An 87-year-old woman (she told me her age—I'm not psychic) stopped me in the supermarket this week to impart that classic great-grandmother wisdom: "Enjoy this time."
She beamed at Ivy, who was strapped to my chest in the Ergo and trying desperately to stay awake and soak up the world around her. After telling me about her own children and grandchildren and great-grandchildren, she added, "Babies are our saints on Earth."
Preschool started up again on Monday, and I couldn't be happier. Westley is pleased too. He was delighted to see his classmates from last year, and he's already hit it off with a new friend who just started preschool this year. And his teacher is awesome. The whole schedule is like a big breath of fresh normalcy.
I was worried about getting two kids and myself out the door four afternoons a week, but it's not too bad if we plan ahead. Waaay ahead, but whatever. It's kind of liberating (in a nerdy way) to pick out my clothes the night before.
That's right, my clothes. My biggest and very shallow worry was that I would end up dropping Westley off at preschool in my pajamas. Which might not be such a big deal except that there is no real "drop off." Parents escort their preschoolers to and from the building, a.k.a. everyone will know that I'm a total slob.
Every time I looked at Westley this week, he seemed so much bigger and more capable. Sometimes, for a minute or two, I'd even mistake him for a mini adult. I have to remind myself often that Westley is only four. Coming up on five, yes, but still only four. And four years old isn't very old at all. Four years isn't as new as five weeks, but it's is still pretty brand new in the grand scheme of things.
Ivy's new development this week? Talking. Not words, obviously (although Westley is convinced that she's said "yeah"), but all manner of noises. She coos. She roars. When she cries, which is mostly in the car because she HATES the car, she saves up air and lets out a waaaaahhh that goes on longer than I can hold my breath. It's distressing, especially when we're speeding down the freeway. At night, she snorts and snores and makes kitten and piglet noises in the dark. After she sneezes, she says, "Aaa-oooh," thank goodness THAT'S out!
All the time I spend with Ivy on my body has begun to take its toll on my back. I'm starting to feel the pain that flared up for the first time after Westley was born. I'm certainly not going to stop cuddling Ivy, but without restful sleep during the night, I know I'm not recuperating from the day's constant holding, nursing, and Ergo-wearing. I'm trying to be mindful of my posture, and I'm experimenting with different nursing positions, wearing my Earth shoes when shoes are required, and squatting instead of bending over—but I worry that it's not going to be enough.
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I've lived in the Seattle area for over seven years now, but I always forget the summer pattern. Summer here isn't June, July and August; it's July, August, and September, with September often being the summeriest of all. It's cool in the morning, so I bundle up the baby, put on Fall boots, and plan soup for dinner. Then a few hours go by and it's sweltering. It's a meteorological practical joke.
Fall might be around the corner, but we're still picking blackberries. I'm enjoying this time.