I've always had pretty good radar when it comes to B.S. Having boys has helped develop my radar to top of the line detection. I'm always a little skeptical when one of the boys, especially the older two, come along with an "I love you Mommy". I immediately ask questions...."what have you done?", "where are your brothers?", "did something break?"...you get the picture.
John Thomas has never been an overly affectionate child so when he comes towards me with his arms open wide, my defenses immediately go up. Myles on the other hand has always been very affectionate and he can look at you with the sweetest, most adorable face as he basically lies through his teeth. Myles also thinks that as long as he says he's sorry, then the deed should be forgiven automatically - no questions asked, no punishment necessary.
Hunter, while still innocent, has a look that he takes on when he knows he's crossed a line and done something he shouldn't. He's now at the stage where he doesn't need help climbing the cabinets to get to the play-dough. But unlike Myles who is smart enough to close all the drawers and remove evidence of his sins, Hunter leaves everything out so even Barney Fife wouldn't have trouble gathering evidence to convict.
At 10 1/2 months, Jax is my little observer. He watches and waits for his brothers to get into trouble. It's as though he has worked it out with his older siblings. I can only imagine the conversation....
John Thomas - Ok Jax, if for some reason she starts yelling and you see us run or start to cry, thats your cue.
Jax - Got it. Mom gets mad. I look cute and anger is diverted. She picks me up to hug and forgets that you just spilled the juice on the floor that was just mopped. I can do that.
But every once in awhile I'll have one of them come up to me and put their arms around me and hug me tightly with a big I love you. When I ask what was that for, I'll get a just because and I'm ok with that.
I make it a habit to tell each of the boys how much I love them on a daily basis and the usual response is either "yeah, I know" or "ok". The one exception to this is Myles...
Mommy - Do you know how much I love you?
Myles - More than ice cream?
Mommy - More than ice cream and cake!
Myles - That's alot of love cause you really like ice cream and cake.
Myles has always been my little communicator and sometimes the stuff that comes out of his mouth makes him sound like a 70 year old man instead of a 5 year old little boy and this little exchange has become "our thing." I love "our thing."
I have only just begun this journey known as motherhood and while I know that there will be many twists and turns along the way, I also know that by making sure the boys know that they are well loved, it will be easier for all of us to overcome those future obstacles. It also helps to forgive the latest work of art added to my wall courtesy of a 2 year old with a purple crayon.