I hear a terrible clatter down the stairs. I race toward them, dreading to find my one-year-old at the bottom of the landing. Instead, he is staring at the baby gate with a stunned look on his face. The baby gate that, at 15 months old he somehow figured out how to disconnect entirely from its sockets and send flying down the stairs like a webbed sled of doom.
Who does that? Who is this Houdini-Monkey baby who makes me crazy when he isn't charming me? And I'll be honest, sometimes even the charm wears a little thin when the perilous things he does make me count hours til nap time or bedtime. Not because I don't love him. Of course I do. You would love him too, if you met him. He's a lovable spitfire of spazzy, laughing wonder. It's because my love mixes with worry and wears me out.
I went to the office for one minute and thirty seconds. I heard stomping and came out to find this:
That's Micah doing a rain dance on TOP of the kitchen table. Chomping on a gigantic binder clip and laughing like he was at a comedy show. I've known my firstborn for almost five years and not one single time has he ever danced on top of the kitchen table. Micah is just past one, and already he is getting a track record for the unprecedented things he comes up with. I feel like I need unprecedented mom skills to keep up with him.
The other day my friend called me quite concerned, returning a cryptic text that said, "Call me as soon as you get this. S" He asked, "Do you normally refer to yourself as 'S' in texts?" I didn't send you any urgent text, I told him. It took me a long time to figure out that Micah must have navigated to a menu with prewritten text choices and actually managed to send one. It happened at 1:30 during the ten minutes I gave him my phone at a museum because he was squawking like somone was biting him. I pacified Micah with a bit of forbidden technology and what? He sends rescue-me text messages like we're holding him hostage?! Tricky, that one. Very tricky.
I think Micah might be a better 4th child than a second. I think if he were a 4th I'd have older kids to help me keep an eye on him, my nerves would be steelier and my skills would be madder. As it is, I feel like I'm toe-to-toe with a contender. Small, but mighty. And sometimes he wriggles his way to victory and I'm left kinda helplessly trying not to cry, sigh or lock myself in the bathroom.
Today, I felt the most profound gratitude that he is still in a crib that he hasn't figured out how to escape.