I cannot believe one of my sons is about to graduate from daycare. I know this does not sound like a milestone, but it is. I have watched an only child become an awesome brother (most of the time), and subsequently observed the start of an amazing bond, complete with unusual rituals.
One nightly ritual in my house is the running of circles. Ever since Henry, my oldest, could walk, he ran in circles. He doesn't even need anyone to chase him -- that's just his preferred method. And clothing (for him and his little brother, Joel) is optional, which I hear is very normal for kids under 5.
I'm also relieved that Joel can now chase Henry, because running around your house in tight circles while holding a 20-pound toddler is a scary workout. If you regularly read my posts, you know the exercise part of the equation is great for me, but the fear of falling is not. I'm happy to say, in almost two years of running with Joel, that has not happened, and he loves it.
Wrestling is another favorite family activity. When my nephews are over, the two of them, along with Henry, put on shows for us. Seeing as WWE wrestlers look like they are only wearing underwear, so are the boys. They run around and use props, like pillows, foam rollers, and couches. It's hard not to cringe when a child jumps off a couch and on to another person, but so far there have been no injuries and only a few tears.
Now Joel and Henry wrestle. It's hilarious. The almost-2-year-old is fearless, and Henry is gentle as Joel lies on top of him. At this point it's really sweet, and they laugh the entire time. In a few years it might not be so good-natured.
The loudest time at our house is meal time. I'm not sure where my kids get it, but they like to eat. We are so lucky that they ask for fish and vegetables. Henry loves sushi; it's hilarious how mad he gets if I eat more rolls than him. Joel is too young for sushi, but he does enjoy the veggie variety. He has recently started yelling at meals for no reason other than he thinks it funny. Henry also thinks it funny so he joins in.
One of the hardest parts of parenting is not laughing when you need to discipline your kids, and this is one of those times. Watching an 18-month-old squeal with food shooting out of his mouth is pretty funny; add a 4-year-old in the mix, and it's great television, but you have to put the kibosh on it. I am happy to say, Joel no longer throws food he doesn't want on the floor. Although that was entertaining, I should buy stock in the Swiffer.
The sweetest moments arise when one of the boys is sad. It doesn't matter if Joel is crying or Henry is crying; the other brother offers a consoling hug. Granted, the affection is not always appreciated by the injured/sad brother, but it melts a parent's heart. My goal as they continue to grow is to somehow develop more rituals that include hugging, helping each other, and avoiding WWE injuries.