“I heard a lot about Shannon before I met her, so she had some pretty stellar expectations
to live up to. Well, I can boldly say that Shannon, her serious twinsie baby bump,
and her little man Wilder lived up to the expectations and even more.” —Tausha Ann Photography
It’s 6:32am, and Wilder is standing in his crib having a conversation with himself about decorations. We recently De-Christmased our house, and in truth, he hasn’t been taking it very well. Apparently the tree’s generous 90-day residency in our living room was entirely insufficient. I’m hoping that this morning, since there’s a pretty girl in the house who ‘s come to take his picture, he’ll stop mourning our plastic evergreen.
Tausha is ready to shoot, and I can hear with every squeal on the monitor that Wilder’s energy level has shifted from a tranquil 7 to a solid 12. I know this morning. There will be no snuggling, no nuzzling in the crook of my neck, no pittering and pattering of the little feet. There will be absolute and total mayhem. As we climb the stairs and the jungle-y toddler sounds intensify, I have approximately 30 seconds to convince myself that the decaf in my mug is a double espresso and transform into the human lady version of Elmo. On uppers. I shoot T my best “Brace Yourself” look and hope that she doesn’t mind the odd dinosaur sticker on her tripod.
SO on a morning like this, Wilder is a bit of a barbarian. He typically wakes up laser-focused on three things: destruction, food, and nudity. As we enter his room, he flips on the light and grins at us, bouncing excitedly, God, it’s like he’s been up for hours. I thrust a cup of green juice into his tiny hand and hope for the best as I set him down. Also—I know, I know—Wilder drinks watered-down green juice in the morning and I drink decaf—we both lose.
Before long, he decides it’s time to disrobe. We’re in the midst of 1) potty training and 2) learning to dress, so the partial nudity is both fashionable and functional. There might be an ice storm out there, but inside, we’re in a constant state of high season St. Barth’s. I can’t say I blame him—if I were 75th% in height and 25th% in weight for my age (which is approximately a million months old, by the way), I’d probably spend most of my time in my underpants too. Eventually, I talk him into putting a shirt on, but I’m only able to persuade him because there are 4 guitars on it and I promise not to vacuum his room later. Time for breakfast.
As we wander downstairs, he stops on the landing, “There’s a pee-pee in my penis,” he announces triumphantly. This might not seem like a huge deal, but trust me—it is. I spend the majority of my day interrogating the kid about the contents of his bladder. He waddles to the bathroom, climbs onto his stool and does his thing. I try to celebrate him a little bit every time he has a mildly successful pee—you know, in that careful, not-too-indulgent parenting book way, but today, I basically throw him a stinking parade and present his with a handful of victory Goldfish. Sorry, parenting book.
After the pee and the highly unnecessary but really fun celebration that accompanied it, we eat some hippopotamus pancakes. What exactly are hippopotamus pancakes? Regular pancakes. For some reason, when we call them hippo pancakes, it makes them exponentially more appealing to the toddler palate. He actually eats them instead of ripping them into tiny pieces and throwing them at the dog. He’s asking me for “mable” syrup here. I oblige. Glycemic index be darned. I’m Canadian; it’s part of our heritage.
It’s a balmy 28 degrees Fahrenheit this morning. There is a guy walking his dog outside. He’s dressed like a Soviet Bond villain and looks positively miserable puffing tiny clouds of steam from the furry confines of his parka. Unlike that sad dude, Wilder is 2. So he doesn’t care about the polar vortex. He starts pulling his boots on and asks, “May I go outside and play outside, PUHLAYSE.” Since I can’t think of any reason why we shouldn’t be outdoors other than my own delicate sensibilities, I get him suited up, and out we go.
Truth be told, I LOVE being outside with my kid—even when it’s frigid and even when I’m wearing an undeniably ridiculous outfit. Moms don’t HAVE to spend all day in their pajama pants, but I do. It’s a personal choice, and I choose flannel. Daily. Especially when I’m pregnant. That’s right, what looks in this photo to be a shoplifted bucket of KFC hidden inside my coat is actually a fairly sizable tummy—we’re expecting twins early this summer. We’re excited, but I’m going to miss all of this focused Mama-Wilder time.
As the little nose goes from pink to red and the wind starts to pick up, we head inside to wake “Dada,” who works wildly unpredictable music industry hours—often well into the evening. We try to give him extra time to rest in the mornings, but sometimes the mornings are the only time we have together, so I can only stave the little guy off for so long. Wilder is obsessed with his Dad; he’s always trying to make him laugh, and the goofy hipster sunglasses work every time!
Sadly, it’s time for Tausha to go and time for Wilder to embark on his next (probably messy) adventure. We wave goodbye, and Wilder presses his nose against the window in protest. Who knew having company before 7am could be so much fun?! Wilder looks up at me. “Back outside, PUHLAYSE?” I re-velcro his boot and make myself a real coffee. I’m going to need it.