Every single time I think I might be getting a handle on how little boys think, they go and prove that I'll never figure them out. I could fill every column that I write with the ridiculous things I say and do in my attempts to be a competent parent. For example, I heard myself saying, "Hey! Knock it off! You and I both know you're looking at him and laughing on the inside whether or not you're moving your face. You're driving him nuts!" It's much more valuable, in the interest of later blackmail material, to have a chronicle of the silly things my children do in the course of simply living.
While preparing the boys for bed the other night I stationed myself in the bathroom for the toothbrushing assembly line. My eldest and my baby were done first and removed themselves to the bedroom to climb into bed and await their brothers. I heard Rowan crying his little head off in his crib because he did not want to go to bed. I called to Liam to make sure Rowan was alright. Having established that there was nothing worse going on than a case of want-to-stay-up-late-itis I figured I could let him cry it out a bit while helping the other boys get ready. Liam was not so complacent.
I could hear him trying to cheer up his baby brother. He tried reading a book, telling a joke and doing a silly dance. After each attempt to calm his brother down, Liam received a resounding screech of protest. There was a huge repeating crashing sound that was Liam "rocking the crib." I promptly stopped the crib-rocking and turned around to fold some clothes that had been tossed to the four corners of the room while telling Liam, "You've done a wonderful job trying to calm down Rowan. I think it's really sweet that you want him to be happy, but I think you can stop now and just let him settle himself down." I came around full circle after folding expecting to be looking my ten-year-old in the face and instead saw him lying on his back with his legs and arms in the air looking expectantly at his wee banshee of a brother.