I'm realizing as I look back at when Cash was little how much of the cute and funny little things your kids do that you adore, you will forget. It's been so cute to watch these little personalities emerge and I hope I don't forget all the nuances and the funny personality quirks, but I just might. Even looking back at pictures of the twins, I can't believe that's what they used to look like. It's so different.
If you were to take a snapshot of our house at any given time, you would have a pretty good chance of catching one of two scenarios: Cash playing contentedly, Ashton off in his own little world babbling unintelligibly yet emphatically to himself, and Phoenix screaming. Or you would find Cash crying over something, Ashton wailing, and Phoenix squealing delightedly as he runs off with Ashton's toy clutched defensively to his chest.
I have to laugh every day at the ridiculously poor diction the twins have. I say a word for them. They repeat it. It sounds so not close to anything that I have said that I just break out in laughter. I repeat it. They again repeat what they have said, nowhere close to the word. I actually can almost always figure out what they're saying, but it's tough. Broccoli (bobbi) and strawberry (bobbay) sound almost exactly the same, so that one's hard to decipher. I deciphered "mut" as milk. Daddy and doggy are interchangeable (sorry Ryan). Ashton happily said "Gurga!" the other day when the stuck DVD finally started up again and I realized that it was "working." Although they love to say "icky poo poo" and somehow that one manages to sound spot on. Anyway, Ashton is definitely farther off in his enunciating than Phoenix. I don't know, see for yourself:
No seriously, ever since he was a baby I said he sounded like the Swedish chef on the Muppets! And it's so funny that only recently I realized he still sounds like that! Especially because he gets the inflection so it's like he's having this whole conversation, only to anyone else it's just, "Ver de fur de ver..." Such a crack up. He also loves to smile and laugh in that kind of way like you're sucking in air and sound like a donkey. He'll walk up to people and just laugh like that until they stop and acknowledge it. And laugh back at him. He's generally the more mild of the two but he has uncontrolled break-outs of rage and will start flinging his hands wildly in front of him to knock out anything within a three foot radius. I can usually see these starting to happen and start to yell frantically as I try to get there in time to save the bowl full of cereal, the plate full of crackers, the box full of toys, the stack of puzzles, or the jar of peanuts - all of which I have been unsuccessful at saving and have spent many an hour grumbling at their cleanup. But then he's usually done.
Phoenix, on the other hand will probably be in anger management classes someday. We have spent the better part of the last year and a half with these two in the midst of teething. It has been miserable. Since the time they started teething at 6 months, we had only about a blessed three month break from the incessant misery and woe that came with every one of their teeth. And their teeth came in so slowly. I remember someone telling me that by the time you actually see the tooth starting to come in, it's in within a day or two. Oh, not so with them. I would see a tooth barely poking through, only to look two weeks later and see it still in the very same spot. So, you know, that's a good 40 teeth between the two of them, a few weeks of screaming, crying, whining misery per tooth...and yeah, we've had to grit our teeth a lot in the last year and a half. And hopefully look forward to that time when they were done teething. So come our 2 year checkup a few weeks ago. I ask the doctor to check and see if all their teeth are in (since she's already poking around in there). Oh, guess what. Phoenix is finally done. Gulp. That means. We have a bigger problem. On. Our. Hands. Like this is just your personality. Sigh. This kid is definitely the trial of my motherhood.
But he is also spunky and cute, and the more cuddly of the two (which isn't very cuddly since they have never sat still for more than 10 seconds at a time). Phoenix loves to figure things out - he is almost always the first to figure out how to work something, dismantle something or beat something (like getting out of the crib or taking off his pajamas). He loves getting down our routines like putting dishes in the sink, getting shoes on, etc. He is also the one to idolize Cash and repeat whatever he says and try to do whatever he does, even when Cash is yelling and mad at me. It's so funny to hear Cash yell, "I'm not doing NOTHING!" and run off and hear Phoenix yell, "NUFIN!" and run off after him even though he has no idea what anyone is even mad about. He can make the funniest faces, smirk at you with his eyes half closed, make you laugh, and drive you crazy. He is obsessed with eggs, which causes a fullblown tantrum about every time I open the fridge (which, you can imagine is quite often). And he can spend hours out of the day screaming. Really. Hours. His persistence is amazing. I'm sure it will amount to some noble quality some day. He loves to say Ma-maaaaayyyyy? (a really drawn out and inflected mommy) about a million times a day. I think I started counting once and got to 30-something within a few minutes. I think he likes the power of eliciting a response every time he says something - he also has his preferred response. If I start saying "Phoenix" back to him, he gets irritated and tells me "No, what?" is the response he's looking for. I also like to think he just likes to make sure I'm there. And that thought makes me happy that I am.
Ashton's favorite phrase is "Marma, sa, gooooo!" (mark, get set, go) repeated at frequent intervals. When he first got the gist of that phrase I heard it every single time I would stop the car at a red light. He is also easily awed or just dramatic I guess since I hear "woah," "wow," "oh no!" "uh oh," and "hooray!" interjected about every other sentence for nothing that seems worthy of exclamation that I can tell. Ashton is also slightly more stubborn and immune to distraction than Phoenix. He wants the toy he wants, he remembers the item you hid, and if he wants to stay put he will stay put. Which he does, and doesn't seem phased by the "I'm leaving you threat." In fact, he's so stubborn that I've had to go put the other two in the car and come back for him, still in the same spot, not crying, not trying to get out of the house, not worried in the slightest that I've just left him. This poses huge problems every time we try to go anywhere! He is obsessed with dumping things out - especially anything edible - crackers, cereal, shredded cheese. I was surprised to find out they were only 1lb apart at their last checkup because even everyone else always comments if they pick him up after Phoenix - "Woah. This one's heavy!"
It's also so fun to watch Cash grow up and see his little mind working a million miles a minute. I love hearing him make up stories and hearing things from his perspective. And smiling at the funny things that come out, like, "We can hug on our arms and our bellies," (???) and "I am FREAKING OUT." (Obviously must have got that one from me :) He is my snuggler, the one who will panic to no end if he can't find me, and the one who will close his eyes blissfully and let out a contented sigh as he comes in for a hug or a snuggle, then say, "I am so happy." He also tries to calm me down when I'm yelling at the twins, usually by saying, "I'll sing you a song and make you happy." He's also recently started singing songs about a baby sister. Weird and really out of no where since he doesn't really know anything about babies, hasn't been around anyone with babies, and I just have no idea where it came from. I keep telling Ryan maybe he knows something we don't. Anyhow, he cries and whines and fights with his brothers of course, but for the most part that boy is sweet as pie.
So there it is - trying to watch the details and savor the time. And remember. Because I really have a terrible memory.