Friday, October 18, 2013

Sweet Pea

He was a heartbreaker upon entrance into the world.

"He has such long eyelashes!" the delivery nurse said, moments after his arrival. "Those baby girls in the nursery are gonna want to meet you, man," she whispered, lifting him off my chest for his first bath. My baby #2.

"Look at that cowlick," our beloved baby nurse, Bette, cried, the morning of his bris.  "I just don't know how to brush this wild hair!"

"It's okay, Bette, he's only eight days old," I said.  "I think I gave birth to a rock star."

Two years have passed, but when you see my baby #2, those are the first two things you see. His movie star eyelashes and pompadour.

His eyelashes are something out of a cartoon. Part doll baby and part Snuffaluffagus. When he falls asleep in his car seat, his lashes rest halfway down his cheeks.

He blinks them slowly and he looks like the Sesame Street character.

Sometimes when he eats Challah, small chunks get stuck in his eyelashes instead of around his mouth. Most women would kill for this problem.

He has many aliases: Sweet Pea, Busy Bee, Spider Monkey, Mr. Pickle. (All fairly innocuous compared to his older brother, El Diablo).

Sweet Pea is most fitting. He blows kisses to cashiers at the supermarket and sometimes to strange men standing in line behind us at the post office, which is a bit unnerving. His voice sounds like a talking doll with a Danish accent.

I'm fairly certain that Sweet Pea wants to climb back inside of my belly - or create a pouch in which to ensconce himself - or claim a permanant spot on my back. (This is why he's also known as Spider Monkey). He clings on to me like a baby orangutan throughout the day and night as if his life depends on it.

He sucks his thumb and holds onto my hair, rips it down from a ponytail if necessary.  He plasters his velvet cheek against mine so tight, digs his little nails into my skin and makes a squeal/sigh of complete happiness.

And, he likes to cling to his daddy too.

Sweet Pea gives new meaning to the word, "mammoni," mamma's boy. When I take a shower, he lies outside of the bathroom door, sucking his thumb, listening, hoping, waiting -  for the water to turn off. When he screams in the middle of the night, I rescue him from his crib and put him in our bed with us.

But that's not quite good enough. He pops up and scrambles over pillows or people to rest for the night on my head. And I don't mean near my head, or head to head.  I mean ON TOP OF MY HEAD. I often wake up to the snoring of a baby javelina and the smell of a pishy diaper on top of me, but I would not want it any other way. When he eventually rolls off of me, he smiles before he even blinks open those baby doll eyes and I can see the whole world shimmering back at me.

Every morning, I ask him the same question: "What did you dream about last night?"
"Ah....digger trucks!" he always replies, with a smile stretched across his face.

I'm sure you're wondering if Sweet Pea is always this sweet and the truth is, yes. (I know he's just turning two, so I may be jinxing myself).  Once in a while he'll swipe a chicken nugget from his brother's plate and dash into the living room, while shoving it into his mouth.  (It's kind of like watching Mother Theresa shoplift, so it's hard to get upset).

There is also a bit of bad boy that comes out when he rocks out to music. Sweet Pea has mad rhythm for a little white boy. He does a pelvic thrust the likes of which I have not seen since Bobby Brown was arrested on stage circa 1989. While a bit lewd on the dance floor, his manners are impeccable. "Down, please," he'll say. "More juice, please." "Ayudame, por favor."

He lives to be startled - and squeals - and laughs so hard, he sounds like a cartoon character.

Sweet Pea, my baby #2, the baby that I was not sure if I would be brave enough to bring into the world.  He was born out of hope - and love - and the desire for our baby #1 to have a suitable sidekick.  He is the the baby who completed our family. (I think).

In a room full of 20 kids, he is the one who is playing happily with digger trucks and trains and making the "woo woos" and the "choo choos" or whispering, "all aboard," in the sweetest, mellow way. Every now and then, he'll run to me and throw his arms around me. "Wha's tha sound making tha noise?" he'll ask if he hears something loud, like a lawn mower outside.

Today, I'll tell him, "That's everyone - all the trucks - and trains - and mowers - and helicopters - and planes - and everyone in the world - wishing you a Happy Birthday!"