I had this afternoon alone with Gabriel today, a dull prospect for him since I was bent on getting things done in the office.
I don't know what got into him, but he decided to draw a picture of me and him walking up a mountain, along a river. It took him a long time, and he proudly showed it to me afterward. I made a big fuss over it, then told him he should sign and date it. This occupied him for another 15 minutes as he meticulously wrote "June 5 2007 Tuesday Gabriel".
I'd love to show you the picture he drew, but instead, he insisted on wrapping it as a present. I tried to dissuade him, since I really did want to see the picture, but Gabriel isn't known for being easily sidetracked. I relented and let him at it, with wrapping paper, scotch tape and scissors. This kept him busy for another 15 minutes or so.
Then my present needed a tag. He went about his work, coming into the office to ask me how to spell my name, then how to spell "From," even though he could spell it himself when I pressed him.
Finally, he was done, and reappeared to present me with my "birthday gift." I told him, "Gabriel, you didn't have to spell my name, you could have written 'Mom'!". To which he answered, ever so logically, "But every kids' mother's name is Mom -- then you wouldn't know who the present is for!"
I don't dare unwrap the thing, he seems to like this present so much. I'm hoping he'll forget about it so that I can stash the picture, as the glimpse I got of it is truly very sweet.
Katrina is 8 months old today! What a milestone -- we've now had a baby out-of-utero for the same amount of time, almost to the day, that the baby was in-utero. Lemme tell you, it's a whole lot more fun having the baby out! (well, of course, of course I mean provided the baby really has been inside you for 8 months, apologies to preemie-moms).
She's still in a wonderful place, just charming and delightful....and very tolerant of brother antics. I tried to capture a moment in which Julian was making her crack up aloud, but the camera and Gabriel distracted her. Instead, I captured a moment of what I constantly endure the boys doing to her, never knowing when they're about to go too far, grabbing her hands and feet, bouncing around -- and Katrina constantly undermining my warnings and corrections to the boys by smiling at them and rarely complaining.
It's funny, when I have the afternoon alone with my 5-year-old, I feel more in touch as a mom. This is where I belong, with little kids who I can just tell to get out of the car and close the door behind them, who can carry things, put things away, that I can talk to and interact with. I feel like I'm living in a past world when I'm carrying a baby around, almost as much as when I see a pregnant woman or a single woman or a college student. It's such an enigma. On the one hand, I have this beautiful, fabulously rewarding, outgoing, charming, sweet baby. On the other hand, I feel much more in my element when I'm with my 5-year-old almost-kindergartner, who is those things only in moments. Even as my connection with my role as kid-mom strengthens, so does my love for my baby, if not my love for my role as baby-mom. Yet when I'm alone with her, on all appearances I'm a highly engaged baby-mom, probably because this particular baby is so engaging and irresistable. Even I can't help it. It's like Mother Nature is taunting me, teasing me for any ambivalence I have about having a baby in my life. But Mom Nature's joke won't last long, because babyhood doesn't either.
p.s. that's odd, blogger's option to change font face, is missing today, though changing font size is still there. Bug or feature?