“Sheppard Call, no no no!”
Imagine this in a sing-song mockery of a mother’s voice, from the mouth of a two-year-old boy, who happens to be Sheppard Call’s twin brother. I die laughing maybe twelve-hundred times every day because the things that are mirrored back to me by my newly and awesomely communicative baby boys are exactly too much to bear.
They’re not actually babies anymore. I know. Toddlers in full bloom is what they appear to be. And as it turns out, I’m a person who enjoys a fully adaptable toddler. Smith Nelson Call and Sheppard Nelson Call turn two years old today. Let’s face it – I’ve had my arse handed to me more times than I’d like to admit by this circus act I call my sons, but I love being their mom. I was built for this. I have never ever been so enraptured by anything in my life as I am by the science of raising three boys.
Science, you say?
There are logic theorems and flow-charts growing in my head at lightening speed. Recently I found myself in an open park with two exits. Exits which emptied on to busy streets. Smitty and Shep in a predictably synchronized fashion each started running towards opposite ends of the park. Towards the streets. I’d say roughly thirteen scenarios flashed through my head in 1/2 of a second, most of them ending with blood and tears. Taking time to profane in ways that would make my mother cry, I ran towards Sheppard who was a little closer to me, and roughly shoved him to the ground. I theorized that if I pushed him down it would hurt his feelings enough to delaminate him enough into a puddle of tantruming tears. That kind of tantrum stays put, though. Then I ran as fast as I could to Smitty, who was out of the park and about four seconds away from the street.
Obviously, a better scientist would not have put herself in that situation, instead opting to have her kids in a safe spot with a closed-in perimeter.
Aye. I’m a scientist in training.
But I learned and also commended myself for figuring it out on the fly, in the moment, and without injury. (Shepz is a pushover and immediately forgave me when I produced some goldfish crackers and an assault of hugs and kisses. Works every time.)
What does this all have to do with their second birthday? I don’t know. I suppose I’m proud of myself for helping them survive this long, against crazy odds. I’m gonzo crazy in love for these two boys who balance each other out in the most perfect of ways. Smith has taken to kissing me whenever Shep does something naughty. Sheppard has taken to using all of the magic words I’ve taught him at once, employing “Please thank you sorry JUICE?!” as a means to get what he wants. They count together as we read books, Smith saying, “One….” and Sheppard finishing, “Two….”. They adore each other and drive each other bananas. They play together beautifully and crack each other up.
And though I’m prone to putting myself and those I love in dodgy situations, I do believe that I’m at a time where raising these guys is easier rather than harder. They love to color together and push cars around on each other bodies. They take turns trying to win over big brother Roan’s attention and affection. They work together to tackle Dad. And they still will pretend they are baby enough to nuzzle into my body when I bring them in for a way-too-tight cuddle. They are a set, they are a unit. Absolutely individual and with their own set of likes and dislikes. But these two have each other more than most people have anyone.
I love that for them.
Happy birthday to my sweet little Sheppy and Smith. I love you boys one gazillion times more than is possible.