This is my boy, when the current four-year-old sister was a baby:
Some things have remained consistent with my boy:
His big blue eyes still have the most ridiculous long, dark eyelashes. (It really isn’t fair. Mine and his older sister’s are clear from about halfway out.)
The hair is still quite blonde, and still goes into the most ridiculous and luxuriant curls if we let it go much longer than it is here. (Again, not terribly fair.)
He’s still a willing pillow for any sleepy small creature, be it a sister or any other little mammal. We call him Prince Valium for a reason.
And, since before he decided to talk, that wicked little gleam you see has been fueling a powerful genetic tendency toward jokes.
My boy suffers mightily due to his near-solitary presence in a vast Estrogen Sea at our house. He’s always been very good natured about it, though, and joins right in with crafts, even if they might be a tad girly instead of boyly.
On one such occasion when he was five, we spent an afternoon making very simple little dollies. (I’ll add them as a project as soon as I can.) These little babies start life as a square of fabric. It is folded on the diagonal, and one right-angle corner folded down a bit. A channel is sewn from the 45* angles of the turned down bit, to the folded hypotenuse of the original triangle.
(Yes, geometry is the only math I really use in everyday life. Thank you, Mr Kimball. I know I gave you ulcers.)
The little channel is stuffed and whipped closed across the folded hypotenuse of the second little triangle. A smallish circle is cut for the “head”, with gathering stitches around the outer edge so it can be drawn up a bit, stuffed lightly, and sewn down just above the stuffed channel.
This yields a tiny baby cuddled in a blanket that will never, ever come untucked. As any mother of a small child who has recently discovered swaddling will tell you, 90% of a doll-mother’s duties involve unwrapping and re-tucking the doll. Or, rather, the doll-mother unwraps the baby, and hands it to the doll-mother’s mother to re-swaddle. Over and over and over and over. This doll is perma-swaddled. I love it.
So, back to my boy.
He made a doll right along with his sister and I. His started out only about 5″ square, so the finished doll was very small, indeed. He was rightfully proud of his creation, and I was rightfully proud of having entertained my children quietly for the better part of an hour. Off they went to play.
About five minutes later, my work was interrupted by a wild cacophony–shrieking and squawking and ruckus the like of which might wake the dead. I tore into the hallway and down the stairs, to see my boy, running around the front room, flapping the swaddling bits of the little doll madly up and down, shrieking all the while.
Wrath of Mom descended upon the Boy.
“WHAT are you doing??”
“But Mom… ” (insert large blue eyes with ridiculously long dark eyelashes) “… this is my pterodactyl.”
“Right. Outside. No shrieking.”
Laying in my bed that night, nearly to sleep, it hit me, suddenly.
The next morning, I woke him with a gentle pat on the bum, and said, “It took all day, but I finally got the joke.”
He grinned, eyes twinkling.
“Took you long enough, Mom. Geez.”