On Tuesday, Darrick called me about 3:45 to see when I was planning to come home from work. He does this about 3 times a week most weeks so really I didn't think much of it. Until he explained that he'd taken a nap in our bed and let Luca sleep in there, and he was awoken to her crying and puking Exorcist style all over the sheets. Sheets, incidentally, that had JUST been washed and put on the night prior.
Once he ran her to the tub and stripped her down for a bath, he realized Rohan was sobbing hysterically in his crib. He went in to get him, only to find his diaper and pants off. His poppy diaper and pants, I should say. So into the tub he went as well. So you can see why he was in a rush to get me home, and also why I was not really feeling the urgency myself.
The rest of the night consisted of her trying to drink water. Then puking. The asking for juice. And puking. And then there was the strawberry popsicle. And red puke. And goldfish crackers. And yellow puke. And finally, she whimpered for me to sit by her, and she leaned over on my lap and fell asleep.
Did you know that there is nothing in the world more soul crushingly bitersweet than the way your three year old looks, her hair all golden and curled into ringlets from sweat, sleeping on your lap? I swear sometimes I look at her and think I can't believe I made her. I let her sleep on the couch for awhile, and when I finally lifted her in my arms to carry her up to bed, she smiled at me through her sleep and fever and said, "I love you Mompy*."
Tomorrow morning we're leaving for Rohan's first ever camping trip. My husband wanted to go for 3 nights, but I told him we really need to play it by ear. We have no idea how our kids will do with the wilderness and the sleeping in a tent with all of us together stuff. We used to camp quite frequently before we had kids, and we always swore to ourselves that would not change. Since having Luca, we've been camping exactly once, and she is 3 years old. I can't explain it, but the idea of camping suddenly went from this fun, easy, cool-weather getaway in the pines to some sort of anxiety-inducing drama for me. Something about kids and bugs and wild animals and mountains and campfires...it all adds up to me being a bundle of nerves. I'm embarassed to admit that for a lot of reasons, not the least of which is the smug tone I has before having two kids. But in addition to the anxiety, the timing's been rough since both our kids are late spring babies, so when the weather was good for camping we've either had a newborn or I've been really pregnant. I hope this trip is a success!
Luca's stoked, however. We went to Target tonight for a few things, and she came home with a Disney Princess flashlight. She can't wait to go out in the woods and shine it at things. She also can't wait until "We will ALL sleep in the BIG tent together and SNUGGLE!". Mostly, though, she can't wait for the marshmallows. Seriously, can't wait to the point that she dug a tiny hole in the corner of the bag and I busted her with her cheeks stuffed, looking like a little blonde cbipmunk.
Work has been stressful and busy lately, and I'm finding myself feeling like I'm on the edge of losing it. I am happy, on one hand, to feel like a lot is going on and I'm needed and busy and doing important work. Other than my boss, I've been there longest, so all the newer people defer to me a lot and ask me a lot of questions. It's nice to feel needed. It's also nice to have other women (of all ages and with a variety of histories) to talk to about love and marriage and kids and work and politics and relationships. I haven't had that in a long time in my office, and I feel really happy with that. But the long days and limited time with my kids is really wearing at me. I need a few mornings a month to linger over coffee and Sesame Street while checking my emails from home.
And recently? Recently I've decided I deserve that. I used to work from home 2 days a week, but then we lost some staff and it was just my boss and I in the office. So I moved back to being there full time and that was a year ago and in that past year WHOOSH Rohan has become this 5 foot tall walking, taking goofball. And Luca is practically 16, it seems, and it's all going by too fast. And I can't slow time. I try. Over and over I wish for it to slow and for the days when my babies want to fall asleep while I sing to them or call me silly names like Mompy to never ever end. And still, the calendar pages flip and I feel a sadness at it all.
But when I am home? With my husband and my daughter and my son? Fullness. Perhaps that's why I'm that annoying chick who waxes poetic about the cute thing Luca did and how Rohan is so deliciously adorable, and why I'm the mom who says being a parent is the biggest thing I'll ever do in life but it doesn't feel like work to me. Maybe it's because the moments I do get with them are what I have to savor, and I look at them through rose-colored glasses? Either way, I'm still trying, 3 years into this whole parenthood thing, to find the balance that works for me and my family. And I'm feeling lately like that's going to mean working from home more. Here's hoping the boss agrees.
Tonight we met a friend and her son at Target for coffee and shopping. Her husband works nights as a police officer, and Darrick was at the gym. Her son was due 10 days before Rohan but came a few weeks earlier, and Luca just adores them.
We walked in and the first thing Luca said to her was this: "I think we're gonna hafta get me a baby sister soon." In truth, it's something we talk about a little here and a little there. Before we had any kids, Darrick wanted only one. When we had Luca, he realized he wanted two. After Rohan, he wanted a vasectomy. But 16 months (tomorrow) later, he has finally said he thinks he would like another baby. But a few things stand in our way, primarily a bit of debt we want to pay down before we consider more kids. It was nice, though, to have that conversation and to know that there's possibility down the road. I adore my kids. I love my family how it is and it definitely feels full. But in a great many ways, I always still feel like we have another kid coming our way. Even when I was pregnant with Rohan, I felt like this wouldn't be the last pregnancy nor the last baby for us. Maybe it's wishful thinking since I love pregnancy and birth and babies and kids so much. Maybe it's intuition or the universe talking to me. Hell...maybe it's my biological clock. But I'm not ready to completely close the door on possibility just yet.
I watched Rohan this morning, hopping and running around the house, all big feet and big hands and round belly and fat cheeks. He's got the body of a two year old, and I love it to pieces. I want to scoop him up every spare second and rain kisses on his face and tickle his shoulders to make him erupt in giggles. I still think of him and speak of him like this: "My baby." But in truth, he's closer to 'kid' than he is 'baby', and there is no going back. If we stop with two kids, soon there won't be any babies left in our house.**
* Mompy is my new name, courtesy of Luca who also now calls her brother Romak.
** You'll always be my babies. Even when you're dating boys I don't like or scaring me by wanting to ride a motorcycle or telling me you hate me and I'll never understand. Then, maybe, more than ever will you be mine.