Maia stretched her face into the widest grins this morning and last night. I hated to leave her. She hated me to leave her, too. Her baby love is so simple and easy. She's nursing less and less, but she still loves to be held, and played with, and have her face gently blown at or tickled with my hair, and--like her sister before her--to have tiny droplets of water flicked on her head after I wash my hands (and adequately warn her, of course).
Then there's Chloë, who has taken to telling me, "You are being a bad mommy today!" whenever I raise my voice (which is often) and crawls over my knees when I've got my feet up on the glider's ottoman and protests when I ask her to get down. She took most of my attention yesterday after work; we went to Babies R Us to look at a new potty (she was enthusiastic about a ducky one, but when I asked her conceded she wouldn't actually use it, so we didn't bring it home) and she wanted to sit on the gliders, and have a snack, and have another snack, and have another snack, and to stop and play with toys. (In fairness, it was a pretty cool toy, one of those car tracks with hills and multiple levels and such.) On the way home, she wanted to go to the zoo. Then to the park. Then to the zoo. Then to have a picnic. Then to the park. At home, she wanted pizza for dinner. Then corn casserole. Then tacos. Then not tacos. Then not pizza. Then nothing but tomatoes.
By that time, it was bathtime. Chloë had refused her bath yesterday, on the grounds "I don't like baths," and I told her that she'd have to bathe with Maia the next day, but when it came to it I didn't want Maia's bathtime to suffer, so I bathed Maia alone. She was thrilled when I turned the water on and pulled off her onesie--she's started helping--and she enjoyed her bath very much. So did I.
Then Eric took her away for play and pajamas, and I turned my attention back to Chloë, who didn’t want a bath. Then she needed to pee. Then she didn't know how to pee. Then she didn't want a bath and she needed to pee. Then she got upset when I told her she was going in the bath now and we discovered she'd already peed. I got her calmed down by talking about the water park, but she was still miserable about taking her diaper off and getting into the water--until she was there, when she had fun except for washing her hair, which has always been a trial.
At length she was out and wanted Daddy to comb her hair and put on her diaper, and I was glad to switch kids. I'd been wanting to spend more time with Maia all night, and couldn't. I'd envied Eric being able to play with the happy clean baby while I tried to pretend to be patient with the wildly willful toddler.
At any rate, I put Maia to bed, enjoying her baby simplicity, even through her shrill agitation about being put into pajamas rather than fed milk right away. She finished awfully quickly, but she finished just as quickly a couple of nights ago and I decided to offer her a bottle of formula, and she only had a little before deciding she was done. And she was reaching for her shelf of books. I selected Llama Llama Nighty-Night and got her approval. Before, I've shown her a book and she's shaken her head, and I've put it away and gotten another one...I'm not sure she actually knows what shaking her head means (other than "let's play the 'nonononono...yesyesyesyesyes' game"), but I've treated her as if she does, and she seems satisfied. So we read the book, snuggled up together, and after the last page she closed it for me, and then we brushed her two little teeth, said good-night to Daddy and Big Sis, and put her down. I got in a quick kiss on her head as she was struggling to be put down so she could see her aquarium.
After Eric and Chloë finished their book, I was called to brush teeth and tell a story. Chloë wanted a "picnic in the park" story, she said. I said, "One day, Chloë and Maia decided to have a picnic in the park. So--"
She interrupted, "But Maia can't walk."
"Fine," I said. "One day, Dora, Boots, and Chloë decided to have a picnic in the park." She was satisfied. As Eric said, a talking blue monkey is more believable than her sister walking? But then, she's seen a talking blue monkey tons of times but has never seen Maia walk on her own.
At any rate, I told the story, sang "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star," which I usually shorten to Twinkle Star and she further shortened to Twinkle, with her accompaniment, and told her goodnight. Not long after she called me back so she could have socks on. The fuzzy ones, she said, because the slippery ones would make her slip. I put her socks on and tucked her back in, and went away to be slothful and quiet elsewhere.
I love both my girls, but Maia is easier to deal with these days. She's getting to be a tiny person, which is fun and interesting, but she doesn't have near the complexity that Chloë does. And Chloë's complexity is all kinds of awesome, don't get me wrong, but she does take a lot more energy to keep up with than she used to. I felt bad that I'd longed to be with Maia most of the night while I was with Chloë. Not only is she easier, but I feel that Chloë's actively demanding a greater share of my attention, and that's not fair. But then, Maia will probably have her turn. And she did have her daddy, at least later in the evening (he was working yesterday). But I feel that tug-of-war...I wonder if I always will.