I love having a baby and a three year old in the house, especially when the baby is fat and happy, as young Sam is, and the three year old is one of the sweetest humans I have ever met (though as a three year old, he does have his moments).
Sam started out fussy, and who can blame him? His pregnancy and birth were the hardest of all my bride’s eight children. And then at two weeks he was hospitalized, poked and prodded and examined, sometimes by people who did not seem to know what they were doing.
So for a long time he was pretty upset, but as he is very audial, always attracted to the mysterious sounds around him, especially musical ones, I could often distract him by bouncing him and singing various songs of my composition, such as “I am Mr Fussybutt that’s who I am, I am Mr Cuteybutt my name is Sam” and so on, a reference to the fact that he was fussy but cute, and cute but fussy.
But he has gradually calmed down and these days, at almost four months, he is almost unrelentingly cute, and just as his brother Will, our current three year old, did when he was a baby, Sam smiles every time he looks at me. Not that he will always look at me; like all the babies he will sometimes doggedly evade my gaze. “Hey Sam, I’m over here” I will say, as he deliberately pretends to not hear me.
Life is rough, and it’s been a hard winter, with still a long haul ahead, and more Arctic air coming, though apparently not of the scary Vortexial variety. There are the inevitable worries and concerns, the heartbreaks of daily life.
But it is great to come home to a fat baby and a generally cheerful three year old, and to the other children, the little ones rowdy and winsome, and the older ones, straining and testing and seeking.
And, of course, to come home to the bride whom I love.