Josh and I are both loud, strong-willed people, so it’s only natural that we would have spirited children. For better or worse, at least life is never dull in this house. I consider myself an introvert, even though I’m not a quiet person. I’d just rather spend time with you one-on-one than in a huge group of people. And even though I love parties, I also think they’re exhausting. I see some of that in Gareth. He loves people, but he seems to prefer being with one person at a time. He’s either playing with me, or Sissy, or Daddy, but he rarely plays with all of us at once. He loves following Pop or Uncle Nathan around, and is content to just be near one of his favorite people. Sometimes I take him to the store with me by himself, and he’s like a different child — relaxed, content, and more peaceful (as “peaceful” as a busy 2-year-old boy can be).
Gareth is very loving. I think part of this is having Emmeline for a big sister. She has always been a tenderhearted child, and I think it wore off on Gareth. But ever since he was a baby, he’s always been a cuddler. He loves rocking, and giving hugs, and as a baby he was all about the skin to skin. On the day he was born, he came out crying — as babies are supposed to — but then they laid him on my chest, and he immediately relaxed and stopped crying completely. He was a little too calm for the midwife’s liking, but he had his Mommy, and he was content. As soon as she picked him and jostled him around a little bit, Gareth let us all know that his lungs worked just fine. As an infant, if Gareth was crying, usually all I had to do was lay him on my chest and he’d calm down. Days when he was extra fussy I remember just taking my shirt off and wearing him in the Ergo for hours at a time so he could be right up against me.
He’s still a typical 2-year-old boy, so he gets busy playing and isn’t aware of other people. But if he hurts someone, he feels so bad about it. Just yesterday he was swinging his toy drum around and bashed me on the eye with it. I of course screamed out in pain. Gareth realized he had hurt me, so he immediately started crying, then he hit himself on the eye with his toy drum and lay down next to me crying and holding his own eye. Afterward he patted my head and gave me kisses.
Also, Gareth loves the ladies. At his young age, he’s already gotten little crushes on baby girls his own age. And I know that’s what it is, because he’s never held a picture of a baby boy and just wanted to hold it and stare at the picture. Last week I was struggling to get Gareth dressed for church. For whatever reason, he did not want to put clothes on. We were running late, and I was desperate for anything that might work, so I asked him, “Gareth, don’t you want to put on these handsome clothes, so you can be handsome for Vada?” (Vada is a little girl in the nursery. Gareth likes to bring her trucks.)
Gareth looked up at me, as sincere as could be, and answered, “Yeah.” He then proceeded to put on the entire outfit I’d picked for him, and he walked out to the car without another word about his clothes. When Josh asked him if he was being handsome for Vada, Gareth smiled mischievously and said, “Uh-huh!” At some point I should probably apologize to Vada’s poor parents for encouraging Gareth, but at the time I was just so relieved I’d finally been able to get him dressed.
The other night I was rocking and cuddling with Gareth, and I asked him, “Gareth, would you like it if Mommy had another baby?”
*Note: This was a purely hypothetical conversation. I am not pregnant at the moment. But we do want to have more children, so unless it’s not God’s will for us, there will be a baby #3 at some point. Also, Gareth is fascinated with babies right now. He’s just completely in awe of them and loves to share his trucks with them, and pat them, and– if there aren’t any grownups to stop him–give them kisses.
Gareth answered me, “Uh-huh!”
“Would you love the baby?”
Gareth smiled really big, “Uh-huh!”
“But Gareth, what if Mommy had to rock the other baby on her lap? What if Mommy couldn’t rock you because I was holding the other baby?”
Gareth frowned, “No!”
“So you would love the baby, but I couldn’t rock it?”
Later Josh came in, and I repeated the conversation for his amusement.
Gareth was sitting on Josh’s lap, and I asked him, “Gareth, what if Mommy had to rock the new baby, and I couldn’t rock you?”
He thought for a second and answered, “Daddy.”
“Daddy could rock you?”
“No. (Pats himself) Mommy. (Points to nothing) Daddy.”
“Oh, so Daddy could rock the new baby and Mommy could rock you?”
With a self-satisfied smile, he replied, “Yeah.”