Oliver is still my jealous boyfriend, two years later and (maybe) ten pounds heavier. When he wakes up in the morning, he stands at the top of the stairs and calls for me to come and get him. Then he will say, “cuddle me” and I will do just that, as I quickly turn on Max and Ruby to officially begin the day. He still sticks his hand down my shirt when he is sleepy or sad and still wishes he could sleep breathing into my neck.
This same little boy searches twice a week for the perfect show-and-tell for preschool and barely waves goodbye when we part. He is the child who steers his scooter with perfect concentration up and down the street with his brothers, expertly using his crocs for breaks. He is the kid who can belt out all the words to the latest song they are learning in church. He is the polite young gentleman who always remembers to ask, “Mom, can I please have a drink of water.”
Oliver is at the crossroads of baby and big boy, and he has decided to just camp out there for awhile.
Sometimes when I get frustrated by a tantrum he is about to throw over having something just so, I hear a little voice whisper to me,
Look at things from his point of view.
And when I do, this is what I see:
Spending a couple of hours in the car every day just to go to the places that everyone else needs to go.
Mommy spending hours every day patiently cuddled up to Carina – feeding her and putting her to sleep.
Brothers who can run faster, understand rules better, speak Chinese and go to school every day. Brothers who aren’t always patient.
Being dragged to the gym, practices, and the grocery store with no say in it.
And I compare Oliver’s life to the simple and kid-centered world that Colin got to live in at his age, and it helps me show him a little more patience. It helps me to figure out just what he is a fighting against and what would make both of us happy.
Because despite the stress of a three year old life, he is a generally happy kid. He still steals hearts with his big brown eyes. Almost daily he requests that I make his hair spikey and for the rest of the day I see him out of the corner of my eye, gently patting the top to see if the spikes have held up. He makes words up and weaves them into his vocabulary regularly enough for the whole family to use them – “Sheckle,” “Surf-Jack,” “Eagle Miter,” and “Jewfus” are Coleman family slang thanks to our littlest boy.
His only desire is to spend time with the people he loves –reading books with his pointing elbows pushed into my sides, racing cars with his brothers, lounging on Dad and playing Angry Birds, making games up with his cousin Liam, who has become his go-to friend few times a week. With Oliver, close is never close enough.