Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Life with just me and the girls

For the first two months of Annalise's life, I had Tim home with us, and that was certainly a luxury. The timing of her birth with the end of his tour as Boston OSO was impeccable. I knew I had it easy, and he reminded me often that he was going back to work and eventually I'd have to get by without him. I reminded myself of that too, anytime I took off to get my nails done, or went to a store by myself.

I'm finding the adjustment to having Tim gone all day again to be going a lot more smoothly than I'd anticipated. The girls and I have settled into a pretty good routine. In the morning, after the usual puttering around, eating breakfast, and me having my coffee, we usually go out and do something. It might be the commissary, or the playground, or the story hour that is held a couple times a week at the library. We come back, have lunch around 11 or 11:30, play, and then naps around 12:30 or 1. And yes, Annie, bless her little heart, takes a nice long nap in the afternoon too. That's when I try to get this house into some kind of order. Sometimes Tim's back from school before they wake up.

I'm learning how to take them places without stressing out. I have a lot of anxiety, especially when I'm in parking lots, as I've talked about before. If there's ever a place where so many things can go wrong, it's in a parking lot. I would make Tim go with us when I wanted to go out, or have him watch one or both of them at home. He'd say, "Eventually you're going to have to do this by yourself." Blah, blah. I'd say, "I know this, but not yet." I'm so worried about Delaney being hit by a car, or me hitting someone else because I'm distracted, tired, whatever. But I'm getting bolder and braver. And yesterday and today, I made some discoveries.

Yesterday, I went to Rite Aid and on the way out, as usual, I just wanted to get them in the car as quickly and safely as possible. This time, I put Annalise in first, and I told Delaney, "Touch the car." She touched the car, and stayed put. I'd given her clear enough instructions, and she knows how to listen and do what she's told. Before, I might have said, "Stay right here," but in her two-year-old mind, that's a little vague. I always have to remember, whenever I'm telling her to do anything, to use language that's as clear and concise as possible.

But today, I found out something better. On hot days, the car can be too hot to the touch. Outside the commissary, I told Delaney to touch the car, and she said, "Hot." Then a lightbulb went on, and I told her to climb in the car and get in her carseat. I said to myself, 'Why didn't I think of this before?' Then all I had to do was clip Annie's seat in, then go around to the other side to buckle Delaney in. I had just cut about three steps out of the process, and our outings are going to be a whole lot easier from here on out. I don't give her enough credit for being a two-year-old, and being able to do some things all by herself!

Speaking of things she does all by herself ... At this point, she puts on her sandals (on the correct feet too, don't know if that's just luck or what). She climbed the wall at the playground today, with me there only to spot her. She went down the twisty slide too, after much deliberation. She can also do a lot of other things that I'd rather she didn't. For quite some time, she's been a master at taking off her clothes. Seeing her put something on was a nice change!

I've taken back over all bathtime and bedtime duties for Delaney, since Tim has a lot of studying and homework to do now. It was nice to have him do it for awhile, and great that he and Delaney bonded so much in the weeks and months after Annie's birth. I can see that the two of them now have a special connection. Tim is really enjoying her, and although he still has to tell her no sometimes, she's got him wrapped around her finger.

I don't want Tim to read this and figure I don't need or want his help with the kids. That's definitely not what I'm saying. I still appreciate help whenever I can get it!

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