I often get the question, “What do you guys do all day?” And honestly it’s hard to say. We go to the Y. We take walks. We read, and dance, and read, and dance and read some more. We eat. A lot.
It seems like we’re always eating. There are weekly activities like the library and play dates, but they’re not written in pen. I always thought I’d have an organized day (and those who know me well will probably laugh at that). Lunch time at blank o’clock. Nap from ____ to____. But that’s not our reality. Perhaps it never will be. Each day brings new adventures and a new schedule, and it will all really change in a couple months.
I have recently become acutely aware that my alone time with Mo-bug is quickly coming to a close. For the last 20 months it’s been just me and her. Her and me. So happy together. Well, not happy all the time. Hormones can make a grown-up girl awfully emotional. But definitely mostly happy.
As our time grows short, I feel that mommy-guilt creeping up, chastising myself for all the times I’ve ignored her. Messed around on the computer instead of dancing. Let her cry. Because I know, with a new baby, there’s a lot more ignoring about to happen. Good thing newborns sleep so much, because this transition is going to be… interesting. I have no doubt that Mo will be an amazing Big Sister. And I know that Andy will make my life much easier than it could be. He is an excellent spouse and amazing father.
Did I ever mention that when Mo was itty-bitty and breast feeding several times a night, Andy would wake up, change her diaper, hand her to me and then read to me? Not roll over and go back to sleep. Not pretend to stay awake with me. He would read to me. We made it through the entire Percy Jackson and the Olympians series by Rick Riordan. (It’s young adult, but well worth reading). It was a beautiful, sacred bonding time for our new family. And I didn’t have to stare at his sleeping back every night for hours, envying him.
Hopefully we can do the same with this Baby, but life is different now. Perhaps we’ll find some other new and loving way to bond with just Her.
Anyway, back to Mo. These days I’m hugging her a little tighter, telling her I love her more often, and mostly just trying to be with her. Trying to memorize her right now. I remember how quickly time passed when Mo arrived, so I know after New Baby Girl is here, I’m going to blink and Mo will be 5.
I wonder how our parenting will be different. Mo, at almost 2, does not sleep through the night, nor does she truly put herself to sleep (this feels like a confession, but I’m not sorry about it, so I’m not sure quite why…). Recently she’s slept through with one wake up between 11 and 12 that usually just involves one of us singing or rubbing her back for a couple minutes. With bath, prayer, story time and singing her to sleep, her bedtime ritual usually takes an hour or more. This is quite a bit longer than some of our friends.
Some nights, as I start picking up the house after she’s down some time around 8:30, I stare longingly toward our bed and wish we could just lay her down to magically put herself to sleep. Then Andy gently reminds me that perhaps this extra time and effort is her reward for being our first, our guinea pig.
In reparation for all the mistakes we made (and make), she’s had the last 2 years of our undivided attention and love.
It’s going to be strange to divide our attention. My mom has told me countless times that she was sure she couldn’t possibly love two children as much as she loved just me. Then my sister came along, and another sister… Lo and behold her love was not divided, it was multiplied. That’s the blessing of children, she says. I’m both nervous and excited for that blessing. For that mathematical miracle.
I’m sure there will be times where I long for the “just Mo” days. So, I’m working hard to make these days nostalgia-worthy.
Actually, I don’t have to work very hard. She makes it pretty easy…