As a preface: I think contentedness is a choice, and happiness is not always a choice, but more of a reaction that is natural. I think one can try hard to be happy, but really scary and sad things can happen. I imagine you can find solace and peace on even scary and sad- I have- if I work at being content. Try for it. But to me, happy isn't something I can reach and try to grab, it alights upon me and I just am lucky to experience it. (Do I have this right for anyone else? Or do you experience happy vs. content differently?)
Tonight the kids were up later than normal because up from late naps around 5 instead of two and also because both Dan and I were feeling the healthiest and least stressed in weeks. Plus, it's a Friday, and though they really have no concept that weekends are special other than "Daddy Home Today!", I am softer on rules and try to do more fun on Fridays.
Tonight dinner was chaotic. Per normal. Baths were out of routine. To try to corral the crazy, we sat on couch and read as a family. EK got a few books ("Where is Baby's Valentine? And "EIEIO") and then we read ones everyone enjoys ("Cars and Trucks and Things That Go"). It was pleasant. I really like this part if our family's nights.
EK goes down first, and half the time se hollers for us to come refill her "Bob-bull" of soy milk (for a non bottle baby, she is fiercely attached to night and morning bottles!). She often poops her night time diaper, perhaps planned so she will get up again and have her parents wrestle her into the ever-tricky thick cloth diaper. Such was the case tonight.
Dan and DHH were working on trains, and DHH was racing his new train Kevin around the curves and really enjoying himself. EK joined right in, setting up long trains and filling some of the cargo cars with small trees and colorful people. Dan assisted and watched. I watched and appreciated. EK grew tired of her brother reassembling the tracks so much and started to climb and flip on his Ed. Of course, there was a big fall and some tears, but she resumed her antics after a short time of daddy-hugging. She spotted "HopPopHop" book and requested it. Dan lay on the bed with the kids next to him, rhyming and poking him.
It occurred to me that this could be the happiest time of our lives. It's not easy with two little kids who change weekly in preferences and routines. We are good at adapting fast now. We are getting good at co-parenting and we really don't fight about how to handle kids at all. It's a learning curve. It's really peaceful between the two of us, even while one kid is in a tantrum or there is pee on the floor, we are composed and okay together .
I think this could be the happiest time of our lives, and I am going to try hard to notice and appreciate it.