Thank you all for the wonderful, congratulatory, WOO HOOing comments you gave me for finishing grad school. I know that so many of you have been with me long enough to read my many posts on whatever class I was taking at the moment, and all the ensuing exuberance and stress that such classes brought. Your comments were the icing on the celebratory cake (actually, I made myself a plum tart rather than cake). Seriously. You're all Rock Stars.
Naturally, it's a relief to be done, and also a relief to be done at this particular moment. The last couple weeks were more than just a bit tricky to be lallygagging (as if) at the computer, typing away on nominalization and noun phrases and whathaveyou, because a certain tiny someone has become a certain tiny crawler.
Even though the last six months have sped by at lightening speed (unlike the first six months of Sydney's life which felt like the unending winter of Narnia), I wasn't ready to start redoing the house in order to accommodate a crawler. None of us were, really. Including Sydney. Especially Sydney. For as much love as Sydney has in her heart for Jules, there are moments in the day when she'd rather not have to share her new Winnie the Pooh books. Or her blocks. Or make sure that her Memory cards are not on the floor whereby they will soon become wrinkled and slobbery and un-new.
I know how she feels since there are plenty of moments in the day when I'd like to read my new Real Simple magazine instead of picking up that fragment of a weed that Daisy brought into the house from her last adventure and now is making its way into Jules' mouth. Sydney and I even work together, strewing the living room with all sorts of fabulous toys that Jules should adore with all her heart and want to play with and crawl to and fall in love with. "Here!" Sydney says, "Play with this, Jules!"
Jules will comply, mostly. Until you put something on the floor that she isn't supposed to have and quick as a flash she's up on her knees and tearing across the room and reaching, reaching, grabbing, squealing with joy at the prospect of a new and utterly fabulous forbidden toy that she can make out with.
"ACK!" Sydney and I exclaim together more than a few times during the day. "No Jules!"
I know, I know. We should say something other than "No." Redirect, redeploy, reinvent our house to have a room where Sydney and I could hide all our toys and books and magazines from tiny, curious fists. Well, let's face it: it's faster to say No. She's got to hear it eventually. Might as well break her ambition to rule the world now. And there's no denying that she has ambition and will in no uncertain terms let you know what she wants. I don't remember this about Sydney at this age, the whole "give it to me or I'll arch my back and screech in frustration" act.
It would be unfair to say that we have a lot of frustration going on in the house, because really, we're all generally happy people. Sydney, despite the real tears that she cries every day over something, is a kick in the pants and makes me laugh every day. Jules is little Miss Happykins, who smiles even when she's whining because she still thinks every one is a total hoot. And Jason and me? We're on summer vacation, people. It could rain all summer (but it better not) and we'd still be happy because we're not working, and thanks to 12-month paychecks Jason still gets money. You have to love that. Oh, and just to remind you, we're going to be in Kauai this time next week. Where I will not be having a complex over how I look in a swimsuit. (Don't tell me I look skinny, because clothed-skinny is so not the same as swimsuit-skinny and we all know it...so, I'll spend the vacation in shorts. Big deal. Which means, I guess, that I do have a complex about how I look in a swimsuit, but whatever.)
But back to the present, Pacific Northwest time...Yes, we're all learning how to adapt to this new little girl who is no longer content to lie on her back and examine her toes. That trick has been played, and now the new trick is to move and grab and keep us on our toes, making sure no chokable pieces are on the floor. Sydney's run-in with chokable parts will be permanently ingrained in my memory (the link to that story is worth checking out, btw. It's a CRAZY story), and I'd like to avoid any matters similar to this with Jules. I have to brush up on my game though because just today when we were up visiting my parents, Jules grabbed a fistful of grass and shoved it in her mouth. Yes, there's adventure at every corner.
I know you shouldn't wish for your kids to get older faster, but this age--this constant vigilance and language deciphering--it's not my favorite. Obviously, I've only experienced it once, but babies are tricky. I really hit my parenting stride when Sydney turned two-and-half. We could talk. Drink cocoa together. Share secrets about Grey's Anatomy. Fun stuff.
That's not to say that Jules isn't fun too, but darn it all if it isn't a lot of work. And a lot of vacuuming.