Luke and Max are now five years old, as they'll be happy to report if you ask them. The fact that they are becoming so self-contained has been startling to me. It's like I have a part of my pre-children life back. Although it hasn't been an instantaneous change, like some of the other transitions, the new phase is noticeable. Here are the other major transitions:
3 weeks - We settled into a rhythm that made us believe it was possible to keep the two children alive without completely losing our sanity. It was still round-the-clock work, but we were able to take showers and get a few other 4- to 7-minute breaks. I think I even went on a bike ride around this time.
3 months - This is when we started being able to sleep in blocks of 2 to 3 hours.
1 year - Both boys were walking and saying words. It wasn't such a big deal for one spouse to abandon the other spouse for a day, although the spouse staying home was wiped out at the end of the day.
2 1/2 years - I don't remember exactly when it happened, but Wendy and I made the brilliant decision to alternate putting the boys down at night. It was actually easier for me to put the boys down by myself because they weren't constantly fighting -- "No, Mommy brushes my teeth! Mommy!" And on the nights when Wendy put the boys down, I could kick my legs up on the coffee table and work my remote control magic.
5 years - If I came home from work early last year, ka-blam! I had stuff to do. Now, the boys might be so absorbed in some game they're playing that they barely acknowledge me. The other night, I picked up a book and read for a half hour! On weekends, if Wendy goes out to a movie, the boys might decide to play with Legos, which means I can go in a different room and read or work on my newest dance moves.
This new phase is not without its problems. Sometimes the boys creep downstairs after they've been put to bed, so one of us has to put them down all over again. So last night, when it was my turn to put them down, I urged them to stay in bed. I swear on my neighbor's cat's freshly dug grave that this exact conversation took place.
Me: "Night night!! Don't let the bed bugs bite! Stay in your beds!"
Luke: "I'm nocturnal. Not diurnal. Nocturnal!"
Me: "No! You're diurnal! Stay in bed. Go to sleep!"
Yes, the boys use the words nocturnal and diurnal properly. It's because of Minette.