With nearly 2 1/2 years of parenting experiences before the Gigglemonster was born, I felt moderately prepared for my second child. The surprise of how different it is to be a mother to my sweet baby boy has been one of the most wonderful disorientations of my life.
Boy energy is different, and the energy that the Gigglemonster brings to our family is that of a lovable, adorable, earthquake. He shakes up the equilibrium, and tries to reorganize the landscape to his liking, but he does it all with such a gleeful expectation that the rest of us will join in the game, that it is difficult to keep our footing where we thought we wanted to stand.
It seems he was born with a smile (although my memories of that moment are a bit fogged with 22 hours of labor!), and that smile has been drawing people in ever since. Just like his Dad he can melt my heart (and his Nanna’s heart) with that smile, and he is not above using that asset for a little good-hearted mischief or consequence-avoidance from time to time (also like his Dad).Despite his unsurpassed capacity to frustrate and annoy Princess Imagination, she is also his loyal fan and best friend. Different as they are, my two precious children love each other with abandon and draw indescribable joy from each other’s company. For the moment the Gigglemonster is usually content to follow in his big sister’s footsteps: from her love of reading and art, to the fun of dressing up as a Princess to dance at the ball (Tyler won’t let me post those pictures). But he is also very much his own person, and his natural leadership is beginning to reveal itself. He has taught her the joy of wrestling (with all the predictable bumps and bruises), and has added all the characters from Disney’s Cars to the cast of characters in their joint imaginative play.
For most of the first three years of his life, the Gigglemonster has been “home” full-time with Mommy, although that often meant a fairly jam-packed schedule of errands, play groups, language exchange meetings, and trips to and from school for Princess Imagination. Despite the sometimes over-full pace of our life as a day-time duo, the bond and the memories that have resulted from this pairing is beyond precious. Even once my baby boy is over six feet tall and able to pick me up, he will always be my little Gigglemonster.
As he moves now into a more independent phase of life with pre-school at the same school Princess Imagination now attends first grade, it is taking some adjustment for both of us. But, I have confidence in his ability to embrace this new challenge with joy and exuberance. The apron strings are being cut – may that free you to giggle even more, little monster!