On Monday, Audrey and Jason were in deep discussion. I don't know what the topic was, only that it involved something Audrey didn't understand. Jason was asking her if she knew what something meant, and Audrey, whether for reasons of wanting to be seen as a big girl or simply in the know, refused to admit that she wasn't sure. It went something like this:
Jason: Do you know what that means?
Audrey: I don't um.
Jason: You don't know?
Audrey: I don't kn...uumm.
Tuesday, I caught her picking her nose. Knowing I would not approve of nose-picking, she tried to rename the action. "I just had an itch up there," she said.
She was working on a puzzle on Wednesday at the kitchen table. I was at the sink and heard her asking questions. Assuming they were directed toward me, I answered. "Now I'm just talking to myself," she said.
This week, we discovered that Nathan's second newborn screen was somehow lost and never analyzed, requiring us to have a new screen performed. My mother graciously gave up her Friday afternoon off to watch Audrey while I took Nathan to the lab. While at the house, Emmy (our dog) jumped up on her. Routine trips to the groomer are just one more aspect of normal that I haven't quite figured out how to logistically pull off since bringing Nathan home. As you can imagine, a haircut and bath are well overdue.
"Emmy, you smell like a dog," Mom said.
"We want her to be a dog," Audrey said.
Jason arrived home before me on Friday. Shortly after he got there, he heard Audrey refer to my mom as "mama."
"That's not your mama," he said.
"Well, she looks like my mama," Audrey answered.
Jason and my mother laughed. "You're right. She does look like your mama," he said.
We don't have the most consistent of bedtime routines. Some nights Audrey gets a bath before bedtime, others, she doesn't. Some nights we read a story. Some nights, we don't. But one thing is always consistent. Each night before she goes to bed, I tell Audrey she makes me a lucky mama. Every night, Audrey repeats the things we say. Good night. Good night. See you in the morning. See you in the morning. You make me a lucky mama. You make me a lucky mama.
But last night, she changed up her normal.
"You make me a lucky mama," I said.
"You make me a lucky Audrey," she said.
Nathan is on the cusp of changing normal, too. He wants to roll over so badly. Tonight after a diaper change, he rolled onto his side. I lay down beside him, facing him. He moved his arm in an arc toward my face, his fist coming to rest at my mouth. I kissed his hand. He smiled and squirmed, and a new game was born.
It has often been said that the only constant is change. You've only to spend an hour with a toddler and newborn to feel cloaked in the sentiment. But for all of this growing and the accompanying family modifications, there are some things that I hope remain the same: Audrey's spunk and her ability to morph from full-on spunk to full-on affection in the turn of a page. Her smile that sparkles like a field of lightening bugs, making magic across her face. Her quick wit. Her kind heart. Her genuine laugh. Those grasp-you-to-your-core hugs. As for this little boy of mine, I can't seem to talk to him, or about him, without wanting to preface any mention with the word "sweet", and I hope I always will (much to his future teenage disdain, I'm sure). Even after being pricked at the lab, he quickly regained his calm demeanor, my sweet laid-back boy, so willing to accommodate the normal of the day - whatever it may be. Let's hope the trait remains. Goodness knows, he's going to need it:
She told her Daddy she was "sharing" her toys. Ahem.