Missed Buses & Baby Talk

By Natalie

This morning, we missed the bus.

It was to arrive late for the two hour delay, and we missed it. I was granted extra time, and we missed it. Within the ten minute window I opened the front door to peer out the storm door just in case the bus showed up early. Caleb was ready to go, with his back pack on, but I found myself in between burping Grant after his bottle, and putting on my shoes so I was ready to run out. Apparently the bus in the morning is different from the afternoon bus so when a bus stopped at the end of the driveway that I didn’t recognize, I took too long to ponder the fact that it indeed was his bus. “Come on Caleb!” I shouted, and grabbed his hand to catch it, but the bus drove off. “Well that’s that.” I thought, looking down at Ryder who was staring back at me like “What’s going on? What’s the rush?”

“We’ve got to get you dressed silly boy.” I said, while he sat in his jammies.

It was a beautiful frigid 15 degree morning in Charlotte, and I would have never enjoyed that freezing air had I not played tetris with car seats in my car this morning. So many buckles. So many boys. Once I rounded them up I hopped in the driver’s seat to head to Caleb’s school much to the boys confusion. Their faces read “Where are you taking us?” and “Who cares? We’re going on an adventure!” All at the same time.

So we get to the school and I have a plan. Grant in the car seat on my left arm, Ryder holding my right hand. Then I filled Caleb in. “Caleb, you hold Ryder’s hand, and you don’t let it go until we’re inside.” Across the parking lot and into the front office I signed Caleb in and headed to his classroom to drop him off. “We made it.” I told Ryder. “Almost half an hour later, and we’re headed back home!” Then Ryder scrunched his face, and laughed. As always when I say something silly to him.

Back at the house around lunchtime I realized some things…

It’s official. All this time, and I’ve finally developed my boy vocabulary. Including all dialects of vroom sounds and rocket take offs. It’s taken some practice, but I’d like to believe the boys are impressed. It’s nearly impossible to play with little boys unless you’re able to produce such sounds, and nearly impossible to entertain babies for prolonged periods of time without staying animated.

I’ve also noticed that I am unable to feed Grant with out making odd shapes with my mouth. He opens his mouth for the next bite, and I can’t help but create an O with my own mouth. He takes the bite and then pauses. “Uh oh” I’ll think to myself. “He’s realized it’s carrots.” Well, let’s be honest sometimes I think it to myself, and sometimes I mention it to Ryder who is much too preoccupied with his own lunch.

While we’re on the topic of Ryder and his lunch… You know how they say when you get married sometimes you eat more because you’re mirroring your husband? Well, I’ve found that when I’m around kids I want to eat the things they’re eating. When I was a kid’s church teacher I’d go around pouring them Goldfish, and then be like “Oh what’s this? An extra dixie cup? Don’t mind if I do…” Don’t even get me started on those squeezable applesauce packs. I like applesauce too. But that’s ok, I’ll skip the convenience and buy myself a giant jug of it to put in my own containers. I’m an adult now, I should be eating my applesauce with a spoon. Right?

Quickly trying to get a smile back on Grant’s face rather than a sad look of betrayal I smile wide, and say “It’s gooood Grant, nom nom nom nom.” In the babiest of baby voices. He ponders my words, his eyes gazing at the expressions on my face that he’s still learning. Then.. a smile, and maybe even a coo if I’m lucky. Orange drool is spilling out but that’s alright, he’s happy. Now he’s ready to try another bite. Some days we go on like this the entire feeding. Some days he’s into it, and let’s face it some days not even we adults want to eat our peas and carrots.

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