Motherhood is a crazy ride; so often you look forward to that next stage of life (ie, no more spit up, no more diapers, no more binkies, summer to begin, summer to end, kindergarten, middle school, high school, etc.), but once you finally arrive at whatever long-awaited stage, you begin to back pedal and desire to go back in time. But you can't. You're stuck unless you move forward and enter the new stage of life.
Moments ago my girls came bounding in the front door with white and blue postcards in their hands. "Mom, mom!!" They yelled, nearly out of breath. "Mom, look who our teachers will be this year!" The excitement in the air was palpable. I had been looking forward to those postcards all week, but suddenly my heart leaped into my throat, and I thought, Wait, you can't go to school. You just can't. How silly is that--all these days dreaming of when school would begin, and now the time has come, and I find myself alone at the kitchen table dreading Monday. Because truth be told, as much as summer was ridiculously hard for me this year, mostly due to the babies, I have loved the tender moments of summer, watching my girls chase each other as they play tag or read to each other during learning or doing hair and makeup tutorials in the bathroom. My girls may be a handful, but they're my handful, and I happen to like how full and rich they make my life.
Mya noticed my hesitant smile and said, "Mom, aren't you excited? You'll finally have some time again." (Apparently, I've vocally wished for that a little too much over the past week or so.) And although I nodded, I said, "Oh Mya, I'm tired, but I fear I'll always be tired. That's life. But man, I'm going to miss you girls." She and Genevieve will both be attending school this year, and I can't quite wrap my head around having a 2nd grader and kindergartener.
The stages in life come and go so quickly. I always shake my head when people whisper "You're going to miss this" referring to when the girls run up and down the aisles of Target or cling to every limb of my body when we're out and about because in the moment all I'm thinking about is how I can get the girls to act like human beings instead of monkeys, but the truth of the matter is that I will miss it. Someday--a day I fear will come sooner than later--my girls will ask me to drop them off at Target to shop with their friends or they'll avoid my hugs and kisses because of the "not cool" factor, and I will feel sad. I will miss these days.
Our days feel a lot like this lately:
Mya is really into brushing her hair (we're talking obsessively). She just discovered a sports bra in the bottom of a bag of hand-me-downs, and she doesn't want to take it off. I've caught her looking in the mirror at herself a lot this summer. And yet as vain as she is, she is incredibly thoughtful and kind. She loves me completely, and she tells me so every day. She reads like crazy. She rolls her eyes at my jokes. She's constantly trying to one-up my jokes, and if I don't laugh she gets rather cranky so I've improved on my fake laugh.
V is such a pleaser. She was born a natural born nurturer, and she lives to make people feel better and happy. She can be very overwhelming at times (ie, when I'm trying to let Timmy cry it out and she can't stand the thought of him crying so she runs to pick him up moments after I lay him down or when she carries Birdie everywhere even though she is kicking and screaming in protest), but she truly wants to help. The other day she came downstairs while her sisters were watching television, and she begged to help with chores. We sat at the sink washing dishes together, and we had a really great time. There are things that drive me crazy about her--mostly when she picks up the babies as I just put them down and when she chews on her hair, but I wouldn't trade her for the world. I need her to survive this crazy life.
Elle is in a stealing phase. It is a phase I hope to see end immediately. I wish it never started. She stole my credit cards a few weeks back and hid them somewhere she couldn't find them. It took us all weekend to find them. I could've killed her. She then proceeded to steal several pieces of jewelry from my jewelry box and lost a few earrings and a very expensive ring. (I have very sensitive skin so my jewelry is expensive). I still can't locate the ring; my heart is still a little bruised from that one. She has also been peeing in random places, which makes my blood boil. She peed in a doctor kit and left in a closet for two days. I rarely go into this particular closet so when her sister came walking out with pee sloshing out of the doctor kit, I am not going to lie, I lost it just a bit. I still can't escape the smell of pee in that room. Don't worry, I have carpet cleaners coming just as soon as school begins. And just yesterday I found a kitchen towel wet with pee. She peed on it and then hung it up on the stove handle. I kept walking through the kitchen looking for a dirty diaper, and when I couldn't find one, I started looking for a pee puddle on my hands and knees. As I passed by the stove, I found the towel and just gasped in disgust. I would've screamed, but it was before 7am, and I didn't want to wake Timmy. I immediately threw the towel in the garbage and sprayed 409 all over the kitchen. Let's just say, I am actually ready to move on from Elle's stage. We are in a bit of a rough patch, and growing pains are felt everyday. Pray we make it through this.
Birdie is an absolute delight when she's not destroying things. She has the ability to rip apart a book within seconds and can throw her entire plate of food on the ground just as I set it on the table. She refuses to talk, using only grunts and giggles to work her way through conversations, but man, her "yes" giggle is just the best. Tim and I decided that if chipmunks giggled, they'd have her laugh. "Do you want grapes Birdie?" Chipmunk giggle. "Do you want your blankie?" Chipmunk giggle. "Do you want some vegetables?" Negative grunt. And so on and so on is our life with her. She is tormented relentlessly by her older sisters, but when they are not around, she runs around the house with her blankie in hand screaming, "Dahhh, Yaaaaa, Dahhh, Yaaa, Boooo." It's my favorite.
And Timmy my buddy. Oh how he has my heart. His thigh rolls are forever increasing in size, and his smile is so reminiscent of his father that I can't help but smile whenever I hold him. I think he babbles more than Birdie. We joke that he'll talk before her. He loves to be the center of attention, and I can tell he already has a thing for his sisters. He loves when they play with him.
These are the stages we are passing through right now. They will likely change as we again adapt to a new school year with new friends and teachers, but for now, we are in this stage--for better or for worse, and I am trying to love it before it changes.