Watching Micah on the monkey bars is a treat. His arms outstretched above him, head smushed into his chest to create a slight double chin, and his head looking a bit large for his little body brings me back to his baby days. He is full of glee as he associates the monkey bars with his favorite gal, Dora the Explorer. My 5 feet 2 1/4 inch self was holding him up as best as I could, though sometimes ending up with his groin smashed up against my sweaty face.
Ellis was deprived of his morning nap by tagging along today. I had reclined his seat and placed a swaddle blanket over it so that he can take his morning nap in peace, even at the playground, but it didn’t work out as he was wide-eyed the whole time we were out. Didn’t let out a peep but I still felt sorry for my Baby Beluga. Not a big deal in the grand scheme of things but ever since I read about how naps are key for their development, as important as food to these little guys, I like to protect their naps if at all possible. However, the plight of a second-born is that life almost always revolves around big bro’s activities.
I found myself giving extra hugs and kisses to Micah as he even FEELS more grown-up when I pick him up, too tall for the baby swings now, though still squeezing into them. I was also giving extra hugs and kisses to Ellis. I just couldn’t resist him as all his rolls trembled with fright when first seated on the swing next to big bro, with the loud roar of the Long Island Railroad train speeding through behind him, until his fright turned into open-mouthed glee.
I was teaching Micah to pump his legs out and back so that he can control the speed of his own swing. I sat in my own swing to demonstrate while both gazed over at me. “Out and back, out and back, Micah! Look at Mommy’s legs! I go so fast!” (You know you’re getting older when even swinging too high and too fast causes vertigo). I was telling them stories about what we did before we got to the playground and what we will do after.
Micah asked solemnly with his clear, wide eyes, “More talking, Mommy? More talking?” He loves my stories and is starting to tell more elaborate ones of his own, although with nonsequiturs like, “Obbah gangnamstyle! Sexy lady! Your eyes!”
These days, especially in the heat, I admittedly have a chip on my shoulder about how I have no local relatives to help out regularly, how both kids are home with me full-time with no hired help.
Of course motherhood should not be a contest but sometimes, even while reading my trifling Facebook Newsfeed, I find myself stung with envy, saying out loud, “MUST BE NICE!” at acquaintances who have plenty of help and plenty of REGULARLY SCHEDULED child-free breaks, not just on their own but with their husbands. They must be healthier for it all around.
But watching my two favorite guys swinging back and forth, beaming at me with smiles reserved only for their mama, I was thinking, “Man, this motherhood thing is WILD. I am the most joyful woman in the world during priceless moments like these, and then there are those Updating Resume moments where I just wanna pull my hair out and go lie down in a clean, white room for at least four days.”
Just then, I noticed a nanny watching us and smiling. She was very warm towards us, especially at little Ellis as he squealed. She kept watching and smiling.
I started swelling up with pride, as she SURELY must be admiring how hands-on, doting, and active I am with both little guys, as a noble, sacrificial sweat dripped down my face. And how obviously in love with them I am and how I am only thriving as a mama, without a hint of ever being overwhelmed, insecure or grappling with questions of identity. EVER. Not a struggle in sight.
Yeah, I got this. Even a professional childcare provider recognized this gem. POP MY COLLAR TIME!
I packed up the kids, bracing myself for a visit to our Key Food with its narrow, cluttered aisles, clinically depressed cashiers and senior citizens balking at our huge stroller being there at all.
The nanny rushed to catch up to me before we strolled away for good.
“Are you looking for some help? I have a nanny friend looking for work if you need someone.”