Tuesday, December 20, 2011

How Did This Happen?

Since Amelia is only in school once a week these days, we are spending a LOT of time together, her, Annie, and myself. It’s a daily struggle to keep Amelia stimulated, entertained, and loved while also caring for the baby—especially since she’s used to school lessons, projects, and friends several days a week. There’s been a lot of acting out, which I am assuming is a result of this sudden change in her daily life/schedule. Thankfully, Amelia is tremendous at keeping herself occupied with quiet projects or reading in her room for hours. But she needs mama too and desperately needs to get out of the house every day. Considering the babychild literally runs  to bed every night and runs out of bed every morning, she needs open space to just . . . run. Every. Day. At least this is what I’m realizing now that we’re all spending our days together.

We’ve actually fallen into a pretty decent routine each day while Justin’s working. Early morning is mostly survival and juggling, but once Annie goes down for a morning nap, I sit down and spend concentrated time with Amelia. We play a game or make a craft project, read books or bake a treat. It’s her and I time. When the baby’s up again, we all hang out as best we can (will be SO much easier once she sits up unassisted!) through lunch. After lunch used to be house nap time, but it took exactly a quick second before Amelia realized that if she didn’t sleep, she could crash Mama Time and get a solid couple hours to herself with me. She hasn’t napped since. So My Time quickly turned into Amelia and my time. (sigh) During this time, we now shower together, get a couple tasks completed and then hang out. Sometimes I remind her that it’s Mama Time and that she can stay up with me only if she gives me some space/time to work on my projects. This includes her hanging out with me while I sew, working on her own ‘sewing’ projects.  The ultimate privilege for her is to get to use a few of my sewing pins for her scrap fabrics. She literally sits at the table just beside me, follows me into the ironing room, and back to the sewing table, not wanting to separate for a single minute. It’s mostly very sweet . . . but sometimes exhausting too.

In any case, a major goal at the moment is to get her outside every day to run. You know, like a dog. I’ve been trying to get a trip to the park into my routine for a few months and now that Annie has been sleeping through the night, it’s finally doable. So we went to the park yesterday. Annie hung out well and happy while we indulged her sister, even though it resulted in her missing her nap (seriously, to give needed attention to one kid, it always seems that the other—the little one usually—suffers) and Amelia ran around climbing, jumping, sliding, etc. She was thrilled that we were all at the park ‘togever.” When she asked to get on the swing, I was stuck. I was holding Annie and didn’t have the hands to push her on the swing. I try to avoid saying things like “I can’t do that right now because I have your sister” so she doesn’t blame the baby for every inattentive moment she has with her mother. And then I thought about it . . . I bet Annie can fit into the swing! Hmmm. I wonder if she’d like it?

I plopped Annie into the swing, pushed a tiny bit . . . and she didn’t scream.

Annie swing

I think the verdict is still out on whether or not she enjoyed it. o’ hai.

photo (2)


Onto Amelia. Plopped her into the big kid swing. She was very excited to have Sister with her on the swings!

Amelia swing

So I pushed her and stood back. And took this picture.

girls swinging


Didn’t think too much about it. When I got home and looked at this picture, it took my breath away. I’d be lying if I didn’t tell you that my heart began to pound loud and fast. It’s not staged or posed, but just a picture of them being kids. I think it’s the first picture of them just playing. In any case, it blew me away. I have two kids. Let me repeat. . . I HAVE TWO KIDS! Please someone, tell me when the hell THAT happened. Without exaggeration, I still find it hard to believe that I am a mother at all . . . much less the mother of two. And here they are. Dude, WHAT?! How is it possible that there are two people on the planet who rely on me as their mother—for all of eternity?

And now that the second baby is here, that’s it. You spend so much of your life thinking “someday when I have kids,” wondering what you’ll have, and then it’s a totally separate stage of your life in getting them here. And now they’re . . . here. And growing big. Amelia will be in school in a little over a year. And Annie is big enough to ride in a swing! And this is my life. It’s settled.  Mother of two girls . . . who will soon no longer be babies. Then I’ll just be a mom of a couple of kids, driving them to school, cheering at soccer games, and helping with homework. The weirdest thing is that I cannot tell you how or when I got here. It’s hard to explain these moments when your life comes into focus for a second and you don’t recognize yourself. And you realize that you’re getting older, heading to old, and that you’re a grown up and that there are people who will only ever know you as Mom, an old grown up. It’s not a bad thing, but it certainly catches me off guard every once in a while.

I’m sure there are many more of these moments to come. It’s only the swings now. I can’t imagine the heartbreak these two little babygirls will bestow upon their mama—just by growing up.


RadMommy said...

Aww! I love this! And I know exactly how you feel :) Yesterday Cru and Kendi were actually playing together; well, sort of, in their own special way :) And BTW, I'm jealous there is a park in your area that doesn't have a million kids running around it. I like having the park all to myself ;) Those other kids have cooties...

Jessah said...

Beautiful post, G! Your girls are absolutely adorable.

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