Wednesday, July 18, 2012

first/only


I discovered that B is really good at independent play yesterday morning.  He didn't sleep well last night, he wouldn't nap and I was frustrated.  After putting him in his crib for a little while (he talked for a bit and then began screaming at the top of his lungs) I brought him into the living room to play, but I ignored him. He crawled all over playing happily by himself while I put my feet up and watched a few minutes of the Bachelorette (seriously, mom of the year award).


It was one of those end of the rope moments.  It was either let him skip his morning nap and limit my interaction with him or go crazy trying to settle him down.  This is a LONG week with J working late two nights in a row and the people I have in place to help me stay sane and break up the day are either out of town or sick.


B's second set of teeth are coming in which is making life miserable for all.  I'm struggling with my patience and attitude right now.  I really want another little one, but I feel like I can barely manage B and his business most days.


This morning we got lucky with a trip to the library for story time with friends.  While there we heard a puppet show was starting just after story time so we hustled over to check it out.  We didn't make it through the whole show, but it was fun to watch for a few minutes.


Standing, waiting for story time to start. Pardon my Toms



I can't believe B is almost a year.  I can't believe this is where we landed after all this time.  As we were waiting for the puppet show to start a mom sitting in front of me asked how old B is.  I said, "10 months."

She responded, "Mine's 11 months!  Is this your first?"

I smiled.  "Yes, this is my first."

B is not my only, no, never that, but he is the first baby I am raising.

I don't bring Charlotte up like I used to.  I don't feel the need to declare my status as a mother to one who is gone like I used to.  She has settled into my bones.  I can feel her.  I know she's there.  I don't need every person on earth to know about her.  The ones who matter do.

7 comments:

  1. I'm glad you got out, after such a rough night! Sometimes seeing friends and a change of scenery makes for a great reset. :)

    I think you've hit on something very poignant with referring to your little man as your first. It makes perfect sense, but there's also a bittersweetness that you captured - as life moves on, so do we. When I was younger, I felt compelled to tell everyone I met that I was homeschooled, which was a defining part of my identity (did I tell you when we met? I think I was still in that phase) and while it's still a very important part of who I am, I don't tell everyone automatically, and many people I know fairly well don't even know that I never went to a public or private school! It doesn't mean I've abandoned that part of myself, and it's still very much part of my identity, but I no longer lead with that information, preferring to let my life as it is now speak for itself. Your words reminded me of my journey and the mysterious and bittersweet ways that we change and grow.

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  2. Allie is a super-star at independent play!! I wouldn't make it through the day without her playing on her own. She might wake up every hour at night, but she's always been a sweet, even-tempered child good at entertaining herself. Thank goodness for that!!! :)

    And I like what you said about B being your first. I'm noticing as Allie gets older that very few people ask if she's the first anymore. Now I begin to wonder how we'll share Acacia with Allie. Seething else to thnk about!

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  3. I think the reason I still mostly bring Hope up is, I don't want to cast a shadow on babyloss. I don't want to carry on with the silence. I know it isn't always necessary to the fleeting conversations I have, but I just like to put it out there, it being babyloss, and not necessarily Hope herself, if that makes sense. I see people squirm, but that's ok the conversation is generally over and that is just one more person I have let know that yes, sometimes babies do die. And you never know, sometimes by bringing her (it) up, you find a kindred spirit with a knowing glance or a gentle "me too".
    And you know what, you will find the time to look after another one. You just will. I felt exactly the same as you when Angus was that age and now look at me, somehow juggling two! It does get a whole bunch harder, but you just get better at coping. Somehow!
    xo





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  4. thanks for saying the "settled into my bones" bit. I needed to hear it put that way.

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  5. Wait... you mean it's bad to let the kid play on his own while you watch TV sometimes? Oh crap, I've been doing it wrong for 18 freaking years!!!

    If I had to put a nickel in the kids' savings accounts every time I let them entertain themselves while I took a sanity break to watch TV or read a novel (or play on Facebook), all three of them would have enough money for 4 years at George Fox. It's what you do in order to avoid throwing your precious wonderful baby who you love so much across the room at a wall. It's called a "coping technique" because no matter what we absolutely cannot spend every waking moment directly interacting with our children. Nor should we try, in my opinion. I don't think it's any better for the kid than it is for the parent.

    One upside of having two near-age kids I can tell you from experience is that often when you need that sanity break they will entertain each other. Obviously that's not always the case; sometimes they gang up on you to drive you insane. It's a mixed bag. If I could have, I would have chosen to have two closely spaced kids again this time. Overall I think the upsides outweigh the down.

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  6. I've just gotten to where I say "My first I get to raise." That either shuts people up (not in a mean way, but a "I don't want to know more so I'll be quiet way") or it encourages more and I'll tell them if they want, but usually just say, "His brothers are in Heaven."

    Very rarely is there any more and that's good enough.

    And it is WONDERFUL to have a baby who likes independent play! I don't know if B likes PraiseBaby, but let me tell you, that's how our kitchen gets cleaned up after breakfast every morning! He mostly listens and sings as he plays in his toybox, but even if he does watch, it's just bright, colored pictures in and out with praise songs and I'm ok with that.

    And look...I took MOY award already...had to be in the doctor most of the day yesterday with this whole nerve thing, and I am ashamed at how much M&M bribing happened.

    But it worked.
    xoxoxo

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  7. That seems to be "the" question when you have a little one. "Is he/she your first?" Now that my son has gotten older (he's 4)... I always hear "Is he your only child?" Tough question. Tomorrow, will be one year since Nathan died and I'm still struggling with this one. I tend to stutter a response. Depending on the day, person and mood, they usually get one of two answers:

    1) "Yes, he's my oldest." Normally, that is the end of it because they don't catch on to the "oldest" part. They only hear the yes. But then sometimes I have mixed emotions about not sharing his little brother, Nathan. I feel like I'm trying to hide him in the closet.

    2) "No, he has a little brother in Heaven." Which tends to have mixed reactions. I either get follow-up questions (how old was he, what happened, etc) or the conversation changes.

    I don't feel as guilty as I did in the beginning, about not mentioning him. I'm thinking of him in my mind and heart, when the words to mention him don't come out.

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thank you!

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