Friday, August 29, 2008

Here is where I am

Things seem to have gotten measurably easier recently. C is nearly 6 months old and I think this age is some turning point. He can now play for longer periods of time by himself and can simply hang out with less frustration. He really enjoys his exersaucer and doesn't mind the car seat as long as he has a toy to suck on. This means mostly F has a bit more space to lollygag. In the car C isn't as impatient to get moving so I'm more patient while F jacks around before climbing in her seat. The other day C fell asleep on the way to the library so I put his carseat, with him sleeping, in the stroller when we got there. During our visit he woke up but just looked around from the comfort of the stroller. As we left the library F wanted to go to the playground that's behind the building. Normally this wouldn't have been possible, but I parked C in the shade under a tree and he just enjoyed the light coming through the branches while I pushed F on the swing.

He thinks his big sister is the most fabulous person on the planet. She stands in front of him and sings and he squeals at the absolute top of his lungs. He doesn't get this excited about me, and I've even got the boobs. It makes me so happy to see him respond to her like this. And she loves him to pieces. Lately (and I need to knock on wood as I write this) she has stopped hitting him and is just so sweet. When he fusses she strokes him, very softly, on the head. She brings him toys and wants to help with his diaper. She pushes him gently in the little swing outside. She's mostly given up on insisting he take a paci, but sometimes it's worth another try. Yesterday she tried to pick him up from where he sat in his Bumbo on the floor. This entailed wrapping her arms around his head and pulling. When I saw her I said, "No no no nonononono" and she just let go, which made him sort of sproing back into his seat. He looked so startled. The whole thing scared me to death, though it was minor I'm sure compared to things to come.

It's funny to me that this is my life. I, an only child, have two children very very close in age. Funny. My life.

growing pains

We've got a Johnny Jump Up, a seat that hangs in the doorway that the baby can jump in. It was one of F's greatest joys. She was still using it before we left NC though I'm sure she was past the weight limit. I'd put her in and she'd jump like a crazy person. At the end she learned how to twirl, one foot on the floor as a pivot, and once twirled with such vigor that she tossed her cookies.

Yesterday while F was napping I put up the seat for the baby. He thought it was a good time. When F woke up, first thing, she saw the seat in the doorway and wanted in. Though it was just a couple of months ago that she was playing in it still, I worried that the smaller door moulding here wouldn't hold her and, besides, she really is too big. So I told her she couldn't get it, that she was a big girl now and it was a toy for a baby. Oh my goodness did she cry. She cried and cried and cried, not because she couldn't have her way, but because she loved that seat so very very much and wanted to be in it so very very badly. I took it down from the doorway but that didn't help. I explained again about how she used to be little like the baby but now she's gotten so big though sometimes it's hard to tell when you grow. Because she's a big girl, she has a rocking horse on springs that she bounces on instead. I sat on the floor and comforted her, let her put her blanket on my shoulder and cry. When I explained about growing up she'd stop crying and listen to me, thinking about things, then she'd remember and start up again, a wail that revved up like a siren. Once she pointed to my eye and said, "Green," the first time she's noticed my eye color. We discussed her blue eyes and C's blue eyes and dad's grey-blue eyes and how some people have brown eyes. She asked for more, and then she remembered her grief again and oh the sorrow. We finally had to go for retail therapy. It's amazing what some new ponytail holders and some bubbles will do for angst.

Monday, August 18, 2008

schedules


The boy is 5 1/2 months old (already! I can't believe) and his little body is trying to get on a 2 a day nap schedule. I was so organized and consistent with my time when F was a baby and it really paid off in her disposition I believe. She knew what to expect and she's been accommodating since about taking naps and going to bed. Her schedule is still firm, but Clark tends to nap on the go since his nap time falls when F and I are going. I fear that if I were to be consistent with his naps too, then I'd never leave the house. He'd nap and then she'd nap and then he'd nap again, and then it'd be dinner time. Yet I feel so strung out lately, so chaotic and disorganized, and I think a schedule would help everyone out. Working on that. It's my latest project.

The other thing happening is that M and I are doing a trial membership for a health club. It's an expensive club; the upside is it's literally a quarter mile from our house, which means we might actually go. I've gone to a couple of classes so far and they kick my butt--a good thing. I've been feeling so stiff and achy and low on energy, and I was recently complaining to M about how I'm getting old. He nicely pointed out that perhaps it's less my getting old and more my being out of shape. This hadn't occurred to me. (I have, after all, given birth twice in less than 2 years.) I want time at the health club to be part of my schedule--they have a "kidtown" which F has already decided she likes, which makes working out (ie: doing something solely for myself) less guilt-ridden; I'm struggling with that anyway when I'm there. The anxiety of being a mom is endless. I'm hoping that a morning leg of my schedule will include Clark's napping at kidtown. Will see how that goes.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

to have offspring

Today a baby bird lay dead on our front walk. It was so tiny, curled up like it just came from the egg, its eyes not yet able to open, a patch of fuzz on its tiny wing. Maybe a robin--a mama robin hopped around and didn't go far when I came close. She picked up worms off the driveway and they squirmed in her mouth. I watched her and waited to see where her nest was but she just kept messing with the worms. After awhile I scooped up the dead baby and he lay in the palm of my gardening glove, curled up no bigger than a quarter. I carried him to the back bushes and lay him under a tree. Having Clark with me so little makes me ache about the bird. Sometimes I look at C and I wonder about the children in the world that aren't loved or cared for and I wonder what it is that makes us care for our young. Even people who don't want to, who don't want children, most of them feed and comfort their babies. I suppose there's no answer other than instinct. All animals do it--it sometimes seems strange to me. C was sleeping inside while that mama bird hopped around wondering what happened to her baby.

Friday, August 8, 2008

home home home

We've been gone for 2 full weeks during which we changed locations every couple of days. It was exhausting. The first week was pretty good, then somewhere in the middle of the 2nd week I found myself standing in the shower crying. F tired of it too and daily demanded "Cece's house!"

Interestingly, though I loved loved loved seeing everyone in our old neighborhood in NC, I found myself homesick for our new neighborhood in NY. I don't know if it was just my *home* that I longed for, my personal space, or the actual place we now live. I do think the safety and cleanliness and staidness of it all lowers my anxiety quite a bit. All that stuff I complained about at first--how white collar and stepford-wife-ish, that stuff appeals to me now, which is funny to me. The house itself is nice but it has it's problems, things I'll change if we stay here forever, but I love the feel of the neighborhood and the location and the manicured lawns and the nice cars driving slowly and the kids playing basketball in the driveways. One of my neighbors just today said he sometimes feels like he lives in a movie set in a 1950s neighborhood. It's all a bit surreal.

We have a new sitter, but she's temporary. I like her a good bit and am thinking of trying to convince her not to go back to school. When she asked F how old she is I said, "She doesn't know the answer to that question." I thought the answer was "One" but then F said something that I didn't understand. I asked again, "Frances, how old are you?" and she looked at me plainly and said, "Twenty two months." Who taught her that? Did she just overhear me tell someone?

Today I took a video of her in her sunglasses pushing her shopping cart and saying, "See you later!" She watched it over and over and over. It's got to be strange for someone with so little self-consciousness to see herself from the outside like that.

C has just turned a developmental corner and he's so active. It's surprised me--I believe I thought he'd be three months old forever. I think, anticipating the move, I got stuck in a particular space and was startled when time moved beyond that. He's rolling over all the time and trying to sit up and grabbing at everything. He watches really intently when we eat, watches the food go from hand to mouth and he's thinking about it. I don't know when I'll feed him solids... I think I'll let him lead the way.

With both kids I'm feeling a bit of angst about their changing. They are both going through such major shifts right now and I want to hold onto this; I feel anxiety that time is sliding by so quickly. Is that always the way with parenting? Will it always be this way?

p.s I bought a camera. Photos coming.