Monday, June 02, 2008

It Was the Best of Times....

I've had the opening line from A Tale of Two Cities running through my head for days. This is partly due to a conversation with my parents (who were here last week) and my sister about famous opening lines (Pride and Prejudice and A Portrait of an Artist as a Young Man were also contenders for the most famous opening lines, but we decided A Tale of Two Cities probably wins the title). However, it is also somewhat appropriate for life with a young toddler. It really is the best of times- Pumpkin is delightful right now. She is learning new things every day, and is even adding (albeit slowly) to her vocabulary: we're pretty sure she knows "up" now. She can stack one of her blocks on top of the other, even the long cylinder blocks, and she has also clearly figured out the order of her evenings and what cues signal bath time, which she usually really enjoys. When she thinks it is bath time, she takes off down the hall towards the bathroom, with a big grin on her face.

Pumpkin is happy and playful, too. She loves to play peekaboo. Today, while I was getting her stuff together at daycare, she ran over into the main play room, which was empty because the babies had all been moved into the other room. She pushed a chair out from the wall, and hid behind it. When I came over, she leaned out and giggled, then crouched down to hide a different way. We repeated this several times before she came out and let me get her in her car seat. She also likes to go for walks, so that she can see the birds, cars, and flowers in the neighborhood. She points these things out, and then looks at me for confirmation that they are as wonderful as she thinks they are. It is a lot of fun, and is a great way to forget about work once we get home.

However, it is also, not the worst of times, but fairly difficult times. She is still not sleeping through the night (although things do seem to be getting better on that front now that she is over her latest cold). And there is just so much to do. Day to day life can feel like a slog. I think I need an attitude adjustment, to use the junior high school phrase for it. I know that we actually have it pretty easy for working parents, since we are not stressed about money and have family nearby who will help out by giving us the occasional night off. So I think I just need to rethink what I expect my nights to be like, and try not to resent the chores that have to get done.

And on that thought, I'm going to sign off and get to work on tonight's chore: paying the bills.


  1. The other option is to let some chores go some nights. This isn't for everyone of course, but it's good to give yourself a break now and again. Of course, I'm getting to a point where perhaps we've let all the chores go for way too long. But you gotta do what you gotta do.

  2. "I know that we actually have it pretty easy ..." I often find myself thinking this exact same thing. I think its a trap. Because it isn't easy, and it is a long way from what you considered normal before she was born. But you still feel like you should be doing better because compared with what you see other people dealing with it is "so easy". And yet I don't seem to be able to say to myself "I'm doing my best", it is always "I should be doing better" which is really hard. I know the day E started sleeping through the night was the day everything suddenly felt super easy and like I could cope with everything...and for the past week she hasn't been sleeping and it feels like we're hanging on by our fingernails, but I know that once she starts sleeping again it will feel wonderful.

  3. Wendy- it is funny how the amount of sleep you're getting has such a huge impact on your outlook, isn't it? I know that if Pumpkin would sleep well (not even through the night!) reliably, I'd feel a lot less stressed about not being in bed at 10 p.m...

    Sin- I hear you. Believe me, we let a lot of things slide! Luckily, it seems that Pumpkin would rather hand me the dust bunnies she finds than eat them.

  4. Anonymous8:59 AM

    We have the "best of times" days where we think what a great sister Mimi is going to be. And then the "worst of times" days when we wonder what the hell we were thinking.

  5. This is so true. Best of times and pretty difficult times. I know it was better during that 1.5 months that she slept through the night. I would like that back, please. PLEASE!!!

    Love the cute story about your girl playing hide and seek! Ours likes to put her hands over her eyes to "hide." They are so adorable! And so trying (as she is also learning the word no and how to run away when she is supposed to come. oh joy).


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