Oh my dear girly and little man…
See this sweet face right here. She is your sister. Your beautiful, sleepy, baby sister.
One day she will be one of your best friends. You will have a relationship with her that is unlike any other relationship you have. You will have adventures together and be each other’s “person” to turn to when life gets hard or to celebrate when life is wonderful.
But today is not that day. Today, she is the reason we are stuck inside. She is the reason we are not building a snowman or sledding. She is why we are home today. Yes, I know that you would love to be outside… But I am just one person and Daddy is not home, so I can’t take a 3 year old and a 1 1/2 year old outside, leaving the baby inside alone. I do not trust you outside alone yet, and our sweet baby is way too little and just getting better from being sick. It is winter. We live in the tundra. When we go outside in the winter, one of you loses a boot and the other one loses a glove. And I spend more time getting your gear on than we actually spend outside. We are not going outside today.
Daddy calls the stage we are in “baby jail.” Our choices are limited. Things are not quite as easy to do as they once were or how easy they will be again when you all are a bit older. We try to be flexible, but frankly, when you little ones do not get enough sleep or when you are sick, you are bears. We have learned it is best to let you do your sleeping and eating thing rather uninterrupted when you are babies. It makes everything smoother. So , for now, we will stay home, hunkered down, and let your little sister sleep and eat. Sleep and eat.
Daddy struggles with “baby jail” because he does not like leaving things early or not being able to do things during the day because we have you three little ones. I wish we could do more too. But, the reality of all that is that once we get wherever we think would be a great time, one of you goes running around banging things or people, the other has some sort of melt-down, and without a doubt someone will poop their pants. So, we have learned, as monotonous as it may seem, we do better at home. (Remember, we tried an outdoor adventure, that led to us driving home from camping at 1 in the morning?)
It is easy for us to get sad about not being able to be outside playing or going on adventures. But then, I decided that we would change our perspective on this… We can have a lot of fun at home:
We can play with play with play dough and create things!
Mr. Man will throw play dough and chase after the big sister with his play dough tools…all while having a piece of play dough in his mouth.
We can paint and explore colors!
We can also eat the paint… and wander around the house with paint covered hands, while mama feeds the baby.
We can build a fort… and climb under it…but really it is more fun to climb on it.
If it looks like Mr. Man is preparing to jump on the fort, you would be correct.
We can play with our trucks and drive into mama.
Shortly after I took this picture, the truck became an airborne plane.
During Mr. Man’s nap time, we can have some mama-girly time, making your Valentines for school. We can build them, write your letter A on them, and get them ready for all your friends.
It was fun for the first 10….But you have 16 people in your class to make them for.
We have a lot of things we can do at home to help us grow and learn and enjoy our time together. We are in the “baby jail” stage right now. I know that our moments are not perfect. They are a mess and at times one of us is crying. However, I love my moments with you. Even the chaotic ones. I love watching you grow and explore. I feel guilty that we have you in “baby jail” with us…as if we are hurting your childhood somehow. I have to remind myself that we are trying to make the most of the moments we have together and that one day soon, when all 3 of you are old enough to walk and explore, we will have plenty of adventures outside and in new places. We just are not in that stage yet. Even though I do not love picking up the kitchen for the 15th time today and have put the same toys away more times then I thought possible, our home, our “baby jail”, is filled with enough love and adventure for our family today.
You keep growing and smiling.
And baby sister will keep sleeping…
(it is better than when she is crying.)
In just a little time, your big, outside adventures will begin. You will be so glad to share the memories with each other and it will be worth the wait.
Mama and Daddy’s adventures began the day your were born.
… A pretty incredible life sentence…
We tried eating out… It went like this: Table for Chaos: Party of 4