Jude turned six years old yesterday.
Thats half way to twelve. Or 1/3 of the way to 18.
Ok. I am calm again.
From the very beginning, and I do mean the VERY beginning, Jude was nothing like his brother. When I was pregnant with Jude I threw up 3 or 4 times a day for the first 12weeks (with Eden I threw up 3 or 4 times TOTAL EVER). With Jude I craved hot wings and ceasar salad (with Eden all I wanted was chocolate anything). As my tummy grew, Jude would most often find a nice spot in my ribs to place his feet. If I tried to push on him to get him to adjust his position he would literally PUSH BACK as hard as he could as if to say "Thanks for the suggestion, Mom, but I am comfortable right where I am."
After he was born, he didn't really do the whole sleeping thing. He cried a lot, he puked even more. I know the term is "spit up" but trust me, if you had seen what came out of that kid's mouth you would call it puke too. And it was projectile puke, capable of traveling several feet across a room or completely saturating my clothing to the point where if it happened and we were out somewhere we just had to go home to change.
Once he started smiling and laughing though he was a total charmer. And most of all he loved to make his big brother laugh. Jude was a very busy baby, and learned to crawl early, mostly so he could chase Eden around the house. Eden used to have to tell me "Mommy, I have to go potty!" and I would have to hold on to Jude and say "Ok, go! Run!" and Eden would run to the bathroom as fast as he could. The second I put Jude down he was off like a shot after him shouting "EEE-DAH!! EEE-DAH!" He would crawl over to the door and put his little tiny hands under the crack, unable to bear the seperation from his favorite person in all the world. He would lie on his tummy with his fingers under the door and say "eeedah, eedah" until Eden came out.
One of my favorite things Jude used to say was when he was around 2 years old. If you asked him to do something, or told him to stop doing something, he would reply as if he didn't understand and say "Whaa you say? Mama, Whaa you say?" Around this same time he also had horrific, full blown tantrums of the lying-kicking-and-screaming-on-the-floor variety. They were quite a scene to behold, and left me completely baffled as Eden had never had a tantrum in his life. In fact, most mornings Jude woke up screaming. The only way to make it stop was to get him a sippy cup of chocolate milk (mixed only by Mommy, unless you wanted to hear screams of "MOMMY DO IT MOMMY DO IT!!!!!), set him on the couch, and put on a cartoon. It became our morning ritual for quite a long time. He also found his own clever ways to try to get out of going to bed, like sticking his leg out between the bars of his crib all the way up to his thigh till it became tightly wedged, and then shouting for help. This was completely intentional, and scared the crap out of me every single time because I was convinced that one day I would not be able to un-wedge his leg. But I knew he was doing it to get attention, so I just had to go in, get him unstuck, lay him back down, and leave again without talking to him. If I said anything it was just "Jude, No." Some nights I would only have to go through this once, but most nights it was three or four times before he finally went to sleep.
But despite all that, he is still at heart just the sweetest, most loving child. In the early weeks of my pregnancy with Hannah, before the boys even knew, I was driving with Jude in the car one day and he was sitting in the back sitting talking quietly to himself. I said "Hey Jude, what are you doing?" and he replied "I'm talkin' to my baby sister." I was so shocked. I said "Well, you don't have a baby sister.." and he said "I'm just PRETENDING, Mommy!" After Hannah was born he was constantly wanting to hug her and hold her and poke her face with his fingers. He is loving, but not really gentle. Even now, with both Eden and Hannah, I have to remind Jude sometimes that hugs shouldn't hurt. But hes just so excited to love people, and to show it with all of his might. To the extreme. Which is really how he does everything.
So here he is now, a big six year old boy. Who always makes everyone smile.