This morning I woke to the strange sensation of a small child chewing on my elbow. The "strange sensation" soon translated into pain, the small child being my 9 month old son practicing his chewing skills with his 3 and a half new teeth. I believe he was also trying to tell me he was hungry. Several teeth marks later and message received, Gabriel. Message received.
I have been blessed with the most relaxed, easy-going child I have ever met. He is pretty introverted, particularly in social situations, and can come across as being rather serious. But don't let him fool you. He is quite the goof ball and can even be a noisy little talker/screecher when he's in the mood. He seems so tender and quiet, but the kid has a scream that even makes Aiden cover his ears and say, "Make it stop!!" His favorite pass times are yelling and/or laughing hysterically at Aiden and Gypsy (no reason needed, other than walking into the room), taking long walks at the park, biting, and getting himself into precarious situations (even though hardly being mobile). I can put him down in the middle of the room surrounded by non-threatening, chewable toys, walk into the other room to grab something (let me remind you my house is a whopping 700sq ft) only to come back 5 seconds later and find that he has somehow managed to make his way under the couch and find a phone charger (that just so happens to be plugged in) and either have it in his mouth or wrapped around his neck.
Gabriel refuses to crawl. He gets himself around either by changing his postion (butt to belly, belly to back, back to belly, belly to butt), inching forward (looking like he's going to attempt to crawl, only to return to the seated position, having moved a quarter of an inch, this is his most patient practice), or moving to his belly on the hardwood floor and simply pushing himself backwards. The last tactic often ends with him wedged under a couch or cornered into a wall. I have tried everything to get him to actually crawl (why I would even want him to crawl I have no idea): Demonstrating (this I save for the privacy of my home as me traipsing around on my hands and knees making exaggerated facial expressions to show how very happy I am to be crawling can be a little embarrassing in the wrong setting). Bribing with toys (it feels quite cruel at times when he gets so close and I move it just a little further. Nevertheless, he is not to be persuaded and usually stops after a few minutes to give me a look that says, "Really? Think I'm gonna fall for that?"). I have even tried manually moving his hands and legs, just to get him used to the movements. He responds to that tactic by falling to his belly and looking at me as though I just tried to push him off a cliff. Really, I am not that worried. Aiden didn't crawl till he was 10 months, and even then it was a scoot not a crawl. I guess our kids inherited my caution (I'd be lying if I said I am not a little thrilled about that fact--considering the alternative). Gabriel's signature look is raised eye brows, arms held out to the side, legs straightened forward, hands and feet twirling about. It looks like he's trying to ride an invisible motorcycle and he seems to say, "I'm trying so hard and still getting no where!"
Gabriel can make the most profound expressions. I've had more than a few people tell me he seems "mature", as though he's an old man trapped in the body of a baby. Strange, yes, but it definitely describes him when he is in his serious moods. He can say so much with the littlest of facial movement. A smileless smile that can fill you with joy and wonder. A frownless frown that makes you willing to go to the end of the world and back to fix whatever the problem might be. A raised eye brow that makes you question the very purpose of life. It all sounds like nonsense, but I'm not making it up. I'm not.
When you first have your second child, you kind of expect them to either be a miniature version of your first child, or the polar opposite. It's funny how surprising it is to see how unique they each are, even in their similarities. I love it. I also love that I am at a place where I can notice these things and find joy in them again. Love, love, love it all. :)