Monday, April 18, 2016

hey, you guys. it's me.

as I write this to you guys, we're four days in of it being just us. your daddy's on a business trip to napa, and my only goal since he's been gone is to be a present, fun mom. i've really tried you guys. this should be an easy goal - but you're toddlers. and i work a lot. and i have this thing called an iphone that steals my attention from you so much more than it should. it's a hard goal. i'm sorry for that. but it's true.

first, i should also just acknowledge i know it's been forever since i've written to you two. it hit me today on my ride home that i miss doing this for you both. i started to feel like it was an obligation awhile ago and i made the call to take a break -i don't want anything i ever write to you to feel like that. i want it to feel natural, and it 100% needs to be for us - you both, and me. summer, you're right above me, stomping around - singing a song that consists of only one word: "mommmmmy", on repeat. it's 8:15. you've officially been fighting bedtime for an hour. this is an every night occurrence. wyatt, you're currently mad at me. this too, tends to be an every night occurrence. you both seriously go to bed pissed off 6 out of the 7 nights a week. that sounds awful. i promise, we're good parents. but there's locks on the outside of your doors right now. you have these dolls that tell you when it's bed time because you don't listen to us when we tell you. for awhile there (aka the last two years), waking up in the 5s was normal. last month, i couldn't take it anymore. you were owning us, killing us. honestly, we weren't getting enough sleep. none of us. we hated each other a good 65% of the day. exhaustion has to be the number one premature aging cause for anyone in their 30s with toddlers. enough was enough. we needed our sleep back and we took control and it's been good - for the most part. it's 8:22 now, and i am about to give in and walk up there and get you cozy, summer. because again, #everynight #youwin #youoweme #pleasehaveaminiyou. (8:38 and i am back. you had doused yourself in baby lotion, removed your pull up and replaced it with a pair of shorts under your jammie bottoms. nice try, girlfriend. i'm onto you. wyatt, you are completely assed out. 'not going to bed mad at the ones you love' isn't a rule of thumb you're following quite yet.)

so, on day four, which so happens to be a monday, i picked you up from school at 5:05pm and you had mcdonalds for dinner on a picnic blanket at the park across the street from the house. i don't feel guilty about mcdonalds. ever. this is exactly why god invented happy meals. and you both were fucking happy. until you weren't -- when i said it was time to go home and no one would help me carry anything back home so i changed my mind on the fruit snacks i previously offered to give you as a bribe for leaving the park. i also changed my mind on the shower instead of the bath. (you both love the damn shower right now -- you each have your own squeegy thing to wipe the water off of the glass with.) i change my mind a lot. sue me. it's the one thing i have left. my mind. #barely. in all seriousness, i try not to do that but when you guys make things harder than it needs to, i might reverse a decision that was originally intended to benefit you. like fruit snacks, or that extra book, or dinner after bath vs. before. or the shower instead of the bath, or the bath instead of the shower, or no dessert. i remember the power of the changed mind growing up -- you'll catch on soon enough. i am actually counting on it.

wyatt, you're 4 and i never wrote you a letter for your birthday. you're days away from being 4.5. i watched you the other day playing at the park, and you looked ginormous and little at the same time. i clearly remember uncle cam at your age. it was yesterday that he was 4.5 and now, he's 17. he's driving, he's taller than all of us, he works. when i looked at you up there on the jungle gym, i saw the years ahead in seconds, and i imagined seeing you at 17, and flashing back to that moment when you were this paradox of little and small. i wanted time to stop. i do that a lot too - i want time to freeze just as easily as i want it to speed up. another paradox i guess. i want time to stop because i never want to look back and regret anything about you being little. i never want to forget the right now. at the same time, the right now tends to be super hard. so i want things to speed up to when it's not so hard. here's the thing -- i hear it is always hard in it's own way. what's hard right now is that you are little, and i don't always have all of the patience i need to be your mama. you're busy, you ask why a lot, you don't always listen, you absolutely break down when you hear the word "no" and you scare me. i am terrified of any and all what if scenerios that involve you. what if you run into the street when i am not looking? what if you choke on something? what if something happens to you when you go to sleep and i don't hear you? it's terrible what crosses my mind sometimes. you're 4, you're smart, you are getting more and more independent by the day. i need to get a grip.

that book, "i'll love you forever"? describes me perfectly. the one you and summer will pick out and obsess over, and by the end when the lady is crawling into the bedroom with the ladder, i am laughing at how "silly she is" only to hold back all the tears. by the page when he's at his mom's rocking her i have a ball the size of australia in my throat, and by the time he's back home rocking his newborn baby i am an absolute mess. "mommy, you crying? why you crying? why you sad? this book makes you sad? why?" i get her. 100%. i take these pics of you guys almost every night because i am that mom. i will probably be doing that until you move out. i think i will have to draw the line there. me and ladders aren't a good match. and back to being serious -- this is how i will know you're home by curfew every night because you can bet i'll be in your room taking a picture of you asleep. don't mess with me.

you two are absolute perfection together most of the time. you're playing together, laughing with each other, being silly, and already i can see you two learning how to have inside jokes. i say this now, but i can't wait for you guys to make fun of me together. poke at me and call me out on stuff because you can. already you both watch out for each other, my only true ask of you as you grow up together. always, always, always watch out for each other. when your daddy and i are old and pissing ourselves like you two are now, you have to come visit us together so you can talk shit about how crazy we are when you leave. you only have each other.

i am obsessed with you guys. i am getting better at the mom stuff as we go along. i do have to be honest about something. i finally enjoy it. i know that sounds terrible, but you kind of like me more now which makes the job a bit more fun. you're so much better about giving me constructive feedback. you actually tell me when i do something well. it helps. a lot.

today when we had dinner outside, and you sat with me on the blanket enjoying this warm (really warm -- 97 degrees warm!) April day, smiling and sharing sweet and sour sauce, i got that feeling i've needed to feel. i know i am doing some of this right, fast food and all. you're happy kids. i fuck up a lot, and i lose my patience, and i know i hurt your feelings. and you're happy kids. you're patient. and forgiving. and honest. and sensitive. you're funny. polite. energetic. you love to be outside, you're up for anything. so adventurous. and encouraging. you always hug each other goodnight. you're always so happy to see each other in the morning. i love these things about you.

i'll write more. this little break has been good for me. starting again will be good for me too.


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