There have been many times since having Owen, that I've laughed at the former "mother of one" me, but nothing tops the last day or two. Zoe is all girl and always has been (I know for sure now). When she was Owen's age, she would sit on your lap (or by herself in a chair) and go through our whole bookshelf, "reading" each book one by one. At her most destructive, she would knock down a stack of papers and look through them all and possibly tear a few...or she, like most babies, liked to bang on some pots and pans in the kitchen. She was never really a super messy eater, or at least she wasn't for very long. I know I'm probably looking back on those times and forgetting some details but I'm quite sure she was, in general, a very easy going baby. We did know it and acknowledge it at the time but of course, as human beings, we always find things to be exasperated about no matter how relatively easy our lives are, don't we? Owen, while "easier" than Zoe in a few ways...partly because it's our second time doing this whole baby thing so we have the gift of "the big picture" this time around and partly because he actually IS easier in some situations, ie: he needs NO help falling asleep at nap and bedtime. I sing him a song just before putting him into his crib but half the time he's wriggling and crying through the whole thing, leaving me to wonder if I'm singing for his benefit or mine somehow....anyway, he is easier in some respects but the older he gets the more clear it becomes that we have ourselves a little wriggly, energetic, physical, diaper-change hating, strong-willed, wild, destructive, LOUD boy. My friend Gretchen, mother of the sweet, funny and energetic Hunter, has been holding back her laughter I'm sure, and kindly subduing her gut reaction lately to the pure shock I am experiencing when faced with the temper tantrums Owen is all of the sudden capable of. I've always heard that generally, boys are more of a handful in the baby years than girls are, but I'm telling you...the reality of it is staggering. Wish us luck because boy, are we gonna need it!
We've managed to get a little creative lately after a bit of a post-summer let down period. I checked a book out of the library that we used to have when I was a kid. I recently rediscovered it when my sister brought it to our trip to The Cape this summer. It's called Ed Emberley's Drawing Book of Animals, and it's so easy to use. I've been addicted to making t-shirts lately, and the animals he shows you how to draw are perfect for them. I got it for myself, honestly but Zoe gave it a whirl the other day and she did an awesome job with it!
Finally, after having a tough goodbye at school and a noticeably "off", possibly stressed-out mood I've started to wonder if Zoe might have a harder time adjusting to preschool this year compared to last year. She seems to identify "school" with her room and teachers from last year and I think (of course she can't really express it) she might be feeling a little weird and bummed to be in this new room with new people. I know she is fine and will have tons of fun once she settles in, but I feel bad for her and want to help. When I asked her what we could do to help make the goodbye easier, she just sadly said "I don't know". So, I decided to make her a little pouch to wear around her neck. I got the idea from my friend Jessica, who made one for her daughter last year and thought it might help Zoe a bit. I made it from some scrap fabric I had and although I'm sure with an actual sewing machine and...well, sewing SKILLS it could have been much more cute, I think it came out okay. I'll fill it up and tell her she can't open it until she gets to school on Thursday. Some of the things I'm putting in there are: a little red felt heart, a beautiful thing, and a little tiny note from me. I also got this idea from Gretchen, whose younger sister used to have a terrible time with the goodbye part of going to school, too:
adopted whale Pepper, glued into a salt grinder top, and the other is a picture of our family glued into a baby food jar lid. Gretchen's parents used to save milk jug tops, glue a picture of the family in there and turn it into a necklace for her sister to wear. I'll just put these right in the pouch though.
One of my New York friends, Michelle, gave me 3 silver acorns before Zoe's birth and told me that they are believed to bring luck. It made me feel very comforted, so since we have a lot of acorns on the ground around our house I told Zoe about it and we collected and painted them for luck before Owen's birth. We decided to do the same thing this year, and I feel like we've started a nice tradition...I'll definitely put one or two in Zoe's school pouch too...