So I’m not really sure when having children really gets “easier”…but I can definitively say that it just keeps getting more fun!
In the throes of those newborn days, my neighbor – whose daughter is two years older than the girls – told me, “Once they start sleeping through the night, it will get easier…and then it starts to get fun. And the older they get, the more fun it is.”
For me the “fun” first started when the girls began to really laugh. There is so much joy in a chubby baby’s laughter, and I had such a fun time figuring out new triggers to fill the house with their raspy chuckles and high-pitched squeals.
And then the girls started to play with toys. Finally, I thought, something to “do” other than read and sing! (Don’t get me wrong…I love to read and sing…but so many days I’d feel like my vocal chords were just going to wilt!) The girls would squirm all around the floor and grasp and teethe on plastic cups and balls. It was such simple fun, and I remember thinking, “Wow, my neighbor wasn’t kidding!”
And as the girls got more mobile, they began to play more and more.
And then they started communicating. It was fascinating to me – and so rewarding – to watch them put new baby signs into use. And it was so incredibly fun! This leant us a whole new world…looking out the window and signing bird, squirrel, airplane…going on walks and signing dog, cat, and car…and reading books together, pointing and signing the pictures on the pages.
The girls’ breakthrough in sign language was followed pretty quickly by them beginning to say words, and I thought that was the most awesome stage of all…to pick up when they began to say a new word, and see the joy on their faces when we understood them.
As their communication skills evolved, the girls began to employ their imaginations…and how much FUN is it to pretend to eat their “choc-it chip” cookies, drink their lemonade, and go shopping (in the den) for pineapple??? It’s just amazing to me to watch the evolution of the scenarios they invent and the new uses for toys they create…I never know what they’ll come up with next.
These days, the girls love to read and dance and sing and play. It’s so much fun for us to take them to dinner once a week, or for a frozen yogurt treat on Sunday afternoon…to walk a couple of blocks, hand-in-hand in the neighborhood, or take them to run free on the soccer fields…to build the highest tower of blocks ever known in our den, or to see them “squish” their hands in finger paint.
The girls laugh at us, at themselves, and at each other (which is perhaps the most.precious.thing.EVER.), and we in turn laugh at them.
Every month or so I have found myself thinking, “Yes, THIS is my favorite age.” And I tell my neighbor almost every time I see her how she was so right.
I do chuckle to myself from time to time, though, wondering how long this trend will continue.
In some far corner of my mind, I’m mentally preparing myself for the Law of Diminishing Returns to kick in at some point…as I’ve rarely heard anyone say, “Oh yes, the preteen years are just a blast!” :)