Child’s play

As bad as I feel that James will never have the luxury of my undivided attention as Maddi did, it’s comforting to know that in other ways, he’s better off than she. With Maddi, I was so shellshocked by her colic that it never even occurred to me to play with her until about a month and a half in. But with James, even if the thought wouldn’t have crossed my mind on its own, he would have been played with earlier if only because it’s impossible to spend all my time consumed by caring for a screaming baby when there is a toddler to entertain.

Luckily, James’ fussy periods are a walk in the park and can often be alleviated by some vigorous bouncing and singing. But not the soothing lullabye kind of tunes one might use for a new baby — like his big sister, he prefers to gallop on a spirited knee-horsey to the refrain “This is the Way the Farmer Rides.” Which is lucky, because there’s only one mommy and two little ones.

Thus, on days when both kids are shrieking at full-tilt — Maddi for attention and James for entertainment — if I am lucky I can manage to calm them both down with a simple knee-bouncing song. Two kids plus two knees equals instant (relative) quiet! Of course this is taxing on the legs, not to mention that one leg gets more than twice the workout of the other, but what’s a little lactic acid buildup when you’re soothing life’s little heartaches? My arms got quite chiseled when Maddi was this age, so it’s about time my legs caught up.

And here, in James’ twelfth week, are my two nonscreaming kids enjoying a bounce on my knees (I promise they are happier than they look!):

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