A few minutes ago, I emerged from Kyle’s room sweaty and out of breath, determined to win the War of the Pacifier. You see, we were doing well at one point and Kyle was largely off the thing entirely, and then I don’t know what happened but it seems he is re-addicted. But in a different way than needing comfort for his sucking reflex. And now he can basically tell me that he wants it, and he can tell me how mad he is when I don’t give it to him.
Kyle does not exactly tell me, however. First he screams, then he cries and screams, then he wiggles and flails and pushes me and screams some more. Then he adamantly gestures towards the pacifier. If he is in his crib, he scrambles around looking for it among the piles of his friends Little Bunny and Little Bear and their friends.
I am relishing the new 30-minute bedtime this war entails, in a way. It makes for more one-on-one time between us lately. I do miss our old daily routines when we spent all day together. Now Kyle and Daddy have their daily routines more than Kyle and Mommy do. Every day, Stewart picks Kyle up from daycare. When they get home, Daddy cuts up some fruit for Kyle and pours a Pepsi for himself. They head outside, where Kyle beelines for the hose, and Stewart turns it on for him. Then he waters the plants, himself, the dog, the grass, the ground, and his trucks, while Daddy reads the paper and decides not to discipline Kyle when he pulls plants out of the ground. Eventually they head inside and Kyle gets a dry diaper – nothing else – to run around in while Daddy starts cooking dinner.
Around 6:30, I come home. I have to quickly put down my bag and keys because I am instantly tackled by Frida and Kyle at the same time. Frida usually gets to me first, and Kyle’s face is right at Frida Tail Height now, so he is left behind shielding his eyes from the wagging madness. Once I greet the dog I am free to play whatever game Kyle has in mind. Usually it’s a 1-year-old’s version of Chase, or Hide and Seek. All played out with a wide-mouthed smile and a happy roar. We laugh and laugh, and then it’s time for dinner.
There’s usually bathing involved, and a nanosecond or two of sitting on the potty. There might be laundry to fold (and my helper unfolds it) or toys to clean up, clean up, everybody everywhere. In a good week, we go for a walk around the neighborhood on Tuesday and Thursday nights. Then…it’s…bedtime.
Stewart whines and tells me I should just give Kyle the pacifier and he’ll go to sleep. That might also save the neighbors’ ears, now that we keep Kyle’s windows open every night. But you know how I feel about the neighbors and their loud dogs which they never feel the need to silence, especially when I’m trying to sleep. Anyway, I don’t want to be weaning Kyle from the pacifier when he’s 3 and can talk back to me. Now he can only speak Armenian, and I don’t understand that so I don’t even know when he’s saying words.
Yes. He can speak Armenian. A few weeks ago he said the word for water (sounds like “joor”) and then today I learned that when the babysitter asks him, in Armenian, how old he is, he proudly holds 1 finger up!!!! It makes me so happy and sad at the same time. Shouldn’t he have learned that from me, and in English? I am the one who encouraged the babysitter to speak in her native language. Well, I got what I asked for. And I am glad for it, but still.
Kyle also understands “no,” but he thinks it means “get a little rascally grin on my face and do the thing she’s saying ‘no’ about.” Like pulling plugs out of the wall, for example. Or lifting the toilet lid. Or dropping food on the floor from his highchair for the dog to eat.
My baby is no longer a baby. He is a toddler. It’s hard for me to accept, but it’s impossible to ignore.