Thursday marked the nine month anniversary of Tyler’s arrival to our home. It was also a breakthrough day for my boys. Gracie and Molly had been invited to a sleepover at a friend’s home. They were excited to go and spent the afternoon packing all of those “essential” items needed for a sleepover. Right before we were due to leave I discovered Tyler outside jumping in mud puddles. It had been raining all day long so the puddles were impressive. Tyler moaned and groaned when I told him to wash off his legs but was cooperative.. especially when I promised him old pots and pans to play with in the mud when we got back home. On the way we went through one of those “windshield wipers flying” sort of downpours. I told Tyler that he could only play in the mud when the storm stopped. Luckily for him by the time we arrived home the clouds had parted.
I pulled out the pots and pans I promised and Tyler spent and hour outside making mud pies. He even convinced Rusty to join him. Rusty didn’t stay out quite as long because he was still battling a flu bug that left him feeling icky. The boys called me out to show me their mud pies. It was nice to see them playing and laughing together.
Rusty and Tyler have probably had the toughest time bonding of all the kids. I think Rusty struggled with feelings of being displaced when Tyler moved in. He was no longer the only boy and no longer the baby of the family. Rusty wasn’t accustomed to a brotherly relationship so when Tyler pushed and roughhoused Rusty wasn’t sure what to make of it all. This new sibling relationship was nothing like what he was accustomed to with his sisters. I knew the bond would grow with time but it was just tougher for the two of them. It is funny how removing the girls from the mix for the night accelerated that bonding.
When the boys came in muddy but happy I sent them to the bathroom to clean up before dinner. At dinner I told them that since the girls were having a slumber party they could have one too. Tyler was thrilled. He had never been to a slumber party before so he questioned Rusty on how one “slumbers.” Rusty informed him that they would get to sleep together in a new room.
“Can we sleep in Molly’s room?” Tyler asked.
“No,” replied Rusty, “we will sleep in the livingroom.”
“Momma, guess what..we are going to sleep in the livingroom!” Tyler informed me excitedly.
“What else, Rusty?” he questioned.
“Well,” said Russ, “We will eat snacks and watch boy movies.”
“Guess what, Momma… Rusty said we are going to eat snacks and watch boy movies!”
Rusty then informed Tyler that he would sleep on the big couch and Tyler would sleep on the little couch. Tyler wanted to know why they couldn’t sleep on the same couch together. Rusty finally compromised and told Tyler they could sit together to watch the movie but not to sleep.
The boys had a great night. You could hear the adoration in Tyler’s voice as he looked to his big brother for guidance on the proper way to proceed with their slumber party. Later in the evening Rusty started feeling yucky again. You could tell that he really wanted to go to bed and abandon the sleepover but he hung in there for Tyler. He did ask for medicine to help with his sore throat. As I went into my bathroom to look for medicine Tyler followed me in.
“Momma,” he said, “I know why Rusty’s throat hurts.”
“Why,” I asked.
“Because,” he answered, “Rusty and I played and laughed so much.”
He then leaned close and whispered with eagerness, “Momma, I think Rusty really likes me.”
Well I just melted into a puddle of Momma mush. There was such hope in his voice and I realized the strides that were made that night between two little boys learning to be brothers. The equation of success..
3 old pots + 1 puddle of mud + 1 load of laundry + 2 bags of popcorn + 1 “boy movie” =
God is good!