You might conclude from some of my previous posts that I spend all of my current existence dreaming up lists of things I would do if I didn't have two kids. I want to remedy that by posting a list of all the fun things that I get to do now, WITH my two crazy kids. We had dinner with some friends from the park on Friday night and we were talking about the old cliche of how your kids are only young once (or is the cliche that YOU are only young once?? either way, it's clear that time doesn't often loop back upon itself in our current configuration). It does make everything bitter sweet knowing that once this phase of the girls' life is past we won't ever get it back. When they are both screaming at 2 AM that is a fact that I praise the universe for repeatedly (by the way, they have both slept peacefully in their room together for the past four nights - yes! we have our bedroom back!). But when Josie is giving me her toothless smile or Lucy is telling me about how her new stuffed dog, Curly Fluffy, likes to be dragged around the house, this is a fact that makes me a tiny bit sad.
So here it is, a list of some of the great parts of my life as I currently know it.
13. The playground on the beach. We have not one, but TWO playgrounds on the beach. Could there be anything better than pushing your kid on the swing while you stare out at the ocean and contemplate the universe?
12. Smoothie time. Sometimes it creeps me out that my three year old daughter requests Jamba Juice by name but who doesn't love a good smoothie? Watching both of my daughters suck down Orange Dream machine while we stroll along on a sunny afternoon is pretty much bliss.
11. The carousel. Once again, we have not one, but three carousels that we visit regularly. There is one at the harbor, a crappy one in the mall, and one at the Santa Barbara zoo. I love riding with Lucy or just watching her ride. Something about a carousel is still totally magical to me and I am super happy that our kids get to ride them regularly.
10. Gardening with the girls. I love picking strawberries, tomatoes, mint, and flowers with Lucy and Josie. I love watching them get muddy knees and look at bugs and chasing them down as they truck down the sidewalk clutching handfuls of fruits and vegetables.
9. Playing Band. This is something that Mitch, and Lucy, and Josie do and it involves guitars and kazoos and drums and recorders and frequently ends with a shout of "Thank You Ventura!" Need I say more?
8. Listening to Lucy say crazy things and tell funny stories. She says so many funny things, I can't even remember them all. Today, out of the blue, she said, "I want a hamster."
7. Making Josie and Lucy laugh. It is great to make your kids laugh. It is fun to make anyone laugh but when I make the girls laugh I feel like I am doing a decent job as a parent.
6. Sharing a treat. I love sharing yogurt or cookies or a bagel with the girls. I like all of us sitting around enjoying our food.
5. Drinking tea with the girls. I love that both Josie and Lucy like tea. It feels so civilized to sit around together sharing a cup of tea, even if it is out of a big mug and we are sitting on the floor wearing our pajamas, instead of all dressed up at a table drinking out of fine china.
4. Nap time!! I loved taking naps with Lucy back in the day and love taking naps with Josie now. I love having her fall asleep in my lap and then laying back to sleep for an hour or two with her nestled in my lap. Total bliss.
3. Buying them stuff. I know you're not supposed to like this and I do try to limit how much crap I buy them but I still love it. I love picking out stuffed animals or cool toys or fun things for them to play with. It is fun to get to indulge my own childish side and it is great fun to watch them play with whatever new thing. The thrift store is a good guilt free way to indulge this whim.
2. 95% of all family time. Yes there are those moments when I want to kill Lucy because she has snatched something out of Josie's hand for the 50 thousandth time and there are the times when Josie makes me crazy because she keeps asking me to read her a story but then rips the book out of my hands after two pages. BUT by and large, just hanging out with the girls and Mitch, regardless of what we are doing, is great fun.
1.Giving the girls snuggles and telling them that I love them. I love cuddling with the girls. Lucy isn't a very cuddly person in general so I am sure the days of cuddling with her will be short-lived. So I am relishing every moment of it now, while it still lasts.