Sunday 28 October 2018

AJ is turning 4

I don’t write much about AJ anymore, because she is more an independent human and I want to respect her privacy. But she’s turning 4 in a few hours and it kinda boggles my mind. I want to capture this moment.

This time 4 years ago I was lying in bed at the hospital, sort of asleep, listening to Moya Brennan and the heartbeat monitor. I had an epidural placed so I was not in much discomfort. But I had been in labour so long I almost couldn’t picture actually having a baby anymore.

Today, AJ alternates between her interests in princesses and dinosaurs. She also likes superheroes. Mr Turtle showed her The Tick, a silly cartoon series from his childhood. She asks him to make up stories about the characters before bedtime. El Seed, a giant animate sunflower, is her favourite villain. We have also read Alice in Wonderland together and reread chapters regularly. 

AJ loves to help in the kitchen. She helped rake leaves today (and played in them.) She is independent and imaginative. Sometimes her stories take a rather macabre turn. She talks about death at times. Someone called Bony Girl came to her in a dream once. Bony Girl is a skeleton and has issues such as her bones falling off when she uses the toilet. We haven’t tried to hide the truth about human mortality from her. Maybe this is partly why she is so open about these musings. Usually they don’t upset her. 

AJ usually adores her baby sister and gives her cuddles. Dani adores her right back. She also has a few friends mostly from her daycare. Some of the parents I know; others I will meet at her 4th birthday party this weekend. It is almost organized despite my anxiety about such things. I chose to have it away from home this time so the kids can play and I can return to my somewhat quiet house afterwards.

Tonight before bed AJ asked to wear her Frozen pyjamas which are a tad too big. “I don’t want to get squished in the night,” she told us. This statement puzzled me until I realized she believes she is going to grow a lot tonight. She had been saying the pyjamas would fit her when she was four so she figured this would happen overnight, I guess. 

I explained she will be roughly the same size tomorrow. Thank goodness. But I know she will grow fast enough.

I also think about the difficult weeks in February 2014 when I was bleeding and thought I was miscarrying my surprising pregnancy. Those were the saddest and most devastating hours of my life. Even though it all turned out fine in the end. Somehow the happy ending and the pain and grief feel like separate experiences. Oddly as time goes by the memory seems even sadder to think of, because if I had lost her, I cannot pretend it would not be a big deal. 

But AJ is here. And while I call my pregnancies lucky, there is nothing coincidental about them. AJ and Dani are here because they are meant to be. They are both mystery and revelation.

Happy 4th birthday my big girl. 

Tuesday 2 October 2018

Dani 8 months and sundry life business

Fall came quickly this year, and apparently, winter even quicker.

I’m getting ready for AJ’s birthday at the end of the month but looking outside it might as well be time for Dani’s January birthday.

I’m hoping that snow melts but sheesh there is already a lot of it.

All about Dani:
  • Two teeth showing.
  • Wearing 12 month clothes.
  • Almost, almost crawling. Any day now and she will be off.
  • Eats everything. We are giving her meat more than we did with AJ. She either likes it better or we’ve gotten better at preparing it.
  • Full of smiles and joyful giggles. AJ’s laugh has remained much the same from her baby days, even while much has changed, so I’m hoping Dani’s laugh is a piece of her we will always have. 
  • I realize I don’t clearly remember AJ as a baby. I have photos and videos of course and I recall some details but I don’t have the visceral memories. It makes me kind of sad, thinking that I will likely one day forget what Dani is like. Right now it’s so real, but one day....I am trying hard to take in this precious time.
  • Still a good sleeper so far. There are exceptions but overall we are lucky again.
AJ continues to be a great big sister and a fun (mostly) four year old. She is getting more and more independent and finding ways to assert individuality. The one that drives me the most crazy right now is her pickiness about her clothes. I don’t buy her anything without having her approve it but even when she says she likes something she can change her mind the next day and refuse to wear it. 

On the other hand she is now mostly independent with all aspects of toileting and us learning to wash her own hair. She has a wonderful imagination and occupies herself for hours with pretend play. She gets along  with other children too for the most part, although there has been some conflicts with friends/not-friends at daycare (she goes 2 days a week). 

And I get to plan the birthday party again this month which I dislike as much as ever.  I feel like it will just get more complicated as the children get older and my social skills and standing are also up for judgment, a feeling I loathe. Oh well. I hope like last year it is less a big deal than I make it out to be in my head.

I am starting to look at and think about options in my career (part time? Job share?) I want to gather information. I don’t know what I will decide yet. It’s uncomfortable to consider change and I want to procrastinate but I know change is inevitable and I either wait for it to overtake me or try to embrace it and tinker with it to get the best possible outcome. Part of me would like to linger in this magical space forever but I know that’s not an option. 

Still undecided too is what school AJ will go to for kindergarten but it is possible one of her good friends (the son of my closest friend atm) will go to the same school also next year. Childcare is also a huge uncertain decision. Right now I’m just trying to figure out what’s out there and possible. It’s so much more complicated than just regular daycare, I feel. 

I could go on but Dani is sleeping in my lap and I should transfer her to crib. And put on a podcast to grow my brain. And stop playing with my phone. Life is good. We are going to the States for a couple of weeks this month so that presents a non existential challenge to prepare for which should be quite fun.

A lovely fall walk from before winter hit: