Tuesday, May 27, 2008

it's a good thing he is so cute

Gabriel is a really great baby. He is incredibly sweet and generous with hugs and kisses. He plays by himself without a problem for short periods of time during the day and doesn't throw many tantrums. He sits in his high chair for up to an hour at dinnertime, happily eating all different types of foods, including meat, vegetables, pasta, fish, fruit, plain yogurt, jars of leftover baby food, chicken, cereal, and whatever random food I put in front of him. He sleeps 13-14 hours a night and takes a 2 and a half to 3 hour nap in the afternoons. He is easygoing and curious and kind to other children. He is gorgeous and wonderful and I love him to death. He's really amazing- I am very lucky.

But oh my GOD, he is so crazy, ridiculously, absurdly, busy. He never ever ever NEVER stops. I know lots of parents say their children are full of energy, but I swear to you, you've probably never experienced a child like Gabe. I go to the bathroom and in the 30 seconds I'm gone, he's dragged the potted plant down off of the ledge and stomped through the dirt. He's scattered the dog food around the kitchen and splashed around in the water bowl. He's dragged a chair away from the table and climbed onto the dining room table and thrown everything off of it. He pulls his play table across the room, climbs onto the table to reach the high shelves, and flings books off the bookshelf gleefully. He opens dresser drawers and pulls all the clothes out. He empties the pantry of all its food in no time at all. He's learned to open doors. He's working on outsmarting the child locks. He can destroy a room in 27.6 seconds.

At play dates, he refuses to be confined by the toys in a playroom. Instead, he'll sneak into the hallway to open all your desk drawers, or take everything out of your kitchen cabinets. He'll find all of your non-toy implements and endeavor to discover totally inappropriate ways to use them. At the playground, he puts other children to shame in the number of times he can go down a slide, run around the play structure and climb back up, all while other kids are still climbing up the stairs. While other children sit quietly in music class, he climbs under the tables and behind the barricades to reach the shelves where he can climb. He spends half the class trying to climb over the baby gate. If he can get into the bathroom, he'll open the toilet and throw things inside of it and flush it faster than you can run across the room. At the park, he will determinedly run away from me and never look back. I have watched him get a full football field's length away without ever checking to see if I am coming. He is daring and brave and very independent. It also doesn't help that at almost 17 months, Gabe is impressively coordinated (although clearly not from my side of the family). He kicks balls, throws over and underhanded, climbs up everything skillfully and easily, runs up and down hills without stumbling. His pediatrician said that at 15 months, he probably had the gross motor skills of a 2 year old. What that really means for me, though, is that he has the ability to get in even more trouble, even faster.

He is exhausting. My in-laws, who would never utter a negative word against any of their grandchildren describe him as relentless. My father in law thinks that Gabe is Josh's revenge for how bad Josh was in his childhood. My parents cautioned me never to take my eyes off of him, because he can accomplish a great deal in a second. My friends admit that he is nonstop action, although they're quick to follow up with other kind words about him. I think he must sleep so well at night and during naps because he wears himself out the rest of the time.

I wouldn't trade him for the world, but there are days when I wish he would sit quietly for 5 minutes. There are days when I wish he was just a little less curious, maybe a little less active. At the same time, though, he is outrageously cute. I've never laughed more in a day than I do now, as I watch him flit from activity to activity, putting buckets on his head, and daddy's shoes on his feet, and chasing the dogs to feed them his play kitchen food. Life is very fun these days. Busy, but very fun.

Really, though, I think I can only handle one Gabe. My one wish (besides being healthy) is that his sibling has other gifts besides having the energy of a jackrabbit. I'm buoyed by hearing people's stories about how different their children are, and I hope this next one is equally amazing, just a tiny bit less crazy. I can hope, right? Please tell me there's hope. My sanity needs it.

Ignore her... Is this the face of a troublemaker?


liz said...

The only words of advice I have are...play yard.

We would put MM in one to give us enough time to hit the bathroom and grab a drink of water. Blow up a bunch of balloons and put him in there and watch him go crazy while you take a few minutes on the couch.

Maribeth said...

My girls were so different. And you know what? It'll be fine because Gabe will want to help you take care of the new baby. That'll keep him busy.

Chatty said...

pshaw! Gabe is a sweet boy. VERY tuned in, and if his curiosity and enthusiasm are his worst qualities then we'll take it!

That being said, people used to loooooove to tell me how much of a hellion my second would be because Lady graced us with the ability to sleep through at 7 weeks. Mister one upped them all by sleeping through at 6 weeks. So there.

Even so, as the two of them grow older, Lady and Mister are SO VERY different in SO MANY WAYS. Lady is a classic oldest child, know it all, big boss, calling all the shots. Mister is the typical laid back younger child, occasionally getting in his sister's way, but happy to keep himself occupied and generally absorbes it all like a sponge. Stereotypes, they both are. I wonder what this means for Baby Baby? What's the third child stereotype?

jess said...

You know, I think my boy is going to be the same. He's a great sleeper, really good humored, but has SO MUCH ENERGY. He wants to jump and bounce and wriggle constantly. And he's not even sitting up on his own yet, so I think we're in trouble.

Gabe is adorable. I love the expresion on his face.

Chamiza said...

He will make a great soccer player! and yes, that is SOOO the face of a troublemaker. all innocent, but trouble...very very cute and fun trouble.

Knit and Purl Mama said...

Oh my Nat! This blog post describes Sean to a tee! I think there's something about our boys having the same birth date.

Sean doesn't stop. Not for one second. I'm constantly chasing after him. He dumps everything out too, climbs up and down everything (even his changing table which is tall and crazy for him to do). Everything you wrote about Gabe - the same applies about Sean!

I also wish for 5 minutes of peace from him.

The only thing is different, Sean's only slowly starting to talk now. And it's a word here or there, not like Gabe's impressive 2 year old vocab. I wish Sean would communicate more. In due time, I guess!

When I was pregnant with Mack, I was often pooped. It was hard. He wanted me to run around with him and I just wanted to veg out on the couch...!