It was 1974.
It was the terrible 2s.
We had no way of knowing he would live only twenty-two more years. The following are excerpts from my diary, written when I was seven years older than he ever got to be.
Parents of small children, cherish these times, even the bad times. They go so quickly and you never know from day to day how much more time you'll have with each other. I hope it's a long, happy life. But you never know... Don't waste these precious years.
I'm afraid my baby is showing all the negative aspects of terrible two-ism. I've said for years that he was born a terrible two, but I forgot that the worst aspect of this time is the sudden insistence on independence. As far as mischief goes, actually he's better than, say, 6 months ago. It's hard to believe that sometimes, but I think his attacks on Tom are fewer (only 500 a day rather than 1,000) and he does seem to be able to play with the older kids--and being articulate in speech (more or less) does help. But what is driving me up the wall is the to-be-expected 'I do it' stage.
Going anywhere with him is getting to be a real pain. Here I looked forward to just having David at home so we could do things together, but now I find it is more frustrating than anything. Getting out of the car he gets furious if I offer a helping hand ('I jump'). Keeping him out of the freezer has become a major project. Especially when there is something like ice cream or popsicles in it.
He is still terribly cute. The other night when I let him come and sit in my lap until he fell asleep, his face positively shone and I must admit I was so glad I had done that rather than force him to sleep somewhere else. It was such a special type of look.
He has invented yet another brand of mischief. He has learned how to take apart a pen. This is TERRIBLE It's hard enough finding ANY pen around here most of the time, but now when you DO find one, it's scattered around the house. This morning I came upon him with all the innards to the pen in his hand and when I reproached, 'oh, David...' he gave me his wide-eyed innocent star and said, 'I didn't.'
* * *
David took apart the telephone this afternoon and when I found him with it dangling from his hand, he looked at me very innocently and said, "I didn't--Daddy did it.' He also jumped on Tom's stomach and when I yelled at him, this tiny fury-filled figure pointed at me and shouted 'I hate you' and then ran to hit me."
* * *
Last night I was nursing David on my bed and he suddenly stopped and said 'Wait--I go get a drink--save my nurse--don't zip up my nurse.'
Today at Mass, David put $1 in the collection basket -- and tried to take $2 out!
David fell the other day--not seriously hurt--but I started to say something to him as he was dusting himself off and he said, "That's OK, Mom. I all right. Don't worry about it."
(My very favorite memory of Baby David)
* * *
David was fooling around while nursing the other day and laughingly told me that my "nurse" had chocolate milk in it.
* * *
Tom and David look so cute right now. They just got dressed--David came down wearing baggy jeans, a shirt which he put on upside down (and got very angry when I tried to tell him that the neck did NOT go around his waist!) and the polo hat we got at the fair. Tom is in jeans, a sweatshirt and his jacket and Ned's baseball cap. When we got David turned around, Tom turned to Dave and said, 'C'mon, Dave--let's go play football' and they both swaggered outside.
The business of Tom and David is really interesting. Suddenly they have become "best friends." And for a couple of kids who have hated each other for two years, this is quite a switch. They sit together at mealtimes (cause no end of problems because suddenly David is the most popular person to sit with and EVERYBODY wants to sit next to David--so at least two people cry at every dinner) and Tom keeps asking David, "You're my best friend, right?" to which David responds with an enthusiastic "right!"