The clock rolls over to 7:00 am, and one by one, they trail into our room and climb into the big bed. Baby Rex has been babbling since 6:30, and now that he hears his two big sisters mumbling about their dreams in the next room over, his babbles turn into angry demands to be removed from his crib.
Whichever parent is more awake stumbles out of bed, rubs eyes, and retrieves the appreciative baby — the big hugs are reward enough for getting out of bed first.
We all crowd back into the big bed, now-alert kids bouncing all over us parents as we try to turn our closed eyes into some sort of game.
But Daddy is too irresistible as a gymnastic mat, and soon all children are climbing on and bouncing off his back. Soon, he wakes up enough to toss a kid here, throw a kid there, and squeeze in a snuggle or two. I scoot to the edge of the bed to stay out of the fray and keep my eyes shut a little longer.
Then suddenly Rex decides it’s time for everyone to settle down.
“Seep,” he says, and lays his head on a pillow while he closes his eyes in mock slumber.
Mom and Dad happily oblige by lying still and closing our eyes.
The sisters laugh and join in.
But they can’t remain that way for long. Soon, they’re back to wrestling and climbing, which only makes little Rex more indignant.
He sighs loudly, gives us his famous stink-eye, flutters his eyes, pouts his little lips in frustration, and commands again, “Seep!”
We’ve never had a baby like him. He’s as moody as he is handsome, but darned if I don’t just love him all the more for it. It’s not like he’s truly even moody. It’s a pouty act he’s somehow perfected in his less than two years on Earth. Maybe it has something to do with my fawning over his cute pouts, my imitating of his grumpy sighs.
I’ve heard sons hold a special place in their mamas’ hearts. While he’s still my favorite age, it’s hard to tell if my undying adoration of his grumpy expressions is because he’s a toddler — or because he’s my son.
Only time will tell.
But I think I’m beginning to understand why baby boys are the darlings of their mamas’ eyes.