It is 9:17 PM as I write this. The boys have been in bed for an hour and a half. Lilah finished nursing almost an hour ago. The laundry has been hung on racks that I will put out in the sun tomorrow morning. The dishwasher has been unloaded. My teeth are brushed and flossed.
I should be wrapping it up, heading off to bed, as the day will start far too early tomorrow. I am up before six, pumping my daily five ounces before the children begin to emerge, one by one, from their rooms. Days are long, even with the au pair’s help, especially when J is out of town. I have help from a lovely young woman, but I am all the parent available for three small people who very much need parenting.
Lilah – so very attached to me right now. Does she have hearing problems, or is she not yet babbling because I never get a chance to talk or sing to her? Did she start crawling at 5 months because we kept putting her down and she had to find something to do to entertain herself?
Benjamin, who has generously rediscovered his mother’s existence. Potty training is going as well as can be expected, if by “well” you mean “sucking all the life out of our au pair and me without showing any results.” And, he is almost three but cannot recognize any letters because, well, I have not taken the time because who would I be taking it from?
Zachary. Oh, my. Where did that mean streak come from? The one that had phrases like “I am never going to play with you” and “you are stupid” tripping off of your tongue. And where did it go, somewhere around 12:28 this afternoon? How did you suddenly earn yourself five stickers in one day?
The one would be reading by now, if I just spent a little more time having him read every day. The other would know his letters if I took fifteen minutes to help him. The baby would be babbling if she got more conversation.
Yet, when the youngest two are down for their naps, I often take a nap myself, leaving Zachary to be read to by or do art with our au pair. I am just so tired. Or, when all is calm, I prep for dinner dinner, sort the laundry, work on an article… pick your poison… instead of giving the one-on-one parenting moment each of them needs.
Somehow, though, Benjamin has learned to count objects well, which seems kind of late compared to his brother, but I think he knew how to do it for awhile but just hadn’t found anything he felt much like counting. And, he is consistently recognizing a few letters, although I don’t remember teaching that to him.
Lilah, it seems, has finally started in on the D sound. Not that her brothers are ever going to give her time to talk.
And Zachary. My little man. When I wasn’t looking he reached the end of preschool, and he graduates in two weeks. He will have to leave behind the teacher who has buoyed him ever since we moved to Los Angeles. He will be thrown into more complex social situations without the support that has strengthened him. He will have to meet all new children, follow all new routines. I think he knows and it scares the living shit out of him, but he gamely practices the songs for graduation.
This afternoon, I read Benjamin two books and played the drive-the-fire-truck-to-the-letter game. I praised Zachary for good behavior and talked through a problem he had. But I had to leave Lilah on the floor playing by herself to do so.
And tomorrow? One of the boys will get less of me than he would like. But, now it is 9:39, and I really ought to be getting to sleep.