I always think I’m very aware of time, but never more so than during pregnancy. The first time around is more novel, I have to admit. The second time has been less about the steps it takes in becoming a mother and more about looking back on what it’s meant to be Avalon’s. As much as my mind’s eye is on September, picturing a room that has more neutral colors and possibly two cribs, making it look like an orphanage scene straight out of Annie or Cider House Rules, my heart is right here, noticing the shades of blue in my twenty month old’s eyes as we wait for her to pee on the potty. As much as I miss skateboarding and margaritas, I want to stay in those eyes, in those moments, a little longer. I can already feel the challenge of being a mother to two because in the evenings I look forward to Avalon going down not just so I can indulgently look at my phone, but so I can sit and feel Skip move without any interruptions.
The other night we had the family I used to nanny for over for dinner. That isn’t the most appropriate way to capture who they are to me, but saying “dear friends” just seems so wannabe 19th century of me. Also saying we had them over for “dinner” is potentially misleading as well, seeing as Scott ordered Pizza and picked it up.
We were all sick the week before, so we went right back on the wagon of all-day diapers and morning TV. After watching these two big kids read to Avalon, quote books and offer to clear the table (aka mini-ramp), it gave me plenty of motivation to re-adopt my original parenting plan of trying to watch TV only on the weekends just like this family had modeled to me years earlier. Of course, this hasn’t been as difficult for everyone as it has been for me. You see, I miss Savannah Gutherie. Scott and I still watch TV most evenings, of course, my main goal was just to cut down on Avalon’s exposure to it. Lately Scott and I have been on a Jeopardy kick, but we also worked in the movies Moonlight and Sing Street. (Have you seen either?)
Avalon will typically choose pushing her bike around the house and splashing in any available water over reading a book, but this isn’t to say she doesn’t enjoy them. I’ve actually found her toting a few more around in the mornings in the absence of Savannah and Matt and Jeff Rossen’s Reports, so all signs point towards tunnels with protruding light.
I did, however, give in to some screen time while she sat on the potty. Daniel Tiger’s singing voice isn’t my personal favorite, but I won’t tell her yet. Especially since his serenading has proven to be effective so far. I plan to document this potty journey with infrequent, but honest updates. I plan to do the same when we have two babies in one room. I know you’ll all be on the edge of your seats.
In the warm mornings and cool evenings we’ve been spending a lot of time in the yard wearing out our jeans. Scott took out our vertical earth garden last weekend and we put some tomatoes, jalapeños, cilantro, beets and peppers in the ground instead. The hydroponic garden was a great idea, but we just never had the dedication to it that was required. It was kind of like killing a pet fish or hamster over and over again. We never changed the water, never washed the roots and didn’t keep an eye on the PH balance, therefore the plants died endlessly in the presence of perfect sun and soil.
Avalon waters the plants herself and spends an equal amount of time sitting on them like a chicken does her eggs. I kiss her two hundred times and ask her “Do you know I love you like crazy?” she always says “Yeah.”
You don’t have to like every minute of life, I try to remind myself often, just like you don’t have to like all the songs the music robots suggest for you, but I am enjoying these moments right now with my husband and the flowers and sun and rain and waves and growing babies.