These Two

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I knew there would be fighting, but I did not know it would be 24/7.

Reese and James spend the better part of their days fighting with each other. They fight over toys, they fight over who is the leader, they fight over who sits in the front of the bath, they fight over who has the pink plate, they fight over who can lock the door (neither can lock the door.) It is friggin’ nonstop. Most mornings I need to be out of the house by 9 AM or it begins, and it doesn’t stop.

My favorite fight is the clock fight. The “clock” in the clock fight is really just a sticker on the wall of their playhouse that looks like the face of a clock. Whenever we go outside, they both yell “clock!” and then sprint to the playhouse. Whoever gets there first (always Reese) simply stands in front of the clock, or sometimes covers it with her hands so the other person can’t see it. Then the other person (always James), inevitably loses his shit, and starts throwing punches. And then everyone’s crying and “WE’RE ALL GOING INSIDE RIGHT NOW!”

And I know that this too shall pass. And so that’s what we’re doing now. Waiting for this to pass.

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Talking Back

Reese <while in her car seat on the way home from school>: Shit! I forgot to go potty before I left school.


Reese <while driving home from the park>: Can you roll up your window? It’s too much wind!
Me: No, because I am hot and need air.
Reese: You had air at the park.


Reese: You wanna feel my esophagus?

 

James Eli at Two Years

 

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Dearest James,

You are two years old.

I will start out this post the same way I start out all the birthday posts,  by saying how quickly your first two years have come and gone. Probably because there were two of you, and I seemed to be always running after someone, cleaning someone, feeding someone, getting someone dressed, or rocking someone to sleep. I hope I haven’t missed too much. I hope there weren’t many times when you were trying to show me what you can do, and I was too busy to see.

You look just like your sister.

People always ask me, “is he ever unhappy?” Yes, you are, but not very often. Your smile cracks me up. It just radiates happiness. It is one of my favorite things about you.

You love the moon. You love trains and trucks and airplanes and motorcycles and the Count from Sesame Street. Your favorite thing to do is to go look at construction sites with your Dad.

You roll with the punches like a boss. You are ok to stay out past your bedtime, ok with being carted around on errand after errand, and you were a champ at the movies and at a seemingly never-ending Disney on Ice show.

You say so much. “Again” is your favorite word. When you hear a siren you say “Quick! Quick!” and point to the window. This means, we are supposed to pick you up and run to the closest window so you can see whatever emergency vehicle is speeding by. When we are in the parking lot, you always yell “Watch out! Cars!” in a tone that is very familiar and which I can only assume is mine.

You still like your sleep. You go to bed around 7 or 7:30 and usually wake up between 7 or 8. Occasionally, you’ll sleep till 9 or 10.

Your favorite books are Choo Choo, Katy, The Polar Express, Pout Pout Fish, and My First 100 Trucks.

You LOVE cheese. For the past couple of weeks that is all I can get you to eat consistently. Mealtimes are not fun right now.

You love your swimming lessons. You often push the  other kids, and sometimes the teacher, out of the way so you can get to the slide first. So unlike your mother, but I like your grit. Please hold on to a little bit of this.

Reese’s school may be one of your favorite places.When we pick her up in the afternoon and she heads down the hallway with her little friends, you are always running behind the pack, barely mobile in your massive winter coat, laughing your head off. If you could talk I think you would be saying. “Look at me! I’m one of the kids!”

You are mischievous, but your sister is a tattletale, so you don’t get very far in your endeavors before she is reporting to me, “James is STANDING on the coffee table!”

You are a momma’s boy and I love that.

You are in awe of your big sister and you are quickly learning how to push her buttons, as little brothers do.

Cheers to two years!

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Talking Back

Pediatrician: So Reese, do you ride a bike?
Reese: Yep!
Pediatrician: Do you wear anything on your head when you ride?
Reese: Yea, sometimes bobby pins or bows. Sometimes headbands.


Reese: <pointing at a picture of herself and Mira>: Is that me and Mira?

Me: Yes

Reese: We’re beauties


 

Reese: James is wagging his penis at me.


 

Reese <upon entering Trader Joe’s>: Can we please stop at the cafe down there?  <referring to the free sample counter.>

Christmas 2015

This Christmas Reese got it. She understood the whole Santa thing, and her excitement was contagious. For Andrew and I, Christmas is once again as exciting as it was when we were kids. We bounced out of bed when we heard the faint knock at our door at 7 AM on Christmas morning.

When I was little my dad would always go downstairs before all of us kids, to “turn on the tree.” I suspect he was doing other things as well (making coffee probably, since it was literally ass crack in the morning) because waiting for him to give us the “ok” to come down always seemed to take an eternity.

This year, I sat on our couch waiting for Reese to come down.

We got Reese a bike, goggles, a Frozen snow globe (random, but she wanted it), an outfit, coloring books, paints, fashion plates, and pajamas. She got countless other gifts from family;  a new coat, shoes, a playhouse, books, clothes, dress-up outfits, etc.

James got a car, a toy tool set, truck books, clothes, coloring books, Legos, and toy trucks.

Christmas Eve was church in the evening, then dinner at our house with grandparents. Christmas morning was opening presents, eating quiche and cinnamon rolls, and riding new bikes in the church parking lot across from our house. Just the four of us.

Then it was on to Christmas Day celebrations with grandparents, aunts and uncles, and cousins.

Here was our Christmas.

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Stoopin’ It

This is how we have been filling the space of time after dinner and before bath time.

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We call it “stoop sittin'”, “stoopin’ it”, or when we’re feeling boring, just “sitting on the stoop.” We don’t have a real stoop, but the three steps at our front door suffice. Here, James climbs up and down the stairs repeatedly, Reese plays any variety of games including “Guess Which Princess I Am”, and Andrew and I people watch. There is quite a cast of characters that frequent the intersection outside our front door, so the people watching game is hot. Yes, we live at an intersection, and it’s as glamorous as it sounds. But without it, stoop sittin’ wouldn’t be so fun, so we can’t complain.

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On Moms

Do you ever remember what you used to think of moms, back before you were one?

I do.

I have vivid memories of being a judgy biatch. Being at a restaurant or a store and thinking, “God, keep an eye on your kids lady!”, or “Oh my god, that kid has no shoes on! What is wrong with that mom?”, or “Who screams in public like that!?”

I am so sorry.

When I was in my early 20’s, I babysat for a family that lived nearby. They had two boys, a 4-year-old, and an 8 month old. The mom was at home with the kids and the dad worked long hours as a lawyer. The mom was part of some sort of moms’ group that had meetings once a week at 5 or 6, and I would always come over to sit for them while she went to the meetings. A few times, I would show up around 4:30 or 5 and she would still be in her pajamas, and the kids would literally be owning her ass; one climbing the stairs unattended while the other raided the fridge. Her face when I showed up was always the same. She glowed.

In my head I was always thinking, “What a mess. Get it together lady!”

They had moved from D.C. months before I started sitting for them, and in the year I worked for them I never saw their house completely unpacked. I remember mentioning this to Andrew, and saying “Can you imagine? There are boxes everywhere!”

Total B.

I am so sorry.

Now, I understand why you couldn’t get out of your pajamas until 5 PM, and frankly I applaud you for not just sleeping in clothes that could pass for everyday clothes so that you don’t have to change at all.

So again, on behalf of all the twenty-something, Judgy McJudgersons who don’t get it yet. I am sorry.

Happy Mother’s Day Moms.