Posts Tagged ‘pregnant’

It Not Easy

August 2009: L is about 2.5 and still sleeping in a crib, in a pull-up. I’m 8 mos pregnant.

I come into his room after his nap to find him absolutely covered in poop. His arms to well above his elbows. His legs in entirety. The crib, the walls, everything. So gross. His explanation: “But me just trying to make waterfall with my poop. It not easy.” I have no idea what he was talking about or what he meant. But poop waterfalls have been officially outlawed in this house.

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Roller Baby

My favorite age for a person is about 6 months. At this age, you have a smiley, giggly little baby with the simplest needs. Hungry? Easy! Tired? Easy! Bored? Easy! (Look, here are your own feet!) Unfortunately, S is now 7.5 months; sadly, the sun is already setting her time as my perfect love. This decline began recently when she started to roll. It took me by surprise. As the awesomely laid back baby she is, I used to place her on her playmat, surround her with a few toys, and go about my business. I could cook dinner, check my email, make a phone call, take a shower all without worrying about the baby. If she cried, it was because she fell over and I would just re-sit her and she’d be good to go. Then, one day, when I went in to re-sit her, she was gone. Gone?

A moment of confusion: Gone? But I hear her, so she hasn’t left the house. I did put her in here, right? What is happening here?

Oh! There she is – wedged between the wall and L’s rocking horse, about 8 feet from her playmat. Huh. Must be a fluke. She doesn’t know how to crawl. I re-sat her. A few minutes later she was gone again. This time, she was entirely hidden from view under the coffee table. Uh-oh. That’s when I saw this mobility in action. She has suddenly figured out how to string several rolls together, moving herself surprisingly swiftly across a room. Her weakness: she cannot aim.

I watched as she eyed L’s guitar. She’s always wanted to suck on play with this most beloved toy. I watched as she made the decision to launch herself from her seated position into rolling mode. Thank God for carpeting or she’d be concussed surely. She rolled mightily in an entirely tangential direction from her target. When she hit the tiles of the kitchen floor she stopped, looked around for the guitar, and cried when she saw that somehow it was now much further away. No worries, a simple pivot and back to rolling. Straight into the pantry. Pivot. Roll. Into the back corner of the pantry where she got stuck.

At this point I knew for sure that the good days were behind us. I had been spoiled with my astonishingly low maintenance baby. After L, and S’s colicky beginnings, I felt that I had earned this good-natured wonder. A day alone with S left me feeling like wonder-mom. She repaid even the slightest of attention with huge grins; a tickle, cuddle or game of peek-a-boo brought on a flurry of angelic giggles and happy shrieks. She rarely cried. But now she’s getting stuck everywhere causing constant frustration. She doesn’t even delight in my holding her anymore, instead complaining and attempting suicide dives out of my arms whenever my attention is diverted. Sigh.

I know what lies ahead this time. With L, all these developments were exciting to watch. I loved his new-found mobility, his curiosity and impatience at being held, and even when he walked independently at 10 months, I was happy. Foolish and happy. But now I know. Goodbye to things on my coffee table. Goodbye to knowing everything will be fine if I step out of the room for a second. Goodbye to precious and expensive things that I didn’t realize she could get her hands on. (She has already chewed up DVD case. Looks like a rottweiler got it. How two teeth can do this sort of damage I do not know.)

Can I really be crazy enough to be nostalgic already for a smaller baby when I have a 7.5 month old? What is wrong with me? I have a friend and neighbor who is currently expecting her 3rd, and some inexplicable, irrational and entirely unwelcome part of me is jealous. I’m jealous that she’s about to have that amazing falling in love period with a new baby. I’m like one of those serial daters. The ones who are addicted to falling in love and then move on as soon as the relationship is comfortable. Luckily, T has none of these feelings at all. The sooner our kids are talking and able to wipe themselves and get themselves breakfast the better. Hmmm, come to think of it, that does sound nice.

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I don’t tend to be overly emotive. I am not a Hallmark type. However, when pregnant, I am for all intents and purposes, completely insane. I even annoy myself with my sentimentality.  I was recently pregnant for the second time and in addition to the usual discomforts, I was also highly hormonally disadvantaged, and it was August, so I was hot. All of this resulted in me being cranky or crying most of the time, and my son using the word “fuck” a whole lot more than a 2-year-old should.

Here is one conversation that stands out. This happened on a particularly hot August day while I was about 8.5 months pregnant.

L: “Mommy, is it fucking hot out now?”

Me (surprised, but trying to not react): “Yes, it is hot.”

L: “But is it fucking hot too?”

Me (sighing in resignation): “Yeah, L, it really is.”

L: “Me thought so. Fucking hot.”

I’m still waiting for my mother of the year award. Must be lost in the mail.

Back to sentimentality… if you’re pregnant, just forgive yourself now for being cloyingly sentimental and partially-to-mostly crazy. I cried because my son was going to have a sibling to be life-long friends with. I cried because my son was going to have a sibling to be life-long rivals with. I cried because my poor son was no longer going to be my only child. I cried because my son had no choice in the matter. I cried because my sweet son was so excited for the baby to come, but he really had no idea how his life was about to change. But mostly, I cried because I was worried that I could never love this second baby the way I love L. How could I possibly? L was my real child. I knew him so well. This new baby was just a stranger. Boy, was I wrong! So wrong it’s funny.

Turns out, I loved the new baby the second I saw her. It was L who was suddenly hard to like. He seemed so big and loud and annoying. The baby was nothing but sweet.

Now S is 7 months old, and even through those difficult first months of sleeplessness, several colicky weeks, and more spit up than I care to remember, she’s still much easier to like than L, now 3. So, when I tell L that he can’t have a Popsicle before dinner and he responds by telling me that he doesn’t love me and only loves Daddy, I think to myself: “I know just how you feel!”* And I do. I’m harder to like because I’m the one constantly saying no, constantly corralling him to get places on time etc. Daddy is so easy to like when he breezes in each evening and plays all weekend. (Back when I was a kid and I pulled out the big guns and told my mom that I hated her, I never in a million years would have guessed that she was thinking, “Ditto!”)

Since I feel this way, and I’m pretty sure I’m not a callous monster of a mother, I’m going to go ahead and say this is normal. So, if you just had your second baby and you are finding yourself constantly irritated by your first child, rest assured, you are normal. Or, at least, I won’t judge you for it.

*Please see April 4th’s Introduction blog where I state clearly that I do, in fact, love my children. Both of them. 😉

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