Did you know that on January 15th, 1986 it was -25 degrees in Newport Center? I do, because it’s in my baby book. You may think that’s an odd thing to record in a baby book, but as a new mom I soon realized that sometimes there’s not much going on to write in the baby book! And weather becomes a big deal. Too hot, too cold, too rainy, too anything.. all become great reasons to not go anywhere and spend the day on the couch with the baby.
So if you look in E or G’s baby books, you’ll find random comments on the weather. Especially last week (because you run out of ways to say, we stayed home and did nothing). G’s baby book entries look like this:
Sunday: Big snow + ice storm! Dad clears driveway while we watch
Monday: 5 degrees (below 0 with wind chill). So cold! E’s daycare delayed 3 hours.
Tuesday: 7 degrees COLD! We stay home and cuddle
Wednesday: ONE MONTH OLD! Slightly warmer
Which brings us to last Thursday, where I wrote 54 degrees and RAINING.
Yes that temperature swing is real, and boy was it raining. Coming at you sideways and flooding the road, raining. Sounds like a perfect excuse not to leave the house. Except we still needed to do daycare pickup. While I’ve gotten better at it, I still haven’t quite gotten the hang of getting both kids into the car easily. I’ve tried pretty much everything I can think of - putting E in first, putting G in first, throwing someone in the trunk to wait their turn, keeping them both in my arms, putting someone down, etc, etc. No matter what, it’s hard and my arms are burning and I’m swearing I’ll lift weights one of these days.
So the thought of trying to do this in the pouring rain left me.. less than excited?
I fretted, I planned, and then I had no choice but to do it. I figured I’d get the worst of it since I have to stand outside while I strap them in, so I threw on my winter boots (since they’re waterproof), rain coat, pulled back my hair, and put on a baseball cap. When I entered E’s room at daycare, he was very confused about my outfit.
I got E bundled and put his hood on, and started my daily trek to the car. G in his car seat, looped through my right arm. E’s school bag on my left arm and his hand in mine. Open the door with my back and elbow (I’ve gotten good at this!), spin around a few times to get us walking forward again, and head to the car. Put G down briefly to unlock car. I had his shade up over his head, but he still got a little wet and threw me some side eye. I got his door open, picked E up and balanced him on my left hip (if I don’t, he’ll try to run across the parking lot), and manipulated G’s car seat into the base with my right arm.
This is always the worst part. The point where my arms are screaming and feel like they’re about to give out. Lifting that 8 pound car seat and 12 pound baby straight up almost to shoulder height, and then twist it until it’s facing the right way, and try to lower it onto the base. Wiggle it around until it clicks in… and in the meantime, keep E from escaping from my other arm.
In the middle of all of this, I realized that E was crying. Or so I thought. I looked over at him, ready to cry uncle and just give up on this day, when I realized… he was laughing. Giggling. Completely excited. He had thrown his whole body backwards, almost out of my arms until he was horizontal with the ground. His face was looking up at the sky, and as the rain came down and soaked his face, he was laughing. It was amazing.
And just what I needed. It made me pause, reevaluate, and enjoy the moment. So we were getting wet. It seemed like a negative, but to a little toddler, it was the coolest thing to happen all day. It actually made pickup enjoyable. Instead of running to the other side of the car and getting him strapped in as quickly as possible, we spend some time looking up at the rain and I just watched and listened as E kept laughing.
I live for moments like this. They make everything else so worth it. I need to remember to stop and appreciate them, because the rest of the day doesn’t always go so easily (and when we got home that day, there was nothing but tears until bedtime). So it’s important to remember and enjoy the fun parts, instead of rushing through them, because when it comes time to go to bed at night and I’m thinking back over everything that happened… I want to remember the giggles. Not the tears.