Today was Hazel’s 4th birthday party. Rather than pay $275 for a couple hours in a room in a zoo building with a fifteen-person limit and an additional fee for each additional person, we decided to just invite her friends to meet us at the zoo. We put three timed meeting points on the invite, and then we congregated and dispersed as desired throughout the time we were there. We met for lunch in the middle. It worked out well. It turned out to be a beautiful, sunny day, and yet the zoo wasn’t as mobbed as it can get on the weekend. A bunch of people came whom we know from a variety of places; neighborhood, school, parenting groups, etc. Hazel loved spending time running around with her friends, and there was enough to do that everyone had a good time. She got some wonderful, thoughtful presents, including a “Go Fish” card game that we played tonight. It was our first card game together, and as Ted said, our first Family Game Night. Hazel loved giving and receiving fish, saying “Go Fish,” and telling us whose turn it was. Especially since the afternoon post-nap was a bit challenging, it was a lovely way to end the day.
The other thing that Hazel did after nap was plant her present from her cousin and aunt, a primrose. We had a few pots empty and waiting, and some potting soil, so they went out when the sun was still sunny and the breeze not too breezy, and came back in with dirty hands and happy.
When we had only one kid, Hazel, we both got to do everything with her (as long as we were both present). One adjustment we’ve been making is to the reality that we have to split up more. Ted and Hazel planted the primrose while I was inside nursing the twins. This is a reality that is relevant for anyone with more than one kid, but is even more so with multiples. I can’t pick the babies up and cart them around the way I could with one. So, Hazel doesn’t get much time at all with just Ted and me any more. She’s been asking for Mommy time, Daddy time, and time with the two of us. So, I think we’ll make an effort to get that in the calendar and make it happen. Playing the game was fun. Though we were also trying to keep the babies happy, we were focused on Hazel. It gave us an opportunity to enjoy her smiles, her excitement, her development, her wonderful self.
After dinner, while Ted was reading to Hazel, I went out on a stealth desert foraging trip, and brought back treats for Ted and me, which we enjoyed together after Hazel was in bed.
Now Ted is playing with the babies. Joanna is on hands and knees. She’s taking to it more. Today she even fell forward from a sitting position twice and didn’t cry. And she stays pushed up for longer. Emily is experimenting with sounds. “Ah ba ba ba ba!” The babies are so delightful. Since Ted and I know what it’s like to have an older kid, we’re cherishing the simplicity of now with the babies, whose needs are still so simple.