To Paul: this is how you spent the day you turned 10 months old.
You make some noises at 6 but go back under and sleep until 7. Hooray! This is as good as it gets. Dad gives you a bottle, changes your diaper, and bustles out the door with you to go to school. You’ve been in childcare for three weeks now, and your teacher Leah reports you’ve adjusted well. I see the evidence now when I drop you off and your face does not crumple with despair.
You eat canned pears and cheerios, poop, and play. Your first nap at 9 is not a success. Much coughing and crying; you sleep for maybe 15 minutes. Your appetite is not compromised, however, and you put away enchiladas, broccoli, and oranges for lunch. You poop again.
Your afternoon is a bigger success. You sleep from 12:10-1:45, and snack on animal crackers and apples at 2. I find you at 4:30, playing happily on your mat with the interns. They fill me in on your day and we say goodbye. I buckle you into your car seat and we drive home, chatting occasionally about whatever “da da th-th-thda ” means.
At home, I sequester myself with you and Annie so you can romp freely about the room while Dad cooks us steaks for dinner. You range around, playing with your activity tables and pulling books off the shelf, and stop by to visit Annie and I in the nook. We have a conversation about biting, which you are prone to these days, seemingly in an effort to soothe your erupting gums. Annie offers you a ball to bite instead of Mom’s leg. You two play an adorable game where Annie pretends to hug you with her teddy bear, and you laugh and laugh.
Dad comes to tell us that dinner is ready, and we parade downstairs. I buckle you into your high chair and hand you a strawberry to tide you over while dinner is served. You attack all your food with gusto, particularly relishing the roasted okra.
I scrape off the worst of the food residue and carry you upstairs for a bath. Dad follows with Annie, and we sponge you off. You entertain yourself by throwing all the toys out of the tub. Dad scoops you out and dries you off. He takes your temperature before diapering because Annie has had a fever, and you’ve been coughing. 101.6, oy. We administer Tylenol. You seem pretty unconcerned, and polish off half a bottle on top of your dinner. We play with toys, read books, and cuddle, variously.
At 7:28, we call the fourth rendition of Pete the Cat the last and start the lullaby. You know the drill well now and have your thumb in your mouth as I begin to lay you down. We blow kisses, tell you we love you, and back out of the room. Night night, sweet baby.
To Annie: this is how you spent the day you turned 2 years and 2 months old.
You wake up at 7:30 but are happy to lie peacefully in your crib. We come in a few minutes later. Paul is delighted to see you and coos at you through the slats. You ask about “my baby”—your baby doll, which you are newly interested in pretending to care for. I change your diaper and your baby’s, and we head downstairs for breakfast.
After we eat, you and Paul buckle into your stroller for a walk in the pleasant morning. We do a 2-mile loop through the neighborhood, checking out the latest remodels and waving hello to neighbors. You roll with the shade down and your sunglasses on. Baller.
Back at home, you and I play with your rainbow of cars from Aunt Peanut and then fetch our ukuleles for a duet (The White Stripes, Apple Blossom). We read a book from Charly about a space journey. Dad scoops you up for a trip to Costco; “Bye bye, Mom, bye bye, Sous, bye bye, my baby.”
You and Dad have a good time strolling and shopping, and you stop for tacos on the way home. As midday approaches, you begin to come apart and end the drive in tears, which escalate to hiccupy sobs when we won’t let you drink a 16-oz horchata and Dad has the gall to finish off one of your barely-touched quesadillas. OMG, the injustice. We limp toward naptime. Mercifully, you and Paul go to sleep in sync, with no fuss.
Paul is up 45 minutes later, oy, but you sleep until after 3 and wake up much refreshed. We load up and head for Deep Eddy pool, where we’ll meet the Crowders. We arrive, slather you with sunscreen, and head for the water.
You have more fun than I’ve ever seen you have in a swimming pool, spashing around, watching the bigger kids, and “swimming” with an assist from Mom or Dad. We spend 45 minutes or so in the water, occasionally with company from Eleanor or Paul, and then it’s back out for a snack and dry clothes.
We schlep back to the car and load up. At home, you feed Sous, conscientiously returning the cup and closing the pantry door before you return to narrate her meal. “Sous eating dog food. DOG FOOD. Sous drinking water.” Then you create some art in a drawing program on my phone, and we look at pictures. (In addition to the usual suspects, you identify, without prompting, Uncle Mike, Evie, Dan, Peanut, and Clare. The Pig Roast made an impression.)
It’s berries and cheese for dinner—Costco treats. After a fruitless 10 minutes on your potty, you take a bath with Paul and linger to play. Dad hauls you out, gets you into your pajamas, and gives you permission to unfold your tent and tunnel for a final 15-minute romp before your 7:30 bedtime. You and Paul have a shrieking good time, as usual, and continue to rampage around while I attempt to read you
Dragons Dinosaurs Love Tacos. Despite missing your bedtime book, you consent to your sleep sack and crib while Dad and I sing our lullaby duet. We kiss you both goodnight, and close the door.
I’d just like to note and celebrate that both (all) of our children sleep through the night, in the same room. We’re exiting the crazy little-baby years. A moment to appreciate the progress before we’re swept up in the next round of challenges.
Annie: Annie take shoes off.
Dad: No, you should leave your shoes on.
Annie: Mr. Paul no shoes.
Dad: Paul can’t walk yet. He’s too little to wear shoes. Annie’s a big girl.
Annie: Annie little! Annie is little too!
We are in for such trouble with this one.