Nathaniel and I have been out for walks at least once, usually twice, a day. Although I’m now living right in the middle of town, four years of motherhood has helped me adjust to the idea of just throwing on clothes and heading out the door without primping, since if I take more than ten minutes to get ready Nathaniel will dismantle the house by the time I’m ready to go. I’m a bit worried that I’ve let my standards of appearance slip a bit too much, though, since I have been taken for a new mother more than once recently. I’m hoping it’s just because Nathaniel’s the only kid in the stroller, but I’m a bit worried that the comments of support (“Not long ’til he’ll be going a bit more briskly!” “Cherish the times!”) are elicited by my looking a bit tired and unkempt. I also see more looks at my stomach, as if they’re expecting to see a baby bump (one reason for me not to use my pregnancy tops for workout gear . . .), something that hasn’t happened since having Nathaniel (thank you, little man!). Is there an unspoken rule: if you have one you must soon be working on another, but after two we cut you a break?
I am a bit amused at the comments, since parenting is one of those things with a steep learning curve. Although I’m a bit shorter on patience this time around (sorry, Nathaniel) from such a long run of sleep deprivation, I certainly feel more keenly the piece of wisdom, “This too shall pass.” Besides, Nathaniel’s temper tantrums are positively darling when I think of Katherine’s at this age. I’m sure he’s surprised that I laugh at him so often when he yells.