Bella woke up around 2:30 am, Saturday morning, and kept Hal and I awake until around 4:30 am. Hal had to get up at 5 am to set up for a Bike Rodeo he organized at the library. To top it off, he had minimal help because the county budget cuts forced a county wide hiring-freeze. Poor Papa, he had a tiresome Saturday.
I, on the other hand, got to sleep in until almost 9 am! Max went to bed pretty late Friday night and Bella’s interrupted sleep (thanx to teething) worked in my favor. Like my mama always says, there’s a first time for everything! After crawling out of bed, soar but rested, I drank my morning cup of joe and started making Max’s friend, Owen, his birthday gift (a robot bank). Max loves making things – a love I should jump on and play up – so the process of making this robot bank was pretty fun. The party was from 2-4pm, which I thought was a really short party.
I gave myself all morning to get ready for this party. Making Owen’s gift took a toll on my hands so everything I did thereafter needed to be done with thought and very slowly. I was pleased when my kids and I were ready to leave the house with ample time to pick Hal up from work and stop at the health food store. We arrived at Owen’s with ten minutes to spare. Oh yeah… on time!
My friend Tonya, Owen’s mom, is an amazing hostess. The food spread was already set up and she was looking beautiful and glowy, like pregnant women tend to look. I, being a fabulous guest, wasted no time making my way to the food table and loading up a plate. Max immediately went into play-mode and ran off while Hal held Bella and ate a plate of food I put together for him.
Oh yeah, dinosaurs!
People I hadn’t seen in a while started to arrive and the crowd thickened with kids and laughter. As I was talking to another friend with two young children, commiserating and relating, I felt at ease and as usual – so happy to have made it out of my house.
There were a lot of second-time pregnant women there. And for the first time, I felt no envy of their beautiful round bellies. Thank God! It feels good to know our family is complete. I imagine that no matter how many children you want, the finality of knowing you are done is comforting. At least until the kidos are older and babies start looking sweet as pie, again. But I digress…
If you know me and actually read this blog you will come to see that I speak of my life very much the same as I write about it. Well, I was talking to a woman I had not seen in a long time who has a two year old and is pregnant with her second. I was in the groove of sharing my experiences with two kids when she looked at me in a familiar way (read: in a, you are giving me too much information, kind of way) and abruptly, with a smile and hands up in the air, said, “I don’t want to know what it is going to be like!” It wasn’t offensive, actually, her tone was humorous and made me laugh. However, in that moment I realized I had become THAT woman. You know, THAT woman who tells horror stories of her labor to a first time pregnant mom except, I was telling of how difficult it had been to adjust to two children! Well, after we had a quick laugh at her gently drawn, very clear, boundary I said, “you know, you will be fine! Everyone has a different experience and everyone does adjust.” A weak save at best.
It’s hard to be flowery and fluffy when you are in the thick of it. Actually, I’m just now ascending out of “the thick of it” and starting to feel (and apparently look – I got a lot of compliments) human again. And when I say “human” what I really mean is, happy and social.
So next time someone wants to talk to me about what it is like adjusting to two kids, I am going to first ask, “do you want the good, or the not-so-good of it?” Before I answer.
I also have to remind others that parenting two has been difficult for me in much different ways because I have physical limitations. Dealing with pain on top of caring for a toddler and a newborn creates a special set of physical, emotional and mental challenges.
As we made the rounds to say bye to all our friends I thought to myself, “geeze, a two hour party feels like an all-nighter with this many kids running around.” I was exhausted. Max’s 3rd birthday party will be scheduled for only two hours.
This coming Saturday is Max’s bestest bud’s b-day party. Banyan! Max is always saying stuff like, “I poop on the potty like a big-boy. Like Banyan!” Or he’ll ask me, “We going to Banyan’s house?” So cute. I love how he can name all his friends when I ask him… Banyan, Iris, Jack, Owen, June-Bug, Nessy, Mommy, Daddy, & Banyan!
Quick MIL update:
We made up. No apologizing was to be had (that’s okay) but we are on good terms again. She actually made the effort to tell me that “no matter what arguments I get into with my kids, they know they can always come over.” And, “I didn’t know you guys were living on one paycheck! I am going to buy your groceries every week. Make me a list!”
So yeah, she’s on my good side again. This doesn’t mean I can ignore placing boundaries up for her, but it means we’re getting along again. And this is how our relationship has been functioning for as long as I’ve known her.
This was Hal for most of the party. Bella is so chill in his arms:
There was one other baby there – a beautiful, beautiful baby – her skin was so soft and clear. It made me sad because I want my beautiful, beautiful baby girl to have that soft baby skin that everyone wants to touch. I felt like people were afraid to touch her because of her skin. Writing it out, now, makes me feel like crying.
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