I’m exhausted. And in love.
We brought Lucy home on the Saturday after Thanksgiving, and the first two days were challenging, but happy ones. Nick and I shared responsibilities and split our attention between our two kids. Nick slept downstairs with Lucy — sometimes on the floor with one hand inside her crate. And he took her outside every time he caught her sniffing and pacing, or at the top of every hour — whichever came first. We sat on the floor together and watched Sam and Lucy play tug-of-war and chase each other around the living room. It was entertaining, and it was manageable.
Then, on Tuesday, Nick returned to work. And school. And left me alone with the wild ones.
I thought solo-parenting Sam was hard. How about a Sam who now climbs onto every surface within reach; sticks his hands in the toilet; dumps every block and every toy out of its bin; and screams at the top of his lungs if he doesn’t get his way. Then add Lucy to the equation. A Lucy who chews on cabinet corners and the legs of our kitchen table; picks up her water bowl with her teeth and dumps its contents onto the floor; uses our living room rug as her personal toilet; and escapes every barrier we build.
Sam and Lucy and I (barely) survived three days on our own. The house is still standing, and I consider that an accomplishment. Sam may have attempted to drink from Lucy’s water bowl, and Lucy may have eaten Sam’s puffs after he dumped them on the floor. I may have chased Lucy around the yard after she squeezed through the fence — in my socks with Sam on my hip, and I may have had to call for reinforcement when Lucy pooped in her crate — and proceeded to run through it.
But for every moment I wondered “what were we thinking?” there was a moment like this.
Toddler squeals. Deep puppy sighs. Belly rubs for both as they lay side-by-side on the floor. The way Sam giggles when Lucy licks his face. How he claps his hands and wants her to chase him, and how he collects her toys and piles them in her crate. How she slides across the kitchen floor when fetching her ball and lays on my feet when I’m cooking dinner. Just when I’m thisclose to losing my patience, I’m smothered in wet puppy kisses and toddler bear hugs.
It’s a crazy kind of wonderful.