Mornings with my girl
Now that we’re finally settling into our new lives — that are officially crazy-ville with scheduled activities — I’m catching my breath and taking a second to tell you about it.
D now goes to preschool
two mornings a week (Tuesdays and Thursdays), takes swimming lessons
on Tuesday evenings, and has gymnastics class on Wednesday mornings. Plus all three of us have playgroup at a local elementary school on Friday mornings. I KNOW, RIGHT?
Sidebar: I never anticipated being this busy with activities, but really, one of them is super-beneficial (preschool!) and another activity is an important life skill (swimming!) that D really needed to become better at. So the only real “extracurricular” is his gymnastics class, and even that is important (exercise!). I get annoyed when people comment that I’m “overscheduling” him, because I am 500% on board with kids having free time to play, not being too busy, etc. It’s two things plus school! Not nine days a week of hockey or something, sheesh.
Anyway. So my point is that D is gone for two full mornings a week, plus an hour on Wednesdays for gymnastics and 40 minutes on Tuesdays for swimming (although we have to hang around during the lessons).
And although we miss D, it’s been really, really nice to have some solo time with Miss C — something we never really got for the first 16-ish months of her life!
Yes, she wears dresses just about daily (if she’s not in a dress, she’s probably in jeggings and a cute top), and pigtails with bows and/or barrettes are also daily. I mean, are you really surprised? I’m the girl who was nutty about the thought of having a daughter someday, because bows, glitter, pink, ribbons? That’s MY JAM!
In this newfound alone time with C, I’m getting to focus more on her as an individual — not just one half of the Clarke Kids, who require constant supervision/snackage/entertainment until Mommy is exhausted.
She loves to wash her hands. Who knew what would be a big thrill, but it is. She has also started dragging the (huge! heavy!) kitchen chairs over to the sink to wash dishes with me. At first she dragged her child-sized chairs or the bathroom stool over, but they didn’t let her get high enough.
She loves to jump on our bed while I sing “Five Little Monkeys,” and she collapses onto the pillows with a big smile at the end. She is more cautious than D was at one, but still full of that awesome curious toddler energy.
Her current favourite activity is to assemble every Chapstick she can find, take off the caps, apply them to her lips, re-cap them, and carefully organize them in her “makeup case.” Then she takes each one out, pretending to count them, and begins all over again.
She amazes me every day with her intelligence. We always say we’re shocked at her speech, because of course D didn’t really talk until after his tube surgery
when he was two. C says lots of words, and really understands what we say to her (wow, what a concept!). She can follow directions wonderfully. She answers “yes” questions with an “Ah-uh” sound, and answers “no” questions with a firm “Nawww!” There’s never any question about what this little girl wants.
In a way, it’s strange spending these mornings alone together. I know for my friends with just one child, they’d never think it was strange to spend time alone together — and I used to feel that way about spending time with D. No big deal.
But when you have two little ones — especially so close together — you don’t often get to focus on them individually during the hectic everyday routines. Other than at bedtime — when I spend time alone with each one, tucking them in and talking with them — C and I had never gotten much time alone together.
In these mornings together, sometimes we go shopping or run errands, and sometimes we come home and play. When D is at his swimming lesson or in his gymnastics session, we find things to do while we hang out there and wait. We colour. We people-watch. We read books.
It feels too quiet without D, but I’m getting used to it. We’re able to do things that wouldn’t interest D. We’re able to spend 20 minutes doing nothing but put on lipgloss (!) together. I get to hear her adorable little voice without it being drowned out by D’s voice.
We just get to be together, me and C.
And it’s a pretty great way to spend a morning.