After witnessing a lego fight ending in Ryder's ear piercing scream, someone commented, "and that is exactly why I don't want to have kids". Part of me took offense, part of me nodded in agreement with a fist bump that said "quit while you're ahead", but most of me just felt sorry for him. Sure he doesn't have to clean pee out of the garbage can in the middle of the night when someone confused it with the toilet, but he also doesn't come home from a 30 minute run to be greeted with a tackle from two little boys who act like they haven't seen you in a year. Sure he could whip up a batch of cookies without dirty feet getting into the flour, cars being mixed into the dough, the salt measurement getting tripled, the "wait did you wash your hands after you went potty?", and the "you just sneezed in the dough!" But he also can't pull out the pots and pans without two little eager beavers clambering to put on their "wrapper" and "acorn" (apparently "apron" is just too hard to remember?). And using an empty tomato paste can like a pot to cook their own soup. And making a miniature version of whatever you're making. And being so proud when everyone raves about the food they just helped cook. These two at this age have been my most challenging. Kylie and Jayden had the same age gap, but being two different genders they weren't constantly competing and fighting over the same toys. I would often find his Transformers in her Barbie house, or find them both dressed up in princess clothes playing cars. They had a good ebb and flow thing going on. Or maybe it's just been too long and I've forgotten. But there is no calm ebb and flow with these two. It's a constant tidal wave. They are either working together in cahoots dumping out every box and drawer, building forts out of every blanket and cushion, sliding down the stairs on lids, spraying the clothes on the line with the hose and digging up every lettuce plant in the garden. Or they are fighting over the same toy and swearing that they're never going to be each other's best friend and never invite each other to their birthday party. It's exhausting. Mentally. Physically. Emotionally. But every so often I get a glimpse of their real relationship, the one that lives just below the surface of who has the most drawings hanging on their wall and who gets to drink out of the blue cup. The one where Maddox spends every Wednesday at the school library picking out the perfect book for Ryder. The one where Ryder sneaks home cars from kindy in his backpack for Maddox. The one where from a distance I see Maddox hoist Ryder into the swing, buckle him up and give him an underdog while I'm busy untangling kite strings. The one where Ryder wants to save one of his Pak n' Save mentos for Maddox, even if he usually ends up eating it. The one where Maddox will turn into Super Nana and drop anything to find Ryder's missing blanket. And the one where Ryder says "I wuv Nana. He's my bwuddo". Bwuddo is by far my favorite word in his entire vocabulary. Eventually they'll stop waking up at 6:30 on a Saturday morning and eating all the fruit snacks. Eventually they'll stop throwing my clean laundry off the balcony. Eventually they'll stop jamming coins into the bathtub faucet. But I hope they always know how lucky they are to have their bwuddo. I have a feeling they will. Just like I know how lucky I am to be the one that gets the front row seat to their ninja shows and the one to receive crumpled flowers retrieved from the bottom of book bags. As with anything in life, the greater the challenge, the greater the reward.
3 hours ago