Sometimes it is so hard to be a mother.
Did you know that?
Well, it is.
Like tonight, for instance. I came downstairs after putting Nicholas down for a late nap and the kitchen was DESTROYED. There was play doh sitting in puddles of water on the floor, pools of red glittery glue covering coloring book covers, globs of unwanted cheese stuck to the side of the garbage can, wet oreos under the kitchen table and green marker all over the table top. And like a dusting of snow on a December morning, there were tiny triangles of white paper over all of it.
Only that analogy doesn't work. A dusting of snow on a December morning sounds all pretty and peaceful and this wasn't either of those things. This was MESSY and sent my pulse racing.
Ruby is such a little pig. Seriously. She creates enormous messes in the blink of an eye, and while usually happy to clean them up when asked, she doesn't think to do it on her own so I am constantly walking out of one of them and into the next. (like a blizzard! there. another snow analogy, more fitting.)
And since I brought up Ruby I might as well get this off of my chest, too. She is turning into the perfect "pesky little sister" lately. She talks quietly under her breath, just loud enough to be heard, when James asks (begs) her to be quiet, she blows raspberries at him and runs, she hides his legos in the closet and destroys his ships when his back is turned. (to be fair, I've also noticed that in the next instant she will request two stickers at the library, one for him, and will always give him her last piece of licorice, when requested.) She already knows exactly where his buttons are and how hard she needs to push them to get the most spectacular reaction. Poor James. I can barely handle her sometimes, at 39. How can he, at not-quite 7?
Oh, Ruby. I adore you. I make myself spend more time with you these days because those moments spent with you, not cleaning up after or correcting you, make me forget all the creepy stuff and focus on your little self. Your little faces you make, your crooked mouth smiles and frowns, and things you dream up. Your questions and how you slip your hand into mine when we're walking up the stairs. The way you play with pickles and how you smiled at him this morning and said, "Babies are just so cute but extra cute in the mornings." (it's not just babies, little girl.)
So now that she is asleep I can get a little mushy about her (which I totally did not intend to do when I started writing but there it is. huh.) but let me tell you...Ruby can be pretty challenging these days.
As for the other two, James is normally pretty even-keeled. His specialty is relentless badgering and complaining but with some good consequences (complain about going to church, lose your allowance) (just came up with that today) he is kept in check most of the time. (unless I am on the phone.) (WHAT IS IT WITH THAT?) James kind of boggles my mind in that way that I think big kids do to their parents. There is such a feeling of awe and admiration for me when I am with him...this first baby of mine is becoming such a big kid. The things he says just floor me. I love his brain and his sweet little face.
I was changing Nicholas on our bed the other day and he rolled over so his little bare bum was right in our faces. James pinched it and then asked me shyly if he could kiss it. Oh man. I know exactly the feeling he was having. Baby butts are SO CUTE. I told him yes, just don't touch his crack as that is private. ;) So he gave little pickles a kiss on both "cheeks" and I put his diaper on him.
Did that story creep you out? I hope not because I thought it was so sweet.
This morning after we left church I surprised them and told them we were going to go to the Children's Museum. A few minutes later James says, "Sometimes you cry because you are happy, right Mom?" Right sweetie.
And on to pickles. Well, he is perfect in that way that only babies can be. I told my mom that his thighs seemed thinner this week and how that made me want to cry. She said he probably grew and sure enough, another pair of jammies went into the Jacob pile yesterday.
I looked at him through the nursery window this morning (we went to church today for the first time in a looooooong time) and choked up a little. The first time I left my baby in the nursery. He was fine but I felt a little sad. He is growing up so fast, just like they do. 7 months on Tuesday.
So now I am going to bed feeling not angry or stressed but incredibly blessed and thankful.
(Good thing because Ruby will be back at it in just about 10 hours...)