a day in your life

To Paul: this is how you spent the day you turned 9 months old.

At 6:30, you wake. Dad scoops you up and takes you downstairs for a warm bottle, then totes you around while he makes coffee. He hands you over when I come down, warm and clean from the shower, and you and I head for the living room. I read snatches of the newspaper while you overturn your bucket of baby toys and see what you can pull off the shelves.

Upstairs, we take your 39-week picture. The sunlight is pouring through the windows, and Dad makes faces to keep you cheerful.

the first shot I take, unedited

the first shot

Annie is awake, so we march into the room you share and help her get up and dressed.¬†You perch on the bathroom counter, gnawing thoughtfully on a toothbrush, as I finish getting myself ready; then you pull books off our shelves while I pick out clothes. I shut us in your room for the 45 minutes until Charly arrives. You are fascinated by the clock and try your hardest to break the glass in the framed family photos. You scoot your way to the toilet, pull yourself up, and flush it gleefully until I stop you. By the time she arrives, we’ve pulled every toy into the middle of the room.

You grin at her as I hand you off but follow me out onto the landing and hold the bars of the baby gate, crying, as I say goodbye.

Charly sends us this picture of you at 1.

Charly sends us this picture of you at 1.

You nap from 9-11:30 and wake to play with BFF Augie, crawling through your green tunnel together and camping out with loot. You nap again from 2:30-5, when Dad and Annie arrive home. I find the three of you with Charly in the living room when I arrive a few minutes later. You’re cruising around the edge of the table and seeing what you can fit in your mouth.

getting ideas

getting ideas

When Annie takes off with her lawnmower, you chase after her, eventually figuring out how to push the little elephant yourself. That challenge met, you climb the entire flight of stairs, with me in close pursuit. I read books with Annie while you play with the dryer door. If I were given to making predictions, I’d put my money on your bright future in the laundry industry.

 

Eventually, you throw all your food to Sous.

Eventually, you throw all your food to Sous.

Dinner is delicious pork chops by Dad. You put away quite a bit of kale, half a bagel, and suck on a bone until you’re covered in grease. I scrape a napkin over your face and hands and load you into the stroller with Annie for a warm evening walk through the park. You’re quiet on walks but seem to enjoy them.

Finally, some laundry action!

Finally, some laundry action!

Home at 7:10, we plop you in the bathtub. Dad gives you a scrub and gets you dry, dressed, and fed a final bottle while Annie spends 20 minutes on the little potty, flirting with a tinkle. It’s 7:35 before we manage to start on your goodnight book. Tonight it’s The Little Engine That Could, aka “the train book.” I read it, fast, and Dad and I struggle through the lullaby as you and Annie protest bedtime. We make our exit, and you two spend a few minutes hooting at each other before you drift off.

a day in your life

To Annie: this is how you spent the day you turned 2 years and 1 month old.

Dad and Paul head into your room just before 7:30, Paul stepping slowly while he hangs onto Dad’s fingers for dear life. You’re happy to see them and say so. “Annie happy! Annie is happy!” Dad zips you out of your sleep sack, and you run around while I finish getting ready and Paul tries to climb into the washing machine.

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You visit Mr. Paul’s bed (“Annie Missa Paul bed! Chalk!”), raise the window shade, and decorate his walls for him. You sit on the counter in the bathroom and help me pick out my earrings (“Mom need ar-rings. Two arrrings.”) You chew on a toothbrush for a minute and then hand it to Paul to take over. You climb into the chair by the window, where I finally track you down and administer clothes.

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We head downstairs for breakfast. I make toast and slice an avocado while you eat a banana and drink a cup of milk. It’s damp and gray outside, so we each take an umbrella and head for the car. We sing the ABCs on the way to school, and you point out all the cranes and instruct them to turn around. As we approach campus, you rehearse what you will tell your teachers about the journey. “Ahn saw crane, Maricela. I saw crane, Maricela.”

I wave bye-bye to you as you sit down at the tiny table for second breakfast. You presumably have a normal day—after their above-and-beyond documentation for your 2-year birthday, I do not have the heart to ask your teachers for notes again. I see you again at 5:15. You are finishing a drawing and bring it over to show me. It’s scribbles.

I drive home while you free-associate in the back seat. “Harper dad.” “Maricela says ‘callate.’” “More crane! Crane. Crane.” “Annie see Daddy.” “Almost home!”

You request a little playtime in the car before we go in. You manage to start the engine. Sigh.

You request a little playtime in the car before we go in. You manage to start the engine. Sigh.

Dad has dinner ready to serve, a second day of chicken and pasta alfredo from Costco, beefed up with broccoli. We used to be cooks, I swear it. When your hunger is satisfied, you start distributing your food. “Mom, noodle for yooooou,” you sing sweetly as you drop one from your fist onto my plate.

It’s a cool-for-May evening, and we’ve got an hour and twenty minutes until bedtime, so we load you and Paul into the stroller and make a wide loop through the neighborhood that includes a stop at Amy’s ice cream. It’s been a year since you’ve had any such thing, so you don’t know what’s coming, but when it arrives, oh my.

Dad mops the worst of it off of you.

Dad mops the worst of it off of you.

No skipping bathtime after that stickiness, so once we’re home, it’s into the tub. Paul conducts his usual thoughtful bath-toy business while you shriek in despair and try to climb out of the tub. Dad scrubs you fast, and I scoop you up to get you dry and dressed.

We do a little light flying.

We do a little light flying.

You spend your last twenty minutes making demands, and yell-crying when they are not met. (During the same stretch last night, you giggled and squealed and bestowed hugs and kisses. You keep us on our toes.) Dad tells you to behave because tonight is going on your permanent record; you are unmoved. At 7:25, we stuff Paul into his sleep sack so that you will demand yours as well, and we settle in for a rendition of Dragons Dinosaurs Love Tacos. You allow it. Dad and I sing our clumsy lullaby duet as I lay you in your crib and he settles Paul into his, then it’s lights out, and goodnight!

(Bonus encore: Paul has trouble falling asleep and sporadically yelps about it. We watch on the monitor as the two of you pop up and peer over the edges of your cribs at each other every few minutes for the next 45.)