I always dread the winter and everything that comes with it – the feeling of being cooped up in the house due to cold/bad/snowy weather, the short days with so much darkness, the fact that I still – STILL – honestly cannot figure out how to dress myself for colder weather without the use of cheap Old Navy long-sleeved t-shirts that shrink and pill and cling in all the wrong places after TWO WASHES – but this year actually hasn't been too bad. Tomorrow is the last day of January! If we make it through February we're in the FREAKING HOME STRETCH and that's what, only 30 more days and it is MARCH? Of course, this is frightening when you consider how much working out/pasta avoidance I need to do in the next few months to feel CONFIDENT about the approaching summer, but it is nice to know my mental health is holding steady while I can still hide behind a puffer jacket.
We've been busy DOING stuff this month, because Global Warming or La Nina or voodoo or whatever it is has been screwing with the weather and it has been pretty glorious, in January terms. We've been to playgrounds and parties and out for walks and today we drove downtown to the zoo and spent a good five hours wandering around in search of where we would take our next bathroom break.
HA HA HA OMG I WISH I WERE KIDDING.
So it's NICE having two potty-trained kids in a lot of ways, but one of those ways is NOT that each of them is on a different poop schedule, and neither of them has on the big paper absorbent convenience we call a DIAPER. Diapers! Remember those? Who decided potty training was a step up? Do you know you have to get out of LINE to use a toilet? Did you know that finding a toilet sometimes involves SPRINTING and CROTCH HOLDING and PANIC? And did you know that if you have a diaper on, no one even has to know you're GOING? Unless, of course, you make that weird poop face. Oh YES, potty training is SO VERY CONVENIENT.
We met up with Lauren and Nate at the zoo today and we had a GREAT time but after they left (so Nate could nap, NOT THAT I'M JEALOUS) Asher and Lucy and I basically toured the bathroom facilities. We wandered over to the elephants and ended up in a family bathroom for 25 minutes, which was nice because it was kind of chilly outside and the bathroom was cozy and warm but obviously also NOT so nice because three people trapped in a small room while someone empties his bowels really involves very little additional ambience. We watched the elephants for about one-eighth of the time we spent in the bathroom, then trudged up the hill to marvel at the pandas before sprinting back to another bathroom for a solid chunk of time, which is when I said ACTUALLY, WE ARE DONE HERE and pointed us directly into the gift shop instead of marching their little butts all the way back up the hill to the bird aviary.
Oh, fine, honestly it was a perfectly fine afternoon. Now that Asher is in preschool four days a week, Mondays are our only day to do something out of the ordinary, and Lucy only really gave up napping a few months ago, so today was the perfect storm of No School plus two kids who didn't need a nap, and that's why we were able to spend FIVE HOURS somewhere just... hanging out. I didn't have to pack a big diaper bag (an extra pair of underwear and pants for Lu JUST IN CASE) or wrestle a gigantic stroller or watch the clock like a hawk. We just were. We were there, we were enjoying ourselves, we stayed as long as we wanted, we looked at whatever we wanted to look at. No schedule, no rush. It was really, really nice. I also feel like, DUDE, it's ABOUT TIME. The baby thing? The bottles and the schedule and the naps and the extra change of clothes? I just have zero desire to do that again at any point in the near future. And I am THIRTY FOUR NOW, so the near future has to be... well, it has to be pretty near, and I am not thinking we are ever going to have some last-minute pang of MAYBE WE SHOULD HAVE ONE MORE?
Asher and Lucy play really well together at home, but exposing them to new experiences really showcases their differences. Some of it is just the two-year age gap – Asher wanted me to read every plaque and sign and description of every animal or plant WORD FOR WORD, while Lucy wanted to jump off curbs and climb over fences and generally lagged dramatically behind the rest of us while whining that she was TIIIIIIRRED, and where was her BLANKIEEEEEEE. But we'll get there eventually. And for the first time in my parenting life, I feel like there's no rush to make it happen. This is fun. This is ideal. This feels good. I am loving - really LOVING - this stage of life.