When I had my daughter, she was just so easy to understand. We’re very similiar, I get her moods, her dramatic tendencies, I understand the way her mind works. I like baby dolls and figurines, frilly dresses and making up stories. We both lie thru our teeth enthusiastically, etc. But Sammy – he’s so different!

He’s very specific about clothes, refuses to get dressed in the morning unless he’s approved of the outfit ahead of time. And he’ll insist that I cut out the tags of his shirt. He’s got three older sisters, so he learned early that if it glitters, it’s good. He believes firmly that there is no outfit that wouldn’t be improved upon if there was a beribboned headband on his head. But there are so many ways in that he’s such a quintessential BOY that I’m always a little baffled. Like the truck and choo choo fascination. Trash trucks, fire trucks, even a big van is enough to send my boy into ecstasy. He presses his face to the window screen and screams out “TRUUUUUCK!” whenever one happens to drive by the house. He’s thrilled by bugs, thrilled by them. Earlier today, he killed an ant with his little finger, toddled past me to the potty, and flushed it. No comments to me, just handled the situation just like Daddy does. He hated the carriage from the beginning, and it’s only now that he’s two that he’ll consent to sit in one for any length of time. He’s obsessed with ducks – all birds, really, and will yell at them at the park plaintively, getting irritated that they don’t come when he demands it. He’s in love with his older sister, everything is about “Dessi.” He’s recently become enamored with “NO” and “MINE.” I capitilize these because he doesn’t say them, so much as he yells them. He forbids other children from climbing the slide when we’re at the playground and likes nothing more than snatching a toy and screaming that it’s his, and only his.

But he’s got this sweetness, this earnestness about him. He’s a communicator, when he’s upset, the only thing that will calm him down is when I articulate exactly what happened. “You wanted to play with Jessie’s toy, Jessie said no, so you tried to bite her, and Mommy put you in time out until you could say you were sorry.” And he’ll nod sadly and agree, and only then, after he’s sure you understand exactly why he’s so distraught, will he start to calm down. He’s a grubby mess most of the time, but he can skin his little knees and keep on trucking. No tears for him – he’s fallen off of furniture, tries his best to fly by jumping off of stuff, he’s hell bent on causing himself bodily harm, and yet somehow, he’s still fine. A little bumped and bruised, he’s had black eyes, split lips and big bumps, but no stitches and no broken bones.

He’s very similiar to Marc – that same level, easy temperment, he’s not affected by Jessie’s moods, she can be screaming like a mad woman over something, and he’s just popping along, happy as can be.

I cooked dinner for my children. Earlier today, they were driving me batty (I’m PMS-ing really bad), so I cleaned the living room (not spotless, but pretty damn good) and packed them all into the carriage and went for a long walk. We went to Elm Park, saw both families of baby ducks (confirming for me that there are two families, not just the same one I saw twice), and then I bought them ice cream. Walked home, all was well, then I decided to cook. So I cooked dinner, talked to Annie and Becky on the phone, and just wandered back into the living room to find an oh-my-God disaster. How does that happen so fast??? You literally can’t see more than six inches of floor. There are figurines, stuffed animals, overturned laundry baskets, dress up clothes, clean diapers and pull-ups liberated from their drawers and tossed around the play corner. The shelving unit itself has been dismantled and the little drawers are being used as boats, I think.

I’m simply ignoring it. I’ve got another few minutes until Marc comes home, and I’m just going to pretend the room doesn’t exist.

It hasn’t been a great day.

Don’t know if it’s allergies, or just a kick ass spring cold, but it’s not fun right now in my body. I’ve had two motrin, I’m on my second cup of coffee, and then I’m going to take a HOT shower, and hope for the best. Memorial Day weekend, and I’m busy – I don’t want to sit at home and be miserably sick.

We took Bella overnight last night, and she’s playing with the kids in the living room. I threw some cheerios at them, so they are all content with Go Diego Go, and I’m optimistic about the rest of the day. I have to give Bella a bath, and then I promised to take them to the park to feed the baby ducks. Marc is still sleeping, and I’m letting him sleep as long as he wants, in hopes that tomorrow morning he’ll repay the favor. Doubtful, honestly, in the five years we’ve been parents together, I don’t think I’ve ever been able to sleep in as long as I wanted to – in order for it to happen, he’d actually have to take the kids out, but hope springs eternal, I guess.

And he’s vaguely feverish, fighting off a cold, and his cheeks are rosy and warm. His first words, before he’d even fully woken up, was “Dessi?” And when I told him that Jessie was at the doctor’s getting her cast off, he started crying, really hard, and just kept repeating her name in the saddest little voice. He loves her so much.

The answer, of course, is I do! I’ve got a little routine for Monday, Tuesday and Thursdays (Wednesdays, I have too many babies to attempt it) where I head to Elm Park in the mornings, come home for lunch, put everyone down for a nap, etc. So I gambled that it wouldn’t rain – and lost. We’re a soggy bunch at the moment, but we were able to stop at the store and get donuts (Sam’s got a “Suuuuugar” obsession – I think he just likes saying it – and was delighted to discover donuts covered in the stuff). We also got juice boxes for tomorrow’s lunch for Jessica and tissues. Sam’s cold has materialized, and I’ve got boogies everywhere. Jessie’s cast will hopefully come off today – she’s a little crabby right now. My poor girl woke up in the middle of the night and curled up on the comfy chair and just sobbed. I was in bed already and assumed that Marc was with her, so I didn’t immediately get up, and by the time I did, she was heartbroken that I had left her alone to cry. Ahhh – the guilt. So I slept with both of them in the bed, and am sore and tired as a result. I look forward to the day when I can reclaim my bed for my own 🙂

Baking challah and cookies today… feeling oh-so-domestic.

I’ve got Harrison and Jordyn here today, plus my two. And it’s lovely, we went for a walk earlier, I had Harrison and Jordyn in the wagon and Sam in his little monkey backpack. We walked down to the store to get butter for cookies this afternoon, and then sat outside in the sunshine and played bubbles and chalk. Then Jess came home from school, we all had lunch (tuna, pickles and chips) and I changed all three diapers, put Harrison down for his nap. Jordyn and Sam are getting ready for theirs – Jordyn has to wind down a bit, and Sam didn’t seem emotionally ready – although Harrison literally asked to “lay down in bed” so I figured I’d put him down first.

I’ve got much to do, in the upcoming days. Glennys, Annie and John are all coming for dinner tonight, tomorrow night, Lilli and Sarah are arriving for two days straight. Friday night, we’re all going to Janet and Josh’s for shabbat dinner, Saturday we’re going to a cookout at either my brother or my sister’s house, Sunday we’re hosting one here, and Monday we’re going to whoever’s house we did not go to on Saturday.

Jess is doing well, temperment wise. She’s becoming so independent in a lot of ways, and it feels like we spend a phenominal amount of time arguing about stuff, but I try and keep telling myself that she’s just testing the limits and figuring out who she is, and not trying specifically to make me insane. Then she’ll morph back into toddlerhood, and want to be rocked and cradled to sleep. Sam is still very much a toddler, still nursing like a mad man and right now, he and Jes are playing ‘baby’ when Sam pretends to be Jessie’s baby. She makes him lay down and pretend to sleep. I’m hoping maybe he’ll just fall asleep while they’re doing it :-). He’s got this new thing where he raises his hand to express his willingness to do stuff. I’ll say “who’s ready for dinner” and Sam will wave his hand in the air – it’s so cute. I don’t know where he picked it up – Jessie doesn’t do it. But he’s very good about it, he never raises his hand unless he wants to do it. It’s amazing to me how intelligent he is, and how apparent it is from such an early age. Not that Jessie wasn’t the same way – but she was so much more verbal about it. Sam isn’t anywhere near as much of a talker as his sister is, but he’s still very communicative, which I love.

There is a family of baby ducks, or as we like to call them in the Cohen household “baby quackies” at Elm Park. And for the past two days, that’s what we’ve been doing each morning. I haul the boys outside and push the carriage down to Elm Park – we walk ALL the way around the pond, pointing out the “big quackies” and the “baby quackies.” Yesterday, the baby ducks were all huddled in the nest or right beside it, but today, they were out and about. Five little baby ducklings and their mommy duck out on a sunny morning. And it was so lovely – I had the two toddler boys, and my big five year old girl and we fed them stale bread and then played at the playground for an hour or so.

It’s an interesting society at the playground – in the late afternoon, it’s overtaken by bigger kids who run and scream and scare the hell out of my cherubs, lots of Moms and Dad and grandparents, but in the morning, there is usually just me and the nannies. Sometimes a grandparent or two, but not often. I’m assuming that they are nannies, because they are so young to have these kids… and I watch them, wondering if the kids are missing their moms. I am so glad that I’m the one pushing my babies on the swings or catching them on the slides.

Cold afternoon now – the sun is behind the clouds and the temp has dropped considerably. I’m making my afternoon cup of coffee, and my kids are bopping around the house, Jessie is curled up under the table, fuming that I won’t let her play on the computer, and Sam is sneaking potato chips leftover from lunch. I’ve got a stack of new books from the library to read later on once the kids go to sleep, I’ve got dinner thawing out in the kitchen, waiting to be cooked… I’m feeling a bit like I’ve accidentally been trasnported back in time to the fifties household, especially because I’m unreasonably happy that my husband will be home for dinner tonight – but while this may be old fashioned and WAY too traditional – I LOVE being a stay at home mom and wife.

Not that it wasn’t a fabulous wedding, because it was, but because the three nights of leaving Sam had been hanging over my head and I’m so glad that I don’t have to worry about it anymore. And as an added perk, I know that he will survive without me and is fine. No lingering damage, he’s cheerful and friendly this morning. I’m sleepy and feeling overwhelmed with a lot of cleaning that, to be perfectly honest, I’d rather not do. I’d rather just curl up with a good book and a comfy blanket over my icy toes and read for the afternoon.

Marc is off with his friends, doing the D&D; thing, which is lovely, actually. I like just being at home with just my cherubs. I very rarely get to spend time with just my two kids – there’s almost always an extra one or two floating around, so I’m very happy to just have them at the moment.

Had a thing, last night, with a woman who was once my closest friend. We had been best friends thru junior high, high school, and most of my twenties, but grew apart after I met Marc and had the cherubs. I say grew apart, like it was a painless, gradual sort of thing, but in fact, it was really wrenching and difficult. And seeing her last night felt odd, and uncomfortable in a lot of ways. I’m not the same person I was six years ago, and what used to feel right and normal is now … just not something I want to be a part of anymore. I LOVE my life now – my husband is my best friend, he’s the one I trust with all of me, and my children are the most important things in my life. I’m not willing to carve out any extra room in my life for her.

This is my new mantra… I have to leave Sam a lot over the next couple of days. Big wedding, and I’m the maid of honor. Special girls only dinner Thursday night, rehearsal Friday night, and then all day Saturday until late that night. And I’m worried and anxious and sick at the thought of my poor baby crying and crying without me. But I left him last Saturday and he did really well… As much as I hated it, I think it was good for both of us. We’re so attached, Sam and I. For the past two years, we’ve been glued at the hip, and I can probably count on one hand the number of times I’ve gone out without it. We’re together so much that I no longer feel whole without him there, like I accidentally forgot my arm at home. And he’s getting bigger, he’s almost two now… it’s not the same as when he was a tiny baby. It was right and good that he and I were together constantly then, but now, I think it’s time for him to experiment with a little independence, it’s good for him to realize that he’s a person without me there – and of course, it’s also good for me to do those things as well. And he’s going to be okay – he’s a smart, confident little boy, and hopefully, I’ve instilled a sense of security and well-being that will get him thru the upcoming days.

Being the good mom, thought I’d whip up some cookies for my children. My mother bought me some cookie dough, so I put the oven on three fifty to preheat and spooned out the dough onto the cookie sheet – after a few minutes, I opened the oven to discover that my son had put his two favorite stuffed animals (Quackie 1 and Quackie 2) into a sleeping bag cover bag and stuffed it into the oven. Where I baked it.

I feel as though am I ill prepared for a boy. For this boy – Jessica would NEVER have attempted this. It just wouldn’t have occured to her… I could have burned the whole apartment down if I had actually let the oven preheat the way I’m supposed to – fortunately, I’m not a patient baker and the ducks just got a little toasty, and not actually hot enough to catch on fire. Did I mention it’s a gas stove??? I knew he put stuff in the microwave, I’m used to opening that and finding straws or toys or measuring cups – but he’s never done the oven before. I’m afraid of what he’ll do next.

I was on the phone with my mother, telling her what her grandson had just done – when I realized that he was standing on the desk next to the computer, applying sunscreen to the monitor…. he’s lucky he’s cute. He toddled out of Jessie’s room earlier with a pull up on his head like a hat, sucking on a medicine dropper like it was a cigar. It’s moments like that – that’s what’s saving him from me killing him.