Will I miss it?

As a disclaimer at the beginning of this post, I will freely confess that I am not finding the last month of pregnancy particularly enjoyable.    Mostly I’m feeling like surely it’s already been nine months and this whole state of existence should have ended by now… but that’s obviously not the case, as anyone can plainly see.

This morning I took some pictures of my 18 month old trying to do a forward roll.   She’s really good at getting her head on the floor, but cannot push herself over.  Still, she tries and she laughs and she does it over and over again.

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It was cute enough to me that I managed to get the camera out, and even crouch down on the floor in an attempt to get a photo I would like.

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Then she found a pair of my shoes that I didn’t put away after coming home from church yesterday.

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So we took some pictures of her trying to do a somersault in her mom’s heels.

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Little moments like this, I know I will miss someday.   I’m sure I’ll wish I still had a baby rolling around on my family room floor, babbling and laughing without a care in the world.

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Yes, I know I will miss this.

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But there are other things I wonder about.

I just finished watching a slideshow of our vacation pictures, which I turned on to help that same adorable 18 month old snap out of a tantrum she was throwing.  Thankfully it worked, but I ended up with her sitting on top of my pregnant stomach, with my three year old sitting on what is left of my lap, and my four year old sitting on my shoulder, wrapping her legs around my arms, neck, and so forth.

Let’s just say that I felt a little smothered during that 30 minute experience.  And we’ll say that I felt a little bit warm with about 80 extra pounds sitting all over me.  But I just sat there and told myself that I should endure it because the children were enthralled, because we were together, because aren’t mom’s supposed to handle moments like this without complaint?

And the question came to my mind, “will I miss this?”

I honestly don’t know.  Given how I feel at the moment, I would think that the answer is NO WAY!  But what if I’m wrong?  What if I miss the feeling of having so many bodies so close to me that I want to scream?  It happened yesterday at church, too.  I had this moment when I wondered if I would be able to just sit there with so many people scooting closer and closer…or if I would just stand up and scream.  Gratefully I survived without causing a scene.

But really, will I miss it?  Will I miss the feeling of being the bottom of the family dogpile?
Barbara Kingsolver wrote, “It’s surprising how much of memory is built around things unnoticed at the time.”
Believe me, I noticed this one.  But if I wasn’t 8 months pregnant, I might not have noticed it so much.

My guess is this:  I may not particularly miss the feeling of being smothered by lots of wiggly little bodies, but I’ll probably miss what it represents.  I think it represents a stage of  life when all of a child’s problems can be solved simply by closeness, by being near their parents.  A time when the world really is as small as the walls of your home and you can still keep everything unwanted out of their sweet little lives.  A stage when their needs and their hearts are so uncomplicated, when all they need or want is love.  A time when I really can fix most of their problems with a kiss and a hug.  I’m pretty sure I will miss that.


Marker Mania

I walked in the door today from picking up my daughters and was greeted by a proud 18 month old who came running across the house shouting “Look!”

So I looked.  And this is what I saw.

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She was covered with ink.  Her hands were solid blue, she had marker all over her clothes.
The back of her neck was blue, and the inside of her ears were blue.  She was so proud of herself.
Her three year old brother, who was responsible for climbing to get the markers, had escaped with blue hands and a few marks on his face and neck.
The babysitting brother had no idea what had just happened on his watch (we’re learning).

So, I grabbed my camera and some Magic Erasers and we all went upstairs to assess the damage.
Let’s pause here to just make sure that every mother of toddlers knows about the existence of these fabulous things.

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Every house needs a bunch of them on hand.  They can get almost anything off of a wall, without bringing the paint, too.  I’m a big fan.  In fact, I should have invested in stock years ago because of the small fortune I’ve spent on them.  You can get them in most stores on the cleaning aisle.  And if you don’t have them, please get some!  You’ll never regret it.

Back to my early evening detour.  At first I just saw things like this:

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No big deal, I thought.  We can take care of this.

So I put the little ones to work in an attempt to teach them to take care of their own messes, and took a few pictures of them cleaning.  I was still feeling pretty good-natured at this point.

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She was cleaning so earnestly!
The whole thing was almost a sweet experience until I walked back into the hall and could see the murals on her brother’s bedroom walls.

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Then big sister walked in with her American Girl doll who had some new tattoos on her face.  They looked an awful lot like the graffiti on the walls.

I started walking from room to room, assesing the damage, and realized that the walls weren’t the only targets.  She had gone for the beds too.  Five, yes five, sets of white sheets all now had red and blue scribbling on them!  Three bedrooms, the hallway, and five beds.  I’d call that a pretty thorough adventure.

Then I turned around and discovered that my four year old, in a sincere attempt to be helpful, had taken everybody’s erasers and soaked them in the sink for a minute.  She didn’t wring them out.  Suddenly I had three little kids wiping blue and red marker off the walls as it ran down their arms and dripped bright blue ink into my carpet.

All of a sudden it wasn’t cute, funny or sweet, and I wasn’t feeling like a good, patient mom anymore.
That’s why the pictures stop right here.  I couldn’t bear it.
I reclaimed the sponges, explained the problem to my daughter, and tried to quickly get the blue out of the carpet.  I put the two little ones  in the bath and we scrubbed as much marker off their little heads and faces as we could.
I finished scrubbing the walls, a couple of which still have a blue tinge to them and which I will tackle with a fresh eraser on my own.  Then I answered a long distance call, raced to get my son to Scouts (late, by now) and came home to feed them all tacos for dinner.

We won’t talk about the lettuce on my kitchen floor.   Let’s just say we had an early bedtime.  And I’m going to bed early, too.

My New Friend

I have a new friend in the form of a kitchen gadget.
It’s my  oxo cherry pitter.

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I’ve been trying to get my hands on one for the past week, but they’ve been sold out everywhere.  (Of course every employee has reminded me gently that it is, after all, cherry season, and lots of people thought of this a couple of weeks ago.  I don’t tell them that I was at the beach thinking about sandcastles and water and sunscreen.)
Finally I thought of another store that might have one.
I called…. and raced in to buy the last one!
I wish I had three.

This thing takes care of cherry pits in a serious way.  I couldn’t believe how quickly I was able to remove all the pits from my cherries for a few more batches of jam and fruit leather.

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That’s a lot of pits!  And look at this beautiful pile of pitted cherries just waiting to be made into something yummy:

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I’m so thankful to have this handy little tool, especially with another tree that is almost to the dripping with juice stage.

Yep, life is good with a cherry pitter in hand.
If I could just keep it in hand!  My kids think it’s so cool that they suddenly need to use it every ten minutes.
That’s okay.  Helpers are good things.

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