Archive | March, 2009

Since You Don’t Have a Baby Book. . .

10 Mar

Whine: Been fighting a major case of the Weepies all day. (see below)

Cheese: A year ago today (at exactly this moment, in fact) Lil’ Sis (finally) made her long-awaited (and long-overdue) entrance into our world and our hearts.

 

SPOILER ALERT: This post may make you cry. Especially if you are a Mommy. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

 

I have to admit, I’m using you guys. It’s true. While you folks at home are sitting there thinking that I blog for your entertainment, I’m sitting here thinking that maybe if I blog enough of what’s going on, it’ll ease the tidal wave of guilt I feel over neglecting my children’s baby books. At least Big Sis has something written in hers besides her name. I’m not even sure I’ve written Lil’ Sis’ name in hers. 

So this little blog is my place to keep track of which kid did which thing when so that some day when they ask me those all-important questions like “what was my second-favorite toy when I was thirteen months old?” I can possibly throw together an answer with at least a kernel of truth in it. I have a deep-seated fear that one day they will all end up in therapy because I didn’t remember/write down/scrapbook enough of their childhoods for them.

But the more I think about it, the more I realize that I’m probably not doing this for them. At least not mostly. I’m doing this for me. I need to chronicle every little hysterically-funny thing they said. I need to desperately hold onto ever picture of every outfit and every glance and gesture. I need, in some form or fashion, to commemorate what this rite of motherhood is doing to me. To my heart.

It’s breaking it.

They make you love them so much you think you might actually just implode from all the sweetness. But then in a moment, they’ve changed. And each change brings a new side to this little person, this little part of you, that you never knew before. And you’re so happy to celebrate the milestones: the smiles, the coos, the walking, the talking, the throwing food onto the floor seventeen times in a row. But you kinda miss the old stuff from yesterday, too, even the spit up and long nights and washing mashed peas out of hair, again. And all the new stuff just serves to remind you that you don’t get to keep them after all. That if you do your job well, they leave. So forgive me if today I’m just a little bit melancholy, my baby just turned one. (Does Hallmark make cards for that?)

 

For Lil’ Sis on your first birthday:

I love that “passive” labor with you took 10 hours and “active” labor took 45 mintues and TWO epidurals.

I love that when you were born, you were the biggest baby in the maternity ward that night. (9 lbs 8 oz; 22.5″) and my OB congratulated me on the birth of my “third grader” and had to flip the end of the bassinet down in order to stretch you out and measure you. 

I love that you look exactly like your Daddy.

I love how for the last twelve months, you’ve been content to ride around on my hip in a sling (even when we went bowling.) 

I love that you lunge out of my arms in a fit of squeals and giggles when you see your Big Sis.

I love your sideways grin and that you say “cheese” for the camera.

I love the way your red-hair curls just a little in the back (especially when Big Sis styles it with a little bit of Elmer’s).

I love that you attack me with kisses when I least expect it.

I love that your first word was “bath” and that you will crawl to the tub from any room in the house upon hearing the word. 

I love reading books, singing songs, taking walks, feeding ducks, playing chase, and having snuggles with you.

I love to see how God designed you. The way you look and think, the things you like and don’t like, the person you already are all show me a little side of him I had never known before.

I love to see how you are growing and changing into who you are and will be.

Thank you, Lil’ Sis, for coming into my life and turning it upside down. I love you.

 

Chloe's First Day

Sideways Cheese

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How Do You Spell Sucker? M-O-M

4 Mar

Whine: Foolishly entered the mall for lunch/shopping sans diaper bag, which of course guaranteed that at least one of my children would need a diaper change. So Big Sis ended up shopping The Gap completely commando. (Like this.)

Cheese: Not only did we make it through The Gap clean and dry, Big Sis actually used the mall potty to go #2 (after she used her pull-up first, of course).

 

All along, I’ve been telling myself that Big Sis just wasn’t ready. That her mind-body connection is just not as strong as other kids. That she would one day, maybe a little later than your average kid, magically discover the hidden processes involved and ‘poof’ be potty trained.

Not so much.

On one hand, I was right. It does take her longer to learn a new physical skill than her peers. Jumping, dancing, and even coloring all came a little later to her. And I’m usually ok with that. She’s way ahead in other areas: the kid loves maps so much, she could probably tell you the route from here to Kansas if you asked.  But ask her to jump on her trike and ride down the street–you’ll get a blank stare.

In fact, she took quite a while to learn how to actually go pee. And so it was no surprise to me that she was taking a while in the other department. I thought I might just have to send her to Kindergarten in a pull up. I mean, how do you motivate a kid who has a better poker face than a brick wall? When Mr. Dad (whose fault this is anyway, as he is the original brick wall) finally discovered the magic formula for her, she started going. On the potty.

So here I was believing that she wasn’t ready, that she’s just a little girl and I really shouldn’t rush her, and she really could do it after all. But here’s the thing, in cases like this, it’s really hard to tell when the not-quite-sure-how-this-potty-thing-works stops and the yeah-I-really-couldn’t-care-less begins. And that’s motherhood. You root for your kids and believe the best about them because that’s your job (and because they’re so darn cute and wonderful, too).

But sometimes rooting for your kids means telling them they can (and have to) move on to the next thing whether they like it or not. That the next thing is wonderful and awesome and way more fun than this thing we’re doing now. That although it’s hard and scary, it’s worth it to grow up. It’s difficult to know when to coddle and when to push. When to believe them that they really can’t do it and when to ignore your inner sucker and make them do it anyway. But that’s the mystery of parenting, and if I’ve erred on the side of being too soft, I’m ok with that because I’m learning too.

We are still navigating the end of the Diaper Era, but I see the dawn of Time of the Big Girl Panties on the horizon, and it looks wonderful.