By: Chris Coyne
CJ is going to be two years old very soon. In four short months I will no longer be counting his age by short months. He has changed so much in the last several weeks. He chatters all day about balls, firetrucks, and airplanes. He loves to knock down the Lego block towers I build for him. He tells me when he poops and when he pees by yelling “ew!” CJ smiles when we enter his room in the morning and cries when we put him to bed. He has a crush on Dora even though we thought we would never let him watch television. He loves his rain boots and insists on putting at least one of them on all day long.
My days are busy. I wake up running and fall into bed exhausted. The laundry piles up, the dishes stay dirty until nap time, and I rarely speak to my family and friends. I need CJ’s nap as much as he does so I stay away from the phone during my two-hour break.
Our weekends are wonderful. Friday or Saturday we have our date night. A taste of our lives before the baby came. We usually want to do dinner and a movie but end up doing either/or. Saturday and Sunday we wake up to a happy toddler who has big plans. He knows if we are both home he gets to go on a bike ride. We ride to a bagel shop that is a couple of blocks down the capitol crescent trail. Then we head off to one of the many great parks nearby. Every park is another adventure. One has a fire truck and a rock wall, one has every sport field imaginable, and another has all the equipment we had when we were kids but was removed everywhere else because it is a little dangerous. DC is a truly a wonderful place to raise a child.
Now that CJ’s second birthday is so close we are considering the start of his education. Some people start “play school” at two. This baffles me. I do want the best education for our little man but I’m not quite ready to send him off. I know we need all the help we can get when it comes to potty training and socializing CJ, but I wonder if playschool is nessary. One of the major benefits of having one stay-at-home parent is not having to go to playschool. I am here to potty-train. CJ has more playmates than I can keep up with and we do at least on play class per week. He is already learning his colors, shapes, letters, numbers, all about nature and food. We paint, color, and sing songs all day long. What would be the point of sending him to playschool?
The trees are starting to change. Another great thing about living on the east coast is that CJ gets to experience the four seasons. This past weekend we picked pumpkins with Jon’s parents. Soon we will be enjoying a Thanksgiving turkey, and unwrapping Christmas gifts. There will be snow on the ground. My family is mostly on the west coast and I miss them really bad. The thought of making a cross-country flight alone with CJ scares the crap out of me. Our last flight was a five-hour wrestling match and CJ won.
Being away from home is hard. CJ gets over-stimulated, falls off his schedule (meaning no naps), and I spend the entire time stressed from trying to keep him from crawling up the walls. Seeing family is great but I know I am miserable to be around. I wish I could be a bit more easy going and roll with the flow but a cross-country vacation is more of a cross-country pain in my ass. This year I plan on staying home for the holidays. No oversold airplanes or long lines.
I am looking to the future and it feels wonderful.