When Anthony is happy (and honestly, that’s most of the time) he flaps his arms up and down, often slapping his hands against his legs, clapping them against his fat thighs. He grins huge with eight teeth peeking out of his mouth and drool dripping down his chin. “Happy, flappy!” Dom exclaims. “Happy, flappy, slappy!” I laugh back.
His happiness is infectious. Everyone smiles at babies (except for the grouches who don’t) but Anthony seems to evoke broader smiles and greater exclamations. His joy is infectious. He is fat and jolly. Enormous for his age, wearing size 18 month clothes at 8 months, he seems to embody the stereotype of the jolly fat man.
He’s crawling now. In the past week he’s picked up speed. He has discovered that he can crawl from one room to another. Oh what freedom to explore. He’s discovered a fascination with the bathroom, the room I always shoo him out of, picking him up when he refuses to budge and moving him to another place and shutting the door behind us.
The other night he was roaming about on the floor of the kids’ room while I was tucking Ben and Bella and Sophie into their beds. Before I flipped off the light Ben and Sophie requested cups of “cold ice water” so Ben and I went to the kitchen to get them. Before we’d finished filling the cups a beaming Anthony came crawling down the hall into the kitchen. “We’re just finishing up in here, Anthony,” I told him. And we headed back to the bedroom but Anthony headed on towards the living room. I stood by the door and called to him until he turned and crawled to me. I love the happy little crawler phase, such a fun though short-lived stage.
Anthony is also in the pulling himself up to stand stage. That seems to go hand-in-hand with crawling in my experience. Which of course means his poor head is all covered with bumps and scrapes and bruises from where he’s misjudged or lost his balance and banged himself on the corner of the table or on the floor.
Everyone loves Anthony and Anthony loves everyone; but Ben does have a bit of sibling rivalry going on. Ben has claimed (or tired to claim) the top of the coffee table as his own special preserve for playing with his cars and trucks. After many pitched battles his sisters have almost given up the fight and have ceded it to him and moved their games to the windowsill. But Anthony wants to pull himself up on the table and once up wants to grab everything there and stick it in his mouth. I’ve come into the living room I don’t know how many times to find Ben shoving Anthony over. Once I saw Ben popping Anthony in the face with his fist. (Not a punch, it didn’t connect hard at all; but still… a fist.) And now when Ben even thinks that Anthony is getting too close to his precious trucks he preemptively starts shoving and pushing and tackling. Of course one of these days (and not too far in the future either) Anthony is going to be big enough and savvy enough to fight back.