The last few weekends with the girls have felt different from most of the previous two and half years of their lives. It’s difficult to articulate exactly. It’s still a lot of work. I’m still incredibly exhausted and very grateful that they’re still taking a nap. But both girls have become much more interactive and responsive. They talk about things a lot more, now that they have more words and better memories. We know when they like something because they continue to talk about it. And they’ll say if something was “really fun” or “a little bit fun.”
Fun is a good word to describe how I would characterize a lot of our time together now. Not that previous times haven’t been fun. And not that everything is super easy now. I’m still having to play referee a lot. Getting both girls to get their diapers changed and get into their high chairs, or both diapers changed and into the car, still feels like a daunting task. But we’re able to do more things together, either just me with them, or even all of us as a family, and it feels a lot more enjoyable and less stressful than it ever has before. We’re all able to walk around the block when we have to walk Nieve before going somewhere. We’ve taken them to church two times now, and they’ve done a reasonably good job of keeping themselves occupied by coloring and not fighting or fussing too much. Saturday morning I laid out an extra exercise mat (and then later a third one) and they jumped around and “did Jillian” with me, and I was able to get through the whole video. They still asked me to pick them up (I declined) and they fought a little (I had to stop the video twice and separate them, hence the third exercise mat) but I actually got all the way through a workout, and it felt really good.
I’m really looking forward to Thanksgiving and Christmas this year. The girls only have a vague understanding that these are days different from other days, but they hear us talk about what’s going to happen, and they tell us excitedly, “Go to Nana Papa’s house on Thanksgiving! Go to Montana on Christmas! Snow in Montana! Grandpa Alan’s boat!” I love their enthusiasm and excitement, and I wish I could have more of that in myself. In the meantime, I’ll borrow from them. And I’ll try to remember it as I’m laying them down for bed for the fifth, sixth, or seventh time.