These past few weeks have been hard on me, as a mother. There has been a lot of self-doubt. There have been a lot of moments when I question myself as a mom and struggle to hold onto even a shred of patience. Most days I feel as though I am crawling to the daily finish line of bedtime (which is hardly a finish line when you proceed to wake up with each child multiple times every night). There are lots of reasons these few weeks have been challenging and I hope I can figure out how to write it all down soon because I think that would help me sort it all out in my head. In the meantime, I desperately need to hold onto what is good and what I am finding delightful about my children these days.
Mattias, nearly 7 months old.
He continues to be ridiculously easy-going. Happily rolls around on the rug, chomping on toys, drooling on the floor, mostly tolerating the (not-so-gentle) affection of his big sister. Hates food. It offends him. Except for orange slices. Which I'm pretty sure I shouldn't be giving him. He is working on figuring out crawling, but rolling gets him where he needs to go. Also still figuring out sitting up. Would jump all day, everyday if my arms and back could support such commitment to the sport. Smiles and coos at his sister in the backseat as we drive. Has two bottom teeth and seems to be working on some more. Soaking wet with drool all the time. Babbles and growls all the time. Toes are his favorite, built-in toy. Reaches for us which is quite possibly the sweetest thing ever. Except for the way he looks at me. That is the sweetest thing ever. When I lock eyes with him, it is impossible to stay frustrated, grumpy or tired, if only for that moment.
She is a little girl. Literally uses at least one or two new words every day. Strings new combinations of words together daily. It's amazing. With each passing day, I have more and more of an idea of what is going on inside her head. She's successfully given up her pacifier. We had some long nights with lots of waking, but overall the transition went much more smoothly than I had expected. I am so proud of her and so relieved. Loves coloring with markers and cutting with her little blue scissors. Also continues to be obsessed with water. Water from the hose outside, water from the kitchen sink or bathroom sink. But not so much the bath. Doesn't love baths right now. Wants to get dressed the instant she wakes up. Wears a dress pretty much everyday. It needs to "spin around." She wears her "dancy" shoes everyday. Pretty sure that is her word for fancy dancing shoes. Loves the beach, her tricycle and her friends. Oh, my goodness, does she love her friends. The joy she gets from being with her pals overflows from her. She gets giddy and giggly and flushed. After months and months of parallel play, it's amazing to watch her really start to engage with other children. She likes to find snails in the morning and cover pine cones with paper towels and tell them, "Goodnight, sleep tight." She calls her dad, "Honey," like her mom does and asks him every night, "How was your day, honey?" She loves her brother so much. She looks for him first thing every morning and brings him toys when he's sad. She's still figuring out how to be gentle and sometimes randomly lashes out at him, but I know her love for him is big and I can't wait to watch as their relationship develops.
Man, these kids. They drain me of my energy some days and some days I just want to have a moment to myself, but writing all this out helps me remember how precious they are and how grateful I am that I get to be witness to their developing skills and personalities. This is the hardest job I'll ever have, but I am thankful it's what I am tasked with right now.