Want to know what your nights look like as little boys? Let me paint you a picture.
Not at the moment (mommy is out of commission for a few weeks), but usually, your mom and dad travel to and from work together. On the way we drop you off and pick you up from what I consider a top-notch preschool. While your dad and I are at work, you and your brother learn about different countries, do yoga, pet horses, try different foods, and learn different languages. With this school, and at this moment, you are legitimately smarter than your father 🙂 How you ended up at this preschool we will save for another letter, which may be useful to you when you have kids.
We typically pick you up from school just a touch before you are ready to eat dinner. What that means for me is I have to HUSTLE to get dinner ready when we get home. For Ryker, the wait isn’t a big deal. For Cole, the world quickly falls to pieces as each minute passes and there isn’t food in his mouth. I often have to wear Cole as a handbag or boot while I cook just so he can see the food progress into a meal to ease his mind.
Cole, my baby, you may be the healthiest eater I have ever seen. Your father called you a mosquito when you were born because you were never satisfied from eating (I credit you 100% with helping me lose my pregnancy weight). You quickly earned the nickname, “Tub-Tub” as you would plump up before a growth spurt from eating man-sized portions of food. When you run around the house, you are affectionately called, “Tubs,” “Cole-Cole,” and “Little.”
Once food is ready, Ryker takes his place at the head of the table. Although his chin is about level with the tabletop, that is his spot. Cole still needs to be confined to his high chair as his shenanigans aren’t yet to be trusted. Now with regard to your meals; Cole you are a DELIGHT to feed. You eat whatever I put in front of you like it is gourmet. You shovel food in your mouth by the handful and smile like it is Christmas. Ryker, my picky little man, I have to use every psychological trick in the book to get you to try things. Last night I told you that lasagna was, “a magic spaghetti square.” Didn’t work. You did eat an entire apple with peanut butter and a piece of garlic bread though. The night before you dipped a graham cracker slathered with peanut butter into ranch dressing. You eat like your mom.
During any meal, Ryker has to get up and wander the living room between bites. Time to meal completion can be hours. Cole on the other hand spends 5 minutes in beast mode, another 10 minutes in savor mode, and then the last few in, “throw the leftovers on the floor, clean my hands with my hair, and empty my drink onto my tray mode.” Cole’s entire highchair will get pushed into the kitchen, with him still in it, as we start our cleaning ritual:
Step 1: Find the baby under the food.
Step 2: Shake the baby out of the food.
Step 3: Get the baby naked.
Step 4: Take shoes off and play tickle the feet (I need to record that. Cole, you are too cute) Step 5: Sponge the squirming baby
Step 6: Let the baby loose to push his high chair back to the dining room and play.
During all this, Ryker has learned to wait patiently for his time. By this time your dad has re-emerged from his after work hiding place and will grab Cole for some bonding time upstairs. Ryker, you then get a special big brother treat as I do the dishes. Sometimes ice cream, cookies, or pudding. Sometimes just cuddles. But you and I will hang out together for at least half an hour before bath time.
Now let me tell you about bath time, you little shits. You tiny terrorists will often leave the entire bathroom SOAKED. Cole will jump on Ryker’s back, Ryker stands up and drops for max splash, Cole uses the back of the tub as a slide, Ryker dumps cups of water on Cole, Cole lies down and submerges his face… only luck and God has kept your father from busting an artery. That is a GOOD night. Sometimes, you little a-holes just scream. When we tell you to cool-it, you laugh at us. This, is the definition of karma. Your uncle Pookie and I have driven Grandpa Doodle nuts in equally frustrating ways. One day it will come back to you…
After the bath, it is run in and out of the closet time. You take turns running in and out of the bedroom and locking each other in the closet. Sometimes you run together and hold hands, sometimes you chase each other, sometimes you go in there together and try to trash it before you get yelled at. Your dad and I just watch you be brothers from the den. No matter how much you fought over toys during the day, at this time of night you are best friends, and it evokes a sense of pride to watch.
Next, dance off. Every. Single. Night. We watch, “Pitch Perfect.” You each have favorite parts, and we visit those scenes at least three times EACH as we all mimic the choreography. I need to say, your dad is a badass sniper with tattoos… he dances to show-choir with you. Ryker, you dance like you are in a club (I fear you get the booty shaking from me). Cole, you dance like a cool guy. To wind down, you brush your teeth in front of the TV with your little electronic Spiderman toothbrushes.
Prayer time. Ryker, you are a champ at this. Every night, this is your prayer:
I love you God. Thank you, God. Protect me God. Protect my Mommy, Protect my Daddy, Protect my brother, Protect Moosh, etc etc etc (we list about 20 people). AAAAAAAMEN.
Cole even gets in on the “Amen” and will often scream DOO-DOO as we list people to protect. He loves his Grandpa. Sometimes he will try to sneak out of the room to play some more though.
Finally, “nigh-nigh” time. At this point I lie down on the floor while you two fall asleep, and sneak out about 45 minutes later. Ryker, you always sneak in a few extra cuddles. Sometimes you pet my head and tell me that I am you best friend. Cole, sometimes you will yell if I don’t say, “Shhhh, don’t be sad. You are a good boy.” Almost always, you boys fall asleep sweetly.
Love you endlessly,