Thursday, September 11, 2008
Good mothering day
I just love those days when everyone clicks. Everyone has their needs met. I get one-on-one time with each of the kids. We have a big pan of brownies Steve made last night. Today was one of those days.
Life with three kiddos goes pretty great in general. I have the theory that the complications of kiddos is actually about how many 18-month-olds you have, not about the number of children. One child at 1.5-years was about as complicated as three of them - which includes one 1.5 year old. That said, naptimes with 2 little munchkins is 20x more complicated than any other part of the day. Often I cheat and just take them on "driving errands." Yes, I know about global warming and it's super uncool. I use cloth diapers, reusable shopping bags, pay a lot for recycled toilet paper in general, etc. But as a mother, I cannot forfeit driving naps - because you get two for one (and possibly 3 if Jack has had a busy morning at play).
Today, however, Simone and Andrew staggered their naps so I got some quality snuggle time with both of them while the other one slept. This rocked! For one, nothing beats snuggling with my little bugs...but when they both need to go down and everyone wants to snuggle...well, Andrew's petting/hugging/smooching/etc of Simone annoys her sleepy self and we lose her window of sleep.
I think Simone is moving into a pattern of longer sleep stretches and longer awake periods, which will help. She's actually a great sleeper! I can't do dairy with her either, or she gets the fussy/restless thing. But it's worth not having gouda to have a baby who sleeps and is so content. Without the dairy, she sleeps quite a bit and is fine snuggling when she's awake. On mornings I sleep in because Steve is home, she just snuggles away with me until I get out of bed. I love this kid. =)
Since my other child wakes up around 5:30 or 6:00 every morning, however, I don't really get to capitalize on it. I won't name names, but let's just say that the kid who looks like a Spaso sleeps like a Spaso. Up freakishly early and ready for the day. My "Scantlin" lookalikes, however, love to party all night and then sleep until noon if they can. It's sometimes complicated to co-exist at 7AM, which is why I feel no mother-guilt for having Steve turn on PBS as he leaves in the morning, so anyone awake before 7 can go watch TV. Andrew doesn't usually get the memo, though, and just wants to hang out and talk with me first thing every morning. My monkey children don't settle for TV before about age 3. Why veg out when you can practice throwing balls at people's heads? =) I don't wish away their love for activity, action, and novelty - except before 7AM. Okay, let's be honest. I don't function until 10AM at full throttle, although I'd even settle for 8AM most mornings....
Wow, I got completely off-track. Although, perhaps this is all necessary background to see how today got off to a good start. Andrew played independently around the room for awhile while I snuggled in with Simone. I'd remembered to keep the Master Bath door shut the night before, so I didn't have to do a SuperMan save of something about to go in the toilet. Steve left food for Andrew upstairs, so I didn't have to go downstairs. For a completely NON-morning person, these small steps are golden nuggets of Things I Don't Have To Do. Then I got up and we hung out a bit, Andrew went down for his nap while Simone slept, I fell asleep too while Jack did some Jack-thing.
Then, everyone was dressed within 15 minutes (a record!), they got into the car without an issue (another record!) and we took Jack to his preschool class at the Aquarium.
Jack was so excited to go to school all by himself. When I told him about his new class, he said: "So do I get to wear a backpack and bring my schoolwork?" I guess this has been his dream. So we loaded up his firetruck backpack with lots of food, as that was the killer for his kung fu experiences for life. He will "never ever" go back to kung fu class, because there "weren't enough kids, it went a long time, and [he] was starving." I will never send him to a class again without his food stash, or I'll never hear the end of it. He takes after his mother, as I always have food hidden in every crevice of the car, my purse, etc. You'd think I grew up in poverty, with my fears of being hungry at any given point and not having a spare granola bar within arm's reach.
As we were driving past the trail at the Aquarium, he said: "So is that where we're going to do the Nature Hunt? I've always wanted to go on a nature hunt!" I'd never used that term (although we've done nature hunts aplenty), so I asked him where he'd heard about them. "Oh. On Dragon Tales." So I guess he IS getting an education on the PBS-before-mom-can-function curriculum of early mornings around here. ;)
He loved the class. Andrew and Simone and I walked the trail between the buildings, which was quite a workout for a fairly newly postpartum woman carrying a baby in a sling and a toddler in a stroller. It felt really good, actually, to be so active again. We came back in time to join them for the pond exploration. Jack was the only one not pushing and beating each other up (I'm actually not kidding - those 4yo boys were intense with each other!)...but then he seemed to bring it all home as he was shoving Andrew out of the way to get through doors first. I guess he learned more about anti-social behaviors than what herons eat, although he also tamed down pretty quickly when I reminded him we don't treat each other that way. I think he was in such a good mood from his class that he was unusually receptive, because we didn't have an issue the rest of the night.
Then we went for a family appt to the chiropractor, and Andrew was hilarious - he knows the routine, sticking his sweet little face into the notch in the table. I think he has a crush on Lisa too (Jack definitely does!), because he just kept being near her giggling and smiling and dancing. I love how great she is with my kiddos, because they think the chiropractor is right up there with DisneyWorld. Sad, but sweet.
Anyway, now they're all in bed and Steve is watching his vampire movie and I'm spending some quiet time finishing up a bit of grading and then relaxing. We've got an early playdate over at Patricia's (well, based on my definition, as we're going over at 10). ;) So lazy me dressed the boys for bed in the shirts they're going to wear tomorrow. Heehee. Some call it laziness...I think it's just efficient. =)
It's been a very, very lovely day.