So after a few days home sick, Abigail had her first day of preschool level 2 yesterday. She is doing amazingly well, progressing super quickly. Since starting, she's far more patient and helpful when it comes to changing her diaper and getting her dressed. Each and every venture was turning into a shouting fest before, but now she's actually trying to help most days. She's also more interested in being independent. Yesterday she pulled a cup off the counter and went to the fridge. Thinking to myself, "Yeah, right," I opened up the fridge and stepped back to see what she'd do. She pulled out the half gallon of full-fat milk, closed the fridge door, and sat down in the middle of the kitchen to try to twist the lid off. In complete shock, I assisted her with the lid removal and she assisted me with the pouring. I set the cup on the counter and assisted her with the lid replacement. She picked up the half gallon and went to stand at the fridge door. I opened it, she set the milk back where she got it, closed the door, and walked to the counter where I'd set her milk.
[Pause. The natives are getting restless.]
[About 10 mins later. A is reading a book on the couch, E is sitting on my lap, and I'm typing one-handed.]
Anyway, the above scene
[Pause. A just chucked the book across the living room. Battle worth fighting.]
[About 10 mins later. A was clearly throwing the book because she wanted my attention, so we played together for a few minutes. Eleanor got hungry. I pulled out a play tunnel from her closet and am nursing E. The sun is now positioned such that there is a massive glare on the computer, but I'm not getting up to close the blinds. Moving might disrupt this tenuous balance.]
Anyway, the above scene filled my sleep-deprived heart with joy. Before school, it would have looked something like this: A grabs her cup off the counter and runs around the kitchen laughing hysterically, hoping I'll chase her. Eventually we end at the fridge because now she's thirsty and she'll yell, "Mamamamamama!" progressively louder until I come see what the deal is. I'll put Eleanor down and open the fridge to see what she wants, but she'll get distracted by the yogurt c-u-ps, the water bottles, the avocado. Eleanor starts crying, so I impatiently steer A to the milk. She grabs it out, I let her walk across the kitchen with it, then pull it out of her hands, pour the milk on the counter so there is zero risk of her grabbing the full cup and throwing it - which is a very common occurrence around here. I move to put the milk back, Abigail darts in front of me, and as soon as I open the door, her little hands are in there, pulling things off the shelves.
[Loud crash in Abigail's room. As I put a very tired Eleanor down, she promptly starts crying. A's fine, I clean up her mess while E screams hysterically and pray the guy upstairs doesn't come down to complain. I look at the clock. Is it seriously only 9:23?]
[Two hours later. The natives were restless; it was clearly a bad time to blog. I ask Abigail if she wants to go for a walk. "Go!" she shouts and runs in her adorable stiff-legged way to grab my shoes. Once Eleanor realizes what's going on, even she calms down and waits patiently while I get everything ready - a first for her. Stroller, shoes, sweatshirts, blankets, a quick where/when text to Matt and we're off. This hour-long walk will count for my exercise for the day, but I'm okay with that because my arms are still pretty sore from the chaturanga pushups in Jillian Michael's yoga DVD I did the other day. When we get home, I'd love to continue blogging, but I decide the regular morning routine should be our priority. Snacks, laundry, vacuuming, start making bread - three of Abigail's favorite chores - most while holding Eleanor. Abigail wants some independent play, so I leave her in her room and settle down to nurse Eleanor and continue blogging].
So where was I? Milk, independence? See, this is why I hardly blog anymore. When I re-read what I wrote this morning, it just sounds boring; a silly thing to post on the Internet and I don't even know if I'm going to get any pictures up on this post. But I'm determined today.
So Abigail is doing really well in preschool. And right before the first day, she had a vocabulary explosion, so she's coming home from preschool with all kinds of words to verbalize what she's doing: juice, dance, fun, friends on the bus. She added hair, shirt, hands, pants, and socks to her list of things on the body she can identify.
[Pause. The yeast has proofed, so I finish mixing ingredients and get the bread machine started.]7,yy]
[About 45 minutes later. I sat back down at the computer to hear another crash coming from A's room. She's tall enough to reach door handles and has been getting into her closet. This time she emptied an entire container of bubbles all over the floor. In cleaning her up, I decide to just get her ready for preschool. Switch her into a disposable diaper, freshen up her hair, wash her hands. I clean up her room and remember friends of ours who invented a brilliant yet simple tool to prevent kids from getting in the closet. While Eleanor screams bloody murder from the pack n play and Abigail climbs up onto the desk chair and types the randomness you see above, I scrounge the house trying to fashion something. It fails. I pick up Eleanor. This is not a good time to blog either. I prop Eleanor up on the Boppy Pillow with a teething toy and draw "shies" (fishie) pictures on the Mangadoodle with Abigail. Before I know it, it's time to head out to wait for the bus. We saw a few prayers while we wait. She gets very excited when she sees it turn in to our complex. I load her up and away she drives. My little baby bird off to her flying lessons. When she's gone, my heart aches and I forget about all the times my baby bird pecked me and squawked at me and made me want to feed her birdie tranquilizers until I could regain my composer with a hot cup of coffee and a quiet house. Within 60 seconds, Eleanor is asleep on the Boppy pillow around my waist and I get my silent house. But it's bittersweet].
I don't even remember where I was going with my blog post anymore. While Abigail's away and Eleanor's asleep (she'll only sleep when I'm holding her. Abigail was like that for a long time too), I'll work on a project I'm crocheting for a Christmas gift. When she wakes up, I'll make some lunch and try to squeeze in a shower. Matt's having company over tonight, so if I can't get it in during the day, it probably isn't going to happen. I'm not going to interrupt his guy time and ask him to hold Eleanor and I'm going to risk her sobbing in the background while I'm in the bathroom. Anyway, then Abigail will probably get home and we'll have to evaluate her attitude.
My mother-in-law stopped by for an impromptu visit yesterday and figured out what's up with Abigail's rotten attitude lately. She's mad at me. It makes perfect sense and I can't believe I didn't think of it myself. That's why she's been hitting, crying, carrying on. She was so angry with me for days after I was in the hospital with Eleanor and when she gets home, I can't even give her undivided attention. The first day she made it through school without spilling her cup on herself, I took her to McDonald's and bought her a strawberry milkshake to celebrate. She didn't even want it and I thought she was just being bratty, but I realize now that she was mad at me. So when she gets home today, I'm going to tell her how much I missed her and remind her that I love her. Even if she doesn't understand me, it's worth a shot. Then I'll do my best to give her my attention until dinner time.
I'm determined to get dinner made today. It would be a first this week. It's kind of been a difficult week with both girls being sick, so we've been eating leftovers, getting pizza, and poor Matt ended up making himself eggs after he got home late yesterday. We're having what I've been planning to make since Monday: bean and rice burritos with salad. Then tonight I'll do my daily Bible readings, kill off a few more chapters of my book, and fall asleep early. Eleanor's cold has meant she isn't sleeping well at night, and when baby isn't sleeping well, Mommy isn't sleeping well.
I know, I live a truly glamorous life. It takes a lot of patience, love, and grace to make it through each day. But at least once a day I look at my two little birdies and remember why it's important to keep trying.