Will was the chillest newborn. I'd heard that youngest children, especially ones that were just sort of thrown into the car and carted all around after big siblings, were often calm and passive. It was certainly true of Will. He was just content to smile his way through life, hanging off my hip. Or anyone's hip, really. I've had a great deal of baby experience and he was one of the easiest little people. Ever.
You guys. Something happened to the angel baby. I can't really explain when it happened. I think it was one of those things that occurred slowly, over the course of time. He learned how to crawl at eight months AND HAS NOT STOPPED MOVING SINCE. Couple his insane energy with the fact that there is more personality in his little finger than some kids get in a lifetime and it is a recipe for a 21st century REIGN OF TERROR.
This is pretty much his face all the time...
It's two parts sheer delight and one part lunatic. Every single thing in my life takes seventeen times longer than it should because this maniac needs to be redirected every two seconds. (I wish that were an exaggeration.) The other night, I turned my back on him in the bathtub for ten seconds. Matthew was in the tub WITH HIM and by the time I turned my attention back to them, Will had pulled the toilet plunger into the tub and was floating it like a barge. He unrolls toilet paper faster than the speed of light. Seriously. It is actually his super power. It's completely useless but it's a super power nonetheless. If we leave the pantry door open, you can bet that he will absolutely scurry in and begin destructive behavior immediately. Grab him, redirect him, turn back to begin returning the pantry to a state of order, and he will frantically yank everything off the refrigerator. Or pull over the trash can. Or climb the stairs and atomic bomb his own closet.
He is rarely self entertained. If there ever was a kid's picture in the dictionary next to the word extrovert, it just might be this one. He does not like to be alone. He recharges his batteries solely off the power of being the center of someone's attention. Thankfully, we all wanted him really a lot and there's always a willing participant to serve as an audience member for the one man Will show. We've been working on trying to get him to play on his own for a few minutes at a time because THAT IS A VIRTUE, Y'ALL. So imagine my surprise a few weeks ago when I heard him happily squealing in the next room for a good FIVE MINUTES. Troy was at work. The boys were at school. There was no explanation.
I should have realized the falsehood of that last sentence. After a few minutes, this crawled in...
As it turns out, he was in the big boys' room and he found a large chunk of clay. I honestly have no idea where the clay even came from (but I'm looking at you, Sunday School!) but, as it turns out, when mixed with the spit of a not quite one year old, it makes for a fascinating finger paint. He was white from head to toe. Needless to say, because of this and the fact that he has an intense passion for throwing the boys' ball caps ALL OVER THE PLACE ALL THE TIME and flinging their swim trunks over his head, I usually keep their door closed when they're not home and we are.
The other night, the boys and I started a movie while Will was still awake. This involved pausing it every few minutes to:
A. Tell Will to stop playing with the DVR player.
B. Put the batteries back in the remote after they fell out when Will threw it.
C. Play with Will for a few minutes because he started shrieking upon realizing that no one was paying attention to him.
D. All of the above.
We finished the movie after we put him to bed. Garrett, snuggling into the couch, let out a long sigh. "Finally. We can watch our movie in peace." After a brief pause, he gasped, "Is this how you and dad feel every night after we go to bed?" I nearly died laughing.
The imp streak is strong in this one.
But he is DARN DARLING and he knows it. Ask him for a kiss and, even though he knows how to give one (in all its open mouthed glory), he will, nine times out of ten, lean his forehead gently onto your lips with a sly smile. Ask him to say, "mama" and he will look right at you and say, "dada." And then giggle like he is the funniest human on the planet. Chase him, grab him, tickle him, and he will squeal like such shenanigans have never, ever been done before.
There is A LOT of redirection happening with this one. There is A LOT of the word NO happening as we strive to correct an eleven month old. There is A LOT of sighing with tranquility when he is down for the night. But there is A LOT of love.
The Reign of Terror Imp Baby has every single one of us around his little finger. He loves life and exploration and smiling. He is always so happy to see us in the morning, as though he can't believe he had to go a whole night without us. Joy seeps out of his very existence and I am so thankful for him...