Being pregnant and caring for a toddler are not the easiest things to do when you are pushing forty. Especially, if this is not your first time around and you have older teenagers who still require lots of parenting; however, I have to say, although it is more physically challenging, it is definitely more rewarding. Parenting in my twenties looked very different from what it looks like today. My energetic, twenty-something body needed to move, needed to be actively immersed in something productive, and craved social companionship. My spirit was eager to experience all that the world had to offer me and so being a part-time student while parenting three children under the age of six made sense. I needed it. It was good for me . . . then.
My almost forty-something body wants nothing to do with all that nonsense, and although, I am sure my first three children benefited from having an energetic, enthusiastic, youthful mom, I am equally sure that Leif and Thing 5 will benefit from having a mom that is more patient, more quiet, and more present. Afterall, I truly believe that children come when they are suppose to come; I don't believe in accidents or mistakes, only opportunities.
This morning was one of those moments when I adored being an older mom. After the kids went off to school, Leif and I ate breakfast. It was not rushed. We did not have to be anywhere anytime soon, so we sat quietly side by side enjoying the warm sun streaming through the patio doors and our yummy bowls of Life cereal. When Leif was done, he asked to nurse (he signs milk and it is adorable).
Time for milkies?
And like always, a smile erupted from his face and he clapped. I picked him up, washed off his face and hands, and headed for our big, comfy chair, where Scout curled up at my feet on the footstool. He nursed for about twenty minutes and then decided it was time to play trucks. We pulled his favourite garbage truck off the shelf and filled it with blocks and then scooted it around the floor. After about fifteen minutes, he was done with that, and we moved onto balls. Then it was time to nurse again. Then it was time to play trucks again. Oh, wait, where is the ball now? And back to nursing.
I swear this rotation went on for about an hour.
Thankfully, he then decided it was time to read books. After a few books and a couple rousing rounds of This Little Piggy, he was ready to nurse again. When he was done nursing, and yes, my toddler is a boobie addict and I fear Thing 5 may have to be bottle-fed, he was just about to go for the trucks again, when this wise mama came up with a new idea - crafts! So, we glued some fuzzy balls onto construction paper, we ate some glue (not too much and more him than me), we tore the fuzzy balls off the paper, and we covered our hands in stickers. Then . . . you guessed it . . . it was time to nurse . . . tee hee!
Throw now-glue-smeared, fuzzy balls onto the floor
And finally, Leif was ready for his nap.
Now, if you read this post and had an overwhelming urge to knock your head against the wall, I get it. I was there once, in my twenties. Now, in my almost forties, these mornings are magical. They are quiet. They are peaceful, and they are ours. The greatest thing about being a mom for the second time around is that you gain perspective. There will be plenty of busy moments with Leif, where I am driving him to his soccer practices, doing school projects with him and forcing him, er I mean encouraging, him to practice the piano, but for now, all he needs, all he wants is me, right there beside him . . . and maybe a few balls and a stick of glue.
I can't think of anywhere else I would rather be.