Pony tail

I keep my hair cut short. When I was entering my sophomore year of high school, I shaved my head. I did it again in college. I let it get really long when I was in grad school, then during pregnancy, both times because I was too lazy to go get it cut. And by lazy I mean running ragged keeping up with employment and a house and school, and growing a person…I love short hair, and if I weren’t so darn cold all the time, I’d keep it shaved. As it is, my mother finally took it upon herself to keep my hair cut and out of my eyes. She’s great.

The irony here, of course, is that Darwin has long hair for her age. She came out with a head covered in corn silk, and it’s only gotten longer. She loves her hair. She loves my hair. She loves hair, period. This week she discovered pony tails. As in, she realized she could have a pony tail just like her friend Annika’s pony tails. Last night in the car on the way home, it fell out, and she was so upset. Leah told her that we would put it back in first thing in the morning. Yeah. She woke up this morning, touched my hair and said “Mama hair”, touched Leah’s hair and said “Mama hair”, touched her hair and said “Darwin hair. Pony tail!”

Y’all, we have reached the stage where we have to watch what we promise, because it will be remembered.

19 months (and a half)

This kid. Darwin’s at an age that is simultaneously so much fun and so much hair-pulling. She can go from happy-bubbly-excited to meltdown-sad-angry in under 3 seconds given the right circumstances. Typically when we say ‘no’ or ‘wait’. So here’s our 19 month list, just a bit late.

1) ‘Up ina sky!’ Is my new favorite Darwinism. This can be prefaced by a wide variety of adjectives, but most frequent are ‘airplane’ and ‘moon’.

2) Books are still a favorite. This month Darwin has graduated to turning paper pages with minimal bending or folding. Often she’ll disappear when the mamas are not entertaining enough, only to be found 20 or 30 minutes later sitting in her room with a pile of every book she has next to her. Our quiet toddler currently does not indicate big trouble ahead.

3) Brushing teeth has become a part of our nightly routine such that perhaps 50% of the time they actually get clean. The other 50% of the time…well, we’re glad to be moving in the right direction.

4) There are an ever increasing number of 3T clothing working their way into Darwin’s wardrobe. What the what.

5) Darwin is very excited about her impending sisterhood. She will spontaneously kiss Leah’s belly and talk about how she loves her sister. Hopefully this trend will continue after the baby can cry and poop and nurse.

6) 19.5 months in and I still love cosleeping. Darwin sleeps part of the night next to our bed in a cosleeper that is on pack n play form, then comes into the big bed to cuddle/kick me in the stomach for the rest of the night. This close, quiet time is really important to me and I’m so glad it has worked out well.

7) The known body parts list: nose, ears, eyes, toes, feet, legs, knees, arms, belly, bottom, yoni, hair, head, cheeks, chin, hands, fingers, and chest. She can also identify breasts and nipples on mamas.

8) She is a musical kid. She loves to listen to it and she loves to sing. She now can clearly sing the first two lines of rockaby baby and does so, over and over, to her baby dolls and stuffies.

9) We started back in swim classes this month, and Darwin loves the pool. She’s not done of being dunked, but she takes on water because it’s a surprise I think, so we’re showing her how to get ready to hold her breath. It’s fun to see her get so excited!

10) It feels like she’s nursing ALL THE TIME again these days. 19.5 months and still going strong. Never would have guessed it when I was struggling to get her to nurse in public for 3 or 4 months as a youngster.

11) Physically I think Darwin is catching up a bit. She now runs easily, climbs into her kitchen helper and down again without any help, can climb up on the couch, and can walk about a mile on her own.

12) Busses and trucks are her favorites. When she sees one while we’re out driving, she will exclaim in delight the name of the vehicle, and try to find me or Leah to grin at. Then she begs ‘more more…bus?’ Can’t control traffic kid. Sorry.

13) Part of bedtime is now a request for ‘tuddles’ – be still my heart.

14) Darwin literally dances for popcorn.

15) In the morning when she wakes, Darwin names everything she can see. It’s like she’s greeting the world. Then she asks for Leah, who takes her and replaces her with coffee. Lovely woman, Leah.

16) Least we think everything is sunshine and roses…when I went into the kitchen this morning Darwin had pulled am empty box of coconut milk out of the recycling and was draining any remaining liquid into her mouth. Ew.

17) The pout that happens when she’s hurt herself but doesn’t want to cry is SO MUCH HARDER than crying. I’ve never seen a more genuine sad face in my life. And then she does these silent, hiccup-y ccries for a few minutes and….gah.

18) Darwin will always easy Annie’s mac’n’cheese. Check off that one on the ‘wasn’t going to do that’ list.

19) We live 1.5 blocks from an awesome donut shop. Darwin calls donuts sandwiches. I suspect in a subversive attempt to make us believe they’re healthy enough for her to eat.

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Nap time

The to-do list

It has gotten particularly long lately, this “to-do” list. I’ve started working full time again, baby bee is only ~10 weeks away from arriving, Darwin has been clingy and whiny (oh holy hell I hope it’s teething and will resolve with four new molars soon), Leah is exhausted by pregnancy and trying to get through just one more term of her PhD program before baby bee’s arrival, and to top it off, it seems I’m trying to catch a cold. So, the “to-do’s” have increased as my time has dwindled. I’m going to write out my current schedule so that when I’m old I can remember when I was young and stupid.

Monday. 8:30-1 play with three incredibly cute kids. Feel exhausted by the end. 1:30/2- 5:15 go to work and try to get lots of things done. Except on days when there have to be chores done or the dog needs out to pee, or…5:30 pick up incredibly cute nearly-clone, run home to make food, bathe clone, try to walk the dog, pack clone up in the car to pick up Leah who has class until 7:50. Except when it goes until 8:05. Cry a little in the car while waiting. 8:30 Home, clone to bed with Leah. 9:00-11/12 work to make up for time missed in the morning. 11/12/1/? fall into bed. 11/12/1/? nurse the clone when she inevitably wakes five minutes after I fall asleep saying “nursseeeessss, nurrrrrrses” and banging on the bed from her co-sleeper. Sleep in 2 hour chunks until…

Tuesday. 7:30 try to peal myself out of bed when Leah brings me coffee. Clone stays asleep until we wake her. Usually at 7:50, because we have to be out the door by…8:05. 8:30-1 play with two incredibly cute kids. Feel a bit less exhausted by the end. 1:30/2-5:15 fun with coding/work. Try hard to get through anything urgent, which with my new (awesome) job is a lot of things that aren’t really urgent, but I need to make a good impression. Plus it’s really fun work. 5:30 to childcare swapper’s home ❤ for Tuesday night pizza. 7:30 take clone to grandparent’s house (three blocks away) for bath while Leah is at class until…8:30 Home, clone to bed with Leah. 9:00-11/12…repeat as on Monday night.

Wednesday. 7:30 try to peal myself out of bed with coffee. If up before this, shower. If not, use extra deodorant. Revel in the fact that WEDNESDAY is a full work day and I will get ALL THE THINGS done. 8:30 drop off Leah and clone at swapper house. 9-12 Three hours of solid work/check WordPress time (although seriously, the new job is far less of the latter). 12-1:30 Go get the toddlers down for their naps. 2-5:15 more work. 5:30 pick up clone. Decompress with swappers. ~6/6:30 Home, maybe more work while Leah makes dinner. Maybe clean up the wreck of a house (how does it get this dirty when we’re never home during the week? Eat dinner. 7:30 Bathe the clone or walk the dog while Leah does the other. 8/8:30 Convince the clone that it really is bedtime. 9-…repeat previous nightly schedule.

Thursday. 7:30 prop open eyes with toothpicks until at least 12 ounces of solid black coffee have been metabolized. Walk clone to the car in her pajamas because we’re just not having the getting dressed fight today. She does insist on wearing her “Bunny shoes! Hop Hop!” And exclaims “BUS!” and “TRUCK!” and “CAR!” while grinning the entire ride into town. 8:30 drop off Leah and clone, go to work for meeting at 9. 9-11:20 Work work work work work…11:20-2:30 Hang out with the two littles. Hope they nap well so I can…work work work. 2:30-5:15 work work work. 5:30 To the swapper’s for dinner before…7 pm swim class! Except every 3rd week of the month when I have a…6 pm meeting! then…7 pm swim class! Home by 8. ish. 8:30 bedtime for the clone. 9-…you get the idea on the nights…

….Phwew. Breathe. Which brings us to…

Friday. 7:30. Or 8. Wake up. Wake up again. Drink coffee. Scrape together remaining energy to get clone into the car and to…GRANDMA’S HOUSE! Yay! Aim for a 9 am drop off. 9-12/12:30 work work work. 12:30ish pick up clone. Chat with my mom before heading home for…1 pm nap the clone. Hope she goes to sleep quickly, but enjoy a mindless 20 minute episode of a stupid 90’s sitcom on tiny smartphone screen. 1/1:30-5:30/6ish go back to work and work work work. 6ish Home. If nothing is left hanging at work, take the night off. Eat dinner. Do all the chores that didn’t happen between 8:30-9 on all the week nights. 11 pm finish chores and…repeat every other night for this point.

Weekends. Fit in all the visiting with all the people we don’t see during the week who miss us. To all of you: I’m sorry if I seem tired and a little checked out. That’s exactly what I am.

Not included: Household chores. Yard work (that other thing I do on the weekend). Volunteering with the youth at our church. Saying hello to my wife. Reading books to the clone. Playing with the dog. Picking up after the dog. All the beer that is consumed in the course of this schedule.