While Ezra is certainly quite skilled in several different areas - (barely) convincing his mother that he's still cute enough to be allowed to live even after eight weeks of waking up every two hours, all night long...for one - he fails to excel in a number of ways. He does unspeakable things to his diapers, he screeches like a rusty screen door in the early morning hours, he repeatedly refuses to do housework, and, most notably, he has very little control over his arms.
If I could control my hands, I would smite you!
Now, I enjoy seeing the look of surprise on his face after he's smacked himself in the forehead just as much as the next person (probably more); only the moreso if this event happens to follow or even (by the grace of God) interrupt a rusty screen door imitation. During feedings, however, the humor fails to make up for the inconvenience. Frankly, it was bad enough early on when he had so little control over his hands that he used to claw at his face like a rabid wolverine and attempt to gouge out his own eyes, at the same time, somehow mustering enough wherewithall to escape a tight swaddling like Houdini going over Niagara, but now, as he slowly develops the ability to command his little battering rams in only the vaguest way, it's gotten a bit out of hand. (hehe...out of...hand?...he...he...ANYWAY)
Yeah, you're not funny.
Like Indiana Jones attempting to procure the Holy Grail, only the penitent man shall pass the swirling windmill of his attempts to participate in the bottle feeding process. What does he want? To help hold the bottle? To hold my hand? To increase the speed and/or ease of food delivery? To use the damn thing like a finger bowl? How should I know?
Read my mind puny mortal!
I assume that the gesture is meant in a helpful way since he's contentedly eating the whole time I'm struggling with his unwieldy extremities, as opposed to the intent being to fend off my ridiculous attempts to provide him with life-giving sustenance (stupid woman), but somehow I've failed to convince him that his help is unnecessary, or rather, unwanted, or rather going to get him fed to a bear.
He'd have to face my fists of fury.
Now, swaddling we've already established is less than effective (see Houdini remark above), but it has not escaped my attention as I wrestle my darling little destroyer of worlds at the wee small hours of the morning that his father has a number of helpful things called saws, that could resolve this issue rather swiftly. Now, I"m certainly not saying that I would ever, even in a million years of sleepless nights, consider intentionally and willfully hacking off one (or both) of my childs limbs...I'm just saying accidents happen.
I heard you whimpering quietly from across the room. I checked in on you only to find you still asleep, your face flushed red, your brow furrowed in frustration. I held your hand, my fingers covering most of your forearm - stroked your faced; told you Mommy was there - expecting you to wake. You quieted immediately, your muscles relaxing, the tension disappearing from your face. I think of how many times in your life I'll be able to do this for you. I think of how many times I won't. And my heart breaks.
Once upon a time, before I knew what it was like to go weeks on end without a decent nights sleep (hint: think involuntary genital removal...well, actually, you can probably go ahead and think voluntary genital removal if you'd like because I can't imagine it being significantly more pleasant), I was an attention craving child that liked to sidle up to people, get very close to their faces, and with great pleading eyes, demand that they pay attention to me. This, of course, I thought was quite charming of me and amused me to no end. Though somehow it failed to win over the hearts and minds of my friends and loved ones...go fig.
Fast forward a bit, and it turns out fate is just plain old mean and I have been presented with a baby who likes him some serious attention. Not like, "hey, if you could play with me for a while that'd be great" or even "sing me a song, tell me a story, I need to be entertained" but rather "OH MY GOD WE"RE BOTH AWAKE AND YOU'VE BROKEN EYE CONTACT I'LL SMITE YOU ALL!"
So, the hairy one is going to kiss my foot while the sleepy one photographs me... Nope, still not enough attention, might I suggest you sacrifice a goat to me?
Not that I'm saying we don't love to spend time with him because he is rather charming in a twistedly evil, tyrannical sort of way. It's not like he doesn't want you to be happy too, it's just that he can only spare a token pleasantry here and there before we get back to tending to his own need to be stared at like a magic eye puzzle. I like to think of him as Mengele bearing cupcakes...he's trying.
Good morning! We will begin the experiments shortly, but FIRST, would you like a cookie?
You know how sometimes you're running along with a million things to do and it's late and you're tired and you just wish you were home already and then the baby wakes up hungry in the backseat because you were pushing your luck when you tried not to stop and feed him before you got in the car and the screaming is so intense that it's rattling your spine and even though you're wishing he would just deal with it until you could at least make it home you just have no choice but to give up, pull over the car, and feed him and you're just so damn happy you could slit your wrists with glee?
Well, sometimes you should really just quit your bitching and listen to the man. He knows what he's talking about.