As they got older, he wrestled with the boys, took them on walks, rode the skateboard with them and was always the favorite parent - a title which he holds today. And, I was (and am) the "naptime enforcer" (in my sister's words). I am the less fun parent. Regular ol' Mom.
I don't mind too terribly. If I was the favorite parent, I'd have to do a lot more work. As it is, the boys don't want me in the middle of the night. They don't want me to read them Batman and Robin comics. And they certainly don't want me to feed them dinner, since I never let them eat while watching the Lego movie and always make them eat more than they want to.
But it's kind of nice being the favorite parent for once. I know it's just a matter of time until August realizes that I am the dreaded naptime enforcer. But for now, he enjoys a good, long nap. I love the way he perks up looks eagerly around the room when he hears my voice. I am in raptures over his hot, sticky breath on my neck when he falls asleep trying to burp. He wants me.
And I like it.
Although, to be fair, he is so overwhelmingly joyful to be paid attention by anyone, and will happily fall asleep in complete strangers arms. He squeaks, coos, and ha!s in excitement whenever he sees or hears either of his brothers. And, of course, Travis is the baby whisperer and August falls asleep almost as soon as his daddy picks him up.
I have been replaced as the favorite parent by my mother, who is the boys' favorite "parent" in Nevada.
And last night at bedtime prayers, when I said, "Please bless Daddy while he's traveling-" Grey interrupted and said, "No, Mom. Say, 'Please Bless Daddy to come home now.'"
So they obviously still really like him. Which I guess isn't surprising.
The truth is, I am a baby Mama.
I love all my children, obviously, and I do not have a favorite child (except, of course, the child that is being least exasperating at any given moment), but I do have a favorite age.
That age might just be three months. I know some parents can't wait for their kids to get a little bigger so they can really play, read stories, run, talk, eat, and laugh.
But I really like babies. I prefer snuggling to wrestling, and co-sleeping with a swaddled baby is much better than co-sleeping with a little boy who kicks you simultaneously in the face and small of the back while sleeping and also might wet the bed.
I don't want my children to stay little forever, because I find so much joy in watching babies discover the world around - whether they're finding their toes, watching the leaves, learning to sit up, roll over, or make that tricky "Ba!" sound. And now I find a new delight as I watch Grey and Micah learn to climb trees, do somersaults, learn letters, and use funny grown-up sounding words like "interesting" and "difficult."
But I supposed my poor husband will never convince me that we have enough children, because I always want to have a baby in the house- or more accurately- on my lap.