Our local pool has $3 swimming for families on Saturday afternoon. Yesterday was a dreary day, too cool for the park, so we headed to the pool with every other family from our neighbourhood. I love family swim time. I also hate it with a vengeance. Why, you ask?
- The hair on the changing room floor. It was beyond disgusting. That floor hadn’t been cleaned since last Tuesday. It was a land mine of hair. I gave up trying to find clean patches to step on and resigned myself to coming home with some deadly disease plastered to the bottom of my feet. On the flip side, I love that my bathroom floor looks pristine and practically magazine-worthy in comparison.
- The shivering, whining waiting to get into a family change room. About eight tiny change rooms lined up down a long, narrow, floor-hair infested hallway. We waited and waited for a door to open up so we could change into our suits. It reminded me of a game-show where you don’t know which door is going to open next. We were competing for an open door with ten other families so every time a door opened, the mothers nervously glanced at each other, evaluating which family had been waiting the longest for a room. I was flabbergasted when a door finally opened and out came mom, dad, little girl, other little girl, little boy…they just kept coming, like people climbing out of a Volkswagen beetle in the commercial. Just when I thought it was safe to enter, grandma came out too. That group took “family change room” seriously I guess. On the bright side, the change room made the bathroom in our 1966 home seem huge in comparison. I won’t complain anymore when our whole family is clamouring in there together in the mornings.
- The screaming. Release one hundred kids from the confines of home and school and chaos ensues. Children were shouting, splashing and thrashing around. A week’s worth of forced-quietness at school or daycare was unleashed in two hours of madness. Dads weren’t dads anymore; they were hungry sharks. Moms let go of the rules and leaned back into the water to breathe, if only for a moment. The look on my own children’s faces was pure joy. I’ll put up with the shrieking and yelling any day to see my two in such bliss. They were so worn out when we got home that the bickering and picking and poking at each other disappeared, for a few hours at least.
- The pee in the baby pool. Baby pools scare me. Does anyone else remember the signs at hotel pools in the 80s that said, “This is our OOL. Notice there is no P in it?” Great idea except babies can’t read. Both my children bee-lined for the baby pool, even though I tried to convince them otherwise. My two-year-old daughter decided that she was very, very thirsty. She defiantly scooped up that pee-water and drank it by the handful. Every time I asked her to stop she gave me an evil grin and lapped up even more. But really, aren’t I always trying to get my children to drink more water? Gag.
- The post-swim sleep. As a parent of young ones, life is all about sleep. Our days and activities are planned around naps and bedtime with one goal in mind: getting our children to sleep as much as possible. After our wild weekend swim, both children slept. My son, typically ready to rise and shine at 5:00, slept in until practically noon. That’s what 6:15 feels like when you are used to 5:00. I thought my daughter must have been in a coma, as we didn’t hear a peep from her until after 7:00.
We’ll be there next weekend so I hope to see you too. First I need to make a quick stop at Target for a family pack of flip-flops. 😉
Life has been wild. Illness, sleep deprivation, more illness, more sleep deprivation…you get the picture. I realized today that from when the kiddos and I awakened at 4:00 a.m. until they were both asleep at 8:00 p.m., there were two minutes in those sixteen hours that I was alone. It was a Monday, that’s for sure.
I’m starting a new routine: Murphy’s Monday Music. Once in awhile, on a Monday I will post a song that has meaning to me at this point in time. I’ve got this beauty to share with you today:
I hope you like it.
Little A has been “walking” for months by holding onto hands. Anyone’s hands will do: mine, D’s, Brother B’s (which is adorable!). Around Mother’s Day she gathered up her courage and walked from person to person. This week she got brave. D’s parents are visiting and everyone was sitting in the living room. I was banging and crashing in the kitchen by myself when I heard “Mah-Mah? Mahhhhh-Mah?” Then, “thump, thump, thump, thump” as her tiny body and delighted face peeked around the corner. She ran to me with that look that people have when they’ve returned from a long journey and first see a loved one. It was the longest journey she had ever taken. Her shining eyes said, “You are everything to me. Thank you. Thank you for being up in the night with me for months and months. Thank you for putting me first. Thank you for being my Mah-mah.”
If you are struggling with a new baby and trying to find yourself in the crazy new world of motherhood, hang on. Your reward is coming, sooner than you think. Blessings.
Sunday. The night I love. Time for quiet. The night my freshly-turned-one-year-old decides to become a toddler.
What was once a soothing, relatively easy bedtime routine suddenly turns on its heel and becomes an all-out sporting event. Flipping and flopping like a slippery fish, Little A does not want to wear a diaper. I finagle her onto her back and somehow slap the sticky tabs on the diaper, lopsided. We cuddle for a few minutes, then I slip her a pink soother and put her favourite My First Dolly right onto her face, the way she likes. I turn on the lullabies and tiptoe out.
Two minutes later I’m back, summoned by calls of “Mah-mah! Mah-mah!” She has flung the soother out of the crib (on purpose) and is joyfully banging her head into the mattress and giggling. As I lift her out to rock her, I sing her favourite “Too Ra Loo Ra Loo Ral” over and over. Her bright blue eyes finally start to waver, closing, closing, almost asleep…then fly open, focused on a tiny speck of light on the ceiling. Her tiny finger points and waves madly at the light. “Ah! Ah!” she yells, willing me to stop rocking and look up at the wonder she has discovered.
I am blessed.
It’s pretty simple. The night your baby finally sleeps through the night a few different scenarios will play out:
1. Your older child will begin co-sleeping, even though he or she has always slept (relatively) soundly in his or her own bed.
2. Your husband will start snoring, louder than he ever has before.
3. Both of the above.
Children wake up early. My children wake up earlier. 5:00 is an average day, 6:00 is pretty darn good and 7:00 is very, very rare. We never set an alarm. Booking a dentist appointment the other day, I figured we could take the earliest appointment (7:45) and be there with time to spare. Our day usually feels half over by 9:30 so this should be no problem. Naturally, this is the day that everyone sleeps in until 7:00. You think I’d learn.
I’ve learned this the HARD way. My parents were booked weeks in advance to come and stay with the kiddies for a night while D and I went away (somewhere, anywhere!). I looked forward to that night like you would not believe. Little A was around 8 months old, had stopped nursing and was still up in the night, about a million times. Brother B was still yelling out at least once in the middle of the night, waking up Little A again. A real gong show. We were in the trenches of not-sleeping-baby, not-sleeping-preschooler and not-sleeping-parents. I lived for that night away. Lo and behold, as the day approaches, Grandma gets sick. Murphy’s Law. Anyone else?