23 June 2008

Celebrate: (Mostly) Good Times

I am now officially the mother of two two-year-olds.

The theme of my weekend was: T-W-O. W-T-F?

Saturday, the day before the twins turned two, was one of those golden and near-perfect days on which much was planned—any of which could go horribly wrong—and, against the odds, it all went off without a hitch.

FORESHADOWING: This, rather than the actual day, is what I will choose to remember as a celebration of the twins second birthday weekend.

On Saturday, we managed to get out of the house by 8:30 a.m., drive downtown, pick up my friend, play on Boston Common, ride the Swan Boats, eat lunch, take a three-hour nap, pick strawberries, put away a colossal dinner, and squeeze in a bath.

There were no tantrums. 

Everyone liked the Swan Boats. It took a bit of cajoling to get Riley on, but, once on, he thought the experience was very cool.

Everyone loved picking strawberries. Hands, faces, and shirts were stained with juice. The little train we had to ride to get to the strawberry patch was "bumpy!" and a big hit. The petting zoo will perhaps be less overwhelming next year.

The weather was wonderful. Sunny, low 80s.

It was a day so nice there's almost nothing to say about it. Best of all, it was capped off with a lazy evening of wine-drinking, Chinese take-out, and catching up with an old friend.

Sunday dawned promising. The kids "slept in," and my friend mixed up some waffles. We were all set to head over to the park with the "biiiiiig slide!" when Riley FELL DOWN THE BASEMENT STAIRS. Top to bottom, head over heels. Both my friend and I were in the kitchen, merely steps away from Riley, when it happened, and yet somehow it still did. I made it over to the stairwell in time to see him fall about halfway down. It was one of the most sickening feelings I've ever had to watch him tumble down those stairs and land on his back at the bottom.

Of course he started to scream. I gathered him up, raced back up the stairs, and cradled him on my bed. Once he calmed down a bit, I assessed the damage.

One small scratch under his eye. One slightly puffy lip.

That is all.

Within five minutes, he was asking to go outside and go on the slide. He and I were both very lucky. 

The rest of the day was much, much better. We went to the park, played with bubbles, went down the biiiiiiig slide, and had friends over to decorate cupcakes. Oh, and there were a few presents scattered throughout the day.


A friend e-mailed Maddie and Riley some birthday wishes, and in her message, congratulated me on making it through my first two years of mothering. She pointed out that much is made of surviving the first year of parenting, but that there is much to celebrate about surviving the second year as well. For me, making it to two means making it through babyhood. The twins still sleep in cribs and wear diapers, but virtually all other vestiges of babyhood are gone, and the holdovers will be gone soon enough. I'm not sorry to see the baby stage go. My struggles with toddler parenting have thus far been deeper, but my joys have likewise been more intense, and the work I'm doing on leveling out the lows is bearing fruit.

Happy birthday, big kids. We've learned a lot from each other in two years. May we learn much, much more in the years to come.


AnonaMum said...

Congratulations to all of you - making it through the whole parenting thing is sure full of surprises, huh?

Glad to hear Riley made it through his most recent bout with gravity unscathed :-)

Becca said...

Happy birthday twins!!! We were in Boston Common just a couple of days after you were!

So glad the run-in with the stairs ended well. I was so scared just reading about it!

Ginevra said...

I meant to call yesterday and somehow...didn't. Here is what I would have sung:
Happy Birthday to you,
Happy Birthday to you,
Happy Birthday, dear Maddie and Riiiiiley,
Happy Birthday to you!!!

So glad the stair tumble caused no major injuries. I fell down the stairs in the same way as a kid, head over heels. The next day, my dad put up a handrail. Too bad Riley is not tall enough yet for that to matter! Well, what can you do. Give him a big kiss from me. And of course one for you and Maddie too!


Rachel said...

Happy birthday to the twins! Poor Riley. I am glad he is (mostly) okay. I agree that toddlers are much more fun and rewarding than babies.

Dianne said...

Happy Birthday to your babies! So sorry to hear about the fall. My now 15 month old fell down our basement stairs when she was 9 months old, and like you, I was standing right there in the kitchen. I got there in time to see her go down the last few steps. As soon as I heard the sound, I knew what was happening and I will never forget that sound. She needed 6 stitches in from hitting her head on the gate at the BOTTOM of the stairs - clearly should have been at the top.

Watercolor said...

Happy Birthday to all.

BrooklynGirl said...

Man, I hate stairs.

Happy birthday, big kids!

My name is Andy. said...

Those falls down the stairs can be very scary for the Mummy!

I'm glad Riley is okay.

Sylvie said...

Congratulations on 2 good years, and happy birthday M & R!

Kristin.... said...

The 22nd is a great day for a birthday (it's mine; ha). Glad your weekend was so nice. Poor Riley; happy that it turned out ok with just little bumps and bruises.

Having survived the infant-toddler years twice already, I can tell you that some things do get easier~they can TELL you EVERYTHING that they want and need (whether you want to hear it all or not), they eventually outgrow diapers and will need a big bed and not a crib. I have to remind myself of that as the twins head toward 2. I am looking forward to them being able to express themselves more verbally, as opposed to the crying because they want something while I look bewildered.

Happy start to the twos.

Trish said...

It's so funny sometimes - to me, each year my (now 4-year old) son celebrates feels momentous, for different reasons. It seems this is the time of milestones - potty training (which we have just now mastered - i KNOW!), pre-school/kindergarten (the boy starts kindergarten in the fall!), first time away from mom and dad overnight (at his aunt's, 5 miles away), etc. etc.

But I guess that's parenthood...

BTW I feel your pain on the tumble - when the boy was 3 or so, he purposefully slammed his head against one of those big red cement balls they have outside Target (he thought it was a big rubber ball, and since he liked bouncing his head against them, why not do it with this one? Ouch.). Recently he drove his tricycle off the front steps. So, yeh, I feel your pain.

Cynthia said...

happy birthday little ones!!

Mama Nabi said...

Happy Birthday!!!!!

(and welcome to the TWO world, Snick... I love you too much to insert a diabolical laugh here... ah, it IS fun, though... there's SO much happening in year two.)


mlg said...

Isn't it great how non breakable little ones seem to be? I often was sure the kid was going to end up with broken limbs and open gashes and she never did. Thank goodness for that!

Happy twins 2nd birthday to you too Snick.. It is a mommy milestone as well!

AdoptaMama said...

HaPpY BiRtHdAy kids!! Sounds like a wonderful day!

My daughter fell completely down the hard basemement steps after she was home for about two months from Russia. We were petrified, and she had quite the bump on her forehead (and still does almost three years later!), but thankfully nothing more than that. Amazing. I'm sure if it were me, I'd have broken every bone in my body! So glad he's okay.


Mar said...

Happy birthdays!
That was a terrifying recount of Riley's fall. I have a 23 month old (you won't track their age in months from now on!) and the basement stairs are the scene of many scary thoughts and near misses. So glad he was ok.

buddha_girl said...

Happy Belated Day to the baybays!!!

I'm glad Riley came out of he tumble down the stairs safely! Buddha did a piouet down cocrete stairs at a friend's house. He ended up with a goose egg on his forehead...acted as though it was nothing!

Hairline Fracture said...

Happy birthday, Maddie and Riley! It's so much fun reading about the ways you're turning into big kids.

Kerrie said...

Happy, happy Birthday to Maddie & Riley !! Two Years Old...so much fun. I loved this age with my daughter...there was so much that was far more settled...(sleeping, eating, childcare etc.) and life was hugely interesting for her every single day.
Life you mentioned, thus far you have learned so much from each other...it just continues that way.

I well remember the sickening feeling of watching an accident play out right before my eyes and being able to do nothing at all to prevent it. Like Riley, Matilda also fell down stairs head first and fortunately like Riley, her injuries sustained were very minor comparative to the size of the incident. It seemed like minutes before she let out a long, loud scream...I figured if she was screaming she was conscious and breathing..!! I am so relieved Riley was okay and ready to play very soon after.

I'm looking forward to sharing your journey with your beautiful two year olds...you are very generous to share them with us.

Melissa in TN said...

I am so happy that you all had such a wonderful day.

When you see your kid falling and there is absolutely nothing you can do is awful. That's one of the worst feelings ever. I'm so glad Ri-Man is ok.

Rev Dr Mom said...

Happy happy birthday to Maddie and Riley, and to the Mama who birthed them!

I'm so glad Riley is okay after his tumble!

Mary Ellen said...

Happy birthday to M&R!!
So glad you had a lovely day.

mimi said...

Saturday was so a 3-hour nap day, as my 19-month-old daughter took a nice long one, too!

You know what they say about The Twos: In like a lion...oh wait. That's March! I'll be there with you soon!

I let my daughter roll off our bed when she was six months old. Turned away for one second, and turned back in time to see her land on her back on the floor. Totally understand (and am glad Riley's okay)!

Truly glad you had a wonderful weekend. You all deserve it so much.

Kerry Lynn said...

I'm in the midst of writing a post about how Jackson fell down the stairs this weekend too! I know exactly how you were feeling!

Happy birthday kiddos!

OTRgirl said...

Happy Birthday! And congratulations on many counts over the last two years. I continue to appreciate your ability to analyze what's working and what's not and to adjust how you handle being a Mom.

baby~amore' said...

Happy Birthday Maddie
Happy Birthday Riley

congratulations on two precious years with Maddie & Riley.

I am so glad Riley was okayafter his stumble down the stair.Otherwise,what a gorgeous day you had.

I am thinking the same things my twins boys will turn 2 next week.I am both sad and feeling overwhelmed by the new adventures they will embark upon.

Cheryl Lage said...

What a wonderful day (save for the scare of the stairs tumble) it seems you all had!

Wish I could have been there to share the takeout and wine...sounds ideal!

Enjoy the years ahead!

Jolene said...

Happy Birthday Maddie and Riley!!!! so happy that Riley is okay. Darn those stairs!

Lara said...

Every age is different.

Every age brings new difficult issues.

Every age, somehow, seems even more wonderful than the last.


LauraC said...

Happy birthday Maddie! Happy birthday Riley! Sorry to hear about the tumble but the rest of the weekend sounds great!

caramama said...

Happy Birthday to Maddie and Riley!!! Way to go on surviving two years with twins, Mom!

Yikes about the stairs! That must have been so scary! Glad he was okay.

luvbnmom said...

In some ways it seems like just yesterday that my kids turned two; but in other ways, it seems like a whole life time ago, especially for my ten year old. I once heard someone say about this early stage of life that the days are long but the years are short. Truer words have never been spoken! I have a great website that I go to for parenting advice called www.goodtherapy.org. I love to read the advice of the therapists on that site concerning parenting. And, sometimes I even follow it! I wish you and your children all the fun and happiness two year olds bring. Sure, they can be challenging, but they are so, so precious. Good luck!

Keen said...

Waaaay late on the commenting.

That was, indeed, the perfect day. The kind of day you rarely get with toddlers. I will also choose to remember this day as their birthday celebration.

And I'm so glad Riley was practically unscathed--poor, poor boy.