This is one of those posts that I am always fearful to write -- as if the act of publishing the words will somehow annoy the Fates and my good fortune will be revoked. Not that I believe the Fates are regular visitors on my humble blog, of course, but in a moment of boredom they might google "is it ever sunny in Seattle" and inadvertently stumble across my blog (as lots of people do, according to my blog stats) (the answer to that question, by the way, is "apparently not anymore") and they'll read this entry and say, "Holy crap, how did this happen?" And then they'll send lightning bolts down at me or whatever it is they do exactly to keep human arrogance in check.
But throwing caution to the wind, I will say: I think things are starting to get easier around here. The key to that sentence, of course, being easiER. I still steal constant glances at the clock when I am alone with all three boys, counting the minutes until my back-up arrives. And I had to call my Dad to come over yesterday morning while DH was at work, because at just 8 am I knew it was going to be one of "those days," a day that I would face better if I could at least brush my teeth (which required a second adult if it was going to happen without two small sobbing toddlers clawing at each of my legs while a young preschooler yelled with decreasing patience for his mommy to make him a batch of cinnamon rolls for breakfast.
But yes, easiER.
Part of that is natural maturation. (Of the kids, of course. Fortunately I don't get any older. Ever. I'm talking to you, rapidly reproducing gray hairs!) The twins are nearly 14 months old now, and their attention span with toys has increased from 4 seconds to 40 seconds, which affords me the luxury of sneaking into the laundry room to toss in a load of clothes before they 1) realize I left the room and 2) crawl/walk into the laundry room to derail my effort to actually make this house function properly.
But the biggest reason I suspect that raising the boys feels easiER these days is that we are all sleeping. Ah, blessed and beloved sleep. How I missed thee! I still have some remorse that I "forced" (if you will) the twins to wean at 12 months old instead of letting them self-wean like Bean did. I will say, though, that my life overall is significantly improved (yep, I'm saying it!) since I am no longer breastfeeding the twins. Mainly due to the restricted calorie diet I can now follow, which is rocking my socks off (14 pounds lost, fitting into some of my smaller clothes and feeling great), and the fact that the twins almost instantly started sleeping 12 straight hours when they could fill up on all the milk they wanted during the day (not limited by my perpetually lackluster supply) and when they realized there would be no nursing for comfort overnight -- just a groggy mommy or daddy with a bottle of milk. So even though there are new challenges as the twins get older and more mobile, to me it is easier to childproof the entire house than it is to be an effective parent when you are only getting 2 hours of sleep at a time. Actually, forget effective parent -- effective person. I couldn't find my bathrobe once for about four days, I was certain that aliens abducted it because there was no! possible! place! in the house where it could be. Eventually found it hanging on the opposite side of the closet door. This from the person who, six years ago, earned the highest score in my graduating class when taking the exit exam for my master's degree. I've been at the top of my game, and I've been at the bottom of my game; now with luck I can settle somewhere in the middle.
(I would like to mention here, though, that although the first year of the parenting twins passed with me in a lingering, robe-losing fog, it was still fantastic and I consider it one of the greatest gifts of my life that I was able to be present for all of it. Physically present, at least, if not completely on a mental level. It was both more difficult and more rewarding than I could have imagined.)
And speaking of turning corners, our dear Bean seems to be making his own strides. The parent educator at our co-op preschool explained that children tend to go in 6-month cycles of being more... challenging and then more stable and easygoing. I dare say we are entering the phase of stability. Bean has finally embraced his role at Big Brother, we are hearing less whining about the twins and seeing more kindness and sharing. Although, Bean will frequently tell on them, such as this morning when he was quite upset to report to me (with a stern frown): "MOM! Gax told me that I did not eat breakfast this morning. But I did, Mom, I ate my waffle for breakfast. Even though Gax said that I did not eat anything." As a parent I strive to stay neutral, but I will say it's an unexpected challenge not to take sides in a verbal disagreement when one child cannot talk. But Bean really is a fabulous kid, and I'm glad that he seems to be more at peace right now after a rather extended period of change.
Yes, overall life at Casa de Sunny is moving in a positive direction. My house is still a disaster, I don't have the time or energy to cook a decent meal, and sometimes I have to fight the urge to lock the kids in their rooms and drink margaritas until I pass out. (Which wouldn't take long, considering I've been pregnant and/or nursing from June 2007 until only recently.) But we find ways to have fun and stay sane, and I have known the whereabouts of my bath robe for the past 4 months. Welcome to the new normal!
And just so you aren't disappointed, pictures.
And last but not least... Happy Memorial Day. Thank you Troops!
(Okay, I'm a day late, I started this post yesterday. Sorry!)