When you have children the evidence is everywhere. I might reach into my pocket, as I did one day, and pull out a googly eye and a friendly Lego man. One night I opened the fridge to find a superhero guarding the milk. Little bits of childhood are so ubiquitous, so woven into our lives right now, that sometimes I forget that our time with these sweet reminders is actually very fleeting. I said to Chris the other night, "One day we won't have crayons in our house any more."
I've been thinking of these little reminders of childhood, tucked into and throughout our house, and want to remember them here. Perhaps it will, in a way, extend their fleeting time with us. So here's a sense time capsule of childhood in our home right now.
In our home right now childhood looks like...
plastic pencil boxes of crayons and markers and the art they helped produce found on the breakfast table.
colorful art work proclaiming "Dinosor Land" and a drawn mitten full of repeating patterns clipped with colorful clothespins above the trash and recycling.
a high chair at the island, waiting to be pulled out when we feed Maeve.
bright toys for Maeve – wooden stacking toys, a soft "what's inside?" box hiding little plush toys, a long crocheted caterpillar and an octopus, a chunky puzzle of pets.
low platform twin beds with patterned duvet covers in a twist. Despite my best efforts the boys insist they only want to sleep with a flat sheet and a duvet cover minus the duvet.
shoes and rollerblades spilling out of the front hall closet.
finding Legos, a googly eye, or a rock at the bottom of the washing machine.
finding unflushed poo in the toilet regularly.
toothbrushes with tiny bristled heads waiting next to a tube of sparkly, sweet-mint toothpaste.
large sticks inside even though we have repeatedly said, "No sticks inside."
boys who sleep naked.
a mouth full of big adult teeth alongside little baby teeth.
stacks of small, folded clothes. The boys wear shirts with paper airplanes, an astronaut kicking a soccer ball, a snake, the phases of the moon. Maeve's are patterned with animals, flowers, stripes, and polka dots.
shirts that glow in the dark
temporary tattoos of sharks, monsters, super heroes, and ice cream cones on arms and legs
ever-growing bikes in the garage to fit our ever-growing boys. (We have their balance bike and previous bikes waiting for Maeve.)
a yellow bike trailer for Maeve.
small backpacks, one with dinosaurs and one with sharks, that sit on the kitchen island stools waiting to be packed for the day.
bath toys, fizzing bubble bath bombs with a hidden squishy toys, bath color tabs that turn the water bright colors.
Friendly, round light up clocks that glow green when the boys are allowed to get up (6:00 a.m.) although they don't usually make it that long.
In our home right now childhood sounds like...
"Mama!" "Daddy!" at all hours of the day (and sometimes night).
babbling, shrieking, and early words from from Maeve.
"Where's my toast/milk/notebook/water bottle/stick?"
white noise machines and the hallway bathroom fan whooshing while Maeve is napping and after bedtime.
"Muh muh!" from Maeve to ask for "more" of whatever you are eating.
reading aloud The House in the Night, Goodnight Moon, and other favorite board books so many times.
laughter that rises and falls from two boys so absorbed in their wrestling and laughing that they can't hear anything you say.
the crinkle, crinkle, crinkle of a toddling baby in a disposable diaper.
the Story Pirates and Circle Round podcasts, played on my phone in the car and amplified by the backseat cup holder.
The Animal Fair and Other Stories, the first collection of stories we listened to in the car with the boys, now played for Maeve. When I played this for Maeve the first time I started it immediately brought me back to our weekday drives to daycare with the boys.
the boys conversing back and forth, and sometimes arguing, as they play Minecraft.
the slow, deliberate cadence of Cedric reading books to us.
the magical quiet of Dashiell absorbed in a book.
softly humming or singing "Twinkle, twinkle, little star," as I put Maeve to sleep.
In our home right now childhood tastes like...
cinnamon alphabet cookies from Trader Joe's.
apple-carrot sauce pouches for Maeve.
bean and cheese burritos, cheese quesadillas.
boxes of white cheddar shells macaroni and cheese.
fig bars, kids Clif Bars, Annie's cheddar bunnies.
blueberries, cucumbers, grapes, and broccoli cut up for Maeve.
strawberry yogurt popsicles.
peanut butter or sun butter and jelly sandwiches.
bland and misshapen baked goods, proudly baked by the boys during "no recipe baking"
large flour tortillas, called quesadillas by the boys, eaten plain or spread with cream cheese, rolled up, and cut into pinwheels for a snack.
whole wheat spaghetti noodles with butter and parmesan cheese.
In our home right now childhood smells like...
lavender scented body wash.
honey scented baby wash.
fruity bath bombs.
Burts Bees honey baby dusting diaper powder.
Maeve's breath, which smells like cereal milk.
the boy's stale morning breath which I can't dislike because it's theirs.
sun and dirt on sweaty boys.
In our home right now childhood feels like...
Maeve's belly and bottom, as soft and squishy as pizza dough.
holding one of the boys on my lap (where they barely fit) with my face alongside theirs while clipping their fingernails.
a tiny, treasured lost tooth, hard and smooth with a jagged edge. (And hidden among a collection of tiny lost teeth behind my jewelry.)
a brand new tooth just poking through baby gums.
a sleepy baby in soft footed pajamas, heavy in our arms.
tickling boys who are growing so big but who still fall to giggles in an instant.
turning the pages of board books as tiny hands help.
washing the boys thick, coarse hair (which is Chris's hair): holding my hand against their smooth forehead, pouring water back over their hair (careful not to let it run into their eyes!) and running my hands through their hair. Gently scrubbing in lavender or berry blast shampoo through Cedric's short hair and Dash's longer hair until I've washed all the sweat and sand away. Asking them to lean back, watching their sweet eyes close, and pouring cupfuls of water again and again.
Maeve's wispy, golden, light-brown hair that I can't help but nibble.
buttery soft Aiden and Anais swaddle blankets.
an ever heavier and sturdier girl perched on our hips.
boys who seem taller every time I hug them.