Some firsts and reminders
We walked around our block for the first time last week. Training in staying on the sidewalk and holding an adult’s hand is going reasonably well. Jamie, who I thought would be most likely to bolt, remembers “Corner. Stop” every time we get to a corner, which is hugely reassuring. He is fine holding an adult’s hand if the adult is going his speed (a moderately fast walk for me; “Run-a-run-a-run-a-run” for him). Theresa often dislikes holding hands and will sit down on the sidewalk instead of continuing encumbered by that requirement. Audrey generally likes holding someone’s hand, so that aspect of the walk is a bonus for her.
They sometimes hold hands or interact with each other at mealtimes, but the other morning at breakfast, Theresa reached for Audrey and said, “Hold hand, Audrey.”
We have entered a new phase of playing (more at a playground but also at a play center) where I am a gatekeeper more than a spotter. I started teaching Jamie how to climb up and down a rope ladder at the same park where, two months ago, Theresa had her moment of laughing at the precipice of death and I nearly had a heart attack. It was a good reminder to keep things in perspective: they change, I change. What I used to fear I can now let go.
We saw lion cubs at the zoo today. Holy cuteness. A group of middle schoolers on a field trip even moved aside so our kids could see better from their stroller.
Alan is in CA for two days, so I am solo except when Jillian is here. They have all been having moments of needing Mommy’s undivided physical and emotional attention lately, so even when Jillian is here, I often have three small bodies tugging at mine.
Dinner went well thanks to advice my dad’s cousin Kathy gave us before the kids were even born. Kathy, who I would admire as fabulous even if we weren’t related, owns her own daycare and is incredibly nurturing while setting boundaries with her kids. When we expressed concern about what on earth we would do if all three cried at the same time, she told us: Pick the kid whose problem you can fix, and focus on that. Then move to the next kid. If you try to bounce back and forth or rush it, they sense that and it’ll make the situation worse.
After today’s disastrous lunch of both girls in hysterics over wanting to eat plain tortilla instead of the broccoli or enchilada or enchilada-filling-made-into-quesadilla that I made for them, and subsequently going to nap without anything to eat, I used Kathy’s advice for doing dinner solo, and it worked.
Usually we try to get everyone in their chairs, then everyone bibbed, then everyone with a tray and milk, and then start serving food. Tonight I grabbed Theresa (the nearest), set her up entirely with carrots on her tray, and left her munching happily while I set up Audrey likewise. Finally I could corral Jamie and get him set up with “krits” (carrots, one of his faves), and then cut up the pork and retrieve the cauliflower.
Smooth and happy diners. One small moment of Mama victory among many moments of feeling like a wicked witch. I’ll take it. And hopefully remember for next time.