Surprise! I was not abducted by aliens. (They’d get sick of my incessant blabbing and plus I’d have motion sickness on the spaceship, for sure.) There does have to be some kind of cosmic time/energy suckage thing going on, though. How else can I explain my non-blogging these days.
This weekend we celebrated Madeleine’s fourth birthday by going to the Bronx Zoo. My baby is four. She was elated that her birthday had finally arrived and couldn’t wait to see the animals and open gifts and blow out her candles. No meltdowns, no sibling rivalry, perfect weather and giraffes, gorillas, and reptiles, Oh my. The only blip was that we foolishly thought we could handle the day without the double stroller.
Idiots, we are.
Seconds before this touching brother-sister moment, Luke was screaming as pigeon after pigeon stopped by to visit our table. Don’t worry. His baby sister protected him.
There’s so much to do at the Bronx Zoo that you can’t really cover it all in one day. There’s a monorail you can take to get an aerial view of some of the animals. (It was a welcome break from carrying the kids once they were too tired to walk any longer.) The tigers weren’t cooperating that day so we didn’t actually see them. In addition to many other attractions, there’s a butterfly garden where you can walk around amongst them as they flutter and stop to munch on…sugar? Honey? I don’t know, some kind of butterfly snacks. Madeleine loved the butterfly garden.
“We can’t touch the butterflies, Madeleine.”
“But, Mommy I just want to hug them. I won’t hurt them.”
Back at home, Madeleine dressed up in her purple princess gown complete with purple princess shoes and a bejeweled tiara. We ordered fancy pizza and I made her a Rapunzel-themed cake.
I felt kind of teary, if you must know. It appears that since my little one is free and clear of toddlerhood and the big one is approaching 7, I’ve reached a new hurdle of motherhood. Letting go.
I’ve wanted this for so long. More freedom, more separation, less Mommy, Mommy, Mommy, Mommy. Do you sense a sigh coming? Here it is…
I’ll walk you through an example.
The kids are really into riding their bikes now that the winter is behind us. Madeleine rides a tricycle and curtailing her jaunts is easy. Luke wants to ride up and down the block, which is fairly long, by himself and hang around with the neighbors’ kids. Can you really trust an 7 year-old kid to always watch out for traffic? I’m not so sure. There’s also some construction on a couple of homes on the block and the trucks have been going too fast for my comfort level.
What are my options? In my mind I stand in the middle of the street with a sign that reads DRIVERS SLOW DOWN! DELICATE, IRREPLACEABLE OFFSPRING AT PLAY! I’d love to shout, Watch out for my babies! at the passing vehicles, of course humiliating my kid who’s trying to do his own thing and get the hell away from his neurotic mother. In an attempt to cool down the crazy, my new thing is to sit on the steps of our house (without a sign), Safety Man planted firmly on the curb, and patrol the traffic as Luke rides happily. It turns out that it’s more stressful to allow the process to unfold than I thought it would be.
If you’d like to leave a comment below telling me to calm down, that’s fine. It’s not like my kids are asking to be dropped off in another state with a few bucks and a couple of juice boxes, trying to convince me they’re resourceful enough to get back home.
You’re right. I know, you’re right.
Also, my uterus is aching. (Figuratively.) Does that feeling ever go away as kids get older, the wanting of more? If I let my reproductive organs run the show I’d have 16 kids by now. And probably zero control of my bladder.
Luckily my brain still works. I think.