Sunday, May 18, 2008

Two. Years. Old.

This evening at 5:32pm, my baby officially turned two. Today he has been especially delightful, talking and playing and singing and EATING. Even now he is running around the house playing with his new golf club and chatting happily to himself. And I'm not even worried that it is a good 45 minutes past his bedtime. His grandparents are still here, so I think staying up late is to be expected.

Yesterday was the big party. In attendance were Tobin's greatest admirers, other than his parents: Grandpa and Mimi Walsh, Granddad and Grandma Smith, aunts Ashley and Sarah, uncle Al, and great aunts Louise and Bethany. They traveled from Florida, Kentucky, Georgia, and Louisiana. We ate and laughed and played and celebrated.

In the days leading up to his birthday weekend, Matt and I would tell Tobin who was coming to see him. He would listen and repeat their names and tell us where they were coming from. My parents were the first to arrive in the wee hours of the morning Thursday, and when they emerged from the guest bedroom (also Tobin's room) later that morning, Tobin wasted no time in engaging them in play and showing off his myriad verbal and physical skills. He hadn't seen Mimi and Grandpa since Christmas, but Tobin acted like they were old friends. And our normally shy and slow-to-warm-up son did the same with each new wave of visitors. It was special to see how he truly has a familiarity with his extended family, even though he doesn't see them regularly. Last night, as many of our guests were saying goodbye to travel home today, Tobin willingly was passed from one person to the next, giving everyone a big hug and kiss.

I am so grateful that our loved ones traveled so far to celebrate Tobin. And it's really special to have so much of the Walsh-Smith family in one place. I hope that Tobin will continue to understand how much he is loved and adored by so many and that he will also be mindful of the light and joy he brings to each one of us. Especially in times like these. This was an important time for us all to be together, and I feel as though it couldn't have been more wonderful.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Mother's Day

Today kind of sneaked up on me. This day marked my second official Mother's Day, although I count it as the third since I was four days from birthing Tobin two years ago. I had a good, ordinary Sunday. And these days that is worth its weight in gold. I spent much of the day cleaning our home, tending to my boys, and making food. I also reveled in the sounds of a little boy walking around saying a newly learned phrase: "Happy Mama Day!"

Of course, I was presented with gifts to remind me that I am the most important woman in TWO fabulous boys' worlds. Tobin "commissioned" a crayon drawing by his dad, who drew a car, a red truck with a stick-figure me riding in the back, and a bike. T added some scribbles around a "Tobin T," and alas it was the perfect Happy Mother's Day card and is hanging in a place of honor on our fridge. I also received a new water bottle (stainless steel aluminum since we're starting to re-think plastic receptacles around here) and a new paring knife that is oh so delightfully sharp, making quick work of the vegetables I cut up for our pasta primavera.

We're gearing up for the big second birthday next weekend, so we took Tobin to get his hair trimmed. I was worried I wouldn't be pleased with the summer cut I thought necessary for Tobin to get (because it is so hot here and he sweats a lot!), but I actually like his short hair quite a bit. But wouldn't you know on the very day we get his hair trimmed so that most of his forehead is exposed, he trips in the kitchen and bangs his forehead on a cabinet. So he is all set to pull off the well-coiffed, rough-and-tumble two-year-old look.

On this Mother's Day, I am thinking an awful lot about my mom and Matt's. And also an awful lot about our fathers. I am incredibly thankful for the double blessing of my life: being born to my parents who have loved and taught me so well, and then marrying into Matt's wonderful family. These are challenging times for all of us, especially our parents, and I am grateful that we will be together later this week to celebrate one Tobin Lee.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Parenting skills

Earlier in the day, I was folding some laundry and Tobin was "helping" by playing with the dryer light and pulling the lint trap out, which is just inside the dryer door. Well, I didn't want him playing with the lint because, I don't know, doesn't it seem like that would be especially bad for a toddler respiratory system? Anyway, Tobin pulled the trap out and I said, "No, don't play with that." He left it alone for a minute but then pulled it out again. So I said, "No, Mama's serious. Don't play with that." Tobin's eyes widened and then twinkled as he said, "Mama's serious." Hmm, seems my message wasn't getting across because T thinks it's mildly amusing and I'm starting to agree with him because he just said "serious."

So I continue folding and Tobin pulls the lint trap out again. I guess I decided to up the ante: "Tobin, if you do that again you're going to time out." This time, Tobin actually smiled and said brightly, "Time out?" As if I said some other fun activity like "walk Hannah?" or "ride in Daddy's truck?" So I promptly closed the dryer door, which I should have done about five minutes earlier, and Tobin moved on to something else. And I was left wondering why he thought time out was fun. Could he remember that ONE time a couple of months ago when I made him sit in his rocker for a minute and called it time out? And he just smiled and rocked and generally thought it was neat? Do they use it at his school? Does he think it's something fun because he's never been in time out, because surely his teacher would have told me they used it? I was stumped.

About ten minutes later as we were walking out the door to make a Target run, Tobin said "No, Mama serious. No, Mama serious." And said it a couple of more times at the store.

Clearly, I have some work to do with the whole being stern thing.