As our boys have gotten older, they've gotten very independent. I think it's a side-effect of being a triplet, but when you're one of three kids, you have to look out for yourself while Mom separates whoever is trying to bite the other one. The boys have always given us a little cuddle time, but now they are giving each other love - without bites.
James likes to hug you and pat your back. I love it. He's such a sweetheart. He does get a little stingy with his love, though. Today, my mom had to bribe him with graham crackers to get a little lovin'.
Michael and Daddy started giving each other really good hugs and saying "squeeze," so now everybody gets squeezes when Sir Michael is in the mood. If he's not in the mood, he definitely has NO problem telling you "nope." Today, he did not enjoy waking up from his nap and spent thirty minutes in my lap. He made me hold him with both arms. When I'd move, he'd take my arm and put it back in place. Too sweet.
Ryan is such a sweet little man. He gives me the most unsolicited love. He likes to come up behind me when I'm sitting on the floor and hug me. Of course, he also likes to stand on the waistband of my pants and dig his tiny toenails into my backside, so it's love with a price, but still love. He also gives lots of kisses and will make kissing noises rather than pause to give you an actual kiss if he's feeling spry. I love the way his eyes crinkle when he smiles and gives kisses (my mom would call that sweet eyes).
The best way to get a little lap time is to bribe the boys with a book. They still love to read, but more often than not, they gather around in a semi-circle so that all of them can see the pictures. They also fight over who gets to turn the pages. Michael's current favorite book is Piggies, James has been pulling out the oldie but goodie Blue Hat Green Hat, and Ryan has started favoring Are You My Mother (the board book version, which is not quite as lengthy as the paper version, so as soon as I repair my copy - which was originally my mom's - I'll pull it out and read it to the kids).
It seems like I spend most of my day on the floor (which makes me wish I vacuumed more often as I seem to have a perpetual layer of dog hair on my butt - Duke sheds like he's 20 dogs rather than just one). The boys like to play with their musical toys. Ryan plays his "titar" all the time, James plays the xylophone piano while I sing Crocodile Rock (I need to brush up on my lyrics - my Uncle Kent had a 45 of Crocodile Rock that I think I played to death when I was younger, it still holds up as a fantastic song), and Michael plays the drum and the electric piano. I'm still working on creating the ultimate boy band as my plan to pay for college.
All of the boys like to "visit" with Bob in the office. When I release the hounds and they invade the office, Michael immediately goes around the back side of Bob's desk to talk on his desk phone - this is sometimes very exciting as he is prone to stepping on the power cord and shutting everything down. Ryan goes over to the fax machine and talks on the phone there. James has two goals when he enters the office - touch the mouse and write in Daddy's work notebook. Bob has given James his own work notebook, but somehow it just isn't as good as Daddy's. I can usually drag the kids out of his office pretty quickly, but James is always the last to leave. He really likes to "help" Daddy work.
The best way to get cuddle time with Michael is to turn on the TV. He is in love with the TV. If you turn the TV off when one of his shows is on, he's not a happy camper. The best way to turn off the TV is to change the channel to something he doesn't like, then after a few minutes, you can turn the whole thing off without protest. We've recently increased our viewing choices. In the mornings, the boys watch Sid the Science Kid with Daddy. Usually due to a variety of circumstances including the fact that mom is not a morning person, they also watch Curious George and Cat in the Hat. James loves the part of Cat in the Hat where they sing, "Let's go, go on an adventure."
In addition to giving the grownups love, the boys now hug each other. You have to be vigilant because the teeth will come out, but for the most part, it's a very touching expression of brotherly love. Yesterday, James was still in his high chair, and Ryan came over to check out what was left on his plate. James reached out and grabbed Ryan, and they hugged each other for two minutes. It was so cute to watch. Michael loves to pat his brothers on the head and feel their hair. I think this shows serious love as his hair is his favorite thing in the whole world, so to touch James and Ryan's hair so gently (why doesn't he touch MY hair gently?) is definitely love. All of the boys like to hug each other to the ground. I keep telling them that we love our brothers, and now they know how to show it.
This weekend, Uncle Joseph came for a visit. The boys adore Uncle Joseph. He throws them around in the air, makes great noises, teaches them about tigers, and basically treats them as the best thing since pizza. I just love to watch the four of them. I know that Joseph is going to make a great dad one day, and he's an awesome uncle now. He recently got them a Yo Gabba Gabba book about biting (how appropriate) which says you should bite food not your friends. Michael really loves it, but I've had to put the paper food away which you can feed Muno because Michael started trying to eat it.
Michael is still a Grandpa's boy, but he does share the wealth of his love with everyone. I'm pretty sure Ryan's favorite "person" is Brandy. He loves that dog to an amazing degree. He also loves Duke, but Brandy will endure more of his love than Duke. James is a Daddy's boy all the way.
Bob has been home for a pretty long stint in our world. The boys are loving every minute of it (and so is their mom). It's been so great having him around. I know that he'll have to go out on the road in the not to distant future, but it's been so nice having to share the bed again.
When Bob does have to go out on the road, I'm lucky that we've got these three little men to keep me company and give me lots of love while he's gone.