders, stand out, and be himself. If I can find the patience to let him, George will be an artist of some sort, some day. He has a huge head, with a huge brain. His intelligence is NOT in question, but I sincerely believe him to be right-brained. Or maybe he's just ADHD. Time will tell. He is my 3rd child to become a 3-year-old, yet my first to make me aware of it. I am looking forward to the fours with this one. He went from talking like a caveman to talking non-stop, so I don't see how 4's could get any worse (as my least favorite part of a 4-year-old is the questions!!!)

As I write this, I cannot say I am surprised. This child made us laugh from day one. That 7 month photo-shoot where he publicly debuted his "stink face" serves as a pivotal moment in his comedic career. Life without George? Seems it would be so dull, so stereotypical. His interesting, aggravating, insanely frustrating, hilarious, lovable, sweet personality makes our family just that much better. He is not our biggest. Hovers at 50-75th percentile in everything. He is not our most beautiful (sorry, am I allowed to say that!?) He is not our oldest or youngest. He is rarely the on-looker's favorite. He is smack-dab in the middle. Yet, I think, he stands out the most. And always will.
I may not fully understand what is going on behind those giant, beautiful blue eyes of his, but I love him more than anything. I hope I can foster, and support, and not squelch that fire in him to be unique, while still keeping him safe, polite and grounded. Happiest of happy 3rd years, George Edward.

In the meantime, does anyone know how much a human GPS device costs? Should I just go ahead and get him micro-chipped? Oh, GeoGeo.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

I Love Instagram...

...for my own use.

You should too.

I'll be real honest here. When I click on my Instagram icon on my phone, I almost always go immediately to my "home page". Here, I see all of my tiny square thumbnails. These thumbnails display, in the palm of my hand, everything I love in life. I see my life. My loves. My joys. Things I found ironic, amusing, adorable, funny. I'm so, ridiculously proud of my Instagram feed.
This is not a humble brag. I so so so sincerely, hope that everyone feels this way. About their own "home page". Without ever knowing it, I have lived by the quote, "Every day may not be good, but there is something good in everyday." Instagram proves this. For me at least. I encounter, at the very, very, bare minimum, least one beautiful thing a day. I try to limit my postings. I don't want to be annoying to my "Followers". Yet, I love and want to remember a lot of things in my life.

I "like" others' photos, because they too, are creating a beautiful portfolio of their life. A portfolio that is organized. If someone asks to see a picture of my son, instead of sifting through my thousands of phone photos, I can pull up his specific #hashtag. If I need to find a picture of my whole family, I have a hastag for that too. One for my dogs even. A hasthag for reoccurring events. Ones that connect me with others at the same happening...such as a wedding.

Sure. I enjoy the encouraging and complimentary comments. I enjoy the funny ones, too. I like when someone shares a similar story or moment. (And, a little known secret, that I probably shouldn't share, as it reveals a bit too much of my OCD, but, I have been known to "like" my own photo. When, and only when, it has 10, 19, 29, 39, 49, 59, or 69 likes (those higher numbers kind of never happen, but whatevs.) I have no real explanation for this.

Recently, I have tried to not be to connected to my phone. To let events happen and not whip out my phone to photograph them. To try to be more "present". I try not to bring my phone to the table during meals. I try to post to Instagram or Facebook while I really have nothing else to do, or no one else is around. I use the word "try" because I have a lot of room to improve in this realm, but have not fully decided that it's what I want. I so love my daily postings. I just don't want to do without. It's very difficult, finding a nice balance in this world filled with such beauty, and the easy access of social media.

For now, I will continue to post 1-6 times a day. These photographs are mine. They are for me. I love them all.