A lot of people like to ask me, “how do you do it?” I’m not sure if they genuinely want to know what a Mom and two babies do each day or if they are curious how I don’t lose my mind. Either way, I think this will show that I get through each day by spending quality time with my girls. I spend a lot of time just doing ‘anythings,’ but I try to give each girl focused attention for a solid block of time every day. Hannah and I work through an activity together while Audrey naps against my chest. We focus on what she wants to learn and I offer gentle suggestions if she stumbles. This little girl knows what she needs better than I do, so I watch and listen. She escorts me through all our chores (if I do them) and helps with the small steps. I’m not surprised any more when she begins to go through the actions of pulling out a cup or bowl. Sometimes she helps with laundry or changing Audrey’s diaper. But her favorite way to spend time is with her puppy. He captivates her. The two of them have standoffs from across the room and then chase each other around in fits of giggles.
Hannah is an incredible little toddler in my eyes. She’s not hitting any special milestones today or doing anything out of the ordinary, but she is inspiring me, as always. Hannah’s eyes are wide everywhere we go. Sometimes she greets others with a shy smile, but in familiar settings she takes off immediately to find the edge of the room. Her physical skills amaze me. From the sheer capabilities of a toddler motivated by her determination, she leaves nothing undiscovered. I absolutely love watching her ramble.
This morning, Hannah entered her playroom to find a vibrant collection of puzzles on the coffee table. They are the same puzzles we learn with and explore each day, but the display excited her. She immediately took the dolphin out of the sea and replaced him with ease. I dumped over a favorite gear puzzle and turned it around so that she could reassemble the pieces. We’ve spent a lot of snippets of time on various days working on color matching and affixing the gears to the pegs, so it was a joy to watch her work through the task on her own. She was so determined and pleased with the end result! We shimmied over to the next puzzle of farm animals. This time she took the liberty of dumping out the pieces and entertaining me with a rousing chorus of “E-i-e-i-o.” I asked her to point out the animals while she fumbled, without success to get the pieces into their spaces. She decided that the horse would prefer to attempt a daring feat of cascading through a hole in a box. Unfortunately, he was too big. All of a sudden it started to snow, so we watched at the window for a few minutes until snack time. Hannah repeated the words, “snow” and “cold.” She loves to watch the flakes fall.
I turned around to reply to a message on Facebook and THIS HAPPENED. Seriously, who says cell phone distractions are all that bad?
So I wrote a blog post while both girls napped and then I nursed Audrey when she woke up. We practiced blowing raspberries. She’s not really catching on, but she makes us both laugh with her hilarious attempts to puff her cheeks and PFFT. I helped Audrey stretch and bend her limbs and guided her through some baby asanas. After both the girls get their individual time, we just do other things around the house or outside. If Hannah wants to play toys, she’ll get engaged with something and I can step in. Since Audrey nurses at 9, 12, and 3, I usually try to have Hannah sit on the couch with me and read her a few baby books during Audrey’s meals. It’s a nice way to stay close with the pair. Hannah knows where Audrey gets her milk and sometimes she’ll sign for it, too. She is very attentive to Audrey’s needs and I like to foster that spirit. It’s really helpful if Audrey loses a pacifier and I can send Hannah on a search & rescue mission.
Every day is a little bit different, but most of them are relatively the same. We all enjoy the familiarity of home and we all have similar needs that we can meet together. If we’re hungry, we eat. If we’re tired, we sleep. Got ya on that one, only the kids sleep. On days that are tough and everything seems to be off a beat, we all go outside. No matter the weather, we put on our gear and head out the door. The backyard makes a delightful space to explore. I can’t wait until this summer when we can troll around out there barefoot again.
I guess, when it comes to Motherhood, I don’t know exactly what ‘it’ is, but the girls let me know if I’m doing it or not. Raising the two of them is such an exciting challenge. We were chugging chugging for so long and I finally feel like we’re beginning to plateau out for a little bit of an easy streak. We know each other now. We know how to meet our needs and we all go to sleep feeling loved. In my book, I think that’s the ‘it’ I’ve always hoped to achieve.