London granny is on vacation this week, so I find myself juggling working from home with watching Rukai. No small feat. His new treat-everything-like-monkey-bars attitude is equal parts glorious and exhausting. Those parents who experienced this phenomenon far earlier in the child rearing experience will likely not know how good it feels to ease the weight of that particular piano as it slides off your shoulders. It's a heavy, troubling old bastard, and it hasn't exactly been banging out ragtime singalongs for the better part of two years.
And see there - a new grin on his face, a new light in his eyes, as he realizes that piano was weighing him down as well. When he realizes that - with it's departure - oh how he can fly! Lookitmego.
And he goes up up and away.
Eyes in the back of my head seem to have appeared at about the same time. And fortunately, once he summits the sofa I can park myself in front of it and click away at my keyboard while he plays with the random socks, mittens and rubber duck he left up there last time, giggling over my shoulder at the Baby Einstein kids singing 'Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes' for the 87 thousandth time. (And that's just today's count.)
But since both of us need a break from our work here and there, this time I let the kids on the TV laugh and run off screen, click 'send' on another email and turn to pause and un-cross my eyes, grasping another ten minute window til I must go back in.
On this play break as on most, I let Rukai take the lead in what we play and how we play it. And as long as he doesn't want to chuck plates across the room or knock over the garbage can, this is usually not only acceptable but a great way to encourage him to experiment. To test, to problem-solve, to strengthen pincer grip and hand-eye coordination. It's not 'therapy' or prescriptive. It is letting a kid be a kid.
It is letting a kid belt out belly laughs. And attempted words ("awah mama!"). And kid screams. Auditory diamonds.
So we sit down for a go at his latest game which we shall title 'not-only-can-I-throw-things-but-I-can-knock-them-off-your-head-too-hey-check-me-out!' And this round was played thusly:
We are sat on the floor. Rukai hands me some object which I am supposed to balance on my head so he can grab my hands, pull up to stand, let one hand go (huge move for him just now) and knock said object off. Off goes the object (a food packet in this instance) and he goes for my glasses next. Rules of this game state they either get flung across the kitchen or - another quite recent development - he tries to place them on top of his head and I will then put them on his face. But this time, we fling.
Packet and glasses gone, he grabs my nose with one hammy fist and leaves the other hand free. I remind him it is attached so he cannot pull it off and fling it across the floor. He looks me dead in the eye. His eyes blaze and he grins ear to ear.
And then he lets go.
And then he is standing. I am out of my head. A pride so all encompassing I cannot remember to breathe. My face must reveal this to him because the grin spreads, his eyes positively shine.
1-2-3-4-5. And then he topples into my massive hug.
And then he pushes off, seemingly oblivous to the sheer magnificence of what he has just accomplished - after all this time, what he has just accomplished - and scoots over to the toybox. Out comes a car and the game has vanished. Or has it.
Yesterday, I'd wondered if it was a fluke. Then today, he did it again. Exactly the same. No piano on that back, free flying wings and eyes so ablaze they could have blown a few dozen new holes in the ozone layer.
No, no fluke. We are approaching that new horizon and this is not a test.
26 months old. In your time, as it has been from your first intake of breath. You take your stand, young man. When you are good and ready, you take it.
Days 56 & 57: #100happydays