Friday, April 30, 2004

Ian is two.

This morning, I followed Ian around the neighborhood as he charged around, freed from the straps of a stroller and the agenda of an older brother. He ran into the local bodega with a "ha" for the woman with the sad eyes who sits behind the counter. We had to watch the flashing red lights on the Lotto machine. Then up the block.

We stopped to study the super hose down the sidewalk. And the pigeons eat someone's discarded bagel in the bushes. And a stick. And a mailbox. His red-blond hair floated in the wind.

Of course, we had to ride the subway elevator up and down. Then over to the playground where he raced through the equipment.

He's not talking much yet. He relies on his complicated hand signals to get what he wants, and sees no need to waste energy by talking. A fist behind his back means that he needs a new diaper. Two arms up in the air means "all done".

Ian is a jolly soul with simple needs. A cup of milk, a bowl of goldfish, and thou. Why bother talking when mommy provides those things after a simple grunt and hand signal? Especially when there is so much to investigate. And do. There's a shelf of books to unload. A computer badly in need of rebooting. And what is that kitty up to?

Unlike his older brother who is all marshmellow inside, Ian never cries unless taking a particularly bad spill off mommy's bed. And he can amuse himself with his books and trains without adults to oooh and aaaah. Ian doesn't seem to need me as much; he's a free spirit. Everybody tells me that second kids are more independent, but I don't like to think that. Does that mean that I've made my first neurotic?

Despite his easy going nature, he's still two. So, he does protest. That's his job. When it's time to leave the playground, he'll arch his back and go limp. I'll scrape him off the ground and hoist him up. If he's very outraged by mother's authoritarian demands, my glasses might get pulled off. Five minutes in the paddy wagon for you, Mr.

Sometimes I feel bad that Number Two doesn't get the full attention that Number One got. I'm distracted with Number One's constant chatter about nursery school gossip. Often I'm so focused on getting through the daily chores of feeding, diapering, and pick ups from school, that there is little time for drilling abcs and numbers. Perhaps it's my fault that Ian isn't talking as much as Jonah did. We just do the best we can, knowing that parenting is tricky business. Baby gets an extra hug today.

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