Annie had a pretty high fever again, so we had an excuse to watch movies and cuddle all afternoon. Here’s Annie, in the crook of my arm, watching Finding Nemo and twirling her hair. As one of my mom-friends confessed, the way toddlers behave when they’re truly sick makes you sort of understand Munchausen syndrome by proxy.
To Paul: this is how you spent the day you turned 11 months old.
You sound firmly awake at 6:45, so Dad airlifts you out and hands you to me for your bottle.
You come up for air and give me a big grin. Seven teeth now. I change your diaper, and Dad entertains you with assorted household objects while I get myself and Annie ready to go. You’re very into exploring the world now, examining objects and combining them in different ways. (You’re pretty convinced, for example, that the remote control belongs in Sous’ water bowl.)
We get the whole family downstairs by 7:30, and you and Annie sit at the counter and eat bananas.
Dad carries you to the car to load up, and you blow him kisses as he says goodbye. I drive the two of you to school while you emit occasional squeals of joy and rage. You and Annie blow kisses to each other and giggle, and she says things like, “Oh Missa Paul that’s YOU!”
You perch on my hip as we drop off Annie and furrow your brow as I hand you over to your teacher Leah.
By all reports, you have a great day at school, particularly relishing the canned pears at lunch. You finish every portion and look around expectantly for more. You have a good long mid-day nap. (At home, you still take a morning and afternoon nap, but at school we’re lucky if you get a couple of hours.)
I pick you up a few minutes before 5 while Annie waits with Shanna, her teacher and, as of a few weeks ago, your Wednesday night sitter. Shanna will start bringing you home on these evenings so is here to observe the pick-up and car-loading drill. I carry you to the car and buckle you in while Annie stands carefully in the crook of the door; then I walk her around to her side and buckle her in.
You get upset with the sun in your eyes on the way home, but Annie cheers you up by speaking to you in your language. “HA BA, DA! HA BA, DA!” Soon, you’re laughing at each other, and my sappy, Mom heart is glowing.
At home, you sit in your high chair and snack on a tortilla while Dad and Shanna install a second car seat in her car. You show off your elephant-pushing skills as Dad and I wave goodbye and go out for grown-up dinner.
You head upstairs to play with duplo trucks. You drink half a bottle and take a bath. Annie selects your tie-dyed onesie for your pajamas, and Shanna reads you a book and tucks you in with a song at 7:30. Night night, Mr. Paul.
To Annie: this is how you spent the day you turned 2 years, 3 months old.
It’s Monday. Dad extracts a hungry Paul from your room at 6:45, and you let out barely a whimper as he says over his shoulder, “Annie, nap.” At 7:30, we head back in for you, and find you blinking yourself awake, holding your baby doll.
You open your window shade and look out, asking about your swimming pool—an inflatable monstrosity in which we spent most of Saturday. Informed that it’s under the carport, you ask to see it, a desire which powers you through your diaper change and shoe administration. I carry you downstairs and onto the back deck, and you are comforted to find the pool in place though, alas, empty of water. I point out your window in the house and explain why you couldn’t see the pool from your room, information you absorb quietly.
Back in the kitchen, I peel a banana and put it in a cup with a chewable vitamin—your standard on-the-go breakfast. We head for the car, and I buckle you in while Dad attends to Paul.
“Annie see bumblebee Missa Paul?” you inquire on the road. On Friday, you accompanied Dad to drop Paul in the infant classroom (The Bumblebees) since your own teacher wasn’t in the room when you arrived. Apparently this was interesting to you. Dad agrees that you can join him again, and you spend the rest of the ride chanting, “Annie see Missa Paul bumblebees cassroom!”
At school, you amble to the door and wait while Dad takes off his shoes and Paul spits up on him. Paul’s teachers invite you in, but you demur, preferring to observe silently at the threshold. As you head to your own classroom, you discuss how Paul is a Bumblebee and Annie is a Sea Turtle. Back on familiar ground, you plop right down in your chair for breakfast while Dad contributes some books to the bookshelf. You wave him off without a backwards glance.
It’s a normal day at school. Mid-day, your teacher Shanna emails us your official “toddler assessment form” certifying you have the skills required to advance to the next class. “Moves body to achieve goals. Uses words to participate in simple conversations.” Check and check. You’ll transition to a new class on August 1—quite a milestone.
Dad picks you and Paul up at 5, and you burst back onto the home scene, baby doll in hand, just in time for dinner. You eat two cherry plums and, after a bit of protesting that you want PASTA NOT NOODLES, pasta. I fork some into your mouth to get you going.
We adjourn to the living room, and I narrate the pictures in A Birthday for Frances, one of your current favorites. We’re all hanging out in the living room when who arrives but Charly! She’s on her way home from her new job and has brought you a(nother) present from her mom: a little squeeze-ball cow and some snapshots of her own cows in a field. You are thrilled. “Thank you Charly’s mom,” we prompt you to say, and you give Charly a hug, then proceed to raid her purse for wallet and car keys and pretend to head out the door.
We say goodbye to Charly and head up for a bath. As I’m scrubbing you down, you suggest “I go pee-pee maybe?” You prefer the big potty to your little one, and wrap your arms around my neck while we wait to see if you produce anything. You do not. Back in the tub you go for the rest of the bath, then dry off and get a fresh diaper and new dress.
We’ve got lots of time left to play, so it’s a bit of the tent-and-tunnel, some duplo trucks, and darts. Good fun. We wrap things up with a game of your invention, wherein you run back and forth across the room, flinging yourself on cushions at one end and hugging me at the other. I could play it all night.
But bedtime beckons. You are never anxious to go to bed, but Dad begins a slow read of The Going to Bed Book, and you resign yourself to it. He hoists you into your crib and runs down for Paul’s sleep sack while I try—and fail—to soothe you both with our lullaby. Once we manage our goodnight, though, you settle down quickly and are soon asleep. Phew.
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.
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.
Not only does she clean the floor of edible debris discarded by babies, Sous motivates us to clear the dinner table as soon as we leave it. Because if we don’t, she will eat: the leftover food off our plates, the rest of the pizza out of the box, the little cup of grated parmesan, and some cardboard.
Thanks, Sous! :D