In the last few days of winter break, I spent some one on one time with my both my baby girls and was reminded just how different they are - both in age and personality. There are moments where I am so frustrated with the bickering and tattling and the differences that I almost lose my mind. Have you ever felt like that? Like you are going to lose it. Completely. I needed a reset.
So I decided to start 2018 by separating them. And taking them on a Date With Mommy. To talk with them, sing with them, and goal set with them. To listen. To them.
Each girl got to choose her own place for lunch. Her own activity. Her own Pandora station. And they got uninterrupted Mommy Time. I'm not sure who enjoyed it more - me or them. I smile as I think about how truly unique they are - the differences in them are vast. And beautiful. Eight is not four. And pretty soon four will be eight and she will no longer want to hold my hand in public. Sit in my lap. Or share her milkshake with me.
CDubs barely spoke in the car but requested to listen to "The Greatest Show" Soundtrack on Pandora which also mixed in some of her "Beauty and the Beast" favorites. She sang at the top of her lungs and the stolen looks from the rearview revealed that she was choreographing in her mind. She chose Zoe's Kitchen for lunch and to get her nails painted as her activity. We split a plate of hummus and four chicken rollups. I let her choose the side dish and was shocked when she ordered - and ate - potato salad. She told me she was scared to sing in front of people and that was why she didn't want to audition for the part of Simba in Lion King Kids so we had to have a nevertheless she persisted Mom moment and pep talk. I looked her in the eyes and told her how beautiful she was and how being her Mom filled my heart. When I asked her what her goal was for 2018 she said to have family game night every Wednesday and when we walked to the car, she slipped her hand in mine for just a minute, reminding me that eight really isn't as old as if feels. Because it was Wednesday, for dinner I made Hot Ham & Cheese Sandwiches and we played board games as a family. The sandwiches were requested for all foreseeable Game Nights and quickly added to the 2018 Family Goals.
Lulu wanted to go to story time at the library where she could meet Clifford. And to do the craft. She sat in my lap the majority of the time and talked my ear off from the moment we pulled out of the driveway. She confirmed her status as the family rebel when she asked to listen to Christmas Music but "don't tell Daddy" and sang an encore of Rudolph at the top of her lungs because, "Mom, it feels like Christmas outside". She requested Steak 'n Shake because "I fink they have good steak there" and she was perfectly surprised when she found out the shake part meant there were Strawberry Milkshakes to be consumed. We sat at the counter, like Maryellen the American Girl Doll, and giggled and swapped fries and picked the cherries out of our milkshakes. She asks me tough questions - like "how can the hamburger maker make the grilled cheese, too?" and tells me she loves me all the way to God. When I asked her what her goals were for 2018, she said without pause to snuggle you more. I think I can handle more snuggles.
There were times in 2017 where I felt like I was barely holding on more than having it all together. And it was hard for me sometimes to see amidst the refereeing of who has whose Barbie that these little ladies are little people. With thoughts. And dreams. And their giggles are the soundtrack to my life. And what a beautiful soundtrack it is.
So here's to more dates. More conversations. More Sing-A-Longs. More listening. More Game Nights and snuggles. And more Ham & Cheese Sandwiches. Here's to a New Year.