In the mix

David spent almost our entire vacation stunned, frozen in a mixture of fascination and awe while he watched his cousins.

Every morning David wakes up disappointed that, once again, he has to spend his day with his mommy. His boring, lame, all out of tricks mommy.

Then we went to Franklin County and every day brought more excitement. Cousins! Grammy! Gramps! Aunt Kristie! Uncle Jason! Uncle David!

When we’re at home, meal time is quiet and David-centric.

At Grammy and Grandpa’s house every meal was a mixture of choreography and chaos. There were more people than chairs, more food than table space.

David was delighted by John Amos’s mealtime visits; he didn’t seem to mind his cousin snagging snacks from his tray.

David is the baby of the group, and he did his best to stay in the mix of things. John Amos is just 6 months older than David, and they were quick pals.

Whenever David heard John Amos waking up from his nap, David would freeze, lock eyes with me and crawl back to John’s room like he was leading a rescue party.

Ellie and Abram, the big kids, spent most days in the pool, digging rocks, and drawing with sidewalk chalk. They are always moving, vessels of imagination and energy, but they would slow down and show David how to use a toy or roll the ball with him. Crawling at top speed, David could almost, but not quite, keep up.

He might not have been able to keep up, but he sure was included.

“Aunt Amanda, can Baby David come watch Dinosaur Train with us?”

“Aunt Amanda! I built a tower David can knock down.”

“Aunt Amanda, can you put David in this basket and then I’m going to put all the toys in with him?”

Abram had a toy John Deere 4-wheeler that would make engine noises and bounce up and down. Something like 400 times a day David would crawl over to it and push the button. Each time it started bouncing, he would erupt into laughter. Same joke, same punchline, just as hilarious every time.

Thank you, Abram, for sharing your toy.

As the first child, David lives a pretty protected life. During his naps the house is quiet. No one plays with his toys and he never has to wait for a snack because I’m taking care of a sibling. Anytime he starts to pout, I’m available to hold him.

I always say David should have been my second child. He loves activity and chaos. While he’s definitely attached to me, he doesn’t necessarily revel in the quietness of the house or the isolation of our mommy-baby twosome.

My sister says every child should have been a second child, and I think she’s probably on to something.

So while his cousins ran past him in a blur, overflowing with ideas and bouncing from one activity to the next, David was captivated.

[Full disclosure: He also spent plenty of time climbing on the mantle and trying to knock the fire poker on his head, splashing in the dog bowl, trying to crawl into the refrigerator and throwing a tantrum when we wouldn’t let him destroy the dishwasher. So he wasn’t frozen the whole time, but there were moments of immobility.]

I never really get his obsessions. Like, kid, the power strip isn’t that awesome. Why don’t we try a different toy? One that is safe and lights up and plays music and sprays glitter and liquid Christmas all around the room. No? You want seven more hours with the power strip? Great. When you’re done with that, wanna smash your fingers with mama’s free weights for the rest of the day?

But his complete inability to take his eyes off his cousins? Oh, I totally get that one.


  1. Laura @ Mommyrunfast August 6, 2012

    so fun! we’re going to see all of L’s cousins next weekend, and it will be very similar- chaos and fun! She’s in awe of her big cousins too… and definitely prefers more noise and activity than I can provide. I sometimes wish we still lived in communities where all the kids were playing together all day while the parents got the household work done… it just made sense. 🙂

  2. Jenny Ramsey August 6, 2012

    "i don’t understand your obsession with the power strip." says the woman who spent HOURS playing in a chicken coup.


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