I've been doing some research and come up with a few surefire tips for successful parenting.
1. Don't 'save' clothes. Kids grow fast.
I just found an entire suitcase full of clothes (literally, the clothes were stashed in the suitcase: things got a little last-minute when we were packing and leaving Colorado City) for Knox that he could have been wearing all summer. Don't even get me started on the outfits (in the plural) I was 'saving' for Easter this past March, only to discover at Easter time this year he was too chubby to fit into any of them.
2. In the event that you did save clothes and missed out on taking cute pictures for Instagram of your child wearing said clothing, get pregnant with another child of the same gender ASAP and remedy the situation.
In reality, I haven't been doing research. You may or may not have noticed, but I haven't blogged since July. I'd blame this on a variety of reasons, but the biggest one is me. I've been lazy, felt ill-footed, felt too behind to catch you all up, felt tired.
Even though we've been in our new town since June, I realized last week that some days I still have that feeling of 'temporary-ness' at this time of our lives. Temporarity? Temporariness? (Oh, that is a word? No angry red squiggles showed up under that last one. Interesting.) You know, the feeling you have when you're living out of a suitcase on a vacation for which you didn't quite pack enough clothes? I don't know why I have that feeling sometimes, or why it comes and goes, but I think it's the fusion of a few factors like: my baby (yes, Knox is still my baby, shut up) growing too fast, being in the third trimester of pregnancy, which really just feels like waiting (as opposed to feeling like nausea), and being at a new job while still feeling disoriented because it's different than my old job. It's all irrelevant, anyway, since things (should be) in an eternal state of shift... it's just that I feel ultra-aware of it these days.
I think I realized the out-of-sync feeling enough to name it when I got lost for my third time on the way to Walmart last week. I was frustrated by the fact that THINGS CHANGE. It irritated me. In that moment, a small part of me missed every town I'd ever lived in where I could find the nearest Walmart without accidentally ending up outside the city limits. I missed familiarity, I missed my job and my classroom, I missed the days when Knox was little(r) and I had energy to play with him every day after school, I missed our too-small old house, and even dumb things like my Jeep that was red, a season that wasn't scorching summer and our even smaller, smellier first house.
Having a lot of time to mull this over, as I had driven quite out of my way, the less-dramatic-and-pitiful part of my brain starting telling me obvious things. Without change, Knox wouldn't be walking (read: running like the bulls of Pamplona) and so visibly learning, I'd always be pregnant (please restrain yourself from making the obvious joke here), or I'd never be pregnant, Hayes wouldn't be growing and kicking and getting ready to complete our family, Koby would still be working in the oil field somewhere and we would all be infinitely unhappy. Thank God for change. The smarter part of my brain also told me that it was highly likely that the next time I complained about a new standardized test I'd have to give my students or broke out in hives over the cost of baby formula that I'd probably refer back to September of 2012 and miss those familiar days. And so the smarter part of my brain told me to enjoy the proverbial smaller, smellier house* that we will miss later, NOW.
*I am quite satisfied with both the odor and size of our house.
So speaking of changes and enjoying all things while they still fit, so to speak, here is WHAT KNOX CAN DO NOW! (I feel like this should be a recurring segment.)
Walk, squat, spin, climb, throw, run, more signs (eat, milk, more, all done), animals noises and faces (snake, tiger, cow, cat, lizard), change contacts and other things on my phone, car noises, pick out outfits (namely, instruct me on clothing he does NOT want to wear/remove), interesting and impressive spitting/spit bubble techniques, burp like a 40 year old Budweiser drinker
THINGS I AM CONVINCED KNOX CAN DO
Smell graham crackers on my breath, hear the rustle of food packaging while in the deepest of sleeps and/or at 50+ feet away, find hidden objects that a Bloodhound couldn't track, understand things like "No", "Sit down" and "Don't you dare"
So, readers, know that in my silence we have NOT been having problems with the pregnancy (I think some were worried) nor have I been doing anything awesomely productive like actually mentally preparing myself for the arrival of our new baby IN 52(ish) DAYS... I've just been struggling in a place of change: watching it maternally, feeling it physically, geographically, professionally, and spiritually, and while strangely noting that it's almost too much to relay, occasionally feeling frustrated or sad that it has to happen (did you ever cry about a tiny sock?), but ironically waiting for more change in order to share it. And waiting is stupid, as I pointed out to you in surefire parenting tip number one.
I think we should end with a picture of the world's cutest kid.