and just like that...

I was putting the Chicken down for a nap.

I held him until he seemed quiet, still, and calm, and then set him down on his back in the crib. Then I sat in a chair where he couldn't see me and listened.

He kicked his fantastic double-leg I-must-stay-awake-kicks that are more like WWF leg-slams onto the mattress. The muffled thuds sounded like someone was having a pillow fight with a punching bag.

He took his binky out of his mouth and shook it, as if to say "YOU SHALL RUE THE DAY, BINKY!"

He rolled onto his tummy, grabbed the blanket, rolled onto his back so that the blanket was pulled over his face, wrestled with the blanket for a couple of seconds, and then rolled onto his tummy again and panted. "Till we meet again, BLANKET."

He cooed. He babbled. He did a baby Om, a yell without anger which sounds just like the same "AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH" you might do for a hard-of-hearing dentist.

He pushed up onto his hands and knees and lunged across the crib. He'll be crawling in fewer days than I have fingers. Which is ten.

And just like that... I loved, loved, loved, loved him.

I already loved him in the way a mother loves a child. But in that moment I loved him in the way a person loves another person.

This kid is squirrely.
He's rambunctious.
He's single-minded.
He's stubborn.
He's brave.
He's tenacious.
He smiles even when he's tired.

White noise cannot tame him.

He is Chicken.

The most fearless renegade in all of Gymboree.

And he's mine.

(But seriously, kid, go to sleep.)


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