Every Wednesday I write a post to reflect on any big events in our family’s life, along with all of the small changes and new developments I notice with Annabelle during the week. Life moves so quickly, and this is my way of keeping track – my virtual scrapbook, if you will. If you write a post, or put together a collection of photos, to record the happenings with your own children or family, I’d love to have you link up so I can follow along. There’s a link-up at the bottom of this post for anyone who would like to join. This year, I’m also participating in Mamatography, a 366 day photo challenge, started by Luschka at Diary of a First Child, and this weekly update seems the perfect time to post the photos I take during the week, so you’ll see them scattered about in each post.
If you read last week’s post, you know that the vast majority of our belongings were boxed up and put on a boat to the mainland a little over a week ago. We’re living out of suitcases, with a few pots and pans, a loaner dining table, a bed, and a stack of library books. I was prepared for the worst, knowing that the huge change in our environment could totally turn Annabelle’s world upside-down. Apparently I give our resilient girl far too little credit, because none of my fears have come to pass. She is handling things beautifully.
Whether related to the move or not, the only real change to Annabelle’s behavior that I have noticed at home is more frequent and persistent requests for my attentive presence. “Mommy sit on the floor with you [me]. Wanting mommy scooch closer.” On the flip side, there have been displays of independence like I have never before seen.
At the end of last week, we met with friends at the beach and split our time between the sand and the pool. The pool, on the property of a local hotel, has a long, winding water slide with a relatively gentle landing. I went down several times with Annabelle on my lap. The first time, she started getting scared midway down, but grinned after we’d made a safe landing and immediately asked to go again. We went a few more times and she was loving it, but on our last tandem slide, I must have done something different as we reached the end, because I ended up going underwater for a moment, with Annabelle. She recovered quickly, but did not want to join me on the slide again. Instead, she informed me that she was going to go with Gavin, the 8 year old big brother she never had. I struggled inwardly with this for a moment, but couldn’t think of a reason other than my own unfounded discomfort to say no. It was a safe slide, Gavin does a wonderful job of looking out for her, and there were very few other people around. So, I stood at the bottom of the stairs as I watched my two year old head up and get situated on her friend’s lap.
This may seem like a small thing, but I’m sure at least a few of you will understand how absolutely huge it felt at the time. I want so much to trust her and give her space, and at the same time I want to keep her close. She went down that slide without me several times more, and each time I watched with a mixture of pride and sadness. Days before, I had been looking back at photos of us on our first visit to the pool, and now here she was, two years old, going off on her own with a friend.
Tonight I asked her if she thought that sometime soon, she might want a new bed to sleep in all by herself. I thought for sure I knew what her answer would be, especially since “all by yourself” is quite possibly her favorite phrase. Even so, she didn’t hesitate to reply that she wanted to sleep with mama. Lately, when she stirs in the night before I’ve made it to bed, I go in to check on her, and her words to me are, “Mama, get in bed with you.” I really am happy to see her coming into her own, but I’m grateful that she still wants me to “scooch closer” every now and then.
Aside from the pushing and pulling, there has been a lot of laughter. Annabelle’s current favorite thing is to make up silly words, and then answer herself. Such conversations with herself go something like this, and are complete with facial expressions I can’t even describe: “Shosh. Shosh. Shah shosh.” “What!? Huh?” The daddy has aptly compared her what to Lil Jon’s. It’s serious. The other day, she was walking around singing the call to storytime that our friends at Garden Day use each week, “It’s time to tell a story. It’s time to tell a tale,” when a lightbulb went off in her head. She sang it a few times through, then got a silly grin on her face and sang a new version, using the name of one of her favorite neighbor kids, “It’s time to tell a story. It’s time to tell Matteo.” She sang her new version repeatedly, throwing her head back with laughter each and every time.
I’m finally feeling like we’ve worked out a good routine with sleep, and I see the benefits of Annabelle getting plenty of rest. One thing I’ve had to realize and adjust to is the fact that she simply does not get tired enough to take a nap unless we get out and do something in the morning, even if that’s just a good walk around the neighborhood. The bedtime routine has been downright liberating, and I’m a bit afraid to write about it for fear that the moment I do it will all fall apart, but I’m going to share more soon just the same.
I’m days away from my third trimester and getting massive. I love it. Annabelle regularly hugs “the baby”/my stomach, and seems truly excited about the whole thing. The issues with my plan to homebirth that I mentioned briefly in Friday’s post have been resolved and I’m looking forward to the culmination of this pregnancy even more than I was before.
Has there been pushing or pulling in your house this week? Any other news? I would love to hear from you, either in the comments, or over in your space. Feel free to link up if you have a post to share!