Thursday, January 29, 2009

New Phase

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.



  1. And that's when you knocked their teeth out?


    P.S. At about 6, our daughter started preferring playing with other kids to doing nearly anything with me. At this point, if I'm not juggling chainsaws while doing a horseback headstand and shooting off fireworks, she isn't interested.

    I knew that would happen, but I thought it would be at like 12 or 13 years, not 6.

  2. Your kids are too smart.

    Mine is 9 months, and only a month ago began sleeping through the night. But we just had to baby-proof the house. I had hoped for a breather between the up-all-night phase and the independently mobile phase, but alas, twas not to be.

  3. Botched - please stay away from chainsaws. I'm just saying.

  4. I suspect that they learned the correct use of "nocturnal" in school or from their smartypants mother, but I like to think that they learned it from me so I'll totally take credit.

    I know for a fact, however, that I did teach them the correct use of the word "barf." I'm so proud.

  5. I like the phrase "put them down". It hints at the strenuous (if not outright violent) methods parents must sometimes employ to maintain order. And twins, more than twice as hard.

    "I brought you into this world, I can take you out"
    - Bill Cosby

    How's this for parenting fun: Our boy (just turned 6) has already had some experience with kissing - Part 1 and Part 2.

  6. KanyonKris, I started kissing boys when I was six too (his name was Chad and I thought it was awesome that my "boyfriend" had an entire country named after there still a Chad?). Anyway, I turned out awesome and so will he. Don't worry.

  7. Minette, I'm impressed you can remember the details of your torrid Kindergarten romance. I only have vague, fuzzy memories of that time: nap time and my blanket, big building blocks, uh that's about it.

    I played up our concern in the blog posts for effect. We're not freaked out, but it is a little disconcerting. It's obvious he doesn't understand the significance of kissing or he wouldn't volunteer the info to his Mom, of all people. Our little guy always has something going, it's been fun.

  8. i had to look up nocturnal and that other word - thanks for providing the minette link. now I know that one is a hermit thrush and the other's a barred owl. are luke and max their latin names? ok wait, i'm confused.