He crawls away from me, half naked, those pudgy thighs following the command of the rapidly moving wrists, giggling uproariously as he escapes the donning of the diaper. I catch him and he wails as though the world has come to an end as I pin him down for a few seconds of diaper clasping. If we’re anywhere but at home there’s usually someone calling out to check if he’s okay, concerned at his inconsolable cries.
A moment later, he’s on the other side of the room, bouncing on the floor, arms outreached toward me, his two tiny baby teeth glinting as he grins and begs me to lift him in my arms.
But forget all that, and just listen to that giggle. G-d, I love that giggle. His brother and I sometimes join him, neither of us quite sure why we’re laughing, just knowing that nothing in the world could be as joyful as just sitting there, laughing with this little ball of red headed joy.
He’s one today, my round-cheeked, blue eyed, soft-haired, squeezable baby, and I’m still not sure how that happened. It was just moments ago that I had him all swaddled in a blanket and Aryeh was asking if he could hold him on his lap.
Now he throws massive tantrums when he’s insulted or being, gasp, dressed. His eyes fill with big wet tears and he throws his arms and legs up and down, wailing with wreckless abandon. And we can’t help but laugh.
Oh, the joy of being second. When his brother threw tantrums, we sat there in consternation, trying to figure out how to get the hollering to stop. I’m sure we’ll get there with Kovie too but for now, it’s hard to stifle a smile at this intense little human being flailing, shouting, and then moments later grinning wider than the sun’s rays.
He hasn’t taken his first step yet and I’m hoping he doesn’t have any immediate plans to. His cousin ten days his junior is traipsing around, my friend’s baby three weeks younger has been walking for months.
But I’m not ready yet.
I know he’s still get away, still want to be picked up, still giggle, when he takes his first step. But somehow, he’ll be less of a baby. He’ll be moving on. And I need to hold onto his babyhood just a little more.
I’m sure when he does take his first step I’ll be right there cheering him on. But for now, as he totters and plops, never standing for more than a couple tentative seconds, I’m embarrassed at how much I want things to stay like this, just a little longer.
Twenty three pounds of willful baby on my hip trying to jump into the snow.
No shoes allowed.