I’m going to get all “true confessions” on you now, admitting something parents are not supposed to admit. Up until recently, Felix has been the “good” child – the “easy” child. Stella was the one that was just harder to be around for long periods of time. My children have sort of switched identities on me.
I feel the need to quickly write the obligatory “they’re both my children and I love them both dearly and equally” bit out of guilt. There. I’ve done it.
But y’all know what I mean. Stella required an army of caregivers, a tranquilizer gun, and a lion-tamer when she was younger. She still occasionally does. But I think we have finally crossed that “she’ll grow out of it and it’ll get easier” threshold that everyone promised us would come. We can take her more places. She communicates better and is getting really good at letting us know when it’s time to get home for some quiet time. She’s really getting to be so much fun again. That doesn’t mean that she never has the occasional “I’m a 3 year old energetic jerk” moments, but she’s getting old enough, calm enough, wise enough to start to do really cool stuff with. I have a list of stuff I’d like to do with her, but finding the opportunity is hard between work and school. Oh and Felix.
Felix? He’s not so much fun right now. For starters, while he’s damn good and ambulatory now, he’s still quite clumsy. Just the other day at the museum, he ran head first into something, giving himself a large knot on his head. I had forgotten that at this age, they simply don’t “see” stuff like that. But if we’re out somewhere, he wants to be moving. He likes to stick his fingers in door hinges. Everything still goes in his mouth. Who cares if it’s not safe?
At home? It’s the opposite. My formerly independent son will not let me out of his sight. What’s more, I must be holding him all of the time. On top of that, it’s usually not just enough that I hold him. I must stand to do so. It’s exhausting. That is unless he’s climbed on top of the coffee table. I almost wouldn’t care except now he dances up there. And when he dances he forgets about things like- oh I don’t know- gravity. He’s not sleeping as well as he used to (of course, the fact that they share a bedroom and I can’t let him fuss without waking up the big one doesn’t help) and often will only go back to sleep – you guessed it – with me beside him.
I love my little dude. I’m quite conscious that he’s growing up so quickly and is well on his way to being more boy than baby. But I’m worn out. As Will says he hunts me “like a dog” if I’m in the house. I’m sure part of this is a phase (I hope). I’m sure part of this is that the poor little dude is bored. I wish we could afford to send him to the same school as Stella right now; I know he’d just love it. And I’m ready for a bit more space.
It’s disheartening to finally feel somewhat out of the woods with one child only to have the other one skipping into that same forest. I feel better after recently talking to another mother of 2 who admitted “I have to have a glass of wine every night. I just have to. It’s built into my calorie count and everything.”
I am not alone.