A Tale of Two Mommies

…because more seems excessive…

Monthly Archives: May 2016

Travel Log

There is one significant distinction between schlepping one kid around and the addition of another.  With one child any daily traveling was mostly uneventful.  I could go an entire outing not having to change a diaper or even stop to eat…But, I love to eat, especially out, so Mr. Man luncheons were often superfluous additions to our schedule…  Sure, there was the occasional public tantrum that amounts to a belly flop dive in the middle of a main walkway, or my son jamming something horrible in his mouth as I do a Matrix style freeze frame deciding on what level my freak-out should be.

With two, however, dumb shit happens just about every schlep; It’s pretty remarkable, actually.  It isn’t so much that things become heinous or terrible to endure, but as events unfold I’m acutely aware of how stupid and unnecessary the situation is, yet completely unavoidable.

The toy-play bonanza historically was my go-to, especially during pregnancy.  Reliably uneventful, mostly free from stupid stuff occurring.  Now, however, I carry two.  I took my little ones to a different one to vary things.  I’m still adjusting and stick to the reliable and pleasant…for me…  Things were going well.  I’m dancing around to the surprisingly good and kid friendly music with the almost six-week-old Warrior Queen snoozing away in my carrier.  I feed her without incident.  My daughter is pro spit-up, so lasting through an entire feeding without such an event occurring is remarkable in and of itself.  It was time to go, so I didn’t bother to tuck her back into the wrap.  I carried her and began my trips to and from the car that I parked just outside the door.  Little Man was last, and so far mostly oblivious to my actions; his girlfriend was working.  Warrior Queen was buckled in, and I hustle to get Mr. Man who tantrumed for a brief moment for show…all moving according to plan…until I smelled it.  No way I’m leaving my girl in the car while I take my two-year-old to the bathroom to change the noxious lump he was harboring in his diaper…car trunk it is…  The change was awkward, but easier than usual…I didn’t get kicked in the face and Little Man giggled as the wind danced across his bare bottom.  The situation wasn’t catastrophic or all that unmanageable, but stupid nonetheless.

Park and playground outings are becoming more reliable sources of entertainment as my son has started liking the outdoors.  I’m still hesitant to go to them as a mainstay occupation, as he doesn’t endure all that long and I don’t like bugs.  I will, however, take him as an auxiliary activity, especially if I can rope in a friend or two to join us.  One particular playground outing occurred in our town.  The structures are new and the area expansive, as the playground is part of a larger recreational area.  My son was running along the field and the perimeter of the woods selecting and handing me random rocks, acorns, and pine cones.  I’m not sure why; he started acknowledging that I toss them almost as soon as he hands them to me.  He doesn’t seem to care even when I’m not all that covert about the sudden nature expulsion.  I don’t know what dead animal my son eagerly grabbed, but he managed it full fisted…I calmly asked him to release the decayed bit of fur or feathers while internally running though the possible diseases leading to death my son exposed himself to…and that’s why parents carry hand sanitizer…except this parent.  I clearly need to get on the bandwagon…

I really haven’t been carting two children for more than a few weeks, this week was the first time it was my show for the duration.  How can such a short time span yield so many stories because I’m not all that interesting of a person?  Mondays we tend to go to a free library program that is pretty good and short.  This particular Monday I’m describing, though, had us leaving the house late, but I couldn’t say why this day was such a problem.  I’m pretty good about getting out of the house.  I guess it was just a lot of dumb little things like a bag of crayons getting tangled on my purse strap (They are both inanimate objects.  How did that even happen?), and the same purse getting caught on the garage door knob as I was exiting carrying the bucket car seat…I need to get a different purse.  We arrived at the library just as the program started, but it was at capacity.  I take the kids to the walled in patio because it would be safe from anything eventful, right?  Wrong.  My torrid tangle of toddler managed to dump over three pots of dirt that looked to be a children’s group planting project before I even had a moment to register the destruction before me.  I wonder if they have “Wanted” signs at libraries.

Another day later during the week, we were on the way to the bonanza.  I missed the drive thru turn, so decided it would not be a day for an iced tea…totally changed my mind after the following disaster.  Then, I was on a mission.  But, the initial pursuit was not meant to be.  The later attempt not much better, sadly yielding empty hands.  No lemon, fine, but then they tried to hand me an iced green tea.  I have a newborn.  What’s the point of that?  The cashier tells me that they were out of the regular.  I think they just messed up my order.

In between the depressing iced tea fiasco, I took my children to our less frequented indoor play spot; it was Little Man’s girlfriend’s one day off…bad sign.  Usually my son handles disappointment pretty well…for a toddler, which translates to him refraining from burning down the establishment.  But, this day it was bad enough his squeeze was absent, but he REALLY was unhappy we could not join the music class in the back room.  I get it.  The guy had a guitar, and Mr. Man will be the next frustrated musician complaining about the industry and poo-pooing the latest talentless rage while he continues to live in our basement.  For the first time ever he wanted to leave after only an hour, but it was time for my fierce girl to eat, so my son would need to wait.  Not usually a problem, c’mon, this place has toys, slides, and a bouncy castle…  But, alas, he started launching a wooden toy that might be a Jetsonesque lamp for the full size doll house.  I had to stop feeding the Warrior Queen so I could snatch my son for a time-out.  As I tended to him, my girl started exerting her hunger battle cry, which oddly is less dramatic than the poop one.  Holding my son’s leg with one hand, I plunked the bottle back in my daughter’s mouth with my other hand.  I did that twice before my son gave in and demonstrated dramatic “gentle hands” with every object he selected from the floor.  Not soon enough we are able to leave.  I tried to be quick, but my Mr. Man completely lost whatever miniscule cool he had.

Ten or so minutes from home we drive past a pretty good playground.  I had been feeling bad that on such a beautiful day I chose to take the cherubs somewhere inside.  It was still early, so we stopped.  My son doesn’t last all that long on playgrounds, but it’s always more than ten minutes.  Little Man enjoyed the swings and wanted to leave much sooner than the typical thirty minutes he usually indulges before running cattywampus on every structure he can manage.  Sounded good to me though.  I was schvitzing up a storm.  But, on my son’s lead, we enter a grocery store and proceeded to roam aimlessly like crazy people before he fell and slammed his face on some part of the cart with a car front stores started getting in solidarity with parents…kind of, have you tried maneuvering these things?  Maybe the real reason for fleets of them is so at the end of a long shift employees can watch and amuse themselves even if they have to perpetually fix displays.  Regardless, my son could sport a shiner badge of honor for his clumsiness…

Everyone buckled in the car for our journey home, the drive surprisingly quiet.  Both kids wanted to be fed almost immediately upon entering our homestead…because they always want to eat at the same time.  Some day that will be sweet, but not this day.  Little Man finishes his meal, my daughter lagging.  My son was tired exhibiting his telltale impulsiveness.  He climbed on the table winging his unfinished and half chewed food everywhere.  I ignore him and continued to feed his sister.  The only indication of my annoyance was the vein about to rupture in my forehead.  Mr. Man either realized his commotion wasn’t working or he developed a last ditch appreciation for my mental state, climbed down from the table and in a sleepy daze snuggled into me while I sat uncomfortably in a mild contortionist pose at the kitchen table.  I couldn’t resist giving him smooches.  After all, everyone is a douche when cranky…pretty sure I’m not an exception, but I’m hesitant to ask my husband.  Maybe I can’t avoid dumb shit from happening now that we are a troop of three, but at least I earn my sofa time.

Advertisements

That Girl I Know…

My fierce girl even at a month old has defined personality characteristics.  She knows what she wants, and often it is to cuddle…at three in the morning when all I can think about is succumbing to my unconscious…  But, alas, how can I possibly deny a nine pound being with an expression resembling the finest among the Lollipop Guild fervently and unsuccessfully trying to shove both hands in her mouth simultaneously?

(She has the same hairline too…)

Everything about her has passion and determination; I hope this impulse always stays as the world revolves around her.

Babies her age don’t do much except make the most fantastic facial expressions.  The Guild face is a favorite of mine, but I also love her scrunched, puckered mouth with tiny tough darting through; I hope I remember it always.

Even so new, my girl knows when her mommy is not around, and insists I pay the piper whenever I take a few hours to myself, leaving her in capable, yet unsatisfactory hands.  She bides her time with the cuddles of others, and insists I not release her from my grasp for the remainder of the day after I return.  It never matters that I’ve held her hours preceding my outing; a debt is a debt…  If my back wasn’t so sore these days and the cuddling didn’t amount to me missing meals, I’d have no objection.  So funny for her to be this attached because she spent months attempting to push her way out my belly, particularly at the very end of my pregnancy.

It isn’t social yet, but the Warrior Queen smiles all the time; sometimes a slight smirk, but sometimes it fills her entire face.  She smiles in her sleep, looking at me with wide blue eyes, and especially when I softly stroke her cheek and hair.  She also is partial to back or tushie rubs and pats as she drifts off to sleep in my crooks.  It makes me especially tickled she experiences joy so easily when so often she has to wait in fits of tears for me to meet her needs…Mr. Man requires attention too, and sometimes his needs are more immediate for everyone’s safety… and sanity…

But, what I love most about my intimate acquaintance is that she is here and part of our days and lives.  I’d love a good night’s sleep and it feels like I’m perpetually thinking of little else, but she won’t cuddle and smile like this forever, so what’s a few dark circles and incoherent conversations?

Damn Spot!

My son is particular, perhaps compulsive at times.  His speech therapist said that wee ones with language/speech delays often are…It’s a control thing.  I’ll accept that rationale with a sigh of relief it isn’t a peculiarity he inherited from his parents, and I can continue to delude myself for the time being that we aren’t nurturing through modeling the least endearing quirks of Sheldon Cooper.

My son absconded my chair at the kitchen table, which not only enlists me to be the sole parent preventing him from launching his body onto the table during dinner, among other annoying behaviors occurring when my son becomes sleepy, but it also enables an awkward conversational format with my husband, as we now sit next to each other at a large square table.  Sure, I could sit across from him, but for whatever reason I don’t…Let awkwardness prevail, I say!

We used to have the chair portion of a travel high chair installed on Mr. Man’s seat to use as a booster when he would no longer sit in his high chair.  That didn’t last long for Mr. Independent.  He soon moved straight to sitting on a chair by his grown-up lonesome.  But, such a transition did not occur before a small bit of carnage occurred to our K-mart table set.  This week my husband switched out the chair Little Man had been using with the aesthetically damaged one.

The damage on the seat is a small discoloration caused by the rubbing of the plastic against the wood; why would Little Man even notice?  But, oh, he noticed…  Just before climbing onto his seat first thing in the morning, he viewed the chair’s oddity, and requested a napkin.  I hand it to him, and he became Lady Macbeth…just as successful too…  Subsequently, he refused to sit on the chair, opting for his original seat location we established for my son when he first began eating solids.

My husband asked why I didn’t change the chairs back to their original status.  I told him I want to look at him again while I’m eating.  But, alas, my son came to terms with the chair’s imperfection, and my husband and I returned to gazing at the woods behind our house with the chance observance of each other in the windows.

 

Close from the Start…Rollin’ Along…

I took both kids to my favorite bit of bonanza yesterday.  My son attends a class that ended up cancelled without me receiving notification, but it ended up as an unplanned opportunity to bring both offspring to an activity because my mother has a cold.

My son continues to melt me with his gestures toward his sister.  He views his child care responsibilities seriously; a pox on the parent who deprives him of his parade to our sofa or kitchen table carrying his sister’s bottle.  I think one of his favorite duties, however, is the shared one of helping feed her.  Now he’s starting to dab her mouth of milky drool when she is chillaxin’ in her swing.  It’s all so sweet that I can barely stand it…but maybe it’s still the hormones…

My little man seems to know his sister’s hunger cues better than I do.  On two occasions he’s heard her fussing and walked to the refrigerator to retrieve a bottle.  As the Warrior Queen’s mother, I assumed it was too early for her to experience hunger pangs, but my son was correct on both occasions.  She downed at least a couple of ounces.

The other day was another occurrence in less than two weeks of Mr. Man foreseeing his sister’s needs, which brings me back to the slice of heaven play spot.  My son was enjoying himself among the other children.  A beautiful day and the end of the latest class cycle prompted very few kids in attendance, but the quality enabled my son to find consistent playmates throughout the morning and early afternoon, so he was larking it up.  I’m wearing his sister in the blessed carrier my sister-in-law gifted to us, chatting with a friend who met us with two of her cherubs.  It was approaching the Warrior Queen’s next feeding, but usually when I wear her the meal delays.  At that specific time she communicated no indication she was hungry, just continued to snooze peacefully cuddled against my chest.  Suddenly, my son escapes the children’s play area (because he can work the child gate barricade).  I assumed he wanted another snack, as is his usual protocol.  But, this time he began fishing out all of his sister’s formula from my bag.  Within a minute at most the Warrior Queen awakens and wants her meal…three for three, Little Man, well done.

Dreams, Fantasies, and a Mommy with Game

I vividly imagined today for years, almost salivating over it, but the first month it is best to keep my fierce girl home and away from people as much as possible.  My husband returned to work from his paternity leave today, and my parents will remain in town to help for the next two weeks.  But, this girl is a reckless one living life on the edge.  Consequently, Mr. Man, the Warrior Queen, and I  were out and about all morning and afternoon just as I’ve dreamed for so long.

I don’t picture extravagances with my life visions.  Sure, I cultivate possibilities with my career type things; some goal or ambition.  But, my day-to-day life fantasies are usually mundane with all of their imperfections.  So, when thinking of growing my family, I don’t imagine grandiose relationships and activities.  I crave the common interactions and experiences; the tantrums, the laughter, the harried diaper change when I’ve forgotten a replacement for an empty wipes container.  I envision a life in all of its imperfections and joy; I think of my life as full of all the pieces that allow me to look back knowing something will not be missed because I wasn’t brave enough to take a risk.

So, while my daughter will be with my half of her grandparent sets for a couple more weeks until our routine begins, the temptation of an uncommitted today was too much for me to keep my twosome home for the day.  I contacted a couple of friends I’ve been unable to see since I blew past second trimester in the rearview mirror, and soaked a taste of my future humdrum life.

Surreal butterflies after my husband left for work.  The Warrior Queen slept in her swing.  I read book after book to my son who cuddled next to me under a ratty blanket I’ve had since college.  He insisted on carrying his sister’s bottle from the fridge to the sofa as he usually does, helped me feed her by gingerly touching the end of the bottle while I hold the bulk of the weight, and we were off to the races…Sounds perfect and touching, right?  Ah, but this is life, so how can I leave off my son not quite ready to eat breakfast and deciding to demonstrate this very day that he can, in fact, open the gate we trust will protect a portion of our downstairs from the reign of toddler terror?  It wasn’t a fumbling by chance accomplishment.  Nope, he was more successful on his first real attempt than I was when it was first installed.  Mr. Man had a plan too.  My husband removed my daughter’s play mat to our dining room/living room area because Little Man was doing what he does best with toys, ensuring they comply with rugged quality control standards.  So, this morning I’m preparing breakfast for the two of us, and hear the gate rattle open and his pitter-patter of feet on the way to retrieve this latest delight, dragging it back to where it belongs next to his sister’s swing, but not before raking it along our walls.  My son, however, knows that the gate should remain shut, so he made sure to close it behind him as he passed through each time…so conscientious of him.

But, this initial time passed, and I readied my children for our first stop to grab a snack.  I rocked the house with my organization and efficiency.  The diaper bag was arranged to perfection.  I situated the baby carrier on my person in preparation for the day’s events.  My daughter was fed and changed…Little Man was wearing a clean diaper, and waited patiently in the car for me and his sister.  I secured my fierce girl into her bucket and lifted her travel apparatus handle.  Warrior Queen spits up just enough for me to have to change her outfit and clean the bucket with water and a rag.  Exit the house attempt, take two…

Our first destination passed without incident.  Little Man didn’t break or suckle random drink bottles that I would have to purchase and subsequently throw away.  He even held my hand entering and exiting our favorite local coffee shop.  There is a first time for everything…

The second stop began just a strong, a music class at a local library.  We arrived at just the right amount of time before the program began.  One friend joined us, and I ran into a couple more.  My little girl was snuggled in the carrier; my sweet boy was having a grand time exploring the toys until the activity began.  Mr. Man continued to enjoy himself until the remaining five minutes of the program, then he wanted out of the room despite the arrival of a parachute.  My prodding to remain for an activity he loves yielded him diving onto his belly and initiating an impressive tantrum in the doorway that he managed to open…I guess gate mastering is not be his only skill achievement today.

I’d like to say that taking him  up in the elevator diffused a temperamental demeanor.  It didn’t…because my son is a toddler and periodically becomes a possessed bridge to the demonic afterworld.  I spent what felt like hours, but really was ten minutes chasing Mr. Man around attempting to have him relinquish toys he was schlepping like a nomadic hoarder, as well as just trying to contain him in an area that would cause minimal disruption.  In the process, the Warrior Queen mostly fell out of the carrier, so I was herding my son one handed.  Somehow I managed to hold my sleeping girl and both carry my son screaming down two flights of stairs and finally lift him into his car seat, but not before he unbuckled the car seat buckle that affixes his seat to the car.  But, despite the drizzle that was beginning to pick-up during the five minutes we were outside, and my son who decided to become persnickety at this specific juncture, we were off to the third and final location to meet another friend I hadn’t been able to see for months; an extra bonus, I would get to meet her two-month-old son.  Both of us having two cherubs with a similar age gap are now in the same boat.

The mall I brought my lovelies to has various things for children, which compensates for the general yuckiness of the environment.  To be fair, it’s gotten better over the last couple years, and it’s free…  My daughter continued to sleep in the carrier that I freshly adjusted.  My son had a fantastic time running around, and I mostly had the opportunity to chat with my friend.  It was only when our rhythm was halted feeding my fierce girl that things started to unravel a bit.  My son discovered the junk jewelry store I’m sure has special meaning for girls in middle school…and toddlers apparently…  He entered and started pulling cheap sparkly things off the jammed display racks.  Eventually, I apologized to the salesgirl and left the articles on the floor because trying to restore the items was creating more havoc than it was worth.  I ultimately lifted Mr. Man and dragged him kicking and whining from the store.  But, don’t feel too bad for Little Man; he became distracted by other things once the shiny trance was in his peripheral.  This pattern repeated itself in the electronics store and almost at a pastry shop…so glad I didn’t have to buy a box of cinnamon rolls…not sure I’d have the strength to toss those…

The morning and afternoon flew, and, before I realized it, nap time approached, so we took our leave.  My sweet boy allowed me to lift him in his stroller, and we made it home uneventfully.  Mr. Man gave me no argument about his sleepy time.  My daughter settled into her swing and slept after another of her bottled meals.  The day was everything I hoped and could have possibly asked for.

Bon Appetite

Dinner the other night was a conglomerate amounting to a serious cluster fuck by its truncated end…I found it hilarious for lack of a better reaction.  Mr. Man is transitioning to shortened naps, which is an exceptional experience in the first weeks you are acclimating to a newborn.  Mind you, he isn’t sleeping more at night, at least not yet.  He’s just waking up an hour earlier from his nap, which yields a very unpleasant Little Man an hour-and-a-half later.

We don’t eat particularly late.  That night it was six, but the Ides of Evening was upon us even at such an early hour.  I’ve long since given up on waiting to feed my son dinner until we are all ready to eat, but he LOVES family dinner, so often he’ll eat just after his nap at around four or four-thirty, and eat with us as well…I kinda love that about him.  The problem is that while he loves his dinners with Mommy and Daddy, his general disposition by the time we eat leaves much to be desired.

The dinner in question, for instance, started out with Mr. Man eating everything but the lovely piece of salmon in front of him, but ended with him raining seasoned rice everywhere and us on the verge of having to replace all of our feeding accessories from the spastic tornado I call my offspring.  Most people can imagine the disaster of broken plates and such, but in case you’ve ever been deprived of the experience of cooked rice confetti, this stuff is like the slug of the carbohydrates food group.  It doesn’t really clean, it just drags a trail of suspect residue all over your wood floors when you are trying to clean it up.  But, I am missing a few caveats to this particular family dinner occasion that the creators of Maalox envisioned during their patent process.

My son climbed onto the chair that used to be mine, but he absconded it some time ago so that I am forced to sit next to my husband.  Our dinner conversations have become a music video where no one actually looks at each other, but are forced to express themselves while looking longingly and with great animation out the window.  Knowing that my son has a very short duration these days for the dinner he loves so much, we inhale our food not even wincing anymore for indigestion.  But, tonight no time traveling worm hole would have helped this meal end with less of a disaster.

Within maybe five minutes of my husband and I sitting to eat, my son begins creeping his whole body onto the kitchen table.  Fully practiced in this brand of toddler, we know full well that this is a prelude to my son suddenly launching himself on all fours so he can dunk his hands in our water glasses and tip over our plates.  The extra joy of the evening, however, was the Warrior Queen, who I was wearing in a new and fabulous baby carrier, decides at that very moment she is hungry too.  So, my son is escalating his total doucheydom, I’m feeding the baby, leaving all of my dishware exposed for exploitation by Mr. Man, and my husband is ready to plotz because he can’t move fast enough between the celebratory food expression everywhere and the possibility of broken dinnerware.

Mr. Man keeps climbing on the table immediately after my husband takes him off, but it isn’t a quick kind of thing.  Each time my son climbs on the table, my husband has several failed attempts to grab a limb that my son manages to keep maneuvering out of his reach.  Simultaneously my beloved is moving the most fragile of our dinner accessories.  As my son is giddy with excitement, he’s throwing his food on the floor, and I’m continuing to feed the baby watching it all unfold like I was blessed with Gallagher tickets.

I have no notion of how long it took for all of this to transpire, but both of us ceased to be hungry, and drew straws as to who would be herding this particular cat and helping Little Man receive some much needed shut-eye.

Close from the Start

My dear, sweet boy has been afraid to touch his sister, not wanting to hurt her and understanding how delicate she is in these early stages.  But, there has been progress in the last couple days.  Little Man has held his sister twice.

Last night was the first, and he was a bit afraid, but looked exhilarated with her seven pound body resting between his legs.  While she slept, his eyes darted, looking down at his charge and back and forth between me and my husband, displaying careful smiles mixed with uncertain glances.  My son lasted just long enough to capture the moment on our camera.

This morning he was a bit more eager and comfortable holding the Warrior Queen, and she was more awake.  She isn’t socially smiling yet, but during this encounter she looked up at her brother and presented the widest smile I’ve seen yet.  My son noticed and looked at me grinning.  I hope that exchange is a sign of the bond to come.

%d bloggers like this: