Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Life-pausing Remote

"Parents are like shuttles on a loom. They join the threads of the past with threads of the future and leave their own bright patterns as they go."
-Fred Rogers

Whenever someone asks me about adding a second kid into the mix, I involuntarily shudder.  It's not because I don't love our family of four, or even that we don't plan on growing our family someday. It's because having a new baby while still caring for a very needy, dependent two-year-old could very well be one of the biggest challenges I have faced so far. I had to quickly learn to divide my time and multiply my love, when really I just needed to grow more arms, create a remote to pause time (or a kid in action?), hire a cook and maid (and nanny?) and find a cool, dark, soundproof place to hide and scream--really, really loudly--and then take a ten minute power nap to build up enough energy to unpause life and start again. 

But I survived it. We survived those first few months, and we all learned a lot. The biggest lesson was the importance of carving out time for each child separately. We try to do this often, mostly on a small scale--shopping trips, fishing trips, walks, park dates, movies, bowling, etc. But every once and again we like to do it big. Sunday was one such event for the lucky first born child. Don't feel bad for Asthon, though; he got spoiled with undivided attention from the grandparents.

To grandmother's house we go, Daddy Bear in tow.

Sunday, while Ashton was on his own adventure, it felt quite odd only having one kid again. Almost like the feeling you get if you forget your watch or cell phone--a bit panicky, yet still functional, perhaps freer. It's so much easier to devote all your time and attention to one child when you're not constantly refereeing fights and deflecting attention wars. I was able to really focus on Spencer. Like how big he seems, even though he is a shrimp for his age. How he absorbs every little detail and questions anything that crosses his path. How his little hand still fits so nicely in mine, and how I don't plan on ever letting it go, even when it grows too big and he protests. How his smile is so big sometimes that his gums show and his dimple pops. How he is still a little boy who craves love in the simplest of forms. He would have been happy with a trip to the sandbox park, playing with the shovels and dump trucks for hours.

Instead we took a trip to Target Field to watch the Twins lose. To be honest, I didn't see much of the game. I was too busy studying Spencer and devouring a huge helmet of nachos. It was definitely a successful date, even if it ended in a bath at Grandma's to rinse off a day's worth of junk he heaved on the side of the road. Although I loved the reprieve from being a mom of two children, I was relieved to be reunited with my baby at the end of the day, who cried real tears when he saw me. Parenting may be tough, and I might daydream about the invention of that life-pausing remote, but it's my everything. My boys have my whole heart, trantrums, fighting, puking and all.

Until the next date...

Waiting for the train.

We walked a long ways trying to find this glove, both Dave and Spencer whining, but still obliged my picture obsession.

Someday the weight of his body will keep the seat down and his feet will reach the ground, but it's easier to pretend he's still my baby since today is not that day.

I think Dave's favorite reason to have kids is their endless supply of high fives and fist bumps. I quit participating in them years ago, much to his dismay.

Said helmet of nachos. Need I say more?

It must be noted that this is the first game in many years that I was able to enjoy a cold brewskie since I wasn't pregnant or nursing. You bet I put my feet up and enjoyed that little pleasure, but just one since it cost a small fortune.

On the train home to fetch the babe.


  1. Awesome post! My husband and I are currently having a hard time deciding whether we should to start trying again. Sometimes it seems like a no brainer, of course we want another child but then I start thinking of all the 'hard stuff' that comes with bringing another child into the mix.

    1. Jessica,
      Thank you! I appreciate it!

      It's such a big decision to have a second, third, fourth, etc child. Good for you for thinking it through. But I think it'll be one of those things you'll just need to dive right in and do it! It'll be hard!! But you'll figure it out.


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  3. Love this! So important to have special time. I also enjoy watching my boys bond and learn from one another. Even though some days that seems to be hard to see. I love large families even though I never grew up in one myself. It looks like you all had a blast! Great pictures :)