Longest Lead Up To Cute Kid Video Ever Tires Mother, Causes Wine Drinking Instead of Editing

“Tell me more things I said when I was a baby,” he says. We are walking home from the park, just before lunchtime.

“Hm,” I say. “Well, you said “coke” instead of “milk” for the longest time…”

He bursts into peals of laughter. Holds his sides, snorts. His eyes water.

“Tell me MORE things,” he says, when he is done laughing, wiping the tears from his face.

“Well,” I say, trying desperately to remember, wishing I had this blog in front of me to search. “Um.”

“Tell me MORE things, mummy,” he says again.

“Guck!” I remember, at last, “You said GUCK. Guck guck guck. You know how Fresco says “dat”? You said “guck.”

More uproar. More tears. Fresco laughs along with us, his over-pronounced “ha ha ha” an odd complement.

In the afternoon we watched a bunch of videos from Trombone’s early years. My favourite, the one from just before Christmas when he was almost 18 months old, transfixes him. Here is this blond toddler, the same age as his younger brother is now, trotting around the room, pointing at things, naming them. “Ba!” says the young Trombone about the bread his father is making. “Ca-coo!” he says about the cookies in the oven. “Mama!” he says as he tackles me, as I hold the camera just out of reach, grab him with my free arm.

We have watched these videos before and Trombone’s gradual acceptance that this baby, this crawling, babbling, toddling, walking, singing baby is him, has been interesting to watch. I can’t imagine how odd it must be to have only the slightest grasp on past, present and future and to have a younger brother who is a baby and then to see all these films of a baby who looks like your brother but whom your mother insists is you; dancing, singing off key, saying “Gagoo!” for baby, shuffling around in your slippers with a round, baby face and wispy, baby hair.

I looked at Trombone looking at himself on the screen. Trombone, whose hair is overgrown right now but is still nothing like his baby hair. Whose face has angles, whose eyes have expression and depth and knowledge behind them. Who never stops talking, asking me why, pretending, running, jumping, rationalizing, arguing. At every stage of his development he has been a genius to me but whenever I sit next him he is the most genius he has ever been. I can already see myself in 20 years watching these videos, as unable as he was today to connect the baby-him with the real-him.

As of now, Fresco has fewer words than Trombone had at this age. He has been far more concerned with honing his comedic stylings, his barbaric YAWP and his hoofed-animal-like climbing ability. That is where the conversation about first words with Trombone came from; me saying to Fresco for the hundredth time, “What are you saying to me?” and Trombone explaining, “Mummy he doesn’t speak very many words yet. I think he wants more popsicle.”

Reminding me: this preschooler who speaks in paragraphs was not built in a day.

It’s starting. The famed sibling bond, where one looks out for the other, where they play together without bloodshed for hours, well, OK, minutes at a time. Let the record show that at 3 years 2 months and almost 17 months, respectively, my children are becoming friends, a front united, a force unreckoned, a linked-arm-chain against this insurgent mother.

The relief this causes me is enough to make me lie down and kick my feet in the air like a toppled beetle while I hold my sides and laugh. And laugh. And cry. It’s all coming together, after so long feeling like it was coming apart.

(Here, you need a laugh too?)

Rocking Out from tortured potato on Vimeo.

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