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I am a mama

I've had days with jamais vous where I don't know how I two children.  It's the strangest feeling since it's just like deja vu, but instead of feeling like I've already been here, I feel like I'm seeing it for the first time.  I question how I'm doling out orders; "get ready for bed" or "finishing eating your cereal and put your bowl in the sink please" and so on.

Mostly there are days where everything is just so routine and monotonous.  Especially since Paisley started school.  Our family thrives on routine.  So when Paisley has a half day, it can really make him upset.  Every morning we do the same things in the same order.  Paisley goes through phases with cereal and eats the same kind every day for at least 2 weeks.  Right now she loves regular cheerios with honey drizzled on top.  She loves putting on the honey.  Riley helps with the bowls the mornings he's happy.  Pink for Paisley and blue (or turquoise) for him.  I love how he thinks if something is pink it can only be used by Paisley.  It's a new development and I think it's really cute.  We do other usual things through the days.  On Tuesdays and Thursdays Riley and I have started doing a little play/exercise video.  It's kind of pathetic, but Riley laughs and we have fun with it.  Routines are good, they get a little boring sometimes, but they are good.

I absolutely love our bedtime routines.  Bathroom, brushing teeth (Paisley has been helping get Riley's toothbrush ready, then we help brush his teeth), flossing (Riley does it a couple times a week; Paisley every day), then we put Riley to bed.  We get him in his jammies, read a book (his favorite is I Like Fruit), and sometimes he let us sing our special song while he snuggles with his security blanket "nigh' nigh'".  He's started blowing us kisses when we say "love you" and then he says, "bye bye" and waves.  When we go to Paisley's room she's already in her jammies.  We practice her letter ring which consists of the alphabet, numbers 1-20, color words, and sight words.  Paisley gets 10 words at a time and she's on her 3rd set.  She reads a story from her Dick and Jane book and then we usually read a book too.  She loves Dr. Suess and right now she's liked some old princess books that were mine in the early 90s.  We sing, give hugs and kisses, make hearts with our hands.  She still uses her security blanket too.  Every night it's "baby unicorn" and "gigi".  I'm in no rush to maker grow up by taking them away.  Although we need to get her to stop sucking her thumb.

Being a mama is more than a full time job.  There are no sick days.  Sometimes Steven will stay home, but Riley and Paisley still wake me up while I'm trying to sleep the flu away but I still worry about whether they're eating enough fruit and vegetables that day instead of fruit snacks and treats.  I worry about everything.  I have days where I wish I could take a little vacation with just Steven and me.  I get burnt out from fighting with Paisley over glitter paint on her dresser, eating too much mac-n-cheese, "just because everyone else gets dessert in their lunches doesn't mean you get desserts too", etc.  I wish I had more time to myself.  I admit I get jealous when I see girls going on trips and having a night out with friends.  I want to craft more, but Paisley always wants to help.

Riley was evaluated this past Thursday by the infants and toddlers program though our county.  They looked at his developmental areas all around.  He's within a month or two either way on almost all of his areas, except speech.  In terms of him understanding what we are saying to him, he's where a 24 month old should be.  So he's 6 months behind on that.  On his speech he's where a 17 month old is expected to be.  So he's a year behind.  He communicates by pointing and grunting most of the time.  He says a few words.  Some are more helpful than others.  But when he gets frustrated or grumpy he gets worse at trying to get his point across, which makes me grumpy and that makes him more grumpy.  It's hard when we're both so frustrated and there have been a few times where I tell him, "it'd be nice if you learned how to talk right now!"  Those days can be rough because they get tainted part way in.

Then there are days where I'm doing something that's become so normal, so routine, and it hits me.  I absolutely love being a mama.  Last week, I had one of those days.  While brushing Paisley's hair and braiding it, *bam!* and I just wanted to die of happiness.  I knew without a doubt that I have never wanted and will never want to be anything more than a mama.  Someday I may get a tax-paying job, sure.  I'm not going to count that out.  But for right now, I'm more than happy getting paid with kisses and hugs, drawings of aquariums and unicorns and princess castles, and Riley saying a new word.  It's the most wonderful way I could ever imagine living my life.  I am a mama and I love it.

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