This week, the big one turned 4 years old while the babe slid into her 4th month of life. It was a busy week with doctors appts and a batman/ superman/ transformer/ power ranger/ spiderman party to end all 4 year old parties. Because in typical Beth fashion, I just had to take a simple pre-schooler’s birthday and turn it into an excellently executed extravaganza. At one point before the party started, Jason looked around at the mesh of superhero décor and strategically placed children’s tables and chairs and said to me, “You really do need to go back to work..”
The party was pure insanity. With about 50 guests and about ½ of them kids 4 and under (all dressed up as various superheroes and princesses as per Lucas’ request), the noise and chaos levels were enough to make you want to drink.. which is probably why 3 cases of beer and 5 bottles of wine were consumed by the adults. While I had carefully thought out party games such as “pass the batarang” and “pin the S on Superman”, no one could begin to tear the kids away from the gigantic 20 ft tall batman bouncer. I’m telling you – cake, ice cream, bouncer is ALL you need to amuse the kids. Oh, and a 5ft tall transgender traditional Mexican piñata. Which to add amusement for the parents, is best to hang about 3 ft off the ground so that the kids take the bat and beat the crap out of Batman’s crotch.
At Party City these days you can “violence-free” piñatas where the kids pull strings and upon pulling the correct string, treats fall out. But noooo… we chose to get the REAL thing. My mom and I went to a Mexican piñata store and bought this almost scary looking, handmade papier-mâché monstrosity that was actually made a little too well. With thick cardboard pieces holding the piñata together, the thing was virtually impossible for 4 year olds to knock it open with a stick. Actually, it also was impossible for 38 year old fathers to break it open with a stick, causing us to have to pull on Batman’s legs like a wishbone to extract the candy from inside. Oh, and just as a side note, one bag of piñata candy is more than enough for 25 kids.
Monday we had the pleasure of taking both kids into the pediatrician for their 4 and 4 check-ups and vaccinations. Lucas got his first vision and hearing test – proving positively once and for all that he CAN hear us, he just ignores us. Lucas also hammed it up for the Dr, singing songs, counting to 6 in Spanish and even yucking it up with his joke du jour. During his exam, he looks at the Dr and says “Do you know how Monsters count to ten?” and when the Dr said he didn’t, Lucas replied “With their FINGERS!” The Dr found that to be hilarious, and I did not admit that he knows this joke because he watches entirely too much Noggin.
Zoë is now up to a whopping 8lbs 10oz, but as the Dr was nice enough to point out, if we were Chinese she would be in the 50th percentile. We’ve moved pass being concerned about her weight gain and into the acceptance that she is just a petite little princess. She’s 100% healthy and (thankfully now) happy. She’s hitting her milestones with a vengeance, and has fabulous control of her head and neck and has even started rolling over. For height she’s in the 35th percentile.. but for weight we are still way below the chart. She’s on her own little curve though, so really there is nothing to worry about at this point.
So here we are, 4 years into our lives as parents, and 4 months into life as parents to two children and things are finally settling into place. The first 3 months of Zoë’s life was plain survival. It was all about getting through each day with everyone alive and fed and if at all possible bathed and not too miserable. But this month things changed. It was like the stories I read in all those zillions of baby books and websites that I scour on a regular basis in need of MORE information, it was as if the clouds parted and the sun shined through… One night we were sitting at the dinner table, Lucas next to me chatting away about school, Zoë on my lap babbling and shoving her hands in her mouth and I looked at Jason and said “This is it – this is our family.” Nothing was missing, we were all there and complete.
It was also during this moment that I realized that life is now ready to go on. There is no more waiting for until “after the next baby” or even the “I can’t do that, I JUST had a baby” feeling. We are now free to move on to the next phase of our lives.