We've just finished our first month as a family of three kids under four years old. It makes us seem so normal. Some people achieve that number without having twins.
My kids make up an odd trio. Last night they sat in their chairs in the screened porch, "typing" on the screen bar in front of them and staring out into the back yard. I tried to figure out what was so interesting.
They play together well. Sometimes.
"No grabbing, Devon!" I say as he swipes a toy from Carrie. He looks at me expectantly, the theme from Jeopardy playing in his head as he wonders whether he really has to give it back.
"Mommy! I'm ready to come out and say the rule!" calls Devon from his bedroom. When I say it's okay, he reappears and thinks for a while.
"Not this time, Devon. What is the rule?" He starts naming substitutions. Kicking? Pushing? Shoving? Playing rough? I shake my head each time. He gives up.
"DON'T DO SOMETHING!" he finishes, a little Napoleon with his hand stabbing the air. We sit and talk about obeying Mommy and he finally says the rule.
They play some more. Devon has started imaginative play this week. He pretends to be a vacuum cleaner, a squirrel, and in the pool a shark. Most of all, he's Winnie the Pooh stuck in the hunny tree. He lays on the kangaroo slide with his body half in-and-out of the hole.
"Heeeelppp! I'm stuck! Pull me!" the girls grab onto his legs and pull him out.
And then the game starts over.
Devon's checkup revealed that he grew an inch and lost a pound in the last month. He's in the 70th percentile for height and the 20th per weight. The doctor calls my kids "those skinny Keathley chickens" and they are. We took advantage of the rare babysitter I'd hired for the morning and had a date at Panera.
We're pretty sure this is why it's hard for Devon to make weight. I must have told him about fifty times to sit on his bottom and eat his food. We do the same thing at home. Devon wants to eat a few bites and then grab fistfuls of his dinner to eat in various places around the house. Mommy isn't okay with stepping on cheese in the living room and scrubbing oatmeal off her throw pillows every week. Devon can be pretty sneaky in his attempts to dine al fresco. Last week at breakfast he asked beautifully to be excused from the table. Five minutes later he was sitting on the potty completely naked, eating bites of yogurt with Cheerios that he brought with him and wiping his hands conveniently on the carpet next to him.
Every meal we pray and set food before him. He can then eat. If he asks to leave the table to go potty, his food is taken up, preventing Devon from taking it with him or circling back and assuming that the sitting part of the meal is over and he can finish however he likes. When he asks to be excused, the food goes up and doesn't come back down until it's time for a snack.
I'm not really surprised he's lost a little weight, judging by the meals of three bites and a tantrum that surely burned off way more calories. Meanwhile our plates lie untouched. I wonder how much weight Mommy and Daddy have lost over this?
Three years old means lots of messes. We've made Devon an art closet full of supplies that he can use. What we really need is a padlock to keep him from sneaking in there when we least expect it. During the times that we swear we're watching him but are really trying to pay a bill, wash a dish, or get something..... anything..... done.
Devon's night-waking spells have stopped. Mommy is thankful. He passes out every night at least by nine and wakes at seven. He's still in his Big Boy Bed, though, so he has control over where he falls asleep...
Naps are now so rare that I have to take a picture and text it to Craig, my parents, and three of my friends. Most days from 2-4 I'm in a state of mourning for my lost nap time. I feel guilty for missing it, and my sense of balance that went along with it, but I do. Who wouldn't miss a pin-drop silent house, the chance to cook and clean in peace, and happy times recording these little moments so I don't forget them or spending time reflecting on what I'm doing and how I can do it better?
(NB: I interrupted typing that sentence when Devon yelled from my bedroom "Look, Mommy, I'm spraying water!". It wasn't as bad as I feared. He had just removed the hose from the vacuum cleaner and was pointing it at an imaginary fire on my bedclothes, pretending he is Fireman Sam. I leave him alone at my peril these days)
We're filling the extra time in the afternoon with play dates.
Devon plays with a little friend while the girls nap. If I'm lucky, I can snatch a few moments here and there to wipe a tabletop or empty the coffeepot. Mostly I follow them around and make sure they are sharing the toys and taking turns.
Last week they handed me a bug. They were confused as to why it wasn't moving. I'm sure you can guess.
I miss these days.
I had a precious half hour this week when Melina was in the mood for a snuggle. Sniff.
The girls are now sleeping with their dollies, creatively named Pink Baby and Yellow Baby.
Mommy and the girls went shoe shopping on Monday while Devon was at Tots.
We're still working on spoon skills. Now that Carrie's right thumb isn't sore from sucking, she eats with her right hand most often. Melina too.
On Saturday we went to the art museum for Free Kids' Day.
It was a real breakthrough for Devon. Just when we resigned ourselves to taking him in the stroller even though he's way too old and desperately needs the exercise, he decided that handholding really isn't the parental equivalent of waterboarding.
He got to play bongos as a reward.
He almost got to watch his aunt and uncle get married, but started yelling and was sent to his room.
Yes, that's right.
Mommy and Daddy clicked on FaceTime to see the ceremony joining Bojana Jovanovic and Tim Weimer. Their official wedding will take place in October, just enough time for the girls to turn two and make Mommy and Daddy pay for FIVE airplane seats. Fun times!
It was an informal and refreshingly fun ceremony. They honeymooned in San Francisco over the weekend.
That night we went to the beach. For about six minutes the kids played in the sand. Then the girls ran in separate directions and Devon ran straight for high tide.
"I'm ready to say the rule, Mommy! NO RUNNING INTO THE OCEAN!"