Tuesday, January 20, 2015

home stretch


Kids, I am set to deliver your baby sister next month. Next month I SAID. That is just crazy. Crazy nuts, because Andrew, weren't you just lodged in my pelvis for 3 hours?? I swear you were. But that's been almost 7 years ago. And if you are a teenager or young adult reading this, I hope you never forget that yes indeed, you WERE lodged in my pelvis for over 3 hours. Never forget. I should make you a rubber bracelet to wear that says that. I was a fabled legend in the post-partum area, nurses came from all over the land to see me, I promise you this. I hope your giant head is serving you well in a lucrative and philanthropic profession. In that specific order, because good deeds do not pay the electric bill. Where was I? Oh yes. So much catching up. I love being pregnant, you guys, I really do. I want you to know that. I know I complain hither and dither, but I don't ever want you two to focus on that. I want you to remember that God I feel/felt so lucky period to be able to get pregnant with you two, so effortlessly. Daddy just looked at me funny, I swear! That was it. To be able to grow you all in my body for the right amount of time is also a gift that is not lost on me. So remember that. I'll remember, Andrew, how you asked me what WAS all that on my belly, earlier this month... and I said they are marks of stretching! For I carried all 3 of you in there, and it'll never be the same, and how amazing the human body is. You didn't say ew or gross or anything, but wooooow. You compared it to your little (perfect) belly and was just wowed. I hope there is always thoughts of wow, because it is definitely just that.
Avery, you love playing little mommy. And this is not something I ever formally taught you, which is the kind of weird part... because it's like it's physically or emotionally ingrained. Science! You ask me to cry, so I screech WAAAHHH as annoyingly as possible (training for next month you guys, you'll thank me) and you cup my chin and get super close and say 'baby baby it's ok, mommy is here..' And then you give me a pretend bottle and go grocery shopping. I'm just waiting on you to go do pretend dishes and laundry, because OH I totally know you two think that's all I do. I'm not offended, really.
Andrew, you are equally as doting. You kiss my belly at every opportunity - so many many times a day. It helps that it's comically large and right at eye level for you. You probably feel like you don't have a choice- it's there! No escape! Kiss it! But you are so gentle and helpful when I need help. Lately I've used your size and strength to my advantage while Daddy is at work, to hoist me up from sitting positions. Avery tries to help, too, but I kindly tell her to clear on out cuz Momma's coming up!! Best to not injure herself as a bystander. How embarrassing. You asked a question the other day, Andrew, while we were laying in bed resting. You very simply asked 'why did you and Daddy decide to have another baby?' Always caught off guard at these heavy questions, I hope I answered in a suitable way. Despite the fact that I wanted to say how your father LOVES the smell of fresh clean baby diapers, way more than is normal...  seriously. It's the closest to a crack-addiction your saintly father will ever achieve. We might have to buy diapers a decade from now just to get him a whiff. I said first how awesome and kind and special you two kids are, why on earth would we NOT want another?! I hope you didn't interpret that on the other side of when you two are being destructive spawns that I would have paused before leaping on the 3rd baby boat....but we'll cross our fingers that you didn't dissect it as such. I then said how giving your kid or kids a sibling is one of the greatest gifts you could ever give them. I know how either of you might not choose to have kids, or might choose or only be able to have 1 kid, and that is of course ok! But, in our family, in our lives right here right now, we believe that with everything. That this is the best gift we can ever ever give to you two. I think you then asked about the weather tomorrow or Kwanzaa or something, so the moment was over quicker than it began... but I hope something stuck. Especially in moments of her screaming without any end in sight. She's a gift, dammit!
You both think I am extra smart right now because unlike anyone else in this house, I have TWO BRAINS. And I also have super-stellar vision because I have 4 eyeballs. I think you both already consider us separate entities, because you address the baby very separately. For instance, if you were in a race with me up the stairs (always comical because no. I do not race, but I make very authentic noises to pretend that I am SO in that race) you would say 'I beat you... and I beat the baby, too!!' Andrew, you are extra helpful, and that is saying a lot because you have always been really helpful. You pick things up for me A LOT. And always with no hesitation or complaint..  but with an extra helping of love, saying how you really have to do these things because I have a baby in my belly and how it makes you love me more. I can't even make this up. It sounds like I am, I know. I had a hunch you'd be this way, before I was even pregnant, but you've really lived up to it and then some. Avery, bless you, you still ask me to do physical things that I am simply not up to... but I try not to pin it on the baby. I say how Daddy is so much better at that, and that we should just wait til he gets home. (because when he gets home, you BOTH get your physical workout for the day) This seems to pacify you most times. I then suggest you brush my hair, because you LOVE doing this and I absolutely love having my hair brushed. For a tired mom who skimps on regular hair appointments, this is very much my at-home indulgence. Double win. You brush and brush and fiddle with it, saying you're gonna give me a 'brave' (braid) and when you tire, you tell me to go pick out a treasure from the box (just like at your haircut place). I pick something random and pretend like it's the greatest toy ever and I shower you with thanks and ask to kiss you, but you say 'ya don't kiss your haircut people!'...  So very true. Must remember. Really a great lesson to apply in life...
Andrew, you are such a reader. You have to read quite a bit for school - these handful of readers every week, and they ask that you read them 3 times, but we don't exactly follow that rule. Those suckers are LONG! And there's usually only a few words per reader you struggle with, so meh. Who has the time?! The last one was all about Asthma. As you read it (having just come off a cold the last few days), you got to the symptoms and started identifying with each one..  'can experience wheezing... YUP that's ME!''... 'can experience breathing difficulties.. ME AGAIN!'.. 'Asthma attacks can rarely result in death... WHAT' You looked at me like AM I GOING TO DIE? And I had to reassure you for the 5th time in one minute that you do NOT have asthma. Merely asthmatic symptoms when you occasionally get sick. Another current read is The Princess Bride. Daddy reads this aloud at bedtime and you love it. You know it's a movie, so you're excited to see it when you're done with the book. You've taken to saying 'as you wish' to me, so it has positive side effects. We're thinking of starting the Harry Potter series with you soon, which really excites us.  Andrew, recently you wrote this little book for your new sister. It's small--handbook size--and it's held together by lots of colorful washi tape you got from Santa (a hit!! as Santa knew it would be!) It's sort of a 'you're new here, let me explain things' type of read. The pages range from basic introductions of who you are and what you're good at and not good at (keeping your hands out of your mouth) to holidays and what happens on each holiday (New Years Eve is 'when you get to stay up late and do whatever you want! but not until you're a lot older..') to basic body parts--wherein you traced your hand. It's pretty much to-die-for cute. So as soon as it got left on the kitchen counter, abandoned, I snatched it up and put it in your memory-bin in my closet--because THAT is something that gets saved forever, hands down. I promised you that when she has questions, we will reference the handbook.
Avery, I had planned to keep you out of spring baseball, simply to make things easier for me. A couple less outdoors evening practices to contend with.. less equipment to keep up with.. one less Saturday game to juggle.. all while adjusting to newborn-life again, and ya know, letting my vag heal. I told myself YOU'RE THREE it doesn't matter! (it would matter if I had to explain keeping your bro out of baseball) I had planned to wait til summer to enroll you in a dance class, and that would be just fine. Your father is not going to coach at the t-ball level this season (just brother's team), and who can blame him SHIT that was stressful, so I also knew there'd be less dedicated eyes watching out for you on the field. But yesterday, on an unseasonably beautiful 67 degree afternoon, you practiced baseball with Daddy in the yard. You lined it up, you spread your feet, you had that little elbow up, and you made contact, hitting it to the fence.. almost every single time. Minimal prompting needed. And you ran SO fast to that base..  Even pitching! You had the point-step-throw DOWN. So naturally, I'm sure I'll sign you up. Who needs easy schedules and giving myself grace, you looked great out there so we gotta make it work. PLUS your grandparents got you a pink helmet that's the cutest thing ever, so it'd be a shame to collect dust.
You ALSO are very into 'magical' things right now..  and imaginary play, OH MY GOSH. Your bro was really never into that, no matter my insistence and failed attempts to play that way with him, so this is new territory. If I call you by your God-given name, you'll very often correct me, saying 'No, I am Queen Elsa, and you are not Mommy, you are Anna. And we need to go see the mystical mountain trolls right now!' (*this usually is said as I'm trying to get us out the door) Recently, you spontaneously decided to re-enact what apparently is a favorite scene from Frozen, at Elsa's coronation ceremony. You'll find two socks (always in high supply in the laundry basket in the living room or laundry room) which will be your gloves. Then you'll come to me and say 'give me the King's things!' (the scepter/wand whatever it is).. so you'll then take your socks (gloves) off, then I'll pretend to hand you the scepter, and you'll gasp (as your Elsa-hands begin to turn them into ice, I'm assuming) and rush back to your socks (gloves) and put them on. This can happen up to 10 times in one day. Your imaginative play really gets a workout when Daddy comes home, because he's just so much better at it than I am. We all have our strengths. I crack up, listening to him go full-on-crazy, quoting every movie he knows as he battles you two.. mostly Star-Wars, natch. Avery, your go-to defense when things get really heated is to scream 'Magical! Blow away!' (as you either use your wand or grand hand gesture) Or you'll scream 'Magical! Freeze for 10 seconds!' or 'Magical! Turn into sand!' He always obliges these.. and sometimes I see in your eyes, how you are utterly convinced of your powers.
Kids, big changes are a-coming.. BIG. But you know, I'm good. I'm just so dang grateful we waited and I got to have such special one-on-one time with each of you. It was (is) so precious to me, that I'll hold tight to those memories for sure. We're a lucky bunch, and you both might not realize it at all right now, but you will someday I hope. Sure, I worry. I worry that I'll put you, Andrew, on this sky-high pedestal of ridiculous responsibility as the firstborn, and I'll forever scar you when you let me down by acting like a human child. I know some of this is inevitable, and maybe I'll pick up a book or something about not screwing up your firstborn..  I promise I'll try. I worry that you, Avery, will shrink into the shadows as a people-pleasing middle-child. But I don't think you'll ever spend a collective 5 minutes in the shadows. Your light burns way too bright. I think we'll be ok, kids. More than ok. And if things get tough, just go sniff a fresh clean diaper.. Daddy swears that'll make it all better.

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