I am so grateful to be a mother to these two beautiful girls.
Today wasn’t perfect. Everyone was having meltdowns first thing in the morning. We were in a rush to get out the door, Rosie was crying and Nora was lying on the floor, protesting because she wanted to wear the butterfly shirt not the orange shirt. And I was like, “Don’t you know you’re supposed to be really nice to me on Mother’s Day???!!!”
But, they can be pretty sweet too.
Rosie is a warm little muffin with roley-poly arms and legs and a dark fuzzy head with a little round, red birthmark in the back. She knocks her head into mine when she’s looking around. Sometimes, I feel her little tongue as she starts sucking on my arm. She’s still kind of a primate. Her arms and legs are constantly moving and she doesn’t seem to know yet that they belong to her. She has started smiling at us and cooing a little. It takes a lot of effort and arm/leg pumping to get out a “nnngah.”
Last night, Rosie and I rocked in the chair and she fell asleep. We sat for a long time together, her sleeping on me, her soft head against my cheek. Sometimes it’s nice to just sit and let her sleep on me. I know now how fast it really does go. We won’t always be able to sit and snuggle for hours (as much as I will want to. I’m going to be that mom.)
Nora is becoming a big girl — even more so after becoming a big sister. She loves Rosie so much, and although she sometimes can’t control her impulse to squeeze or rub just a little too hard, she can also be super sweet saying “It’s ok Wosie” when Rosie is crying or “She’s so cute!” “She makes little noises!” “I think she likes me!”
She has an active imaginary life. She uses a high pitched voice to make the guys in her stuffed animal collection talk. She is always thinking about them and looking for someone or other.
“Mommy,” she’ll say at night before bed, looking a little concerned.
“Where’s Turtle-Turtle’s Mommy?”
We never know where to find the guy she’s looking for, and so before bed, we are sent on a rescue mission.
She has named them all and knows each of their relationships to one another. (Baby Baby has a baby named Baby. Nora says she’s a mommy to Leopard Bear and Fluff. It is always Leopard Bear’s birthday and Nora is always throwing a party for him. Also, Aliyana is Leopard Bear and Fluff’s baby. I think this technically means 1. Leopard bear and Fluff are in kind of an incestuous relationship and 2. Nora is a grandmother.)
Last night, I read Nora a story which was nice because lately, Kevin is usually the one to read the story while I’m feeding Rosie. You know, a lot has changed since Rosie was born. It’s been kind of a beautiful haze. Our old routines have been replaced with new ones and we’re all learning how to adjust. So, we read Olivia and she pointed to the picture of the pig in a tutu and said “She looks like a princess. She looks so pretty.” We snuggled and she asked if we could do “the really loud thing.”
“What is the really loud thing?” I asked.
“What is it?” she said.
“I don’t know,” I said. “You brought it up.”
But then I did know. She wanted us to yell “And now it’s time for… night night tiiiiiime!” really really loudly and then laugh. We did this every night before Rosie was born, but we’d stopped recently. So we yelled the really loud thing and then she gave me a giant squeeze, which big kids don’t always do anymore without a little prodding.
I haven’t been very good about writing blog posts recently because of all of the, you know, adjusting we’ve been doing. But, I really wish I could record every moment and press pause whenever I wanted to. Because every thing that comes out of Nora’s mouth is hilarious and amazing. And Rosie is just so warm and snuggly. I wonder what it will feel like a few years from now when they are older to read these posts again.
I feel blessed on this Mother’s Day to have such a beautiful family, a loving husband and two beautiful girls. I’ll take ’em, meltdowns and all. :)
Happy 2015! I’m so proud of our Shmooples. I can’t believe she’s turning 3. And this will be an exciting year for her, the year she’ll become… a big sister! That’s right. I’m due February 23. I know Nora will be such a great big sister because she has a big, big heart.
What’s Nora talking about these days? Here are a few memorable quotes:
She’s thinking about being a big sister and what it meant to be a baby. “When I was a baby, I growed in Mommy’s belly all the time but I wanted to get out and get older!”
She sometimes pretends to talk on the phone. “It’s Seryn,” she said, holding her hand up. “Oh, you’re painting a picture for me and my baby sister? Oh, that’s very nice!” And then looks at us smiles wide and laughs hysterically at herself.
She likes to say things are “good and pretty and beautiful,” but the context often makes no logical sense. We say, “Don’t touch that piece of trash,” and she says, “but it’s good and pretty and beautiful!” Today, I told her not to touch anything while I was changing her poop. “But it’s beautiful!” she said.
She likes to ask, “Which one?”: “Is that a girl or a boy which one?” “Are we at the city or the zoo which one?” “Is Ian’s party today or last year which one?”
“Today is it my birthday today, or no?”
I like how she asks permission sometimes, “We’ll go home and eat lunch and watch Dora, okay?” “Is that okay?” “Does that sound good?” “Is that a good idea?”
She’s into things being similar and different. She’ll hold up two cars and say, “They match the same!”
She can be very sweet when she wants to. “I’m so glad that you’re here!” “Thank you for coming to see me!” “I’m so glad that you’re playing with me.” “Thank you for changing my diaper!”
I cough and she says “You have to drink more water. It’ll make you feel better.”
She once said to me being affectionate, “Your little nosey. Your cute cheeks. Your arms are beautiful!”
She says “dud” and “dudn’t.” We ask, did you have a nice time at the gym? “I dud, yeah.”
“Sho!” Instead of “sure.”
(Looking at billboards on a drive) “This sign says you have to eat French fries… This one says you have to eat hamburgers and telephones.” (She kind of gets the idea, right?)
“When I was younger I wanted to live in Davis square like you. But where is Davis square now? But I’m in Davis square now.”
“A book will feel me better.”
(Pointing to her stuffed dog): “Yeah that’s my friend Fluffy the Guy.”
Listening to a duet on the radio. “They’re singing together!”
Her teachers joke about her having a boyfriend at school. This older man, Avi (he’s four), loves to chase her and tickle her. We were in the car and I said something about how Avi seems nice. She laughed. “Yeah! I’ll hug him and dance with him and hug him and hold his hand!” At this, Kevin and I looked at each other and started laughing nervously. Think it’s time to sit Avi down and have a talk with him about his intentions?
We are just so proud of Nora. She is such a sweet, special, silly girl. Happy birthday Shmooples!
Nora wakes up from her nap with her perpetual bed head and asks, “Is it good morning time?” or sometimes, “is it dark outside?”
She tells us stories: “It’s a story about once upon a time and a little girl went to a party and said I love you!”
Her favorite cereal is Special K, which is funny to me. It’s like she’s a fifty year old woman.
We went to the Nyack Halloween parade and the fire trucks were very loud and made her upset.
She processed what happened over and over after the fact and told anyone who would listen: “The fire trucks were too noisy and, uh, I was crying and, uh, I was sad but then the music started and I was, uh, happy already though.”
Nora can at times be easily distracted. The other day I said it was time to leave the playground and she was hysterical because of, you know, the injustice. She did the limp ragdoll body thing (so clever!) “Look at the birds,” I said. She laughed, elated suddenly, her face still tear-stained. “Yeah you made me happy and the birds are coming too!”
When she is elated she’ll let you know. She climbs up the stairs of the playground and says, “I’m so happy right now!”
She’s sweet: Every time I cough or sneeze she gives me a hug and rubs my back. “I made you happy!”
Kevin bumps his head getting her out of the car. She rubs his shoulder. “I’m sorry you bumped your head,” she says. “It’ll be okay.”
She often answers questions by saying, “Oh, well sure,” but often does not do the thing you’re asking because she’s very busy.
“Will you draw me a picture of a camel?” I ask.
“A camel? Oh well, sure. But first I better erase this.”
“Will you tell me a story?”
“Oh well, sure, but right now I’m sleepy and I better rest.”
“Do you like steak?”
“Steak? Well I dooon’t. But I’ll try!”
She sits on the couch and says she wants to watch Daniel Tiger. “Let’s play,” I say, putting a puzzle together by myself.
“Well, I’m stuffy so I better rest,” she says.
Her logic sometimes makes me laugh:
“Can you draw stars?”
“Well I can’t.”
“Because I’m very whiny today.”
“I don’t like this donkey tail game.”
“Because I’m sad.”
“Why are you sad?”
“Because I don’t like this donkey tail game.”
“Maybe next time Rachel and Brian will come to school with me tomorrow. But Caitlin and Leah won’t come to school with me.”
“Because I’m sad.”
“Why are you sad?”
“Because Caitlin and Leah won’t come to school with me tomorrow.”
Other funny/random things she’s said:
“We see a reindeer but it’s not raining!”
“When I was little, my grandmother made me a house and it was out of blocks.”
“This is a bear cave. You’re going to be a bear and I’m going to be scared.”
She still likes to sing, constantly narrating what she’s doing. She’s got a few classics such as “eat your cereal,” “figure it out,” “red blue green and yellow,” and “yummy yummy yummy.”
We did a three day potty training boot camp, which meant we didn’t go anywhere for three days and let her run around in underwear and pee all over the house. She did really well! She had accidents every half hour the first morning, and then none after that. Now she wears underwear during waking hours. She’s not yet at the point that she tells us when she has to go and she’s often reluctant to sit on the potty because she’s very busy playing. But once she starts peeing, she gets this giant grin. She’s had a few accidents here and there, but she’s doing really great! I have to admit, though it’s the right move for right now, it’s bitter sweet for me that she’s out of diapers. Our little Shmooples is growing up!
Nora is just as silly, goofy, affectionate, energetic, thoughtful, sweet and funny as ever. Here are some highlights.
Trip to the city
Nora packs up her pocketbook, sits three or four of her “guys” in the baby stroller and leaves the room.
“I gotta go.”
“Where are you going?” I say.
“I gotta meet Nicole in the city.” (Nicole is a good friend of mine.)
“What are you two going to do there?”
“We’re gonna eat coffee.”
Then, mimicking mommy she comes back in the room. “Oh! I forgot my wallet and my purse!”
We were at a friend’s birthday party at Tumble Bee and Nora had a blast. But when, at the end of the party, a person in fuzzy bee costume emerged from the back to a rap song which chanted “Bumble Bee, bumble bee,” Nora was not having it. She burst into tears and clutched onto the leg of the nearest staff member. I picked her up and hugged her, and she let out a nervous laugh as we watched the other kids hug the giant bee.
“I want to go home,” she cried.
“That’s not a real bee,” I said. “That’s just a girl in a bee costume, like for Halloween.”
“I want to go home,” she said, kind of like, look, I think I know what a giant bee looks like, and that is one right there.
The whole drive home and for the rest of the evening, she rehashed the debacle over and over again. “Da bee came out and I was crying. I said,” (in a mock crybaby voice) “‘I want Mommy!’ And he waved his hands like this” (waving her hands in front of her). “Maybe we’ll see him again.”
She is still rehashing, three weeks later. She’ll bring it up randomly in the car. “It’s not a real bee!” she says. “It’s a guuurl in a costume.”
I’m impressed by the way that she copes with one of her fears. She processes the situation and talks herself out of being afraid. Kid’s got a good head on her shoulders.
Okay, it’s probably time for a toddler bed. It’s just that, I love that nice long nap she takes every day. And friends tell me the toddler bed might put an abrupt halt to the nap.
She climbed out of the pack n’ play at Nana and Poppop’s house, pulled a sheet off the bed, knocked a gate down and made her way to the bottom of the stairs.
“I want to play with Caitlin and Leah!” she was yelling. I ran up to get her when I realized her yelling had gotten louder. So loud, it almost sounded like she was no longer in the attic. Because she wasn’t.
She is probably too darn big for that pack n’ play anyway. Sigh.
She says, “Mommy you’re so cute.”
“I want to play with you. Because I love you.”
“I’m so glad you’re here!”
I sneeze and she yells from the other room, “Are you okay, Mommy?”
“I’m okay,” I say.
“Everything will be okay Mommy!” she says.
She sure keeps me on my toes but I sure love her.
I just wanted to share my essay, “Motherhood Absentmindedness,” which was published in Brain, Child last week.
The essay begins:
You think I’d learn not to rest my coffee cup on the roof of the car while buckling my daughter Nora into her car seat, but sometimes, I only have so many hands. How many times have I backed out of the driveway and heard the clunk of a thing hitting the pavement? My phone, my sunglasses, a water bottle, a lunch bag, a juice box. And I have spent much of my existence searching for lost items, so much so that my two-year-old has a habit of walking into my closet with her hands in the air, saying, “I’m just looking for something”….
To keep reading, click on the link. http://www.brainchildmag.com/2014/09/motherhood-absentmindedness/