Tuesday morning I attended an informal performance in Megan’s music class. About five parents showed up to watch the kids play William Tell Overture on xylophones. It was adorable, although Ben was, of course, a handful. To complicate matters, about five minutes into the performance, the fire alarm rang. So we had to go out to the field. Ben was especially annoyed that he couldn’t stand with Megan; instead, we had to wait with the other visitors. When we were able to go back inside the school and sat back down, I asked the mom next to me if she would hold Logan while I wrangled Ben. Several times while I was inside the school, people commented, “Boy, you have your hands full.” Why yes, yes I do.
After I wrestled Ben back to the car and out of the driver’s seat, where he had climbed to put the keys in the ignition while I strapped Logan in, I thought, yes, I have my hands full. But Ben isn’t bad. He just has insatiable curiosity. He wants to play the xylophones and put the keys in the ignition and wash his hands in the sinks at Megan’s school. He wants to try everything. And it’s my job to help him do it all, safely.
Wednesday morning I took the boys visiting teaching, which, for non-Mormons, is where you and a partner (my friend Kathie) are assigned a few women to visit once a month and basically make sure they are doing okay. For example, over the weekend one of the women we visit, Crystal, was in the ER because her one-year-old had an issue with an undescended testicle and was throwing up and in bad shape. So Sunday and Monday Kathie and I took them dinner and just generally made sure they were okay. We also visit Laura, who has three girls, and her youngest is Ben’s age. As busy as Ben is, Lachlyn is worse. Laura commented, “I don’t know how you do it with Ben and a new baby!”
And I have thought about that. Ben and Logan, for me, is deja vu. It is Megan and Gavin all over again. The crazy toddler. The cranky newborn. Been there, done that. And I’m doing a lot better than I was with Megan and Gavin. Here’s why:
1. I know now that they grow up. Ben’s insatiable curiosity and stubbornness will be a huge asset in a few years. He will be an enthusiastic and independent learner at school and home. Logan’s sensitivity will translate into extra empathy. They will both be sharp observers. Noticing everything is an exhausting trait in a small child, but a great one in an older kid.
2. I realize I don’t have to do so much. This time around, I’m less inclined to go places and more inclined to ask for help. I felt like I needed to take Megan and Gavin out all the time: museums, parks, play dates. Seriously, if we make it to Target with Ben, I consider that an educational experience.
Wednesday night was the Halloween party and trunk-or-treat at the church. Christopher and I traded holding Logan and chasing Ben, and we had a pretty fun time. Everyone was ready for bed by the time we got home. Even Logan, who usually fusses late into the evening. He was wide awake and happy the entire party, except for the car ride home.
Today, instead of doing the laundry like I needed to do, I went to Shay’s house and hung out with her and my other cousin Jill, and her husband Jeff. They and their three kids are in town for a wedding. When we got home Ben took a really long nap, and when I finally went in their to get him out of bed, of course he was running a fever. No other symptoms, though, so maybe we’ll get lucky and it will just be a random fever. Cross your fingers. Hopefully we’ll all be healthy on Halloween. Not that a little sickness would stop us. Remember two years ago when we went trick-or-treating with swine flu?