My Maxwell. My silly, sweet, dance-with-his-whole-body Big Boy. He's changed so much over the past few months. (Almost) Gone are the days when he would run, laughing maniacally over his shoulder, away from me in Target. He asks politely now to get out of the cart with a promise of, "I'll walk gently with you, Mommy," which he always keeps. He's helpful while shopping and patient while we adjust his brother's straps for the 100th time when getting back into the car. I mean, VAN. (And I'd better not forget it.)
Max is confident. He'll often wander away from whatever activity Evan and I are involved in and find his own game, perfectly content to be on his own, yet anxious to return to share with us the funny new game he's come up with. Lately, his favorite is to march around the house waving two three-foot-long dowel rods in the air. (He's my second kid, so I let him. Molly will be juggling flame-throwers when she's two.) While marching and waving poke-someone's-eyes-out sticks, he sings at the top of his lungs, "MarCHING band! MARching band! Marching BAAAANNNDD!" The game, naturally, is called Marching Band.
Sometimes, if Evan is feeling less-than-thrilled to be his audience, Max will create his own cheering section. He "very gently, Mommy, don't worry" carries the Nutcracker collection from the window sill in the dining room to the kitchen floor...
After he lines them up very deliberately, each in their own individual tiles, he continues on with his Marching Band parade circle around and around the kitchen/hallway/dining room loop, with the Nutcrackers enthusiastically applauding his show. This can go on for dozens of minutes at a time. Dozens.
But even when the parade is over, the Nutcrackers remain the favorite toy of late. Max brings them to the coffee table, arranges them just so, and talks to them.
He tells them about Bear Ticklish's latest adventure or what he hopes Santa brings him. (Which, as of yesterday, was "Puzzles, just puzzles," which is unfortunate because I happen to have already wrapped his presents from Santa, and guess how many are puzzles? Right. So, maybe I'll be making an unexpected trip out all by myself between now and Saturday night.) Once, I even overheard him confessing to the Nutcrackers his anxiety over staying with a babysitter for the first time.
I was surprised to hear him say, "It'll be hard, very hard," because I didn't even know he was listening as I talked to Evan about the approaching Night With A Babysitter....because Max wasn't even supposed to know about the Babysitter...he would be in bed before she even arrived...and when the big night arrived, he was--he had no knowledge that she was even here! Several days later, he told the Nutcrackers how much fun he had with Maddy the Babysitter...
But getting back to the puzzles.... This kid is hooked. Now that he's mastered the 24-piece board-puzzles, he takes two out at a time, dumps and scrambles all the pieces together and gets to work sorting and completing the puzzles simultaneously.
I mean, he must be some sort of genius kid to figure out how to create his own problem-solving Challenge Round, right?
And then, in the very next minute, he'll dump all of the balls out of the ball bin, put the ball bin over his head, and walk around the house bumping into walls and furniture...having the time of his life.
My brother said, in the most loving and affectionate way, "He's JUST LIKE the kid from Parenthood."
And he is.
And he just melts me when he greets Evan in the morning with a bear hug and an, "I just love you, Evan." Or when he crawls over to my lap, "opens" my tummy and kisses it with a, "Hiya, baby Molly girl!" Or when he curls up against me while I read to him in his rocking chair, with the binky that he now just uses at sleep time, and reaches up to hold my ear.
My Maxwell. Who is thisclose to becoming a Big Brother, and who will step into that role as he's mastered every other milestone to date: with confidence, ease, and humor. My Maxwell, who is still so little, yet who already knows how to use those big, blue eyes to get me every time. My Maxwell, who is always willing to play Jessie to Evan's Buzz Lightyear...not Woody, not even Lotso, but Jessie, Every Single Time, with no complaints.
My Maxwell, who just woke up from his nap and is calling for me...so this post, for now, is complete.