Iris is so cute these days it is almost unbearable. She has ringlets! Red ringlets! And she staggers around the house clutching a tube of toothpaste or a plastic lid in one hand and waving the other arm wildly over her head to maintain her balance. She articulates new words every day, with such adorable deliberation and glee: Ba pa (backpack). Bap-pul (apple). Keekeepat (kittycat). She is fearless, now, about wanting to join the world of the big(ger) people. She climbs into Ingrid’s chair. She lunges for my glass of beer, wanting a taste. She is full of pride when she scoops up yogurt with a spoon and reaches her mouth with it.
Ingrid is interested in coloring all the time, and her drawings have begun to take on new characteristics—instead of monochromatic scribbles, there are patches of color, or squiggles almost like writing, each with a different crayon. She’d be happy if I spent the whole day playing pretend games with her: school, camping, putting the babies to sleep and then being really quiet. She wants to be able to cut a perfect arc with scissors. She is all of a sudden a crackerjack trike rider, speeding down little hills and around corners and stopping expertly at intersections and alleys. She is interested in growing up. The other day she asked me, “Mama, when I grow up can I have a permanent pen?” A frequent conversational topic is “When will I be big enough to drive the car?”
And me, I am in the middle of just about every project I can think of to start. Our garden is half harvested, and we seem to have hit a break between waves of ripe tomatoes. I have two simple baby blankets I want to sew for friends, and a zillion essay and poem ideas, most scribbled in the notebook I jam into my purse for when I have a minute. Add to that (work thing A) and (work thing B) and (long-term career planning thing C), plus my pipe dream of clearing out half of our swampy basement to create a sewing and writing studio slash Reggio Emilia style atelier for Ingrid and me, and there’s a whole lot in the works.
I’m taking a poetry class this fall, which starts next week, along with an early childhood class for the girls and me, plus a low key parent-child soccer thing at the park, and a music class for either A or me to take the girls to Saturday mornings. The summer has been so idyllic—the hours at the park, the evenings in the backyard, all the lazy walks to the coffee shop in the mornings—that in a way it seems like a shame to begin all this. I want to relish more days of not having to be anywhere and not having to coax Ingrid through anything too hard (e.g. speaking to human beings other than family members).
But as the weather gets colder I know we’ll want these activities on the schedule, these appointments to hang our routine on when “wading pool visit, followed by picnic, followed by giggling sisters pushing each other on the swings” is no longer feasible. It’s September, and it’s time to start on all of these things, and to keep harvesting tomatoes, pressing flannel, writing poems, and clearing the stuff we no longer need out of the basement.