Happy Mother’s Day to all of the wonderful mothers in my life- my friends, my family, and especially my own mom. I hope you all have an amazing day!
It just seems like this is happening too soon. I know most kids move to toddler/regular beds when they’re between a year-and-a-half and two years old, and Ike turned 2 in February… but it’s too soon.
Actually, my chiropractor says it’s past time. My lower back’s been a mess since I was pregnant with Simon (almost 5 years) ago, and it’s been really bad lately. I’m picking the boys up less and being careful about how I lift stuff, but now that the crib’s drop-side is “fixed”, it’s impossible for me to get my solid lump of toddler in and out of there without leaning over- and that, my friends, is a recipe for pain.
It’s just too soon for my poor brain. It’s not that I don’t want him to grow up- I can accept that even if I don’t always like it. I’m just not ready for Hurricane Ike to be free in his bedroom, completely un-caged. It’s a terrifying thought! There are toys in there. And books. There are clothes, people! The child is some kid of mess-making prodigy, and there’s zero chance that he’ll decide to leave that temptation alone and just go to sleep any time soon.
Last night was The First Night. AJ brought Simon’s old toddler bed up from the basement and set it up while I was making supper, and Ike was pretty excited. He loves playing o everyone else’s beds, and now he’s got his own!
It was still a few hours until bedtime at that point- he was just practising.
He went right to bed at bedtime, but we weren’t naive enough to think he was going to stay there. He stayed in bed for a few minutes… and then we heard footsteps. Then the sound of dinky cars hitting the floor. Then the beads-on-wires toy. Then a little hand on the doorknob.
We didn’t want to open the door unless we had to; we didn’t really expect him to go back to bed, but anything’s possible, right? But then he started knocking on the door and saying, “Mama? Mamama? My Mama?” I couldn’t take that, so I went to scoop him back into bed. He was at the door with Humphrey (his ridiculously large hippopotamus) in one arm, and he pushed past me and marched out to the living room. “Haa, Dad!”
Five minutes later he was back in bed. I know the theory is that you should put them straight back to bed, no talking, no cuddling, no nothing, but that doesn’t work for Ike. If he’s crying, he can go for at least an hour without letting up- we’ve never tried for longer. It’s faster to make sure he’s calm and then put him back. That time he stayed in bed for 10 minutes before we heard him knocking. I went in and scooped him back into bed, gave him a kiss, and left- and he ran back to the door crying, knocked and yelled, “DADADADADA!” Clearly, I was now the enemy. Told you it didn’t work! Out to Daddy for comfort, then back to bed. Again.
The next time he came out he sat on the couch with us for a bit, and then I pushed a shelf over beside the bed to block him in. He could have got out at the foot of the bed very easily; I just wanted to keep Humphrey from falling out of the bed and maybe give Ike the feeling of being in his crib. AJ put him back to bed and gave him a bottle of water, and we waited. We heard a few noises, but no crying. An hour later we were reasonably sure he was asleep, and I went to check on him.
The little guy was passed out across the foot of the bed- so close to escape! I hauled him back up to the pillow (NOT good for the back, but what can you do?) and kissed his smooshy cheek. He slept peacefully…
…until 5:20 this morning. Then he was up and about, and there was no way he was going to get back in that bed, thanks very much!
There’s definitely something to be said for a baby cage.
Last night I pulled all the boxes of baby clothes down from the shelf in Isaac’s closet. There were only a few left; between what got completely ruined and what was still OK but not worth keeping for friends (and that we donated to Value Village), plus what we’ve already sent to our friends, there were about 4 diaper boxes full in there.
The box I mailed to friends in NL last week had a lot of the important stuff- nice-looking clothes that were still in excellent condition, many things my favourites from when my babies were actually babies. Stuff I wouldn’t have given to just anybody.
The first box that’s back in the closet now is stuff I’m saving for when my brother and his wife-to-be decide to have a baby. They have a daughter already, and I assume they still have baby clothes left, but if the next one’s a boy, he might not appreciate having future girlfriends seeing pictures of him wearing his sister’s pink and purple Dora jammies. So in that box we have my favourite little knit outfit Ike wore as a newborn and a couple of footie jammies, plus a few older-baby things: the outfit that Ike wore to his Daddy’s RCMP graduation (SO freaking cute!), the navy blue pea coat the boys both wore the winter they were a year old, a few similar things.
There’s one more box still up there. It’s about half-full with the stuff I can’t bear to get rid of. Most of it is stuff both the boys wore when they were very small, things that make me get all teary when I look at them.
Have you seen those TV shows, like “Clean Sweep” (and I assume 100 others), where they go into people’s houses to clear out their clutter? I know what they’d tell me about those things. I’d say, “there are just so many memories!”, getting all weepy, and they’d say, “But won’t you still have those memories without the THINGS? You memories are in your mind…” blah, blah, blah, etc. etc.
That’s not entirely true, at least not for me. My memory’s not great, and it wasn’t even before the boys came along and gave me the Mommy-brain. It was pretty good at one time, but Depression seems to have destroyed it (it was once so bad I couldn’t remember to go to regular classes, or the difference between Boleslav and Coleslaw in Eastern European history). I’ve learned to write everything down, from appointments to journal entries that remind me that not every day was the same as the one before or after it. Pictures help me remember things we did, details about those days, what Simon’s smile looked like when he was 6 months old. But those things don’t bring the feelings back. Pictures don’t remind me what it felt like when my boys were small enough that one could lie with his head on my shoulder and his little diaper-clad butt resting in one of my hands, or the way their hair smelled after a bath. The journal entries rarely capture what it was like to lie on the bed with a sleeping baby on me, how it felt to rub my hand up and down their backs, so tiny under those soft terry-cloth jammies. The jeans with the uneven wear on the knees are the only thing that really remind how funny Ike was before he was walking, when he hitched around the house, pulling himself with one leg, dragging the other. When I see and touch those few old things, I remember.
And yes, it makes me sad. When Simon was little-but-getting-bigger, I felt that way and wanted another little baby. I enjoyed seeing Simon growing up and would never have traded bigger Simon for little baby Simon, but I wanted to do it again with his little brother or sister. I don’t feel that way now. I don’t want another baby, and I can’t say I miss everything about the early days- the cuddles were so nice, but I can do without the painful feedings, the up-the-back diaper explosions, and the nights when I was waking up every 3 or 4 hours. I know I won’t be doing it again, but it still breaks my heart knowing that my boys will never be that small again- th0se days are really gone forever. I enjoyed every minute of them that I could, but even that doesn’t keep them from slipping away. I will continue to enjoy seeing my boys getting bigger, learning who they are as they grow up, discovering new things to enjoy… but I’ll always wish I could reach for the pause button on life, just for a while.
That stuff won’t sit in a closet forever. One of these days, when I have time (probably around the same time I finally get to work on our family scrap-book and plant a real garden), I’ll cut the clothes up and make a quilt for myself- just a little one I can keep to remind me. Maybe by then it won’t even make me cry.
I finally got rain boots. Yippee! This is VERY exciting for me- rain boots are one of those things I’ve wanted for years (how else can I splash in puddles?!), but that I couldn’t justify spending the money on- even $15 at Wal-Mart, or $25 for the plaid ones I wanted last year. Money’s still frequently tight (like in January/February, when we spent that minor $1500+ on fixing the car for the second time in 6 months), but there are small signs things are looking up. Like being able to get BOOTS!
Yeah, they’re the $15 Wal-Mart ones. I decided that getting something with a pattern just increased the chances I’d get sick of them and want new ones next year, so I went with the blue ones. Now I just need a rain coat, and I’ll be all set for spring!
Yep, them there’s my new boots. Also possibly the greatest knee-high socks on the planet, courtesy of my brother and his fiancee. I am SO FREAKING COOL.
Another beautiful day, another attempt to show the boys that being outside is WAY better than staying in and watching TV. Since it was kind of warm (comparatively speaking- it IS still March) and not too windy, we made a portable lunch to take outside to the back yard for a picnic. Mmmm… grassy food!
It wasn’t anything fancy. Neither of the boys really likes sandwiches (other than Nutella, and we try not to that too often), so we took cheese and crackers, apple slices and peanut butter, plus water for me and chocolate milk for the boys. It went pretty well- they actually ate a bit before Ike wandered over to the fire pit and brought back some little rocks to toss all over the blanket (and the food). Simon ate more than he usually does for lunch, Ike not as much. Neither of them was interested in trying peanut butter on the apple slices… crazy people! That’s about the only way I like peanut butter. More for me, I guess.
After that, the boys putzed around the yard, as they’ve been doing for a little while each of the last few days. There’s almost enough space out there that they can stay out of each other’s way; even when they don’t (like when they’re both playing in the pit), they’re starting, once in a while, to play together. Simon tries to boss Ike around, but Ike’s already sure that Simon’s not the boss of him. It’s all good.
We’ve been having some amazing weather here in the last week or so. I’m not fooling myself into thinking spring is actually here- we’re as likely to get another snow storm or two as not. We’ve been enjoying he sun and relative warmth, though. On Saturday we (the little guys and I) wanted to go outside and draw on the driveway, but we didn’t have any sidewalk chalk. We DID, however, have water, corn starch, food colouring and “The Ultimate Book of Kid Concoctions”. Put together, that makes sidewalk paint. Yippee!
The recipe calls for equal parts starch and water with food colouring added; the paint came out thinner than I would have liked, but adding much more cornstarch makes it too hard to mix. I’d also add more colour than the recipe calls for next time. It was good, though. The boys got outside and did some painting on the driveway and the front walk, got some fresh air, ran around a bit in the back yard when we ran out of paint.
The paint does the opposite of sidewalk chalk: chalk sits on the bumps in the concrete, while this stuff sinks into the cracks and low spots. If you could get the colours right (and had a LOT of patience!), you could do great pictures with a combination of the two. If you do, show me pictures! Alone, the paint was better than nothing, but I’d tweak the recipe a bit next time to get more colour and coverage.
When Simon and Ike seemed to be getting bored with the paint, I dumped what was left on the driveway. The paint went faster that way, but the colour was better. And it was so happy!
You know, if we’re ever really stuck, I think the boys would be good with just water and paintbrushes. The pictures don’t last as long (especially in hot, sunny weather), but water shows up well on light-coloured sidewalks and wood fences or decks. Easier clean-up, too.
This stuff should wash away when it rains…
Simon and I were talking about his plants this morning, and I discovered something surprising.
Me: See how the plants are growing from those tiny seeds? They’re going to grow a lot bigger, too, just like how you’ll grow up to be a big man like Daddy!
Simon: But I’m a little boy!
Me: Well, you’ve still got a lot of years to be a boy…
Simon: I don’t want to be a man! I want to be a LITTLE BOOOOY!
…apparently we’re raising Peter Pan here, and we didn’t even know it!
Simon got to pick out the cereal at the grocery store yesterday, and he picked Corn Pops. Actually, he picked “Corn Cops”, which I guess is some kind of rural police force, but we got Corn Pops.
I’m about 80% relieved, 20% disappointed that he doesn’t call then “Porn Cops” anymore. That was awesome. Slightly embarrassing in public, but awesome.
OK, maybe 70/30.