When Elliott was just over a year old, we were worried because he didn't eat. During one of his check ups with the doctor, we were told not to worry, babies don't eat much before they're two. I don't recall whether we were told then or not, but it has become clear that after they turn two, they act as if they simply forgot to eat for a year and they embark on a frantic search for those lost calories. For the past week, Elliott has located many of them.
Today, for example, Elliott ate a bowl of cheerios for breakfast. For the past year, this would qualify as a great breakfast. More mornings than not, he would skip what has been called the most important meal of the day. But this morning, after he lapped up the last drop of milk pooled in the bottom of his cereal bowl, he turned to me and said "yogurt." I hesitantly went to the refrigerator to fetch his request, fully prepared that I would return to a big grin, part of the old "I changed my mind" trick. Not today. He ate every bite of the yogurt. If there was going to be any mind changing today, it would be to request two containers of yogurt instead of one.
The increased appetite could be attributed solely to Elliott reaching an age where infants naturally begin to eat more. I, however, attribute it in part to fear. Elliott has witnessed as closely I the rapid expansion of the creature we have come to misidentify as Ian, Elliott's little brother. Elliott is just sharp enough to project Ian into a brother large enough to completely disregard his stock in all things Cartwright. Our house, food, vehicles, friends, newspapers, dirty dishes and even plastic jugs in the recylcing bin have all taken turns being the subjects of Elliott's bold pronouncement - "that's Elliott's!" As parents, we have felt little need to take him seriously enough to wrangle over rights to ownership. Ian, well that may be another story - a growing story at that.
Ian went to the doctor today for his two month check up (he was two months old this past Saturday - Happy Birthday buddy). There were no surprises. He weighed 13 pounds and 9 ounces, which puts him in the top 15% of babies at the same stage. He had gained 3 pounds and 4 ounces since his last visit one month ago. His length put him in the top 25%. His head, much like Elliott's, will forever swim in most hats. They both continue to rate among the smallest 25% of babies' heads. The doctor seemed please with Ian's health and development, and for that, we are forever grateful to God.
Today, Ian began traveling down a road on Elliott's development map. He attended his first day at Nuthouse Daycare, otherwise known as bumma and bumpa's house. I suppose we both demonstrate bravery entering into this arrangement again. There is no question that Elliott is wise beyond his months after his time there. Most days, we are only a step ahead of him. Part of me wonders if that step isn't one he grants us, a gesture that allows us to maintain a false sense of authority. A few days with the Nuthouse gang, and Ian may convince Elliott that his strategy is flawed, that he really should assume the role as head of the house.
I also know that Elliott practiced many of his tricks on grandma and grandpa. They did a great job staying ahead of him, as they will with Ian, and that can be exhausting work. There is no question we are getting the better end of the deal and we are thankful for it.