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.