a day in your life

To Paul: this is how you spent the day you turned 6 months old.

At 6:03am, your dad picks you up, and you start your breakfast. You’d been coughing—we’ve all been coughing for about three weeks now—but made it past 6am before firmly waking up, thank goodness. Mornings have been a little dicey lately. You lie beside me and munch in determined fashion, then settle in to eat the Sunday paper.

delicious, delicious news

delicious, delicious news

It's a full bed these days.

It’s a full bed these days.

When you grow bored with the news, you begin your calisthenics: kicking, followed by more kicking, then grabbing things and pulling them into your mouth, then finish with kicking. We tote you around for various morning chores, and you join the three of us for breakfast around the table. I feed you morsels of smoked salmon off my fingertips, and you help yourself to half a cherry tomato.

A few minutes before 8, it’s time for your nap. You go right to sleep, snooze until 9:40 or so, and then wake up for second breakfast. We pop you in your car seat and drive up to IKEA to buy you your very own crib. Happy birthday! ¬†What you really wanted was something to chew on.

teaching consumerism

teaching consumerism

You spend the car ride and shopping trip gazing at things quietly while Annie does the talking, but you spice things up at the end by moving your bowels in a significant way. We impulse-buy a dish towel in the checkout line so Dad can soak up some of your exploded poo before it works its way into every pore of the baby bjorn. We maneuver our multiple carts and children to the car, and I mop you down in the hatch.

You remain perfectly chill for all of this.

You remain perfectly chill for all of this.

We drive through In N Out Burger for lunch, and you eat a french fry on the way home. It’s half an hour past your nap time, so Dad races you inside to put you to bed before you slide into over-exhaustion.

We let you sleep for three hours. At 3:30, Dad gets you up and into a clean diaper, and I feed you. We join Dad and Annie in your room, where they’re hard at work building your crib. Well, Dad’s building; Annie’s playing with the hardware and occasionally handing him the screwdriver. You writhe around on the floor, sweep things into your mouth, and watch the action.

This afternoon you are sporting the Keep Calm and Carry On onesie, the emergency outfit that lives in the diaper bag in the event of blowouts.

This afternoon you are sporting the Keep Calm and Carry On onesie, the emergency outfit that lives in the diaper bag in the event of blowouts.

Annie loves you a lot.

Annie loves you a lot.

Once your crib is completed, Annie takes over entertaining you, presenting you with toys and blowing her lips for your amusement. At 5:30, you go down for another nap while the rest of the family eats dinner, and you’re up for a final round at 6:45. Dad plays with you while I give Annie a quick bath, and then you and I adjourn for a final meal. You prefer to nurse on your hands and knees, like a pig at a trough, and when you’re not doing that, you’re grabbing hard fistfuls of my face with your strong little hands. I don’t think I’m going to be all that wistful about the end of the breastfeeding, let’s just say.

In our last hour, you squirm around the bed, sucking on a toothpaste tube, a hair clip, dental floss, and some actual toys. Because it’s your birthday, I give you tiny drops of ice cream. You grab the spoon and slowly draw it to your mouth, then grimace but look at me for more. I bounce you on my legs and hold your hands so you can stand up and practice taking steps. You love this. At 8, Dad changes your diaper, reads you a story, and lullabies you into your brand-new bed.

a day in your life

To Annie: this is how you spent the day you turned 22 months old.

At 7:40, the whole family parades into your room: Dad, Sous, and Mom holding Baby Paul. “Hi Da, morning,” you say, then, “Mom, up!” Paul settles in to chew on some toys, and I lift you out of your crib and head to the dresser for a “fresh bopper.” We get you changed and dressed in no time; then it’s off to the “baffroom,” where you chew on your toothbrush and watch me attentively as I put on makeup.

Your ponytail is getting longer but still leaves plenty of hair free for you to twirl.

Your ponytail is getting longer but still leaves plenty of hair free for you to twirl.

Dad’s taking you to school, and it’s a cheerful, “Bye-bye Mom, bye-bye Sous, bye-bye Baby Paul, bye-bye dryer,” as he carries you out. Then, “bye-bye home, bye-bye Mom home, bye-bye Paul home” as you head for the car.

You’re relatively quiet on the drive, but you and Dad do a little circle-spotting. Your favorite is the yellow circle in the Howdy Donut sign on South Congress, but a Do Not Enter sign is a good find this morning. At school, you’re happy to dismiss Dad for a breakfast bowl of canned peaches.

It’s a typical day at school. 75 degrees outside, so lots of romping on the playground—later, we’ll pour sand out of your shoes—circle time with your classmates, lunch, nap, and more playing. Dad arrives to pick you up around 4:45. You spot him and smile, then return to listening to the book being read aloud.

On the way home, you chant your usual encouragement to the driver, “Dad GOOOO,” but for the first time correct yourself and/or bow to reality: “Red light.” Dad roles down all the windows (“more wind?”), so you can enjoy the warm breeze and the chirping birds (“TEE TEE!”).

With “Hi Mom! Hi Mom! Hi Mom!” you enter the house. I’m upstairs feeding Paul, and you eventually find us. Presented with the choice to stay upstairs with Mom or help Dad cook dinner, you choose, “Hop Da? Bye-bye Mom.” You stand in your tower while Dad sautes kale and microwaves everything else, occasionally demanding things and shrieking when they are denied you.

Dinner rarely comes soon enough.

Dinner rarely comes soon enough.

A little before 6, you sit down to a dinner of mac and cheese, shreds of pot roast, kale, and brown rice. You eat the mac and cheese. Thank goodness for chewable vitamins.

After dinner, you walk me back and forth across the house a few times, holding my fingers in one hand and shaking my car keys in the other. You dangle the keys in front of Paul to amuse him. He fusses when we walk away and watches, rapt, as we approach.

Friend Heather gave you some magnets, which you enjoy. But it turns out our bar stools are the only magnetic thing in the house.

Friend Heather gave you some magnets, which you enjoy. But it turns out our bar stools are the only magnetic thing in the house.

We adjourn upstairs. I administer your bath (though feel compelled to record that Dad does this nine days out of ten). You are in good spirits. You scrub your legs with a sponge while I wash your hair, twist around into some swimming-like postures, and play with your various cups and boats and floating items.

"swimming"

“swimming”

We get you out of the tub, reasonably dry, diapered, and dressed. Aunt Camei calls, and you recognize her voice and pick up the phone to listen. “Cah-may!” You are reluctant to go to bed, but we move in that direction. I read you a few pages of The Cat in the Hat, pick you up, and start your lullaby. After a verse or two, you consent to your “seep sack,” and I lay you down in your crib. “Bye-bye Mom,” you dismiss me, so I sing my way to the door, turn off the light, and say goodnight.

Aside

repairman

The water dispenser in our refrigerator has been broken for a couple of weeks, defying home remedies. Yesterday Bryan paid a certified GE repairman $137 to poke ineffectually at it and conclude, “I guess you outta buy a new refrigerator.” Then repairguy left, and Bryan fixed it himself. I love this man.

a day in your life

To Annie: this is how you spent the day you turned 21 months old.

You obligingly linger in bed until 7:45 while your dad and I frantically bop around, getting ourselves and Paul ready for the day. When I hear you let out a little yelp, I open your door and turn up the light. “Good morning, Annie!” I singsong. You’re happy to see me but prefer to linger in your crib for a few minutes, contemplating the day in child’s pose. Baby noises from the other room motivate you to get up. “Baby? Da? Baby! Da!” You stand up, and I lift you out of your crib.

Baby and Dad obligingly make their appearance. You less-obligingly allow me to change your diaper, huffing a bit, and I slide on your pants and shoes before you can work up a strong protest. We say bye-bye to the family and whiz out the door at 8.

We spend a lot of our together-time today with you in this car seat.

We spend a lot of our together-time today with you in this car seat.

We get to your daycare (“school”) pretty quickly, and you squirm to get down and then point to the door. “Bye-bye Mom,” you instruct, and seat yourself at the table for your oatmeal. Well, okay!

Because I pick you up too late to talk you your normal teachers—you move to another room and caretaker at 5—your day remains a mystery to me. I find you more or less how I left you: seated at a tiny table, eating a snack out of a styrofoam bowl. You smile up at me. “Hi Mom. Mo agua?” I take your cup and fill it from the water fountain. You have me well trained.

I join you in a tiny chair while you finish your Cheerios snack.

I join you in a tiny chair while you eat your Cheerios.

You finish your snack and bus the table, then, “Mom, up? Ow-shy.” I lift you up, and we go outside. You decide you’d rather walk, and scurry to the exit, scrupulously closing all the doors behind us.

You make a quick detour to your favorite sidewalk vent. It blows warm air.

You make a quick detour to your favorite sidewalk vent. It blows warm air.

We’re driving later than usual, and traffic is bad. We commiserate.

“Mom, go!”

“I’ll go when it’s my turn. See how all the cars around us are stopped?”

“All done car.”

“I hear you, I am ready to be all done with the car, too!”

“Annie up?”

“I wish I could pick you up. I will pick you up as soon as we get home.”

We also have long discussions about trucks (“hi shruck!”), a blue bus (“boo bus?”), birds sitting on street signs, and how we’d really prefer to be in an airplane so we could fly home. (I may be generously interpreting some of your phrases.)

At last, we ARE all done car, and find Dad and Sous waiting for us on the front porch. You’re excited to see Dad, and I put you down once we’re inside the gate so you can scamper up the walkway, climb the stairs valiantly while Sous almost knocks you down, and give him a hug. Dinner is ready, so we sit down to eat.

It's lasagna. You approve.

It’s lasagna. You approve.

After dinner we adjourn to the living room. “Mom, couch?” You retrieve your wheel of animal noises, and we spend a pleasant 15 minutes listening to them. The sheep makes you laugh, and you’re working hard on your turkey gobble. After a while, you determine that it’s Dad’s turn and head over to his lap. He does an excellent horse.

Niow, says the cat.

Niow, says the cat.

At 6:30, we hear your brother wake up, and you’re excited to go see him. We all troop upstairs to the room you now share. You’re delighted with your brother until I show signs of picking him up, at which point you stage a protest and demand that YOU be the one picked up. Fortunately, you have two parents. Dad attends to Paul while I get you undressed for your bath, and we trade the two of you back and forth until you are clean and re-diapered.

I clip your toenails and we play cards. Then Dad takes you back to your room, and you pick out a bedtime book. Tonight it’s Chicka Chicka Boom Boom. You curl up on the floor while Dad reads to you, then tell him how to get you ready for bed. “Seep sack? Banket? Dad bed.” And it’s a wrap.

Image

bros

One last shot from our ranch Christmas, as we start the work week. We were so happy to have Uncle Jeff join us this year. As you can see, he knows how to handle the little ones.