Walking, sharing, sleeping (?)

This morning I was feeling desperate and crappy. Ted did me a favor and stayed home long enough to take Hazel to school so I didn’t have to load up all three kids in the car and drive her over, just to turn around and come home, and unload the twins. After Ted and Hazel left, I wound up nursing the babies down to an early nap and got some blessed downtime while they slept on me. After they woke up, I had a fun time playing with them, listening to them coo and giggle. That’s good for the soul. After a while, I decided to walk over to pick Hazel up. It was a gorgeous day, and I figured that I’d have a win-win: either they’d take their afternoon nap in the stroller on the way to or from her school, or we’d all go down for a nap after we got back. It’s about a 25 minute walk over to the school, more back from it, as there are a couple considerable hills to negotiate. I heard cooing and other small noises on the way over.

When Hazel saw the stroller but no bike (our nanny sets a high bar, and the other day when she picked Hazel up on foot, she brought her wheels along), she started a pre-whine, “But I wanted to ride!” But these days she seems less inclined to throw a fit, and accepted my statement that I just couldn’t bring her bike, as it’s too heavy for me to carry when I’m also pushing the stroller. I told her we’d walk up the hill very slowly. I put my head down, and started heaving like an overburdened mule. This seemed to amuse Hazel enough that she was willing to treat it like a game. She asked if we could stop off at the park on the way back. This had been my plan already, and I was happy to agree. I’d brought snacks. We shared them, and I pushed Hazel on the merry-go-round for a bit. I told her that sitting under a tree looking up at a vivid blue summer sky through its leaves is one of my favorite things. And that’s one of the things I love about parenting: being able to share my pleasures with my kids.

We meandered the rest of the way home through our neighborhood park. The babies had been too enthralled with the day and their sister’s company to sleep, so when we got home I told Hazel to take her quiet time in the playroom upstairs while I nursed the twins down downstairs in the cool baby playroom. That was a good idea, but I should have thought it through a little more carefully. Next time I’ll write out the time that Hazel can come downstairs on a piece of paper she can compare to the clock in her room, rather than counting on her 4-year-old brain to remember and process that information. Thankfully, though she spent quite a while calling “Mamma, can I come downstairs?” from the stairwell, she never got upset about it, and she didn’t wake the babies.

Tonight I made some chowder (the yummy sweet potato/corn/kale one we discovered this year), and then went off to write for an hour. I got a scene done that I feel will spawn more material, and then came back to meet Ted & the kids at our block party. Highlights included seeing Hazel bound happily up and down on the neighbor’s trampoline, good conversation with other neighbors about the trials and tribulations of baby-induced fatigue, and the incredible sighting of a barn owl which had been sitting in another neighbor’s tree all afternoon.

We’re going to try switching our evening routine up a bit, starting tonight. I fed the babies food while Ted got Hazel down. In a bit we’re going to take them upstairs, about an hour earlier than we’ve been doing of late, where I’ll nurse them down. We hope that with fuller tummies and a more reasonable bedtime their sleep might possibly be better. And if they go down earlier we might get a little bit of time together before we crash too. We’ll see….

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