Since the beginning of March, I’ve been afforded the opportunity (thanks, my hardworking, super smart husband) to stay home with our babies. I worked through Ivy’s first year of life as a legal assistant to a very understanding, patient group of attorneys (understanding and patient in that me as a new parent was a sloppy, forgetful sight to see). When we found out tiny Leo was on the way (he was a very big surprise), we were desperate to find a way for me to quit my job and stay home with the kids. In January of this year, there was a big breakthrough with Adam’s job that allowed for our dream scenario.
Fast forward to today – there are two babies outside of my body and we are learning something new about each other every day. Ivy’s vocabulary is growing every day which is helpful because being a toddler is frustrating enough without being able to explain what you need/want (thankfully her vocabulary doesn’t include any of my choice frustration words though it’s only a matter of time). She’s starting to be the kind of independent that seems a little dangerous to me; I think she is too young to be running across the wobbly bridge at the playground – she thinks it is awesome.
A good friend of mine refuses to have kids because she can’t reconcile the idea of letting her heart run around outside her body; this friend is wise. Turns out, watching these babies try out their wheels scares the begeezus out of me; a fierce anxiety that lingers long after they’re asleep. The equal and opposite response to their accomplishments, though, is a wildly satisfying sense of pride. They’re growing! They are learning! They are brave! Ivy currently has a bump on her head from one of her many outdoor adventures and, while it takes everything within me to not make that hideous gasp when I watch her trip and fall, it’s proof she is having fun. Some may suggest it’s proof that I’m an inattentive mother but that’s when I will point them to all the trendy anti-mom shaming memes that are floating around Internet (#shamersgonnashame, #shameonyoumomshamer).
Leo is just starting to crawl – he’s incredibly motivated by the cat and our phones. The way he growl-laughs at us when we pick him up leads me to believe he is also going to be pretty intense when he gets his feet under him. He’s sweet (even now he is smiling in his sleep) but I think his sweetness is a survival instinct he’s honing even now so that, when he begins the raise the inevitable hell he is genetically guaranteed to raise, we’ll keep him around.
Adam’s awareness of the strife that accompanies mommin’ a toddler and a baby simultaneously throughout the week seems to lend a lot of tenderness to his approach towards me. He walks through the door after working all day with a posture that reads like he sort of feels guilty for having been at work – leaving me all alone with Ivyzilla and her little brother. We both attempt to validate each other with our listening and our words but I think it’s the way we’re ready for bed at 8:45 p.m. that reflects that we’ve both had a long day and that we’re both doing our part to make our world go around.
This grind is noisy and sticky and smelly. It is frustrating. It is hilarious. It fills up the camera roll on my phone with thousands of photos and videos. It makes me cry when I think how lucky we are in far too many ways to list.