Even before I took the test, I was scared. In fact, I didn’t want to take a pregnancy test the first week, because I knew it would be positive and I wasn’t ready to accept that yet. Dorothy was just turning 8 months old and I was pregnant again? She’d be 15, going on 16 months and I would be starting over? Would I survive??
As Jacob just turned 8 months, and is speed-crawling, climbing and wanting mom constantly, it’s not hard to see why, in my inexperience, I was terrified of taking on two. But here I am, on the brink of Dorothy’s 2nd birthday (Oct. 16) wondering where time is going. 2-under-2 is coming to a close.
I knew in the end I wouldn’t be able to imagine it any other way, but it’s not just that I cannot imagine life without Jacob; I cannot imagine having kids further apart in age. I’m probably crazy and I’m not saying it’s easy by any means. I’m lucky to have 20 minutes on a given day where they are both in bed at the same time, but seeing the relationship form between these two already--so strong when Dorothy isn’t even 2--is a gift beyond measure. And as “crazy” as life is, is it actually crazy? Or are these the simplest days of my life aside from my own childhood in Clan Valley?
Today was a perfect example of the “crazy simplicity” that is my life right now. It was just the three of us all day at Broch Tuarach. Jake woke early, but I lured him back to sleep for some extra slumber myself; however, an hour later, the cries Po-Dot woke not just me, but little brother as well. I’m not a morning person, but we muddle through. Jacob is perky. Dot is grumpy until she gets food. I am grateful husband has the coffee hot and ready for me.
Jacob takes a mid-morning snooze while Dorothy “helps” me fold laundry. When jabber comes over the monitor Lou says, “Jake’s awake!” and heads for the stairs yelling, “We’re coming Ja-ake!” Playtime upstairs while I try to do a few things and then we head back downstairs.
After the morning nap things are always up in the air. Today’s memorable adventure was using suspenders, blue painters tape, construction paper and cardboard boxes to make a wearable dump truck. We ate a bit of lunch before Dorothy found her “silky” and paci and announced, “Want to take a rest." She acted tired, so I took her upstairs. I was hopeful but no luck. I heard lots of thumping and talking for the next hour. Finally, I checked in to find a smelly room because she’d (in her potty) gone poop. I wouldn’t want to sleep in that stink either! (She’d also pulled down her curtains for the 2nd day in a row.) I cleaned up, opened the window for fresh air and left her to “rest” again. At this point, Jacob was tired. Lucky for me, he went down easy. For about 10 minutes I thought I was clear and both were asleep… But Po’s jabber began again…eventually becoming loud. Not long and Jake was crying. I’d lost the nap battle.
So up again and we headed to the front porch to enjoy the perfect fall weather: swing time for Po and in the walker with Jake. Then we loaded up the Radio Flyer wagon for Jake’s first ride. We didn’t go far… To the Greystone coral barn and back with a few pit stops to play with HokaHey. However, by the time we were back to Lallybroch’s front porch, it was 4pm and the missed naps were rearing their ugly heads.
I hadn’t let Jacob eat the rocks in the driveway and that’s really what set it off for him. Dorothy just wanted “a snack, a snack” even though she’d been eating the entire walk. She chilled out watching "Daniel Tiger", so I tried to begin supper, accomplishing bits at a time between Jacob outbursts. I had to hold him to get him to eat his supper—even then he decorated my hoodie with beet puree and cried to the point of nearly choking himself.
With a snotty nose, a dirty dinner face and the outside play, I opted for a bath for Jacob (knowing Dorothy would insist on getting in as well). I thought this might bring some relief. They usually have a blast. But today Dorothy wanted all of the toys. I insisted she share. She cried. After about 90 seconds of crying, Jacob joined in. He didn’t stop. It was a short bath and I won’t attest to them being much cleaner afterward.
I accepted the fact I had to either hold Jacob or be within his reach the rest of the night and that Dorothy would be fine if I was joining her play. I’d gotten dinner 60% of the way done and that felt like an accomplishment. I waited and took Jacob to bed promptly when Jon got home, thinking this would keep Lou from screaming while putting him to sleep. It did not. I heard Jon bring her to her room for bed just before I laid sleeping Jake in his crib. She was exhausted. We read her stories. “Time to say prayer,” she said afterwards. We did. Said good night. Both kids out by 7:30.
Sure, sometimes I don’t get any time for myself (don’t ask how I manage to get CD done!) and sometimes two kids seem to constantly need Mama. But I can’t help but my find myself in awe of the fact these kids allow me to live so simply again. I get to pull a wagon around and purposefully seek out the sights, sounds and smells of nature. I get to rediscover the joys of a somersaults and sliding and ponder the mysteries of the moon and stars. Soon enough it will be school, practices and events keeping me from getting supper fixed and an entire day in the Valley will be rare.
I know there is much to look forward to in their growing up, but I already get sad thinking about today's simple joys that I will one day all too soon miss. They are a treasure beyond words and the fact I am already experiencing it with not just one, but two kids is incredible; two little souls I am seeing form a lifelong bond before my very eyes. That love I witness in them is so pure and the true essence of God’s existence.