Each morning we do just about the same routine. Bella and I wake up around the same time, Char wakes up a few minutes later. I change her while Bella distracts her on the changing table (she hasn’t ever liked her diaper being changed) and we head downstairs.
Breakfast varies. I love making hard and soft-boiled eggs in my Instant Pot, so sometimes it’s that with cereal and fruit. Other times yogurt/oatmeal/avocado on toast gets tossed in the mix. Bella loves to sit next to Char while feeding her yogurt and reading to her.
Charlotte has been really into books lately. Her newest thing is to find one, bring it while making noises of urgency, and getting you to sit cross-legged on the floor so she can climb in your lap to read. If I end up with two little bookworms, life will be complete.
Right now I’m sitting next to Char at the table while she plays in her chair with a washed out yogurt carton, spoon, and little bits of strawberry to stuff in and stir. She’s also watching Bella who has attached two long pieces of string to Sam’s shoes and is dragging them through the house, pretending they’re “dragon slugs” (when asked what that meant she replied, “Fast like a dragon and slow like a slug” – which of course, how silly of me).
After breakfast is through, I’ll clean off Char while she wiggles to get down and be with Bella. We set up all the baby gates (stairs, homeschool room, out to the hallway by the room we don’t know what to do with at the front of the house) and off she goes, varying between playing with each of us and playing with something alone. She has this streak of independence I’m loving. I loooooved her baby days and being needed but I’d missed some of the time Bella gave me to write and read and have a moment undisturbed. So even the small amount now is appreciated.
After her morning nap (which I think we’re slowly moving into one nap a day territory but I’m holding onto two for as long as we can) we usually go out to do something – errands, appointments, trips, etc. She can miss the afternoon one and just be cranky during the evening, but the morning one is a must, so I schedule things around it when I can.
I had someone once ask me when Char was about 6 months old if the newness had worn off a bit. You know – the part where parenthood really sinks in and you’re like – I’m never going to sleep again and my coffee will be cold for the next year. And of course, like any life situation it isn’t going to be shiny and exciting every day.
But even though you hear “and this changed my whole life” a lot, losing the boys and having Char did change it again for me. I’m still impatient and short-tempered, I still have hard days where I think, “When you go to get the mail this evening, just keep driving” ? (although then I think about the amount of gas I’d use), and I still need a break at times. Nothing changes the humanity of motherhood.
Yet it’s so different now, I wish I’d known this feeling with Bella a little more when she was Char’s age. There are so many times now I stop and watch them – and there’s this beautifully sad ache that can be both filled and yet never quite reach capacity. The thankfulness of them here, and the missing of who should be alongside them. I love that those feelings have deepened into something besides just raw grief and anger, because there have been many times over the years I didn’t know if I’d ever feel any other way.