On the eve of Percy’s second birthday, I gave him a haircut. I decided the obscured vision and semi-mullet needed to be gone when he woke up in the morning: two years old.
Of course, Percy being Percy, the haircut was no straightforward matter. I played a movie on the laptop. I cut up copious amounts of Mike & Ike’s candy. I installed the professor in the chair beside the mullet-man, so as to dole out candy and restrain l’enfant terrible, lest I severely maim myself – or him.
I trimmed a nano-inch off the lad’s bangs. ‘That’s it? How long is this going to take,’ the professor despaired. But I couldn’t very well maim the kid’s cuteness – on his birthday.
We were cleaning the kitchen after dinner while the boys were building Lego robots in the basement. They came running upstairs to show off their creations and Percy mimicked his brothers precisely. He held the Lego in his hand, he showed it off and, when they ran downstairs making swooping motions with their arms, he did the same.
We burst out laughing, at the not-even-two year old, playing with Lego. And running around like a big kid. (Wearing a diaper.)
There are buckets of baby (i.e. age-appropriate) toys in the basement and he doesn’t touch any of it – he spends his days playing with Lego and cars. Because he has to keep up appearances with the older set.
This third boy of ours is sweetly self-centered (‘look at me!’, ‘my turn!’, ‘I do it!’) and street smart. He clued in at an early age, before he had words, that he was getting blamed for stuff he didn’t actually do. ‘Percy did it…Percy broke it’ his brothers would point their fingers at the one unable to defend himself. And so, the minute he learned to string words together, he repaid the favor. ‘Henners did it!’
And now we never know who’s actually responsible for the damage around here.
He is adamant and particular; if he doesn’t like something – he lets you know. ‘No pictures!’, ‘no bath!’, ‘no haircut!’, ‘no diaper!’, ‘no pants!’ When we were visiting the Heartland, I gave the kid a sponge bath one night. Because he was filthy. He screamed bloody murder. ‘What are you doing?’ a semi-concerned friend asked. ‘I’m giving him a sponge bath….his feet are dangling in half an inch of water.’
I’m hoping this aversion to cleanliness is just a phase.
In the two years since we brought the little dark-haired alien home (really, two years?) I’ve been surprised often. Not by the arguments over toys and food and absolutely nothing, but by the love. The brotherly hugs offered at unexpected times. Holding hands in the car, or on walks. The snuggles at bedtime and the way the ‘baby’ allows his brothers to carry him around the house.
And the sweet tutelage from oldest brother to youngest: ‘can you say burt?’ ‘Burt.’ ‘Can you say B?’ ‘B.’ ‘Can you say U?’ ‘U.’ ‘Can you say R?’ ‘R.’ ‘Can you say T?’ ‘T.’ ‘Burt.’ ‘Burt.’
If it wasn’t the Gort’s made up word for ‘burp and fart’, I’d be really proud.