I feel kind of like I'm in a relatively new stage of my life. With two kids in school and a toddler (who STILL stubbornly refuses to toddle) at home, my life is very different than it was when I had a kindergartner and a toddler at home, or a second grader, a preschooler still at home and an infant... I was more home based then. I didn't volunteer much with the school, I was a stay at home mom with very small children. Especially because for all of Sam's life, I've had an extra kid or two here with him, because I was babysitting for Jordyn and Harrison. My days revolved around naptime.
But now - I've both my big kids out of the house during the day. And Marc is still home during the days, so I've also got someone here all day who loves my baby as much as I do. Added bonus is that Julianna adores her daddy, so I've been feeling very ... free. I've volunteered for a LOT at the school, because I've got three kids at the elementary school, Jessie, Sam and my stepdaughter Sarah. Which means, if I volunteer for one class, I feel obligated to volunteer for all three of them.
Today, I had two library classes to cover. I left for the first one and came back about an hour later. When I left, Julianna was sitting on the floor and she started to fuss as I left, but I knew she was fine. She's a daddy's girl, it was before her nap time, and I knew she'd be fine. I didn't worry about it. With Jessie and especially with Sam, I was always reluctant to leave them. But I really thought Julie would be fine.
When I got home, she was curled up asleep, in just a diaper, up against Marc and under a blanket, and he said that she had cried so hard, she threw up all over herself. I felt... like the worst mother in the world. The fact that she had been that upset broke my heart, and picked her little naked self up and brought her into the bedroom, snuggled her until she drifted back off. The whole rest of the day, every time I left, I dragged her along with me. She came to pick the kids up, to drop off at Brownies, to pick up at Brownies and to drop Sarah off at home.
I had been so cavalier about how easy it is now - because she is such an easy baby. Because she is so relaxed and happy with her daddy and so very social. But she still needs her mama - and yesterday I realized that all over again.
Julianna is such a different kind of baby from the other two. One of the obvious things you shouldn't do, with more than one child, is to compare, and I know that, but do it all the time. Julie is just so much more social than either of the other two. Especially Sam, but even Jessie was relatively timid with strangers. We were waiting at pick up at the Brownies yesterday, and Julie started a conversation, with hand gestures and grunts, with a total stranger. She showed her the socks on her feet, and then pointed to her shirt and then her pants. Waited after each one until the woman commented appreciatively, and then moved onto the next item. She kissed Marc's friend Mike before going to bed last night. It was only last year that I could get Sam to talk to Mike when he was over.