The Age of No Reason

Three years ago I had a little boy baby. He was a sweet and funny little lump, not walking until he was 15 months old and never bothering to crawl. You know where this is going, right? It’s such a cliche. Heavens! My second baby is not like my first baby! It’s just that I’m in a constant state of “Whoa” with little Elliot.

He runs. Like one of those zombies in 28 Days Later. And is just as destructive. He just turned 13 months old. A few weeks ago I brought out Alden’s out music table for him. He jetted over, flipped it and ripped off a leg.

By this age Alden was good for a little chat. Elliot has two words. Both verbs. Always expressed with an exclamation point. “Look!” which he picked up after a week at Disney World hearing us say, “Look! Goofy! Look! Segways! Look! Fireworks!” all day long. Recently he added, “Up!”

Come to my house and watch Elli run to me, shout “Up!” then, once lifted, yank my hair and yell “Ow!” (Does that count as a word?) and then burst into tears. He cries when he hurts me, which often means you can find me forcing a cheerful smile through watering eyes after he’s crashed his head into my face yet again.

I know I’m painting a picture that isn’t quite right. Elliot is also a big snuggler, very laid back, cheerful. He’s not a tornado. He’s just often cheerfully fast-motion monkey climbing up the stairs or scaling the desk. And he only knows two words. “No” isn’t one of them.

That’s the root of my amazed consternation. By the time Alden was really mobile, I could reason with him at least a little. Elliot is unreachable in that way. He gobbles cat food and craft supplies, bangs on the oven door, jabs his fingers at light sockets and in no way acknowledges “Hot! No! Danger!” I mean, he knows when I’m telling him to stop doing something, but he considers all those admonitions specific to the moment they’re being given. The sockets are fair game in his mind five minutes later. He’s just still got a baby brain in a very capable and energetic little body.

He’s only five pounds lighter than Alden. Did I mention that?

So yeah, Elliot is blowing my mind. I’m grateful for his goofy, gangbuster self. He’s teaching me a whole different way of mothering.


This is the only picture I got of Elliot at Boo at the Zoo. I spent the rest of the night racing after him. He ran down every dark path, waving Alden’s witch broom in his left hand, hollering like Braveheart, and ripping off his costume with his right hand.

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20 responses to this post.

  1. Now you’ve know I’ve got a special place in my heart for little Elliot, so if you want me to take him for a weekend, I will. But then I’ll have to give him back.

    Reply

  2. Now you’ve know I’ve got a special place in my heart for little Elliot, so if you want me to take him for a weekend, I will. But then I’ll have to give him back.

    Reply

    • I fear he would refuse to come home if I let him spend an entire weekend with you.
      We will be in Atlanta in December and I know we would all love to see you.

      Reply

      • I know I would love to see all of you, too. Name the time and place. As always, you are welcome to stay here, if you like.

      • Thank you! I’m coming in to be part of the Lavish conference, which is Dec. 10-11. Once I get my act together on the full when/where I will let you know. I’ll do my best for that not to be on Dec. 9 at 11pm.

      • You can come in at 11 on the 9th if you need to. Either way I’ll be happy to see you.

  3. Also, of course, No!” is a challenge. It’s funny to make Mommy turn those colors!

    Reply

  4. Also, of course, No!” is a challenge. It’s funny to make Mommy turn those colors!

    Reply

  5. I fear he would refuse to come home if I let him spend an entire weekend with you.
    We will be in Atlanta in December and I know we would all love to see you.

    Reply

  6. You are more right than I would wish!

    Reply

  7. I know I would love to see all of you, too. Name the time and place. As always, you are welcome to stay here, if you like.

    Reply

  8. It’s really amazing how two children can be so very different while being raised by the same parents. I see it with my two girls. Sometimes, I just chuckle (or tear out my hair) and say, “They really come into the world who they are.”

    Reply

  9. It’s really amazing how two children can be so very different while being raised by the same parents. I see it with my two girls. Sometimes, I just chuckle (or tear out my hair) and say, “They really come into the world who they are.”

    Reply

  10. That’s exactly why I was so comfortable with the idea of adoption (which didn’t pan out). You are always bringing a stranger home, bio baby or adopted.

    Reply

  11. Thank you! I’m coming in to be part of the Lavish conference, which is Dec. 10-11. Once I get my act together on the full when/where I will let you know. I’ll do my best for that not to be on Dec. 9 at 11pm.

    Reply

  12. It’s so true!

    Reply

  13. You can come in at 11 on the 9th if you need to. Either way I’ll be happy to see you.

    Reply

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