The other day I told the barber Child 3 was 2 1/2 years old.
“Wow, he sits pretty big for a 2 year old,” he said, while trimming his hair.
“It helps that his brothers are across the way. He’ll do anything they do,” I say, gesturing to 1 & 2 who are getting their hair cut by other barbers.
Two hours later, when I rehashed the conversation with my mother, she put her hand up to stop me.
“You told him he was 2 1/2,?” She questioned.
“Yeah, but you know #3, he doesn’t act like the normal 2 year old because of his brothers. He’s a 2 year old on the brink of 7.”
“Except he’s 3,” my mother says, looking at me.
I pause and stare at her.
“He’s 3. He’s going to be 4 soon,” she says, a twinge of confusion across her face. “You know that, right?”
“Oh my god,” I say, throwing my hand over my mouth. “I can’t believe I said he was two!”
My mom and I giggle over my mistake. She throws her arms around me and let’s me laugh with my tired head on her shoulder, while the lunatic grandchildren run around the house like active tornados.
“You’ve got too much going on,” she laughs.
And, while I know there is a lot on my plate, and that laughing on my mom’s shoulder is still soft and welcoming, I can’t help but question if her facts are right.
Are we really sure #3 is 3? He is in the 3 year old program in Preschool, and I can recall the 3 birthday cakes I’ve made for him, but is that enough to be certain? For some reason I’m not sold. I find myself leaving my mother’s for a sporting event for either 1 or 2, wondering if I should believe what she’s just told me, or to go with my gut. I ask #3 his age while we drive.
“I chree and I go to school,” he proudly boasts from his seat.
“Boys, do you know how old your brother is,” I ask 1 & 2.
“Isn’t he three mom,” 1 says.
“Yes, he is. Very good guys,” I say with a smile.
I wait until we get to the event to text my husband.
“Do you know how old #3 is?” I type.
“He’s 3,” he replies. “Is this a test? I’ve had a long day and don’t want to fight.”
I put my phone back in my pocket and grab my 3 year old by the hand.
“Mom, I don’t wanna hold hands today,” he says.
“Okay, my big three year old,” I say, as I bend down and give him a giant mom-guilty hug. “You can go and play, but remember mommy loves you and always knows how old you are, okay.”
“Okay mommy,” he says, as he runs for the giant dirt pile that I’m going to yell at him for playing on in 5 minutes. But for now I just watch and reflect on how big and cute my 2 year old is. It’s enough of a daydream to distact me from #2 who’s swiping money from my purse for the consession stand, and #1 who’s signing up for another new activity. Sometimes being the mother of a 2 year old is too distracting.