Wow, so I haven’t written in a long time. It has been at least a few weeks. I haven’t sat at the computer and felt inspired to say anything. When I have sat down at the computer I’ve been distracted by online shopping and other nonsense that keeps me occupied until my free time has flown by and all I can show is yet another obscure order from Amazon.
Part of my not writing has stemmed from not sleeping. My almost four year-old chose this summer to stop napping. Simultaneously, she has become petrified of the dark. The minute I step away from her bed in the evening she starts panicking and crying. This draws out the bedtime routine for at least a couple of hours until I am physically and emotionally exhausted by the time her eyes shut. She then continues to be up throughout the night with nightmares and whatever else. Her, and therefore my lack of sleep has caused me to use any restful time during the day to actually lie down, zone out, and do absolutely nothing.
I’ve struggled with whether blogging is the appropriate medium for my writing. I’ve enjoyed sharing my writing publicly, but it is a double-edged sword. I appreciate the feedback from friends, acquaintances, and strangers, but simultaneously have spent endless hours consumed with how my writing or feelings affect those around me. It is impossible to write honestly when one is consumed with the emotional repercussions of one’s writing on others. And to be honest, writing publicly throws me into a state of heightened angst, my lack of internet popularity leaves me questioning my writing and myself, which admittedly is very juvenile. I don’t like Fajitas, so why am I publicly airing my feelings and writing? Clearly, I have to work on buoying my self-esteem, but is it worth sharing my honest self with strangers over the internet? Hmm, I am struggling with that question.
Well, now for the life update, I bought a minivan. I never thought I would drive a minivan, not in my wildest dreams. I swore them off. If I needed a bigger car then I would definitely buy a larger SUV, but then there you are with two toddlers in car seats, two large dogs, and an infant on the way, and you start looking at larger vehicles. Here’s my thinking. First, large SUVs are much more expensive than minivans. Second, large SUVS gas mileage sucks. Third, lifting toddlers and preschoolers up and into large SUVs sucks. Fourth, if you have a third row of seats up in a large SUV there is no trunk space. Fifth, having two kids three and under is hard, and having three kids four and under is going to be harder. I chose to make my life a little bit easier. Minivans are convenient, on a busy street the kids can climb out on the sidewalk side. If there’s a busy parking lot, get them all in, press a button, and the doors miraculously close. Further, mine is kind of speedy and drives like a car.
“I can’t believe we are getting a minivan,” I sighed to my husband. “How have we reached this point? I can’t even pretend to be cool anymore.”
“Why, because you looked so cool before, driving in your Subaru station wagon with two huge car seats in the back seat?” He said a broad smile on his face.
I guess I just had an inflated self-perception of my cool factor. But when my daughter picks up a play purse and throws it over her shoulder and calls it her diaper bag because she never sees purses, maybe I should’ve questioned my cool factor? Or when I ask my husband if I should get a haircut and he comments that a cut really only changes the length of my ponytail, maybe there is a problem? My image is being dragged through the trenches of pregnancy, infants, and parenting toddlers. I know some moms are able to do it all and look fashionable, but I am not one of them. I have high hopes that when we are out of car seats, I may be trading the minivan in for a super cool car. But for now, I drive a minivan. I bought a black minivan because I think a minivan looks less mini-vanish in black. A black minivan equals cool …
It turns out it was a very good thing we purchased a mini-van, a couple of days later my wonderful husband had a basketball accident and tore his achilles. Now we have his stroller (pictured above), his crutches, along with the kids stroller, two kids, and two dogs to load into the car. We require no less than a minivan to sanely navigate this family through the next month until he can get behind the wheel again. This injury could be a blog post in and of itself and adds a colorful dimension to my third pregnancy. I am thankful that this handicap is temporary and very aware that it could all be a lot worse (we are lucky), but being the only parent that can drive and go up and down stairs freely definitely sucks, especially when your youngest gets a stomach bug. My husband is handling it better than I could’ve ever imagined, he keeps wheeling along with hardly a complaint.
The third and most exciting update is we are expecting a little boy! My youngest insisted there was a baby boy in my belly, the oldest insisted on a girl. I told them they would find out whether they were having a brother or sister depending on the flavor of ice cream we brought home after the ultrasound (vanilla =youngest favorite flavor =boy / strawberry=oldest favorite flavor=girl). We ate vanilla ice cream cones. Whenever anyone asks my youngest about her impending baby brother she raves about vanilla ice cream, and they have no clue why. I am so excited to be having a boy.
On a side note, a week ago I went to the zoo with the girls. My oldest used to be terrified of the carousel. She had me stand by her animal and spot her. Yesterday, my youngest hugged my neck, “me scared,” she said and wouldn’t let me put her on the leopard next to her sister. A zoo summer camp was in session and four year-olds surrounded us on the carousel with their counselors watching on. My big girl climbed up onto the African Wild Dog all by herself. I stood by her and out of habit put my hand on her back, “You look good up there,” I whispered and gave her a kiss on the cheek.
“Mom, can you and sister stand over there,” she pointed at the sedentary carriage a couple of rows behind her. “I want to do this all by myself.” I smiled hugging my littlest baby who next summer will probably be saying the same thing to me. Here I was the mom, bringing my four year-old girl’s “cool points” down already. She smiled at the boy who had climbed on the leopard next to her. Uh oh, here we go, as I saw it all fast forwarding several years into the future. I sat down with her sister in the carriage and smiled to myself, this growing independence, this is how it’s supposed to be.
“Look at your big sister,” I said and my baby snuggled close and kissed me on the arm. Around and around we went. Up and down and around and around went my oldest. All I could do was watch.
Later that evening, driving home from meeting my new nephew and witnessing the my girls’ excitement as they held him for the first time, my oldest said, “Mom, can I drive a “Mini-band” when I grow up?” (She wants to inherit my minivan rather than her dad’s new SUV). I laughed, thinking I still carried some cool points in my almost four year-olds’ eyes, (besides the minivan is kind of cool). “Of course, you can drive my mini-band when you grow up,” I said, “I will happily pass it along.”