Klop-klop giggle klop-klop. “Hee he heee.”
“Mommy! He’s getting me!”
Klop-klop ”He-he-huh-he hehehe”. Baby breath panting. Baby S tugged on my finger as he dragged me around the room, chasing Little Boy K.
We circled the chairs, then squeezed and struggled in between them.
“Mommmmmy!” Little Boy K shouted as he ran, half-heartedly, ahead of us, glancing back, a wicked smile on his face, encouraging Baby S’s advance while appearing to be terrified.
Little Boy K jumped on the couch and rounded on us, in self-defense mode, arms and legs outstretched, the last-ditch effort of one who has been cornered. Baby S let go of my finger momentarily to reach over the cushion for his brother’s leg, a giant toothy smile spread across his face, his chubby cheeks pink with exertion, triumphant. He has won.
Arms and legs flailed as Baby S claimed his victory and Little Boy K good-heartedly fought back. There was laughter, both of my boys’ laughs mingling together, Baby S’s “smoker’s chuckle”, breathy but still tinkly and baby-like mixed with Little Boy K’s lower pitched bubble-cackle.
I love this game of chase. We play it regularly. It is one of Baby S’s great joys and I think K enjoys it just as much, although he would likely deny it.
The happiness I feel at watching them together was a surprise. During the “baby” months there was little interaction, there were adjustments that had to be made, compromises and sacrifices. The idea of siblings was attractive but abstract. But now….they really love each other.
We added more than a baby to the family; we created brothers.
K once asked, “When I grow up, will I be Baby S’s Daddy and will he be my son?” Of course I attempted the necessary explanations but what was remarkable was his obvious disappointment that he would never be Baby S’s Daddy.
He wanted to take care of him.
This afternoon when the grandparents’ car pulled out of the driveway, Baby S and I stood hand-in-hand and watched Little Boy K’s face crumple in tears he was trying to repress as he sat down in the grass and began to cry.
I headed over, “It’s okay K, they will be back in a few weeks,” I consoled and wrapped my arms around him. I felt another hand on mine at K’s back and Baby S’s face appeared around the other side of K’s head, a concerned expression coloring his usually happy visage as he leaned in and peered into K’s face.
He reached up with his index finger and brushed a tear away, just below K’s eye. Unintentional, surely. A toddler wouldn’t…
Then he reached up and snagged another tear as it made its way across K’s cheek.
I don’t think Little Boy K ever expected his brother to want to take care of him too.