Last night we snuggled up on the couch to watch the premier of Parent.hood and I won’t lie the end really got me. What else got me… The reality that our girls are growing rapidly before our eyes – how do we already have 13 month olds. All the complex family dynamics pulled at my heart. Maybe because the negotiations have already begun and it feels so much larger and more important than I anticipated. Maybe because it showed multiple stages of family formation and ultimately reminded me that after all the years of protecting and guiding your children… you send them off into the world, alone. Maybe it made me feel less alone reminding me that others have similar struggles and all families have quarks. But overall it reminded me just how fast it all goes.
This time last year we tried desperately to get the girls down by 7pm which almost always involved hours of nursing/rocking and re-rocking. We would have Parent.hood on really low with captions in the background as we each snuggled, nursed and rocked babies. Fast forward a year.
We have a routine that the girls anticipate and that we all need. We end our evenings with some dancing, usually initiated by pumped up kicks or Mr. Brown – which the girls dig and is apparent by immediate head bopping within the first few beats. This runs into bath and book time. Then we get PJ’s on and both girls, in their sweetest voices start whispering “night-night” repeatedly. We head up to bed, sing one song on our way and they go into their own cribs. Harlowe alone and Ainsley with her lovey. They chatter, make noises, squeal and soothe themselves to sleep.
The difference a year has made is astounding. They are such little people now. At 13 months, they ask for things and react depending on the response. They tantrum, show great pride and everything in between. They know useful signs like help, more, food and want. They are talking more each day to us and each other. They love to share but often only when it’s temporary. They seem offended when others don’t reciprocate their known/shared rules. They love following instructions and seem proud when they comprehend complex things. You can see them piecing rules together and figuring out loop holes already. Like… moms want me to sit in tub but maybe I can kneel… They test boundaries, create fascinating games and love repetition. They are obsessed with their potty chair and Harlowe even peed in the potty this week. If asked about their potty they point in the direction of the bathroom and walk towards it… saying and signing potty. They like to sit and read to each other on the chair and are growing more of a bond each day. They love body parts and if asked they will search for them. They’ve recently been enjoying finding other’s belly buttons. Walking over to you and lifting your shirt searching. I have a rather large tattoo on my back which they search for on everyone else.
These delightful spirited babies have my heart and watching them grow and become fiery toddlers has been an amazing blessing.