By: John Jericiau
Daddy and Papa are really finding their groove now that the boys (Devin, just over 4 ½ and Dylan, just under 4) are bidding farewell to the toddler stage. They can each wake up, roll out of bed, use the toilet, and get themselves dressed. The changing table has been moved out, as have the pottys in each bathroom. Diaper genie – collecting dust! Sippy cups – hardly used! Diapers – Dylan is hanging on but nearly done with them! Meals are calm, orderly, and so enjoyable when we sit down at the big family table. They both love preschool and are learning a lot; Devin is even beginning to read a few words. Finding after school activities for them to do is not an issue since they have such broad interests; between play dates, indoor gyms, birthday parties, swimming and soccer class, hiking, the library, movies, and the beach, they can be easily entertained. Or they can just play together contently and quietly in our backyard, which is just begging for a fort to be built this year by Santa’s elves.
Traveling is much easier now too. Boarding a plane the boys each carry on their own wheeled backpack, complete with supplies for the trip such as snacks, portable DVD player (after double checking that the battery is fully charged), drinks, books, art supplies, a favorite blanket, and of course more snacks. No more kicking the seat in front of them. No more incessant crying or dirty looks. We have recently visited Chicago and Portland with success, and we will hit both Lake Tahoe (visiting family) and Fort Lauderdale (Alen’s work) in the coming month. We’re even dreaming up some international flights and even a Mediterranean cruise down the road.
The nights are much better now as well! Both boys sleep nearly 11 or 12 continuous hours almost every night. One of us still stays in the boys’ bedroom for a few minutes until they are snoring, but that still gives us 2 to 2 ½ hours of quality time together doing the things that Daddy and Papa love to do, like watching American Horror Stories, Top Chef, and Real Housewives of Beverly Hills (New York and Orange County too).
We’ve also been enjoying a weekly Saturday date night of dinner, massage, and a movie (we haven’t missed a date night in 3 years) because we can head out around 7pm as the boys watch a movie in their cozy PJs with our good friend, and they will be soundly asleep (our friend too) when we slink back home after midnight for a late night Haagen-Dazs snack as we watch yet another recorded episode of Law & Order: SVU.
As the sleep has improved, so has my swimming and my running. I may not be ready to jump back into triathlon training (I’ve competed for years and have raced in the Hawaii Ironman a few times), and I’m not going to run my fastest 10K anytime soon, but it feels good to start to get back into shape, fit into some of my pants (I ballooned to a 32 waist from 29), and feel even slightly sexy/attractive. I can even find time to clip my fingernails and get a haircut on a regular basis. Alen has also upped his swim workouts, and has time to fit in at least a weekly yoga class, although somehow he has managed to remain very cut and buff. He got into P90X (Google it if you don’t know about it) a few years ago which he could do in our garage.
So why would we purposely throw any type of wrench into this currently Zen existence? It’s a question that Alen asks me at least weekly, as do other friends. But I think I have some really valid reasons.
I really miss Dora and Diego. Even though the boys have moved on to Johnny Test, The Fresh Beat Band and others, I still find myself humming those two favorite theme songs of mine, and I wouldn’t mind revisiting them (and Boots, that super cool exploradora) once again.
We have an entire line of clothes (sizes 0 through 5T) in storage, just waiting to be worn again. Some awesome shirts and clothes have only been worn one or two times! Plus we practically have a Toys-R-Us outlet in our garage.
Okay those are just secondary reasons. The truth is that I have discovered something quite amazing – I really really love to raise our children. It feels so right, and my heart and soul have a spot that craves for one more child. So grab your backpacks! Let’s go! Jump in! Vámanos!