Thursday, October 27, 2011

Pajama Day

The signs all over Hannah’s preschool reminded us that tomorrow is pajama day. I assume they mean pajamas, as in the cute little snuggly outfits you can buy at Gap, rather than what my child actually sleeps in at night.

Last night, she went to bed dressed as a lady bug. The night before, she was wearing her red, floral, tulle-lined dress from our last family photo shoot. The night before that, a diaper and Mommy’s beige wedge sandals. There are only so many choices you are allowed make as a toddler. We constantly shoot her down when she wants to get out of the car while it is moving; we never let her have any fun after bedtime; we force her to do crazy things like wash her hair every once and a while. So when it comes to getting dressed, we try to give her as much freedom as possible. Even though I fully intend to revoke that freedom completely once she gets to middle school.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

It Is About That Time

As Maggie reaches the age that Hannah was when I got pregnant with Maggie, (did you follow that? because there was also a train that left the station one hour before that going North at 60 mph) I find myself wondering, what was I thinking? Not really. Only kind of.

Having two so close in age is sometimes really amazing. Like when Hannah gives Maggie hugs and kisses. Or starts rough housing with her and before I can warn her that Maggie is just a fragile little baby, Maggie starts laughing that infectious little belly laugh of hers (reminding me, my baby is not so small and fragile anymore! WAH!). Or when we go on baby-bjorn-wearing, waggon-pulling walks and it is a nice day and everyone is happy to be outside.

Sometimes though, I find myself declaring my intent to surgically remove my own ovaries with Hannah’s Elmo spoon and fork. (But hey! Who doesn’t? No? Just me?) Hannah has a serious case of the “no”s. She will tell you, “no!” to the thing she just asked for. Then will scream another, “no!” when you turn around to put it back. I took a little solace in this study that says the more your kid says no, the better a parent you are. Or something along those lines.  Meanwhile, Maggie alternates between being super clingy (she wants her mommy and she wants her now) and being super adventurous (preferring to climb on things that roll or swivel or have sharp edges; ideally, all of the above). It can be exhausting. I sometimes fantasize about hiring a third parent.

But would I change a thing? Never. I love my crazy kids and our loud and messy life. I love that Hannah is becoming her own person. I love that Maggie is so squooshy and kissable. I love that my girls can be in the same dance class one day, can play on the same soccer team, and ride the same rides at future amusement park trips. I love that their daddy is a playing-on-the-floor, bedtime-Jedi-master kinda guy. If I could figure out the third parent thing though…well, I might change that.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Is That What We Do In This Family?

This weekend Hannah asked me to draw pictures with her just as Maggie started to get fussy. I explained to Hannah that Maggie was sad because she was sleepy and hungry and that I'd go put Maggie down and be right back to draw pictures. My explanation only gave Maggie more time to get louder. At which point Hannah suggested, "Play with Hannah, Mommy. Put Mannie outside."

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

A Toddler's Guide to Getting Dressed

Did mom or dad recommend it? Then it is a "no."
Is it seasonally inappropriate? Excellent.
Does it match? Unacceptable.
Does it not fit? Perfect. Bonus points if it doesn't even belong to me.
Is some part of the outfit pajamas, a bathing suit or a raincoat? We are getting close.
Did I say I wanted white pants? I changed my mind.
Now where are my pool shoes/slippers/flip flops that won't stay on?

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Starsky and Hannah

Somewhere, somehow, Hannah has picked up the phrase, "do it!" As in, (knocking on Sarah and Julie's door) "Do it, Rarah, Do it!" or (reaching for her blankey from the bed) "My blankey, daddy! Do it! Do it!" I just picture her in aviators and a polyester leisure suit with long sideburns. I sort of love it.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Nice Things

I think every parent has those moments where all you seem to be able to think about are the nice things you can't do anymore: sleep through the night; go to a fancy restaurant at a moments notice; or book a flight to a favorite city. Then, the not-so-nice things you can't even do start to weigh on you: change a diaper without your baby rolling away and trying to crawl off; make a meal that isn't deeply offensive to your toddler because of the color of the cup, size of the plate or portion of vegetables; hold a baby while opening a bottle of ibuprofen and measuring a proper dose. These are probably the reason there are always studies coming out about how unhappy parents are.

The weird thing is, I'm not even close to immune to those sort of moments, yet I am constantly struck by the fact that I have never been happier. Especially lately. Part of that is, we had a rough couple of months that made me hug my family a little tighter and cherish our time together a little bit more. Another part of it just might be, when you don't have time for a decent shower or fancy dinner, you also don't have time to throw yourself a very substantial pity party. And while the little annoying things can weigh on you, the little adorable and lovely and miraculous things are usually right there next to them. You just have to take a deep breath and notice them. How else would I ever get a chance to laugh at Maggie's fat little bottom, if she didn't plot her escape from every diaper change? And how would I know that Hannah can do a remarkable baby dinosaur impression, if she didn't get so upset when presented with a green mommy cup instead of a green Hannah cup?   

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

My most and least favorite time of day

The worst part about nursing Maggie to sleep is when I forget my phone and I have to rely on telepathy to communicate with Cork ("The dog needs out. Dog. Cork. Dog. Open the Door. Dog. Ugh that dog." or "Water. Cork. Glass of water. So thirsty. Bring me water. CORK. WATER. NOW. Pretty please?" You know, stuff like that. I like to think of it as an "emerging skill," this telepathy of mine.). You see, Maggie is a really slow eater at night. I think she is faking it sometimes just to get more mommy time. But I can hardly blame her. I'm kind of awesome.

The best part about nursing Maggie to sleep is how tiny and peaceful she is. Sometimes I just stare at her little feet and remind myself, they will never be this small again. And I hold her little hands and know they too will never be this small again.

The worst part about nursing Maggie to sleep is when I hear Hannah crying for me from the other room. It breaks my heart into a million tiny pieces to think that I am missing out on precious (and/or loud and frustrating) moments in Hannah's life and I will never get a do-over.

The best part about nursing Maggie to sleep is when I pretend that she is actually a cute little alien. Like the movie Mac and Me. Or Lilo and Stitch. It sort of takes the pressure off, you know? I mean, it is an alien, what do you expect me to do? I'm trying my hardest, back off, OK? You think you are some sort of alien baby genius? Because you're not.