They’re almost two and six and a half now, funny, strong boys who slip through the various stages of play when together, from careening through the house and backyard to each sitting with a book. Tristan’s features are still soft and call up echoes of Seamus, whose chin and brows and limbs are now firmly Kid, not Baby.
Their rhythms don’t quite sync. Tristan wants to wake early, nap late, and stay up later still, making it hard to give him the same attention I gave Seamus, as his awake time is jammed with the logistics of preparing for the day and transporting Seamus to and from school. I watch one of Shay’s classmates on Monday afternoons; the occasional triangulation is hard on Tristan as he gets left out. Tristan’s protracted bedtimes are hard on Seamus, as Patrick is often home late, making my big boy’s evenings lonely while I nurse down his brother. The trick seems to be for me to get to bed by nine-thirty every night, and scheduling our days with some rigidity - Mondays for x, Tuesdays for y, etc. This only works provided we’re all hale and hearty; the cold season leaves me improvising and relaxing my already lax standards for housekeeping. Especially right now. I’m home alone today with a cold that’s given me episodes of vertigo while Patrick takes the boys to a museum and to Seamus’ appointment with the orthopedist.
Did I tell you all that Seamus broke his arm three weeks ago? It was a clean break in his humerus, just below the growth plate. Three weeks in a sling and then we’ll check it again (today!), the doctor said. We hosted a potluck that weekend and he led the other kids in climbing in and around Patrick’s truck, making footholds of the tires and leaping off of the tailgate. In the dark. To prove that he can keep up, Tristan already has racked up three black eyes this new year, and can now climb into Seamus’ loft bed unassisted. They are children of action, mostly allies who drive each other up the wall about twice a week, usually right before dinnertime.
They have their differences. Tristan’s fine motor skills outstrip his brother’s, but Seamus had greater reserves of energy at Tristan’s age. Tristan loves music and sang before he spoke, and Seamus is very visual. They complement each other while remaining temperamentally similar, and Tristan mimics Seamus as much as possible. Since Seamus is learning to get some of his emotions under better control, this gives me hope for the years ahead. And they work together to help clean up the toys, musical instruments, books, and art supplies that litter the house at the end of the week. Not perfectly, not without some resistance, but they try to help.
We’re so glad they’re here.