By Stephanie Politte
It’s raining right now as I sit at a table in the Burger King play area. That makes me feel warm and fuzzy for some reason. (It is partly due to the fact that it was NOT raining when I clumsily managed to get myself, my 3 year old, my 21 month old and my 7 month old out of the van and into Burger King, I’m sure. I have a double stroller, mind you, in the van. But in my experienced wisdom, I determined it would be less cumbersome and therefore more practical to put the baby’s carseat in the single stroller, have the 21 month old ride atop the handle and tray area of the stroller while I hold onto him and expect the 3 year old to hold on the side of the stroller. Clumsy is a pretty accurate description of the situation. Regardless, we are in and enjoying our breakfast and playing in the tunnels having a merry time while the rain falls peacefully outside the window. In my heart I am confident that by the time I have to pack everyone up and my our clumsy way back out to the van, the rain will have stopped and everything will smell that refreshing way it often does after a short rain on an otherwise nice day.
I’m feeling introspective today with regard to my kiddos. I think it is because I didn’t get to do it much on Mother’s Day as I was very near death with the flu. I have concluded that my family is in real trouble if I should ever find myself facing a life-threatening illness. I will be ready to throw in the towel without much of a fight. I am the worst sick person. Just pitiful, really. The doctor will give me an 80% chance of survival, but I will ask my husband to marry someone who will be a good mother to my children and tell them to pull the plug. I absolutely think it is the end of the world when I am sick and have such a hard time imagining a world where I will possibly ever feel good again. Anyway, my sweet husband who also had the flu (as well as a sinus infection) took care of all of us while I was sick, especially on Mother’s Day. But this will not go down in history among my more favorable Mother’s Days.
Now that I’m feeling much better, I’m reflecting on my amazing munchkins and how my life would be so drastically different without each of them. I cannot believe that Adeline and Anderson, my 4 year old twins are completing their first year of preschool next week. When did they go from 4 1/2 and 5 1/2 lb tiny babies to such big kids who run around and spell things and operate various forms of technology? Last night I came home from a meeting and my husband had already done the bedtime routine, but Anderson was still awake. I went down to say goodnight to him, and I hugged him and said “I’m so proud of you. Someday you’re going to be a so big and you’ll be an astronaut or a cowboy or a policeman.” He laughed at me like that was ridiculous and said “I’m not going to be any of those, Mommy. I’m gonna be a Daddy, cause I got hair my arm.” It was really sweet, and his reasoning was hilarious. I stayed up last night looking through the portfolios their teacher sent home with them highlighting the school year. They couldn’t write a single letter at the beginning of the year, and now they’re signing their own names to my Mother’s Day card. Next year they’ll be running for President.
I’m enjoying the time I get to spend right now with the younger 3. I’m not sure I’m ready for Campbell to head off to preschool next year. She’s my baby girl, and she can’t possibly be ready for school already. My favorite things that she says right now are “Mom, all the times you…” instead of “Mom, you always…” and “Westerday” instead of “Yesterday” which actually means “anytime before right now.”
Henley is talking all of a sudden. He says everything and is signing a lot, too. We’re pretty sure he’s a genius. I mean, we all say that, I know. But I think he’s some sort of 2 foot mad scientist.
And Keaton is just a little ball of sweetness. 7 months old and a killer smile. With babies like him why wouldn’t I want 15? (Because my KIA Sedona maxes out at 5 carseats, that’s why. Oh, and sleep, I haven’t slept in 5 years. Oh! Oh! And because my body will quit on me if I don’t give it a break. Pretty much been solidly pregnant for 5 years.) But other than those, wouldn’t just one more be sooo cute???? 🙂 NO. But yes, a little. But no. No. But…….no. Ok.
When the twins turned 1 some friends gave us the book “Let Me Hold You Longer.” I call them friends, but in reality, anyone who would give this book to a parent is really a sick and twisted pillar of EVIL. There is no excuse for such a hateful gift. You have to just have a black heart full of hate to give this to someone with children. Children of any age. Of course, for some time it was the book they always wanted read. “Mommy, read?” So I would think to myself, “Hold it together, it’s just a kids’ book. You can make it through, don’t be such a wuss.” And each time, I was sobbing before I finished the second page. Have you read this book? I dare you. Just try it. You think I’m exaggerating. Go ahead, tough girl. Read it and report back to me on what page # you starting weeping uncontrollably.
Once my mom came to stay with the kids while I went with Steve to an interview in Florida. When I got home she asked, “Why do you have such a horrible book in the house? Adeline asked me to read it and 2 or 3 pages in kept asking, “What’s wrong, Nana? Why are you crying?” No warning, thanks.” Suffice it to say that this book forces you to reflect how much more you would relish each experience with your child if you knew it was the last. Like the last time they want to be kissed goodnight. Or the last time they sit in your lap. You recognize and note each “first” with them, but we don’t really realize when we are experiencing the “lasts” with our growing babies. I HATE this book. You should really get it.
What are some milestones your kiddos are reaching that make you just a little sad at the thought of them not staying babies? How would you say you are handling the process? It’s so cliche when people say “They grow up fast!” But wow, they really do. And I really wish I could slow it down just a little.