It’s the middle of August and can’t believe summer is almost over! I have to admit, I am a little ready to slow down but we’ve had so much fun moving and grooving all summer that I’ll be sad when it comes to an end. Also, at the end of this month, we will have a THREE YEAR OLD and we’re certainly having a hard time with that. How did that even happen?! Where did the time go?! Didn’t I just have that little tornado of fun we call Will??
Last summer, I had an almost two year old and a newborn and I remember joyfully thinking ahead to this summer and what it would be like having two toddlers. I envisioned them playing together, arguing over toys, sharing snacks and juice after a trip to the park, wresting them to take naps, and a huge mess in the bathtub before I got them ready for bed. As hectic as this sounds, it was something I really looked forward to. I actually enjoy the chaos that comes with kids and I think it’s the purest labor of love and something that makes me incredibly happy.
Fast forward to what this summer actually is. Well, let’s see. Things certainly are… different. But at the same time, in many ways it’s not! While I technically have do have two toddlers, it feels like I have one toddler and one baby. While that sometimes makes me sad, it’s really not at all!
It’s. Just. Different.
Sure, my kids might not pass a ball back and forth or play with blocks together. But, when I see how Will talks to Paige and the look on her face when he rolls her on the floor, I melt. When they’re in the bath (which is one of Paige’s favorite things) she annoys Will by kicking and splashing water in his face. And, that’s their version of fighting! When Will get feeds Paige her pureed food and tells her “Good Job!” as he wipes her mouth with a spoon, I feel like we did something right. It might not be what I envisioned but it’s still pretty amazing.
The plus sides to our new normal are that Paige is perfectly content to hang out anywhere. She’s good in her car seat, a stroller, my Ergo 360, a feeding chair, or on the floor… I mean it when I say ANYWHERE! I only really have one toddler to chase around. I still feel like I can truly give all of my attention to both at the same time. (I know that doesn’t seem like it makes sense, but I don’t feel like I’m stretched too thin. Um, most of the time!) I can strap Paige in her carrier and chase Will at the park. I can do therapy with Paige and talk about shapes and numbers with Will. Since Paige only complains when she’s hungry, I only really have one whiny kid at a time. Since Paige is super easygoing I don’t get stressed out if she doesn’t nap like I do with Will. At doctor’s appointments I only have to entertain one child and I don’t have to ration iPad time with two wiggly and impatient children. We can still go out to eat as a family, travel to visit family, go to a movie, and make day trips. We can still have fun! We are doing everything I envisioned we would but it’s just in a different way. It might need a few more gadgets and extra planning but we’re doing it! We are doing it!
Another reason that we’ve been on-the-go this summer is because we can. With Lissencephaly, you just don’t know what will happen from one day to the next. Right now, she’s doing really well and it’s thrilling to watch everything that she does. However, we do have this little voice in our heads reminding us that one seizure or illness can change this. One day, she might need more help, more equipment, more medicine, and more care that will make things even more difficult. Knowing that, in a way, helps us to live more in the moment and more apt to do the things we want because, right now, we can. You know what though? That sentiment could go for anybody.
This summer meant a lot to me for many different reasons. It was certainly a lot different than I ever planned but it was still absolutely incredible! One of the very first things Andrew said after we got a Lissencephaly diagnosis what that it will not make our lives any worse, it will just make them different. And that is the truest thing that I’ve ever heard.
Like I said before, Will is turning 3 and he will be going to preschool and start gymnastics in September. Between both of those activities, I’m hoping he learns, burns some energy, and has a blast. This will also be the first time he’s in activity where I’m not in the room. (Okay, maybe the second. I had jury duty for a week when I was pregnant with Paige and Will had to go to a daycare for a week but I don’t really count that!) I’m actually really excited for him and hopes that he takes turns, shares, and plays with his friends and listens to his teachers. He’s a great kid and it’s awesome to see him grow!
As for Miss Paige, she has had a huge burst in development and we couldn’t be more thankful! Since her birthday, four teeth have popped through, her hair is getting super fuzzy, and her motor skills are.. well.. motoring! Paige is a thumb sucker and it’s so cute to see. She plays with her hair to self-soothe and she is starting to reach more and play with toys. She shook a rattle for 40 seconds and she did it purposefully! She uses her feet as feelers, which I’m told is a bad habit, but I’m thrilled that she even has a bad habit! Her physical therapist thinks she’s super close to sitting up but needs more trunk support but we can tell that she’s getting a lot stronger week by week. Paige now eats 3 full 6 ounce homemade pureed meals a day and she’ll hopefully be drinking whole milk over formula soon. She can chew bananas, pears, avocados and today she had 20+ baby puffs! We go for an evaluation at the Children’s Institute at the end of the month to look for possible equipment Paige might need in the future to make all of our lives easier. She’s pretty freaking amazing for doing all of this but she’d be pretty freaking amazing even if she couldn’t. She’s a delight and we’re thankful she’s ours.
Paige has another eye appointment at the end of the month to check on a sty she has on her left eye. Her pediatrician thinks she might need a simple surgery on her tear ducts but we won’t know until we see how the antibiotic works on it. I’ll keep you posted and Happy End-of-Summer!