On Being That Mom
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Every Little Thing They Do Is Magic

On Thursday, I took Ezra to a belated Valentine's Day party at Noah's school. He sat at one of the little tables, clearly impressed with himself, hanging out with the big kids. He ate a plateful of cantaloupe chunks with a fork. When he was done, he carefully placed the fork on the plate and carefully toddled over to the classroom's play kitchen. He then placed his dishes in the little sink and fiddled with the faucet for a bit before going back to his seat.

I couldn't believe it. I pointed and jabbed in his direction just in case anybody else was watching. No one was, though I insisted on telling everybody about it anyway. Who taught him that? I didn't teach him that. Who is this kid, this mimic? What different species of toddler did I produce this time? Wow.

***

On Saturday, we took Noah ice skating. We bribed him, of course: If he tried ice skating for awhile we'd go to the toy store and let him pick out anything he wanted. Jason laced up his skates -- my heart clenched up in preparation for a Big Fight about New Things On His Feet, but he was perfectly calm -- and took him onto the ice while Ezra and I hung on the bleachers. I aimed the video camera at them, zooming in on the tiny skates on his feet, ON HIS FEET, WHERE HE LET US PUT THEM, and away from his shrieking, terrified little face.

It was Jason's turn to be the Patient Ocean this time, first picking him up, then moving him to the wall, somehow distracting him from the dozens of other unsteady little skaters wiping out all over the rink. By the time they came back around to where Ezra and I waited, Noah was smiling, cautiously plunking across the ice while holding onto Jason's hands for dear life. "OH WOW, NOAH," I shouted over the din of the crowded rink.

***

Ezra, meanwhile, found a slightly elevated, slightly slippery metal bleacher that he was determined to walk across. He stepped up and toddled for a bit before his foot slid off and he went down...while I dove after him to protect him from whatever terrible injury a four-inch stumble off a bleacher seat could inflict. And he would get back up, and try again. Soon I stopped helping him up or offering my hand. He wanted to do it by himself anyway. When he finally made it all the way down to the end without falling, he looked back at me and beamed. "OH WOW, ZAH," I shouted again, and clapped for him.

***

Later, at the toy store, Noah picked out a Build-a-Road set. Jason and I were so impressed with the ice skating we likely could have been talked into the expensive Playmobil set he's already requested for next Christmas, but he was adamant. Road. He wanted the Road.

Ezra took advantage of a slight miscommunication between Jason and I and attempted to walk out of the store while we weren't looking. A salesclerk brought him (and the personalized "Brooke" mug that he'd tried to abscond with) back to me, more than slightly annoyed at our carelessness. "Is this yours?" she asked. I sheepishly said he was and pretended to be all kinds of shocked at my fearless, daredevil child. 

***

Later, at home, he evaded us again.

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***

Noah and I assembled his new road and bridge, and when we were done, I turned on one of the battery-powered cars and set it loose on the track. Noah screamed. He howled. He grabbed the car and switched it off. After he calmed down, I asked him why he didn't like it. The noise, he said. The noise was too gray. 

I looked at Jason, like, OH, WOW. DID YOU JUST HEAR THAT? He nodded. We know about the blue songs, the green songs, the red and yellow and purple songs. But we've never heard him describe anything as gray before.

***

That night, Ezra just happened to walk into the room right when the skier on the TV fell down. He pointed at the screen and burst into tears. He shook his head, nonononono, and covered his eyes. I picked him up and he buried his head in my shoulder. Nononononono, he said, out loud this time.

***

On Sunday, Jason made the questionable decision to put on our DVD of Star Trek: The New Lens-Flarish One Without a Semicolon & Subtitle Which Just Feels Kind of Wrong while Noah was in the room. I clucked and chided but couldn't find the remote. Noah positioned himself on the arm of the couch, a look of increasing curiosity on his face while everything on the TV started exploding and zooming and shwoooom vroooom bang blasting. 

He stayed there, frozen, throughout the entire opening scene. His eyes were like saucers, but he wasn't scared. He was FASCINATED. He was clearly watching the GREATEST THING EVER, this space opera explode-y movie, this crazy rocket-airplane-boom-thing.

Right as the movie title and Star Trek logo revealed themselves on the screen, his jaw dropped, he leaned forward and...gasped. "Oh. Wow." he whispered. "Oh. Wow."

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***

Comments

Kim

Long time reader, random commenter.

I always knew I loved Noah but his reaction to Star Trek was the same as mine.

Neil

I think you either have a future poet (the grey description), a figure-skater, or a geek (Star Trek) on your hands.

Missie

Clearly, Noah has exquisite taste in movies.

Just as clearly, Zah has exquisite taste in breakfast cereal.

chatty cricket

is it possible to squeeze them through the big giant interweb? because they are too much.

TwoBusy

Synesthesia?

Kathy

Oh wow, indeed!

Fakey

And my heart just melted all over the keyboard.

Dammit... Is there some kind of conspiracy to make me try for baby #2 RIGHT NOW, rather than waiting one more year?

natalie

Amazing. Both of them.

the Grumbles

Stop it yo, you're making me tear up at my desk. Your boys are so awesome. We love them too.

Belle

Ezra's table manners at school and at home are quite different... ;)

Ulla

I was thinking sound synesthesia too! Apparently something in my education is sticking.

Amalah, I love your family so much. Every step forward Noah takes makes me tear up and feel so PROUD of the little man! Look at him facing his fears! (*cries*) he is so brave and is my hero!

Susan

My husband and I also cover our eyes and say nonononono when the skiers wipe out - but really, isn't that why you watch skiing? It's like NASCAR for higher income brackets.

Thank you for sharing your adorable family with us once again.

Sprite's Keeper

I'm thinking Ceiba may have had a hand in Ezra's cereal mishap. I've caught my little dog trying to get my 3 year old to do the same thing sometimes. :-)

Kelly

I think you have two really neat kids, Amy.

lara

This was a fabulous entry.

And, agreed to the first commentator and I'm sure many more to follow: many of us remember the first time we saw Star Trek. Oh wow, indeed. It really does make *sense* to so many of us, doesn't it?

Dawn

Any chance Zah would be willing to give lessons in clearing his plate to a 3 year old?

And totally echo Noah on the reaction to the new Star Trek; Oh. Wow! And this coming from a die-hard lover of TOS!

Thanks again for sharing your wonderful, beautiful family with us!

Audrey

Does Noah have synesthesia? I have a friend who has that and he painted his laptop keys colors because it made it easier for him to type. He's also partial to certain kinds of music (Sigor Ros is one of them) because of the colors they are.

Julie

This is exactly what I needed to read today. Im pregnant with my first, a son, due in two months. Usually, I am just very nervous. After reading this I am so very excited to meet my own little boy.
Thank you.

Julie

This is exactly what I needed to read today. Im pregnant with my first, a son, due in two months. Usually, I am just very nervous. After reading this I am so very excited to meet my own little boy.
Thank you.

baltimoregal

Is your hamsterdog wearing a sweater? Need picture pls.

Karen

Noah is awesome. He is very wise to recognize the awesomeness that is Trek, and you are blessed to have such a child.

I have a kid who insisted on being not Kirk, not Spock, but Dr. McCoy when he first discovered the Original Series. He actually refuses to watch any Star Trek that does not have McCoy in it. When the new movie came out, his main concern was, "I hope they got Dr. McCoy right. And if McCoy dies, it will be the WORST MOVIE EVER."

Lisa

I love Ceiba in the background, like, OHHELLSYEAH NOMNOMNOM

Brooke

I can only assume that Ezra chose that coffee mug for me. How incredibly darling! Such fun stories--this makes me excited to be a mom.

Jessica V

They ARE magical, aren't they? Also? Belle's comment above about Ezra's table manners at home vs. school totally made me snort.

Love those boys!

Jen L.

I love your children...and your hamsterdog.

Kirsten

Amy, I don't know how, but you manage to move me to tears 95% of the time. The rest of the time, I'm in tears from laughing so hard LOL

Noah and Ezra are amazing, as are you and Jason.

BTW I have to add this, as a friend sent it to me yesterday and your last picture of Ezra reminded me:

What did the blonde say when she saw the box of Cheerios?

Oh look! Donut seeds! *badump bump*

kate the great

SO CUTE. Oh my word.

And I think Amy's said that Noah has synesthesia before on this blog. Hasn't she? Anyway, that sure is what it sounds like.

cindy w

Well, to be fair, that particular Star Trek movie IS pretty kick-ass. Noah clearly has good taste.

My daughter just turned 3 and is often, um, "sensitive" to trying out new things. (That's putting it mildly; she doesn't quite match the way you describe Noah, but... yeah. I get it.) I can't imagine trying to take her ice-skating. So, so happy that Noah tried it AND enjoyed it.

Kelly

When I was at the very oldest Ezra's age, possibly younger, my Mom went out of town for business. She called my Dad to see how everything was, "Oh yeah, she's fine, we're watching Apocalypse Now." "What?" "Yeah, she likes the colors."

Emily

Delurking...Amy, your blog is the only one I read faithfully...it's been a privilage to watch your boys grow. I want to hug them through my computer. Keep up the wonderful work.

Mags

I was waiting for a table a 2 Amy's on Sunday when I saw you and Noah walk in. I turned to my cousin excitedly and said, "Do you know who she is?!" "Oh, Amy Storch? Yeah I read Amalah too." We are all your fans. (I apologize for the fan-girl gush!)

Heather

Watch out. Before you know it he'll request to watch The Daily Show and The Colbert Report and laugh in all the right places. While still in elementary school.

It gets more fun as it goes!

LPC

A future Trekkie. Make it so. My son, with mild synesthesia, sobbed at the thought of flippers on his feet. Never did take swimming lessons. Why the feet are so important we may never know.

Sarah

Yay for Noah and skating! And THANKS for finding the time after the toy store to help us out with trying to jump start our car! What a small world!!!

Amber Mc

Is it weird that I want to adopt your whole family? All 4 of y'all? I think it's weird.

annettek

OMG you're raising a Trekkie! I knew I loved you.

cheryl

synaesthesia came straight to my mind too... a friend of mine knows numbers by colour, and gets a certain taste in his mouth with different music...

Amber

Your kids are fantastic. & the title of this post is perfect.

Edie Teedy

Watching Noah and Ezra grow up is the most fascinating part of my entire Internet. Posts like this are my favorite.

Jamie

I am so proud of Noah! And well Ezra is nom-able as always.

eva

It does not surprise me one bit that Noah loved Star Trek so! It is right up his (and every other future engineer's) alley!

Aimee

I wish I was as brave as you are, and I only have one little boy (who's so much like Ezra it's a little scary.)

Angie

Amy, I read your blog faithfully and love how you use such beautiful, illustrative language.
I gasped when I read the toy store clerk's comment. What a horrible thing to say: "is this yours". I think I would have done a "Pretty Woman" on her - showed her the stuff I would have bought, then walked out. It's a toy store for goodness sake, not a china shop

Nancy

Does anyone else see the resemblance between Noah's hair and Spock's? (aside from color, of course)

Wonderful stories about both lovely boys... *swoon*

Kate @ And Then I Was a Mom

Um, as to the question "What species of toddler did I produce?" If I may be so bold as to answer: THE AMAZING KIND WHOSE HOUSEKEEPING SKILLS SHOULD BE CAPITALIZED UPON, PRONTO.

statia

Seeing Noah as an older kid makes me hope that I will have an easier time communicating with my own kid.

Plano Mom

Ok, so I know that it's gotta be tough as hell to handle this, all these challenges with Noah, but these stories? All of them? These are cool.

Karen Chatters

I'm a little unclear on why Ceiba hasn't leapt over Ezra in a mad dash to get to that HUGE pile of cheerios. My dog would have taken the kid OUT and have them wedged up his grubby nose.

Your boys are beyond adorable.

Haley-O (Cheaty)

LOVE hearing about your boys! That mess looks very familiar to me, somehow....... And what's with kids and wandering when you turn your head for two seconds. They're so trying to make us look bad....

Maria

Oh wow, indeed! Everything they do & everything you write is magic.

HomeValley

This has to be one of my favorite posts in recent memory... I love your depiction of the every day things kids do. I have 13 more weeks to go before my first, and I CAN'T WAIT.

MommiePie

It's so funny that Ezra is all -"I'll do the dishes. Yes, I'm very tidy," out in public but then totally eats off the floor at home!

Love it.

You have the coolest kids!

Deanna

Thank you! All smart boys (and girls) know that "Star Trek" is the greatest thing ever and can always make everything better!

Bachelor Girl

Big wows and big hugs from this corner too. What impressive little boys you have.

Cassie W

And that was my ovaries bursting.

Jennifer @ Here-I-Stand

Do you watch Heroes? We're a bit behind on it here in Europe, but they recently introduced a deaf character whose special power is seeing colors rise from sound (with hints that it will turn into something more). And I thought of Noah...if what he sees is anything like what the special effects look like on that show, it must be spectacular.

Parsing Nonsense

Fun post! Good on Noah for trying ice skating, and way to go Ezra for putting his own dishes away! He's already more advanced than 98% of grown men!

Wendy

I know that there are still all of the hard moments, but Noah is coming along SO NICELY! I work with sibs of kids with special needs, so not to leave Zah out - he's impressing day-by-day too!

A Mom Amok

We took the kids skating recently, too, and it was one of those excursions which ended in me shouting, "I AM NEVER DOING THIS AGAIN!" Good times.

A Mom Amok

We took the kids skating recently, too, and it was one of those excursions which ended in me shouting, "I AM NEVER DOING THIS AGAIN!" Good times.

amanda

Wow, this whole thing blew me away, from your emotions, to the boys' adventures. So powerful as grey becomes a prism of so much!

Jenn Bo

My favorite Amalah post evah. The title was perfect for the content.

Sara

love, love, love but WHERE THE HELL IS THE SKATING VIDEO??? I got so excited and it wasn't there!

MusingsfromMe/Jill

Love the stories about Ezra. He reminds me of my oldest. She would always do the thing that made you go...huh? Good and bad. I remember when she took all her books off her shelves and laid them on the floor in a swirly pattern. I asked her why. She said she was making paving stones. And really there is no response to that, is there?

Mrs. Q.

That Build a Road does make a strange rattly clackety noise, so "gray" sounds fine to me. My kids love that toy, but one word of warning: HAIR! Don't get those cars close to your hair or drive them over your head-- those little wheels don't stop turning. I've had to cut the cars out of wincing people's hair three times now. Huzzah!

susu

I never post, but read almost everyday. My kids are older (it happens faster than you think).
I learned something important about being a little boy's mom (no matter what his challenges). Sometimes we gotta let go and let dad. I know you're a great momabear and you stand between Noah and the cruel world, but sometimes that world delivers stuff men-in-training NEED. Its hard. I have been there. I have a 12 year old star wars guru (and YES I know the difference between trek & wars). Let go of the "its too VI-o-lent" refrains you hear from other moms. Embrace boys will be boys (on a limited space movie related basis). Let Noah explore this side of himself. It will go against your instinct to protect. Trust your Jason:) Noah may learn some intangibles, but isn't the idea for him to become a BOY? This may help him overcome some of what sets him apart. This worked with my little boy. I used to agonize about how different he was, how he wasn't accepted by the other 4 year olds, how easily he became overstimulated. I tried to control and control and control. What I learned is that he learned coping skills I can't teach when I started to embrace his nature. He's a BOY!

Jean

Buy that kid some Star Wars!!!

Elizabeth

The story about Ezra clearing his plate is so cute! I have no idea why they do that, adopt completely different habits out of the house, but both my boys sure did.

I'm cheering Noah over here, I mean, ice skating! I just loved his reaction to Star Trek, who would have guessed? Way to go!

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