I start doing one thing and then I react to a fall, a scream, an explosion... Okay the explosion bit is exaggerating but it's not by much.
I know it seems like all I do is complain about how much work my children are. Some might call me ungrateful.
But I'm not.
Oh Jesus Lord Buddha Christ Ganesha and whatever deity might be listening, am I ever so thankful.
Tonight as I sit here, listening to Mark's breathing, the air conditioning hum, the static over the baby monitor, I realize that I am now complete. That this is what I have been waiting for even though I did not know it. That as challenging and sometimes painful as this can be I would never in a million billion googleplex fucking years go back. I would never WANT it to go back.
This is me. This is my family. This is us. This is my heart and life.
Hunter is high-spirited, willful, defiant, tender, beautiful, gentle, clever, smart, articulate, funny, sad, lovely, determined, energetic, confusing and I will grant her every bit of my respect. I want to help her grow up to be a much more secure woman than I have been until of late.
Aden is milder but tantrummy, clingy, shy, bright, joyful, tearful, reserved, handsome, loud, rushing, pushy, sensitive, gentle, tricksy, and equally as confusing. And Jesus that scream of his makes our brains short-circuit, resets our wiring so we are wondering why we are standing there with a diaper and tube of butt paste while a toddler goes careening past. I want to understand what makes him do that, what makes him quiet one minute and a banshee the next and then to empower him to be the brilliant man I think he will grow up to be.
And Mark. Jesus. I can not tell everyone how much I admire him for keeping it together. For being the patient caregiver, knowing the kids' moods and not resenting me when I walk in the door and they cry "Mommy, mommy, mommy..." when they just grunt or say "Da" or call him "Mommy" as well. He's currently Rodney Dangerfield in the household, getting no respect from the kidlets, cats or dog.
Mark's life is full of strife. I only get to fully share in it on the weekends where I get the full dose. It is my life too, but I get to leave, escape, worry, and desperately miss the three of them from the second I walk out the door until I get back home. From 8 til 7 pm or so I am off working, after having gotten a "bye-bye" and pretend kiss from the kidlets; a real one from Mark.
I don't think of them every second-- however, I would be lying if I didn't say it feels like I do -- but if I don't touch base every 2 hours, something feels incredibly wrong. It's like I swim up to the surface from what I am doing. I realize I haven't heard from them in so long and the worry starts setting in. Those panic attacks from the past start looming their ugly heads. I get nervous until I reach Mark or he spontaneously calls and we relate some little thing that is going on. He's taking the kids for a walk. I'm having a meeting and will be unavailable but he should call if it's urgent.
It brings my world back into focus. Who AM I fighting / working for? My family.
This state of being is where I want to be, where I want to hang my hat, where I want to grow old, where I want people to grow old with me.
This is where I feel most calm and sane and alive.
This is home.
But I started this off wanting to talk about something else. Someone cried out in their sleep and I've lost my train of thought again... I'm off to check in on the kidlets and maybe tomorrow I will remember everything that I wanted to share with you. Maybe tomorrow I will get to do it before I go to bed...
She is constantly moving -- climbing, stripping, experimenting, exploring, manipulating. Today she got a time out at dinner which meant she was put into the hallway (entirely baby-proofed) for a minute. In that hot minute, she stripped her diaper, ran into their bedroom, climbed the TV armoire, and took a mid-air pee as she was hanging there. Mark caught her in the act and was as much amused as annoyed. What was she trying to prove with her mountain-climbing wee?
We won't go into the earlier diaper-stripping/poo incident. (We are getting two potties on Friday.)
She is a curious one and a stubborn one and as much as we try to give equal attention, we feel that we are coming up short with her. We don't want to be crushing her spirit or constantly reprimanding, but she is willful and determined. (And brilliant in some utterly Superhero/villain [hard to tell sometimes] ways.)
We are simply trying to keep her alive, which seems to be more challenging than it should be.
And I recognize the fire, the spark of brilliance in her, and want to nurture it.
So, I open this up to my readers -- what approach have you taken with a super-active precocious toddler? Have you enrolled them in classes? If you have, what kind? What approach have you taken? What do you recommend?