Maybe it's because I just wrote my phone number fourteen times on two identical sets of multicolored preschool forms, or because the whole time I was doing that I was listening to Wes thumping around in his room not sleeping despite not having napped today and spending two hours at the pool, and sensing a slow panic rising in my heart about the kind of day I'm going to have tomorrow if Wes stays up as late as he has so far, or maybe it's because it's been over a hundred degrees every day this week. But I am really looking forward to the fall.
When we came back from our trip and the reality of a month of unstructured, babysitter-free time settled over me that Monday morning as Ryan left for work, I thought August would never end. And then it got so hot that I had to cut a trip to a local swimming hole short because I was starting to feel weak and light-headed after thirty minutes in the bathtub-warm river (we headed straight to Sonic after an agonizing walk back to the car, two lemon slushes, one large ice water, please. Much better). And now I am biding my time until the TV weatherman says "We've got a nasty arctic front on its way" and all the Texans flock to the grocery store to hoard milk and beer.
I LOVE fall. Even though I won't be able to wear the wool plaid skirt I got at an end of season sale last year, I am so excited about cardigans and jeans and baking (I am forcing myself to wait until September 1 to make pumpkin bread. Ryan can't wait for me to make spaghetti, which I consider a winter food) and cool mornings and new students. And I was pretty excited about preschool starting.
But then? Don't tell anyone about this, but, I started having fun with my kids.
Charlie has come out of whatever developmental funk he was in and he has become very good company. He is mostly cooperative and cheerful and extremely curious about babies, where they are and where they come from, how they communicate, and things they can and cannot do. He frequently tells amused strangers "Phent is my baby. He was in my tummy a long time ago." When it all gets to be too much he climbs into his "sad box" and asks me to close the tabs. It is a large cardboard moving box we found at our neighbor's and Charlie's filled it with blankets and special objects. He tells me he's still hungry after every meal and usually has a piece of fruit or some toast on top of whatever else we had. Today he surprised us by showing us how he can swim under water. In short, he's almost a FOUR YEAR OLD, which is solidly in "kid" territory and I'm scratching my head and wondering what the H happened to "the baby years" that seemed so endless this time last year.
Wes is really freaking cute and has started talking a lot more. Every car ride is peppered with him shrieking "Wook at DAT!" as he points out the window at every. single. thing. that captures his attention (water towers, dogs, construction equipment, other kids). On Sundays when I tell him he gets to go to school he RUNS all the way to the classroom, so proud of himself. He'll try anything Charlie does (except swimming underwater, thank goodness). He still has his fiery temper and bites when he feels cornered or frustrated, and for the love of God do NOT put him in his car seat. He can climb up there all by himself just like Charlie thankyouverymuch. But he's cute, and funny, and very patient as Charlie learns that we wait until Wes puts a toy down before he can pick it up.
We have two more weeks of Super! Family! Togetherness! and then preschool starts (one week after my school starts, super convenient). And then it will be Thanksgiving AND DO YOU EVEN KNOW WHAT IS GOING TO HAPPEN AROUND HERE JUST BEFORE CHRISTMAS? My head is spinning, is what I'm saying. Things are about to start happening fast. And the boys are going to be gone Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 9-1, EVERY WEEK. And I might miss them a little. And I am surprised by that. Because, honestly, the only reason I didn't sign them up for five days is the extra $500/month I would have had to shell out purely so I wouldn't have to turn Sid the Science Kid up really loud before I started the vaccuum cleaner (or, who are we kidding, so I wouldn't have to share my decaf pumpkin spice latte).
I'm really looking forward to regaining a professional life, and doing our favorite fall things (Pumpkin patches! Cocoa! Touching playground equipment without requiring skin grafts!), the weather cooling off, putting the extra blankets on the beds, college football, footie jammies, and baking. Did I mention the baking? If I even think about turning the oven on these days my air conditioner heaves a sigh and rolls over dead. I just want to really enjoy these last relaxed weeks as a family of four.
If Wes doesn't nap tomorrow I'll be recanting this entire post, so be ready. Also, I could really go for a pumpkin spice latte right now. Oops.