First Days

This is the day my girl left for school.

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I wasn’t sure how she was going to do on that first day. I have never dropped her off anywhere, except with her grandparents. Would she cry when I was leaving? I didn’t think I would be able to handle that. Would she cling to my leg and beg me to stay? No, she would literally jog into her classroom, toss her backpack at me and wave goodbye to me from the dress up corner. I don’t think she even looked up.

When I came to pick her up, her teachers would tell me that it was like she had been going to school her whole life. I am relieved and happy for her that she loves school so much. She only goes two days a week for four hours but she tells me that she would like to go every day, and also to stay for nap time. She loves her teachers. She brings them flowers that she picked and often asks intimate questions about what they do after hours. “What do you think Mrs. Bannon is doing RIGHT now?”

Eating lunch is her favorite part of school. Rightfully so. Followed by playing dress up, particularly in the “Barbie costume.” She is one of three girls in her class and there are 6 boys. The two other girls in her class were best friends last year at school, but Reese seems to be fitting in. I’m not sure if she would know if she wasn’t fitting in anyway.

I am enjoying a few hours with just James and am thrilled for Reese to gain some independence and to interact more with kids her age, I also love hearing about what she is doing. Is it creepy that I would die to be able to somehow watch her while she is at school? I would love to see what she’s doing, what she’s saying etc. I am so fascinated by how she might act at school, away from me.

So while this is the end of our 24/7 togetherness, and that is a little sad, it’s just the beginning of first days, and that is so exciting.

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Sleep. Glorious Sleep.

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This clock is our new best friend.

When James finally started sleeping through the night, like a sick joke, Reese started waking at 5 AM.  We tried making her room darker, which didn’t help, we tried forcing her to go back to her room to sleep, which resulted in her throwing loud fits directly in front of James’s door, and we tried getting her to get into bed with us, just for a “few more minutes”, which resulted in more fits.

I had heard about alarm clocks for kids that let parents set the time they want their kid to wake up, and at that time the clock lights up, letting the kid know it is ok to get up. I didn’t think this would work for us, since Reese never listens to us when we ask her to stay in her room, so why would she listen to a clock? But, my nephew has one and my sister-in-law said it worked. We thought we’d try it, and I talked up the idea of Reese having her “very own alarm clock!”

I bought this one from Amazon. The Kid’Sleep Classic. It was $37, which was more than I was planning on spending but I knew the key to making it work was for her to be excited about it; the less expensive versions I showed her online from Target and Walmart did not excite her in the least. But, a cow dancing ballet in a pink tutu is really all a girl could ask for.

The clock is also a night-light, so when she goes to bed the clock has a glowing picture of a cow tucked into bed. Come 7 AM (which is the time we set it to, because for us, that’s sleeping in) the ballet dancing cow lights up.

And right now, its working. I know that she waits in her bed for the ballet dancing cow to light up, because most mornings, I can hear her feet hit the ground at exactly 7:00.

We’ve had it for a couple of months and she still usually stays in bed until it lights up.  I know that it is still semi-new so maybe in a few more weeks the excitement will wear off and we’ll be back to rising with the sun. But right now we are happy with it and I would recommend it to anyone who likes their sleep.

This Happened

I bought 1989 on ITunes a few months back and since then, Reese has fallen hard for Taylor Swift (Taylah Swiss.) Nary a day goes by that there is not a concert in our backyard, at the library, on the playground, or in the bathtub.

This is a few months old, and anyone who follows me on Instagram has seen the edited version, but I feel it’s too good to not share again.

Transitions

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I love big families. My sisters are my best friends. I want my kids to have the experiences I had growing up. Sharing bedrooms, road tripping  jam-packed in the back of a station wagon, always having a playmate, etc.

Before I had James, a friend told me that they had heard that the transition from 1 to 2 kids was more of a life changer than then the transition from 0 to 1 kid. At the time, this seemed impossible to me. When you have your first kid, it is no longer just you, and it never will be again. Now there is this little person who feels like they are literally a part of you. What bigger change is there than this?

Then came James. Then there were two little people who depended on me for absolutely everything. It felt like someone needed something ever single minute of the day. And night. And that’s because they did.

When one finally fell asleep the other would wake up. When one had a great night and slept till 8 AM the other would be up at 4. There was no “sleeping when the baby sleeps” this time around.

Instead of peacefully nursing my baby to sleep in a rocker, I was nursing him to sleep while making a sandwich for the other kid and shoving cold spaghetti into my own mouth. The ratio of kids to adults was equal, but somehow Andrew and I still felt outnumbered.

Others have told me that the third kid is really no biggie. They have actually said this. People who have told me this are in agreement that the second kid can be a total shocker, but claimed that once the third comes it doesn’t really change much. Just another body. I can’t fathom this, I mean, when the third kid comes the mom and dad actually are outnumbered. The mom can grab one kid and the dad can grab another, but will the third run away and be lost forever?

So at this moment, I do feel like the transition from 1 to 2 kids was much greater than from 0 to 1 kid. Out first few months with James, I have deemed the “holy shit months.” Nothing could have prepared us for that. And I say that honestly, but with love. We were overwhelmed, tired, and a little scared.

But then he started sleeping, and he and Reese started interacting and playing together. They could actually entertain each other for a few minutes. Reese could occupy James at an age when I had never been able to keep Reese occupied long enough to do the dishes, or go to the bathroom.

So it is different this time around, but just like with a first baby, it has been more wonderful than anything else. Completely different, but still wonderful.

 

Princess Diaries

It is full-fledged princes mania around here these days, much to my chagrin.

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When I was pregnant with Reese we wanted the gender to be kept a surprise. We got all neutral clothes, toys, gear etc. As a baby and a toddler I made the effort to avoid the all pink princess everything. We painted her room a light gray, we got her toy trucks and dolls, and I rarely bought her pink, frilly clothes.

Now, at three years old, she asks to wear a dress every day, to have her nails painted and have “red lips”, and wants to know why she can’t wear her “jewels” to bed. I don’t even know where these things came from. Red lips and jewels? I never imagined that I would end up with such a girly girl, but here we are.

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I think there was a princess birthday party somewhere along the way that got the ball rolling, then we got a few princess gifts, she started noticing the little girls in Elsa costumes at the grocery store, etc. Then she discovered the Disney princesses and there was no turning back.

I still do my best to keep it to a minimum but I am not above buying a nine dollar coloring book featuring all the Disney princesses (Belle, Cinderella, Snow White, Rapunzel, Sleeping Beauty/Briar Rose/Aurora, Jasmine, Tiana (?), and I’m sure I missed a few others) because I knew when Reese saw it she would totally lose her shit. And she did.

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What is my problem with pink, flowery, princessy, girly stuff? I have no real vendetta against it, I just worry sometimes about the message it may send, but if my daughter loves it then I am over it. Especially since most of the princess stuff out now is much more girl empowering, and much less beauty oriented than it used to be. But, the emphasis on looks is still there and the underlined theme that beauty is equivalent with goodness is not lost on my three-year old. So yes, when my daughter is brought tears when I ask her to wear pants, and cries “but I won’t be pretty!” I take pause. And I blame Tiana and her band of bejeweled skinnies in gowns. But really, she will see this everywhere in a few years, except worse, she will see it in real life and not in fairy tales. And she may even see some of it from her own mother (eeek) because I too am guilty of reading the first ten pages of the Brazilian Bikini Diet book so I can look just like Giselle.

I am probably just overthinking this whole thing, and when this phase is over and she is asking me to buy her clothes at Justice I will be wondering what I was complaining about.

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Talking Back

Reese <eyeing James while we are in the kitchen>: Let’s go to my room and lock the door.


Reese: <before going down for rest time>: Let’s read “The Monster at the End of This Book.

Me: Ok.

Reese: Actually, let’s read “The Frog Prince” because its longer and I don’t want to be locked in here with no books.


Reese: I’m princess Aurora and I don’t have milk in my breasts anymore.