On Saturday the whole family headed downtown to the ice cream festival for some ice cream and petting zoo fun. Charlie was alternately fascinated and terrified by the animals in the petting zoo.
"I'm all out of food and I think this weird looking dog is going to eat me instead."
"I love animals, but sleeping in the sun is nice."
Afterwards, my mom took Charlie back to her house for the afternoon, leaving Ryan and me alone for two hours before our refresher childbirth class. Our first act of freedom was swearing in the car, just because we could. Then we enjoyed driving in companionable silence for a little while without having to enthusiastically point out every motorcycle, truck, and piece of construction equipment we passed in an effort to keep Charlie entertained enough to not freak out about being in the car. Then we went to a favorite place for lunch. When our order took a few extra minutes to arrive, due to the large crowd, I went and got a couple of newspapers for us to enjoy while we waited. I get alone time a lot, but I am usually working. I never get alone time with Ryan during the day. It was very nice, even if it took nearly an hour for the innate urgency I now feel every moment of the day to subside enough for me to relax.
And then I asked Ryan to get some ketchup while he was up and I called it "dip" like Charlie does. And then I started to miss him like crazy.
It got worse at our childbirth refresher class when I was perusing a list of children's books about having a new baby in the house and came across the title that went something like "Is There Still a Lap for Me?" Charlie is going through such a mom-stage right now--when he is hurt or frustrated or upset he now wails "Mooommmmmyyyyy" instead of merely crying. It's nice and knife-turn-y when I am trying to be a nap hard-ass or tantrum resistor. What's it going to be like when they both need me at the same time? How will I handle it when Bravo is nursing and Charlie bangs his mouth on the table and starts bleeding everywhere (as happpened last week just before the hives incident during the playdate that will go down in history as containing the highest potential for a trip to the emergency room possible such that the two mothers still come out as friends on the other side).
When I think about being a family of four, it is in the future, after Bravo has passed through the needy infant stage. What the heck am I going to do during the day with both of them at home so Charlie gets enough attention? I know that Charlie will learn some independence and Bravo won't get nearly the cushy infancy that Charlie enjoyed (multiple hours laying on the couch gazing at eachother, hours-long naps in my arms when he wouldn't settle down in his crib, homemade baby food, an unreasonable avoidance of formula until 10 months when asking to be awakened at 1 am to pump made me realize just how crazy I was acting), and that will be good for both of them.
And how am I ever going to get enough rest with a newborn who is up at night and a toddler who thinks "naptime" is a really awesome time to run around unsupervised in his room, pounding on the window, piling up his stuffed animals so he can use them as a ladder to freedom? As it is now I'm not exactly Mary Poppins once four o'clock rolls around and no one has had a nap and two long unstructured hours stretch out in front of us before Ryan comes home. A woman in my Sunday School class told us that last summer she had a glass of wine at four-thirty evey day because it mellowed her out enough to make it the last hour and a half with her three kids without totally losing it (she signed all of them up for camps this summer). I love our church.
Anyway, enough thinking out loud. I bought a smaller purse on Friday because I lost my keys in my giant mom bag for the millionth time and I just happened to be in the TJ Maxx parking lot with some birthday money burning a hole in my pocket. I figured I'm going to have to carry the diaper bag around again soon anyway, I might as well have a nice little purse to keep my own stuff in (you know, so I don't put Dr. Smith's on instead of lip gloss). Although it is big enough for one size five diaper, a Matchbox car, and a mini monster truck in addition to all my stuff so it's not that small. Charlie, who has been trying to carry my large purse around for a few weeks, was delighted by the change. Now if I ask him if he's ready to go, this is what he does:
That is after he has found my keys and carefully zipped them inside. Today, Ryan took him to the pool and when Ryan was trying to get Charlie to go out to the car, Charlie was running around in the living room grabbing my purse, keys, and cell phone, as is my usual ritual before leaving the house. Ryan had to let him carry the huge pool bag instead just to get him out without a fuss. It was dragging on the ground and Charlie was struggling to walk, but he was so proud to be helping.
(We had to get the spit bibs back out because Charlie was soaking through three or four shirts a day, and that's only if I change them when it is necessary to wring them out into the sink before throwing them in the hamper. Those witchdoctors at day care somehow send him home with the same dry shirt on that I sent him in, but they are also capable of getting him to take a nap, so clearly they have magical powers that I can never hope to possess. The good news is that someday soon he should have more than seven teeth.).
After having to wait for Charlie to get his purse before leaving for the pool, Ryan was quite relieved when Charlie went totally nuts when he saw the bulldozer parked at the construction site across the street after they got back. The three of us went over to check it out and Charlie told us all about it ("TRUCK!! WOW! [unitelligable] OH COOL!! TRUCK!! TRUCK!! [unintelligable] WOW! WOW! OH COOL!!" etc).