I don’t do sappy and sentimental. It’s just not me.
Instead, I mock, affectionately, and sarcastically, and honestly too. This can lead to communication breakdowns with all manner of people, from friends and family to coworkers, waitresses, even strangers. When you rely on sarcasm, it makes being sincere twice as difficult, both because you’re less comfortable with it and because no one believes you!
When it comes to my kids, and this blog, I occasionally take a break from myself and get all into my feelings. To make sure people buy it, I typically do it on their birthdays.
Today is The Hammer’s second birthday. Brace yourself.
Top 10 Reasons Why I Love My Son, Part Two
1st(TIE): His personality
It’s unformed, but already different from his older brother’s, and that’s both exciting and terrifying. Detective Munch was just as happy as The Hammer is at this stage, but he was nowhere near as fearless. Yes, all toddlers are fearless (and stupid!), but The Hammer has the kind of cold-blooded recklessness you only see in sociopaths. It’s fun and the opposite of fun at the same time. While his brother has grown into a cautious, imaginative 7-year-old, it’s looking like The Hammer is going to be the type to throw caution to the wind and rarely consider anything beyond what’s right in front of him. Which is going to be very lucrative for my therapist.
1st(TIE): His smile
His smile is straight-up infectious! There’s a reason I once made a collage of him and Tom Cruise smiling, the dude brightens up a room! He even makes me smile, which is no small task.
1st(TIE): His independence
As opposed to his brother at this age, The Hammer isn’t talking much yet. But with both a fierce independent streak and a brother around who inherently understands him, he doesn’t need to. He makes himself incredibly well understood to everyone without needing to speak, and besides, he doesn’t seem to care much if you know what he’s up to. He’s gonna do it anyway.
1st(TIE): His laugh
The only thing more infectious than his smile is his laugh, and the only thing more infectious than that is when he and his brother are laughing together. The only thing less infectious is when they’re both screaming.
1st(TIE): His mischievousness
When I wrote a list like this for Detective Munch, I had “impressions” in this slot, because Munch is a mimic, intentional or not. The Hammer is a menace. He’s less interested in copying us than getting a rise out of us, from taunting Mom and Buried with the food he’s about to throw on the floor to waiting until I’m within arm’s reach of getting a hug before he starts booking away from me, cackling the whole time. Dude loves a good “fuck you.”
1st(TIE): His hair
Bro doesn’t have much! At this age, the Detective had more curls than Annie. The Hammer’s got a wispy blonde mullet that looks set to drift away in the next gust of wind.
1st(TIE): His cuddles
These are a double-edged sword, because when he deigns to provide them – which isn’t all that often, since he knows you’re desperate for them and he likes nothing better than to torture you – sometimes he insists on giving them to you in the middle of the night after he summons you to his room with screams. And when he’s lying on my chest, completely content, I’m wide-awake, enjoying the moment but dreading the morning. Still, parenting is a load of bullshit, but getting a hug from my 7-year-old or some cuddles from The Hammer are pretty much why it was invented. It’s definitely why it still exists.
1st(TIE): His brains
Detective Munch is smart, don’t get me wrong. But these days, that mostly manifests in him being a smartass. And even when he was little, his brains spouted from his mouth. The Hammer is different. The Hammer is quiet (I mean, he’s not quiet, believe me, but he’s not talkative!) and attentive. The Hammer may not tell you what he’s thinking, but he understands everything. Sometimes I’ll test him and ask him to go get me something I’m not sure he can identify or to do something I’m not sure he knows how to do, and 9 times out of 10, the dude delivers. It’s actually kind of freaky, like the quiet kid in the corner who is smarter than everyone else but only lets on when he feels like it.
1st(TIE): His dance moves
Just like his brother, he loves to dance. Unlike his brother, he loves to TWERK. It’s problematic but also the funniest thing I’ve ever seen. And he’ll twerk to anything. I once caught him doing it to “We Are The World,” of all songs, and I swear to god at one point some polka came on (WTF, Alexa?) and suddenly the dude’s butt was popping left and right!
It wasn’t an easy decision, having a second kid. Especially after five years of just having the one. But, as I suspected, once he was born, the worries, if they didn’t exactly melt away, they definitely faded to the background. Yes, the anxiety and stress is amplified by having another mouth to feed, another person to protect, but that stuff is peanuts compared to the happiness his little face brings me every day and the joy I feel when he hears me walk in the door and comes barreling around the corner to give me a “welcome home” hug. Like his brother before him, he provides a natural high, and I can’t imagine the withdrawals if he weren’t around.
So, happy birthday to my youngest son. To say he’s the best thing that’s ever happened to me would be insulting to his older brother, but hey, since when am I afraid to play favorites?