Monday, July 31, 2017

Who knew age 1 was hard? Apparently not me.

I realized recently that there's been a shift with our kids. Since his birth, Royce has been the one who is "easy". Not based on personality, although he is very chill, just based on their ages. When he was a tiny baby, in that convenient stage where you just set them down and they can't move, Dalton had just discovered life with words, and realized he could use them to voice his opinions. Even once Royce started crawling, his newfound mobility was nothing on a potty training two year old who was determined to have a say in things.

When we were getting ready for our Fourth of July BBQ, we did our usual divide and conquer, and each took one kid with us to our respective shopping locations. I took Royce, Eric took Dalton. Royce hated it. While I still, and may always, think of him as my little baby, he's now solidly a toddler who wants to toddle around the store, touch all the exciting colorful things, and really didn't appreciate me putting him in the cart to just sit there and watch everything pass him by. He was pretty pissed. I tried letting him down at the Dollar Store, and holy crap, how does he move SO FAST? He hadn't even been walking a month at this point, and he was running all over the place. I would reach over to grab something off a shelf, and he would be GONE.

That adorable little bum moves so fast.

Meanwhile, Eric was peacefully picking out rubs for his burgers with Dalton walking alongside him, helping out, and discussing what he saw in the store rather than desperately trying to grab and eat it. Not to mention the fact that I still needed to grab the diaper bag to go out with Royce. Dalton is at the age when he can just hop in the car! It's crazy! He's like a real person.

I either don't remember or didn't realize the first time around with just one child, but one is a challenging age! At the moment, certainly harder than two. It's fun for sure - we hardly have any pictures of Royce smiling, because he just constantly walks around with this look of intense concentration as he examines everything and tries to figure out the world. But I definitely forgot how things are with the intense curiosity combined with the total lack of awareness and understanding. Of course, Dalton is still busy and also figuring out the world around him, but he has language as his main tactic by this point. If he sees something new, he will just ask us what it is and listen as we answer (usually). Royce absolutely will not rest until he has touched it all over, licked it, bit it, and probably thrown it. Keeping him from falling to his death and messing up whatever Dalton is playing with, it's quite a full time job. That I would be fired from if it was an actual job. He currently has a big lump from falling into the street. Yeah.

Constant smiling, rarely captured smiling!
Of course, this age has plenty of positives as well. I completely forgot how amazing the drunken toddler waddle is, and seeing it all the time is seriously the cutest. I could watch it all day. He's not talking, but is communicating more and more - walking to me with his arms up to be picked up, consistently signing more and all done, pointing, clapping, waving, and my current favorite, playing peek a boo. Every time he's in the bath he hysterically laughs while "hiding" behind the shower curtain then peeking out, over and over. On dry land, he loves being chased and cracks up while I chase him, or, his absolute favorite, while his brother chases and catches him.

And, while he's almost constantly on the move, occasionally he will let me get some cuddles in.

He's super in to his independence these days. He refuses to eat unless he has his own fork, and god help me if I try to borrow it to help him spear his food. I have to place it on the fork while he's holding it. Then he will deign to eat.

Double fisting.
Our family is currently in the best ever situation. For real. Both parents off work, full time childcare available. Of course, that means we are bleeding money on something we don't need, but we have to pay year round to keep our spot. We've used the same in home sitter since Dalton was 3 months old and we don't consider it a waste of money at all, because she's amazing and it's worth it to pay for a few weeks a year we don't need. Just the other day, at a birthday party, I heard a kid singing the ABC song, and I was impressed a kid so young knew it, and then I realized it was MY KID. Who do you think taught Royce to sign more? Not this slacker mom who lets him fall into the road. Daycare for the win.

It's been nice to have the option to send them each day, but more often than not, we end up texting her telling her they won't actually be coming that day because we are busy doing something fun, like the trampoline park or seeing the Sesame Street planetarium show at the science center.

Or just getting as messy as humanly possible.

We took a day trip to Sesame Place. 

Dalton was excited this year to see the characters, and talked about it, but when we actually got there, he only cared about the rides.

Looooved riding all by himself.
The next day, he had his own celebrity sighting at the beach: an actual dump truck, dumping dirt.

Absolute fascination
He also got to help Eric fix his brakes. I've never seen this kid so excited and proud. I tried to get him to come in for dinner and he was all "I need to help daddy fix his car!" with the urgency I can only imagine is usually reserved for doctors dealing with life or death situation.

We separated here and there to each have some solo time with one of the kids. I took Royce for a baby date to the science center. I met my friend and her son, but attempting a picture of a 10 month old and 14 month old is basically impossible. Just look at her blog, (I recently linked to her mommy wars post) it's fantastic and her kid is really cute, trust me.

Dalton and I joined some friends and took another day trip to Washington, DC, this time to see the National Building Museum.
He likes to run just a little bit.

Cutest kids ever, on the train

We've taken a break from our adventures to lay low while Dalton and I recovered from random fevers yesterday. Turns out getting sick and having a sick kid is a LOT less stressful when you don't have to deal with work. You can just binge watch Mickey and not drown in guilt and sub plans. I don't really subscribe to the mommy wars and I love being a working mom but I'll admit that during the school year, the panic of a sick kid is one time I'm jealous of SAHMs. 

That's been our summer so far! Luckily we still have a few more weeks, it's still July, even if summer is flying by way too fast, as usual.

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