I started writing for Momicillin almost two years ago. Back then, I had a three-year-old and a five-year-old and my days were a whole lot different than they are now. For one thing, I wasn’t working much. Milo was in Kindergarten and Belle had just started preschool, which occupied her three mornings a week.
While the lazy afternoons with Belle were wonderful in many ways, I didn’t have a whole lot of balance in my life. We were still together much more often than not. Now that she’s in elementary school with Milo, though, I’ve regained some freedom to write, grocery shop in peace, work, and putz around doing laundry while blasting Imogen Heap if I want.
But it’s not only the newfound hours that have changed in two years.
At the risk of sounding like a cigarette ad, “We’ve come a long way, baby.”
Kids morph fast. Here are some of the ways in which our world is vastly different than it was in 2009:
• I can drop off both Milo and Belle somewhere unfamiliar (at a new playdate or camp) without apocalyptic meltdowns. They may be nervous, but they are worldly enough now to know they can get through, and probably even enjoy, new experiences.
• One kid knows how to read, the other is getting there, which makes everything from quiet Sundays to bedtime easier.
• When Milo and Belle argue (often), I encourage them to work it out rather than worrying that my older boy is going to pummel my toddler girl.
• They’re better company. Their observations are more astute and rational. They can hold conversations and engage me more than ever before.
• Milo actually has a better sense of direction than I do and has several times, when I’ve made a wrong turn, helped me find my way.
• Belle occasionally manages to match her clothes and can emerge from her room without looking like clowns have dressed her.
• They can help. Not that they’re more willing to, say, fold a basket of laundry. But if I ask, “Milo, will you please put these clean socks in your drawer?” he’s likely to agree.
It’s fun watching them blossom. The best part of parenting, by far. And from my first Momicillin column to my last (this one), it’s only gotten better.
I feel like we’re at a point of equilibrium now. Milo and Belle will still hold my hand and give me public hugs. They like to be with me, yet they don’t need my constant presence. Soon enough, I will annoy them just by blinking and breathing.
So, before we tip toward the side of “big kids” and “Mom, please drop me off a block up the street”, I’m going to enjoy this.
This is what it’s all about.