Things are getting easier with Mihiretu. There, I said it. He's a two step forward, one step back kind of guy so I'm superstitious about putting this progress in writing. Undoubtably we'll backtrack a little but for now we're on the move.
Yes, there is still a lot of shrieking, much of it designed to injure eardrums. There is the chasing of sisters with deer antlers. There is the willful dropping of water bottles in the car. There is even the occasional thrown shoe.
But, largely, Mihiretu is a hell of a lot easier to live with. His words are coming, faster and faster, which makes for less frustration all the way around. He surprises me with "That bee 'ting me, Mama" or, surveying the framed photos of Mae and Lana as infants, "Where my baby picker?" - that one got me a little - or "I miss San-zay". Who knew he'd miss San Jose?
This morning, Mae and Ben headed off for Mae's first triathlon (she's such a child of Marin) and Mihiretu, Lana and I snuggled into the rainy day in our pajamas, watching "Shrek", munching on cinnamon toast.
It's been busy lately. Too busy. Soccer games and homework, manufacturing Halloween costumes and even campaigning for a local public school measure. Okay, maybe it's me that's busy. But that busy, that probably unnecessary stress, touches the kids. A morning of not going anywhere, not hurrying, appealed to all three of us.
Eventually, around eleven, we got the gumption up for a puzzle. Lana pulled out a favorite fairy puzzle for her and me and, kindly and strategically, stacks of easier puzzles for Mihiretu. Mihiretu sat in front of his puzzles, slowly fitting cows into cow-shaped holes and tractors into tractor-shaped holes. For every successful match, he'd say, "Look, Mama!" To which I'd say, one eye on him and one devoted to the fairies, "Good job, Mihiretu!"
At one point I must have given a particularly genuine congratulation because he said, reaching for another puzzle piece, "Tank you, Mama." I don't know why, but the sweetness of the delivery, the fact that he was thanking me for a compliment, something I've never known him to do, really touched me. This little guy is softening up. He's getting juicier and juicer. The walls are coming down, on his side and on mine. This falling in love, it's happening, we're finally falling now. We've fallen.