Today I went to volunteer in Elisa's school because they were having an "Apple Extravaganza".. a party to celebrate all things apple... apple pie, apple cider, bobbing for apples, apple decorating. She had a BLAST. She is the tiniest, sweetest child with the biggest heart, and this was something she had been looking forward to for a few weeks... Today was finally the day, and she was excited because she knew I was coming in to help. She did not fully understand that I would have Bella with me... the 15 month old who refuses to sit in a stroller, lives to make a mess and leave chaos in her wake, and thrives on the very thought of possible destruction. She is a 7 year old boy with ADD in an 18 pound baby girl's body. Not kidding.
I had the opportunity to talk to Elisa's teacher, who, it turns out, I really do like. She ADORES Elisa ( and really, how could you not adore such a sweet child?!) and told me how much she loves having her in her class. As I was talking to her, Bella was trying to reach an apple, but having a dialogue with herself.. " NO, no no!! Stop!..." and throwing the apple. She was running after it, fell down, and I said " Oh, You're okay..." Elisa's teacher looked at me like I should run to her to pick her up. I just said " She's fine, I saw the whole thing happen.. plus she's my fourth child- I know she's alright!" She looked at me and laughed nervously (she does NOT have kids- and isn't expecting one anytime soon as Elisa has confirmed...) A few minutes later, I put Bella down to run around and a lady stepped back and caught herself before she fell onto her. Elisa's teacher was, once again, right there as I said " Oh, she's fine!! Don't worry!!" She looked at me and said " Oh you crack me up!!" But did she mean it like "Oh, you are a cool, laid-back Mom" or " Tonight I am going to call Child Services"?! I don't know. All I know is that every moment I live and breathe is trying to keep my precious kids safe and happy, I AM experienced in this department, and I have 4 awesome kids to prove it!!
Tonight, my friend Debbie sent me an e-mail that shows how you progress through the stages of motherhood and child-rearing, and it completely applies to me! When I went to pick up the kids after school, Bella had a lollipop, dropped it right outside my car, and I picked it up,wiped it on my jeans, and popped it right back in.. You just have to keep things in perspective, and remember... Five second rule!!!
BIRTH ORDER OF CHILDREN
1st baby: You begin wearing maternity clothes as soon as your OB/GYN confirms your pregnancy
2nd baby: You wear your regular clothes for as long as possible.
3rd baby: Your maternity clothes ARE your regular clothes.
Preparing for the Birth:
1st baby: You practice your breathing religiously.
2nd baby: You don't bother because you remember that last time, breathing didn't do a thing.
3rd baby: You ask for an epidural in your eighth month.
1st baby: You pre-wash newborn's clothes, color-coordinate them, and fold them neatly in the baby's little bureau.
2nd baby: You check to make sure that the clothes are clean and discard only the ones with the darkest stains.
3rd baby: Boys can wear pink, can't they?
1st baby: At the first sign of distress--a whimper, a frown--you pick up the baby.
2nd baby: You pick the baby up when her wails threaten to wake your first born.
3rd baby: You teach your three-year-old how to rewind the mechanical swing.
1st baby: If the pacifier falls on the floor, you put it away until you can go home and wash and boil it
2nd baby: When the pacifier falls on the floor, you squirt it off with some juice from the baby's bottle.
3rd baby: You wipe it off on your shirt and pop it back in.
1st baby: You change your baby 's diapers every hour, whether they need it or not.
2nd baby: You change their diape r every two to three hours, if needed.
3rd baby: You try to change their diaper before others start to complain about the smell or you see it sagging to their knees.
1st baby: You take your infant to Baby Gymnastics, Baby Swing, and Baby Story Hour.
2nd baby: You take your infant to Baby Gymnastics.
3rd baby: You take your infant to the supermarket and the dry cleaner.
1st baby: The first time you leave your baby with a sitter, you call home five times.
2nd baby: Just before you walk out the door, you remember to leave a number where you can be reached.
3rd baby: You leave instructions for the sitter to call only if she sees blood.
1st baby: You spend a good bit of every day just gazing at the baby.
2nd baby: You spend a bit of everyday watching to be sure your older child isn't squeezing, poking, or hitting the baby.
3rd baby: You spend a little bit of every day hiding from the children.