When I had two children so close together there was a time when I thought I might lose my mind. Having a two year old run off down the street while you are toting a new born through the snow leaves one to question the validity of natural family planning. I remember someone telling me that I was in the most difficult phase a mother could wish upon herself, the toddler plus newborn phase. One still wants to be held while one needs to be held. So you try to carry two. You’re nursing one while the other throws a tantrum over the fact that his Duplo won’t fit into the shape of a rocket. There are days when I would wonder if it will ever get easier. I honestly couldn’t imagine life being carefree and interesting… or even enjoyable!
Yesterday I was working in the garden during the kid’s nap time, just to catch an hour or so of uninterrupted soil time. Eventually Oliver came outside to find me working while he was clad in socks, sans shoes, hiding his eyes so as not to be seen by me. Kids are funny because they have this idea that if they can’t see you, because they are covering their eyes, you obviously cannot see them. So he wanders straight past me with his hand over his eyes thinking I can’t see him out of bed during nap time. I say, “Oliver, I can see you” and the jig is up.
He comes out to work in the garden with me…well, he comes to find worms in the soil, his new thing. Eventually Chloe wakes up and I bring her outside. Since I’ve been gardening, for the past three years, I’ve felt sad that I can’t keep my kids in the yard with me while I work because one, they hate to be enclosed in the yard and two, they want to play up and down the street. So I can’t really work while they are awake. But yesterday was different. They played in the yard together for two hours while I worked in the garden. Oliver asked me about worms and Chloe dug little holes. When they tired of talking to me they played together. They usually play together really well. They have their moments but for the most part they really love each other.
I took them to the park the day before and they just played, jumped, ran, tackled one another and talked about what they were discovering. I never planned on having two kids so close together and the first two years were really challenging but I love how close they are now.
They learn from each other. Olvier is learning about space and the human body so Chloe is learning too because she is interested in what he is interested in as an older brother. I often hear them upstairs playing while Oliver is explaining to Chloe how something works. “No, Chloe. This is a mini Cooper so you can’t drive it like that.” To which she replies, “Ok” in her groggy, little voice. They are friends and siblings, close in age and interest. Today we went to the zoo together, with our friend Jen, and I love to watch them together. The closeness in age is starting to pay off. I am thankful that my children love each other and play well together, even if you hear an occasional scream coming from the living room because someone took the other’s Walle toy and threw it under the couch. For the most part they play well.
Today was a good day
What are you thankful for?