my tiniest homeslice —
I keep meaning to write you,
but then I fall asleep snuggling you to bed instead.
… annnd that is basically the most accurate representation of where I am in my life right now.
This month, in “where did you even get that who is in charge of you”:
– Me: Okay buddy, let’s get our lives together!
Nixon: Oh, that’s very sad.
– If you inform us you are leaving, and then wave, you admonish us with a stern, “Wave BACK at me,” if ever the enthusiasm of our returned waves is not to your standards
– “I’a big boy. I no scared of mon’stuhs. Or boo-ghost-ses.”
– Friend at dinner: Nixon, can I have a high five?
Nixon: No. I very busy.
– Somewhere, you’ve picked up, “No, t’anks. I just fine,” and it’s one of my favorite things in the entire world. I will legitimately ask you questions with the sole goal of getting you to reply with this statement
– “Wow! ‘dat’s magic!” (on the occasion of peaches arriving on your plate)
– You’ve decided that sometimes your name is “Esteban… mag’niff’sint,” a transformation inspired by a character in The Day the Crayons Came Home and usually accompanied by you dashing around the house at high speed. Some kids pretend to be superheroes; you pretend you’re a crayon
– Out of nowhere, you’ll recite passages you remember from Little Blue Truck and Pete the Cat and the Bad Banana. It’s especially delightful when we pass bananas at the grocery store, and you delightedly exclaim, “Mama! ‘dose nanas are NO BAD!”
– … you’re really into toe lint right now? It’s a multi-step investigative process, during which time any offending lints MUST be quashed. If they follow you into the bathtub, you’re insistent that we use a tiny teacup to catch them, lest they touch you or similar
– Recent additions to the Nixon-ary:
peenie butt-uh – peanut butter
c’unchy seer-ulls – any kind of cereal
appuh-joos pie – apple juice pie (I have no idea, you just started making it in your pretend kitchen one day and I’m just going with it)
struk-shin’ site – any place in existence that has a large piece of machinery on it
At two years & a dusting’s worth of months old, you are everywhere, all the time.
Every so often, I let you take my phone’s camera along for the ride.
You love trying to position yourself just right so you can “TEEEEEEEESE!” with Clementine or the Faces next to you;
you patiently narrate the landscape of tiny cars, books, and little metal planes as you stroll on by.
You instruct, “Mama! Dada! TEESE wif’ me!”
And when you come back from your ecstatic adventures, my camera roll is filled with small snaps of life at Nixon height.
I forget, sometimes, that the world is a lot shorter where you are;
that your vantage point, some three feet lower than where I see life, is filled with everyday magic I could so easily miss.
Thanks for reminding me, wise and tiny one.
When I look back on this season, I’ll remember your little weight on my lap, fresh-‘outta-the-tub warm and wrapped in a towel, listening to “t’wain song“:
I’ll remember the lavender-sweet smell of baby chest rub from the blue-and-white jar, and the warm, oddly cozy scent of Mustela shampoo.
I’ll hear your little voice calling to daddy, “You can’t get dis WUBBY!” followed by your delighted, from-the-toes-up giggles when daddy takes the bait and chases you through the house.
I’ll remember the way you ask me, “Where goin’?” when we get in the car, followed up by “Where IS it?” when I tell you.
I’ll remember scattered living-room-floor treasures, pom-pom puffies in all of your pretend cookware, and how very seriously you consider your options before choosing which books you want me to read.
I’ll remember it for banana snacks in the grocery cart, ketchup with everything, glass straws in tiny smoothies, and your joy at finding a pickle inside your burger sandwich.
I swear, with every season of you, I stop and think, “How is the next one ever going to top THIS?“—
forgetting that, without even trying, it will.
Some days, I wonder how someone so small can be so pissed off;
It’s fascinating, the way you are a living, breathing example of one of the rawest stages of human development;
that so much of what you do right now is driven by the sheer, primal force of “want.”
There are days that you floor me with your compassion; an accidental kick when we’re snuggling on the couch is immediately followed by an unprompted, “I sow’ee, mama; I no mean hit you. I sow’ee.”
Other times, you lose your tiny shit, and all bets are off.
Every limb on your person launches into a full-force anger flail, like your rage is attempting to do cartwheels, and your daddy and I are standing there staring at each other like, “Well this is impressive and terrible.”
Sidenote? Nothing prepares you as a parent for that first Epic Melt.
To be totally real with you, I think our initial reaction was to just stand there in awe.
I actually remember a moment where we locked eyes and it was clear that neither of us had a solution, but DUDE DO YOU SEE HOW PISSED OUR CHILD IS RIGHT NOW
We reconvened later and were like, “Yeah, so we should probably figure out something… solid… we want to do next time.”
Parenting 101 right there, buddy bro: Figure it out as you go.
Really though, it absolutely blows my mind that you have such strong opinions and preferences already;
that you have much opposition for applesauce, standing requests for your favorite songs on YouTube, will immediately start your half-bent-arm jam any time one of YOUR jams comes on, and will happily select from the same inner circle of favorite books, over and over.
There are a lot of rad things about getting to watch your kid grow up, but simply stepping back to marvel at you, right where you are?
That’s one of my favorites.
I’ve found an unexpected beauty in unplanned days home with you.
Sure, it’s because you’re a snot factory, or coughing your little lungs out, or hurling all over our house—
but also? It’s a little pocket of bonus time where we just get to hang, at a time we usually don’t.
There’s a quiet grace in these days;
these moments of weekday magic where we get to spend our afternoon on the couch, reading books, eating macaroni cheese, and taking it slow.
We always have our weekends, but to get nap-trapped on a random Thursday with your fevery little cheek crashed out on my chest?
Or to spend a Monday late-afternoon all blanket-burrito’ed with you on the couch?
It’s like a weird little balm to this working mama’s soul, getting to be a part of your day in the spaces I’m normally not.
There is an easy, lazy joy in the days where I get more of you.
It happened out of nowhere.
“Hey, mama? You my best f’end. We bes’ buddies. I ‘yuv so much.”
WHERE DID THAT EVEN COME FROM HOW ARE YOU FOR REAL
It was one of those glorious moments where so much good is happening, you basically can’t move a muscle except for your bottom lip to automagically pouf out & your eyes to start filling with tears.
You, having absolutely no idea the gravity of the situation, uneventfully went back to touching your dinner—
that’s a thing you do now, where instead of actually consuming food, you appear to believe you can absorb its nutrients through careful inspection and squishing—
and meanwhile, I’m sitting there making Did You Seriously Just Hear That, I Am Dead Now eyes at your daddy.
YOU ARE JUST THE GREATEST LITTLE HUMAN.
I ‘yuv you so much, too.