In honor of Mother’s Day, and the fact that I wouldn’t have enjoyed this day of sloth without them, I’d like to dedicate this post to my three sons.
When I was pregnant, he was our mystery man—the ultrasound techs couldn’t find his face because it was squashed beneath his brother’s butt for seven months, and he was so wedged into my pelvis I never felt him move. Matt and I swore this small, longsuffering gent would be the first to have a room to himself when he got older. I imagined him to be a shy and patient fellow. Nope. The first time I saw Jem, he looked like a small red fist, his wrinkled face screwed into a grimmace. He was completely outraged for the first few months of life. I remember being shocked when one day his angry fist face broke into a huge smile. Now, that dude’s smile is one of my favorite things in life. He’s still our headstrong boy, and he can still be a little tyrant when he wants something. But he’s also the guy who gives us bear hugs, who laughs easily, who loves to be held and have his back rubbed. He wants all the high-fives there are in the world, and in turn he will give you all of his food. We call Jem our tugboat because of his determined spirit and his strong, compact body. Matt and I are pretty certain that he’s the one who willed himself into existence when we went from having twins to triplets. And even though he’s a tough little imp, he was also the first baby to say, “mama” and reach his chubby arms up for me. (I’m 99% sure he thinks “mama” means “bottle,” but whatever.) So here’s to my firstborn, the original mama’s boy. Now please stop yelling at me.
Nicknames: Jem, Jemmy, Jamos, Apple Face
Favorite Pastime: Banging two things together
Most Likely To: Successfully launch dictatorship
Bran was born second. We had him pegged as the troublemaker in utero, since he had sat on Jem’s face for months and kicked Finn around like a soccer ball. He was also the biggest, so we assumed he was a straight thug. But a beautiful thug, like Ryan Gosling in “The Place Beyond The Pines.” Compared to Jem, who looked like a red fist, and Finn, who looked like an orange Fred Astaire, Bran rolled out of my body looking amazing. And, thankfully, he wasn’t a jerk at all. He was more patient than Jem, and a little less patient than Finn. Even today, he splits the difference between those two. Big Bran is an irresistible meatball with a full head of wavy hair and a sweet, dimpled smile. He’s a simple guy—loves his food, loves his pacifier, loves to be tossed in the air like a sack of potatoes and have stuffed animals dropped on his head. Loves when you eat his fat feet. He was the first baby to figure out how to propel himself across the floor, and is currently our biggest explorer, dragging himself into different rooms, always with his trusty sidekick, his alligator pacifier. Bran likes to coo and grunt in different voices—one minute he’s King Kong and the next minute he’s Ann Darrow. This fatty fat face is also a prolific fake crier. Bran is so juicy and adorable we will probably accidentally eat him one day. Except it won’t be an accident.
Nicknames: Bran, Gunka, Fat Baby
Favorite Pastime: Sucking on pacifier, grunting, dragging body throughout house
Most Likely To: Win eating contest/Live at home
Finn went from being our second largest baby to being the smallest—he’s currently about three pounds lighter than his brothers. He has transitioned from his start as an alarmingly orange child with enormous eyes to a normal colored child with enormous eyes. From the beginning, we could tell Finn was a different creature. His beefy brothers are all about physical comedy, but if you try to launch Finn into the air you will usually only get a tolerant, slightly quizzical look when he (hopefully) lands in your arms. He is much more of a situational comedy type of guy. Loves peek-a-boo and funny faces and any dumb catchphrase that you repeat over and over again. Loves when you sing to him. He is super ambitious, super curious, but very sweet and gentle. Sometimes when I am talking to him he will take his tiny finger and put it on my lips as if to say, “Shh, mom. I already know.” Finn has a small, light body with a huge head that causes him to topple over a lot. But he doesn’t let that stop him from crawling and climbing on everything he can get to. He has frog legs that never stop kicking, small hands that never stop clapping, and an infectious giggle that he uses liberally. His best friend is the ceiling fan in our bedroom. As easygoing as Finn is, he gets bored quickly and becomes very fussy. He also whines when his brothers accidentally touch him. Sometimes Matt and I want to give him a wedgie.
Nicknames: Finn, Yittle, The Gentleman
Favorite Pastime: Pulling up to standing position, sucking thumb
Most Likely To: Discover that Pluto actually is a planet on his day off from soloing with the New York Philharmonic
Those are our boys, circa now. I know they’ll change and become new people, and then change again. We have a lot more to learn about them.
As my first Mother’s Day winds to a close, I’m sitting at the counter in our kitchen, which is filled with the evening’s soft, dusky light. I have just eaten a delicious burrito that Matt made, and am currently making my way through a slice of cheesecake while typing, because I have no boundaries. Upstairs my freshly bathed boys are grunting and bellowing and talking jibberish—fighting the good fight against sleep. They’ll eventually lose, and we’ll go upstairs and pull their dangling legs back through the bars of their cribs and rearrange their blankets and sneak out. But not yet. Right now I get to sit here and listen to them and eat my cheesecake and enjoy one of those rare moments where I feel truly lucky and content.
Happy Mother’s Day, everyone.