March 27, 2009

A letter to my daughter

Filed under: The Toddler — Tags: , — denise @ 3:26 pm



My sweet girl,

I try to act as if it doesn’t bother me that you won’t let me read you a bedtime story.  Or that when I open my arms to you, you look me dead in the eye and say, “NO MOMMY. DADDY!”  Or that when you wake up in the middle of the night or at the start of the day, you stand up in your crib and you yell, “Daddddddy! Daaaaaaddy” even though, it’s me – the lowly Mommy, who has picked you up from your crib every single morning of every single day you have been alive.

Your father tries to protest… tells you to let Mommy pick you up… let Mommy read you a story… oh, but it’s too much.  It’s like asking someone why you weren’t invited to the party that everyone else was invited to. It’s too painful to question.  Best to just pretend that you had better things to do that night away, right? That your heart isn’t cracking into a million pieces, while you try to smile as say, “No, no. It’s ok. You read to her tonight.”

Frankly, I mostly understand. I mean, I prefer Daddy to myself right now too. Reading a book with mommy isn’t comfortable because due to my belly, you have to sit all sideways and half off my lap. And when you move around I’m forever telling you to “be careful of the baby” and admonishing you to “be easy with Mommy”. I can’t hold you for very long before I have to pass you off to Daddy or your brother because you weigh 32 pounds and I’m not supposed to lift or carry things over 25 pounds.  I still do it. I pick you up every single time you lift your arms to me because it’s such a surprise gift that you actually want me to hold you that I don’t care what abdominal muscles I pull… it’s worth it.

On weekends, I sleep alot.  You have far more one-on-one time with Daddy because Mommy is sleeping… always sleeping… but honey, if I don’t sleep and rest on the weekends I won’t be able to get through the work weeks and in this economy, it’s really, really important that Mommy keeps working… as long as she can.  I wish I wasn’t so tired.  I wish I wasn’t having you and your brother in my late 30s and was all young and springy – but I’m not.  I’m TIRED.  And I’m sure that really bums you out.  All the resting and the putting my feet up.  You have been a good helper to me, picking things up that I drop (endlessly) and throwing your own diapers away.

So, you may not like me very much right now… and you may like me even less in May when I have your little brother and he eats up most of my attention each day.  But know this, I like you VERY much.  And I don’t mean love you- because I do with all my heart – but I really LIKE who you are.

You are so smart and funny.  I love that you refuse to walk normally and lurch around like a zombie one minute and then tippy toe like a ballerina until you tire of that and start hopping everywhere you go.

I love that you laugh hysterically when the ugly duckling turns into the splashing swan and that you cram all your left-over food you don’t want into your juice or milk (to your father’s endless dismay).  I love that you always look for the moon and stars and when we are outside at dusk… and that you love to cook with me in the kitchen, whether it’s bread or cookies or cupcakes or pizza.

I’m amazed that at just 2 years and 4 months, you already can count. Not just memorizing your numbers up to 12, but actually look at something and count how many there are.  That you recognize all your numbers, even if they are mixed up – well, sometimes you mix up 7 and 9, but damn – who doesn’t?  You know all your animals and the sounds they make and all your colors and shapes.  We are working the alphabet and I can’t wait until you can read – and not only because your father and I read you at least 10 books a day, but because it will BLOW YOUR MIND how amazing reading is…. I can’t wait for you to read the books I loved as a little girl…

I love that you sing “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star” and “ABCs” and “Itsy Bitsy Spider” and when you get in trouble, you yell at your dolls. “No! NO! NO!”, you tell them – pointing your little toddler finger at them, brow furrowed.

I wish I knew what “farn” and “bumber” were. You refer to them a lot and it’s a complete mystery to me… but all girls need their secrets and I’d rather you kept this from me than secretly going on The Pill some day because you don’t want to tell me.  I tell myself you will tell me those things… because I will foster that kind of open relationship with you.. the kind where we tell each other things like that.  But probably, my mom thought that, too — and oh, the things my mom didn’t know about me….

You look like your Dad, but you act like me… and that give me hope that we’ll get one another some day. Or else we’ll be too alike and be at each others throats.  My Memere and I are too alike to get along, sometimes… but we love each other fiercely because of it.

You say your sorry over and over and over again when it’s not your fault and refuse to apologize when it is.  You love completely and loyally, but you like to keep people guessing. You are so stubborn, you’d rather lose what you want than give in to anyone.  You hate to see anyone sad or crying and will console them with hugs and kisses. Like me, you love music and poetry and art – and like your father, you love computers and numbers and being outside.

What I’m trying to tell you is that you are the only daughter I will ever have and I’m the only Mom you will have and I know how the mother-daughter dynamic is alternately wonderful and horrible…  and it’s ok if you don’t like me right now.  I understand.

I love you anyway – and I like you anyway… and one of these days, you’ll like me back.

Even when I don’t have jellybeans.



October 22, 2008

Dropping the bomb.

Filed under: Family,Life,Love,pregnancy,Uncategorized — Tags: , , , — denise @ 5:52 pm

Many of you already know… in fact, I waited so long to post here about it because I absolutely did not want anyone I loved to read about it here – because while you may be imagining that I handle sneering comments like, “Gee, so glad I had to READ YOUR BLOG to find out“, with diplomacy and grace… I fear, I do not.

I would respond by either going, “Tough shit, jerkface.” or immediately bursting into tears.    Some people have fight or flight response, I have asshole or sobbing mess response.

That said, if I haven’t told you… please don’t think I don’t love you.  I just finally had to get it out. I couldn’t wait any longer.

Here is a clue:

Now, we’ll play multiple choice!

The woman pictured above is:

a) Wearing a really badly screenprinted shirt

b) Evidently unaware that she is being attached by a giant leech baby

c) Shockingly alluring

d) Pregnant

If you answered d) Pregnant, you are right!

If you answered c) Shockingly alluring, you are my new best friend (and also probably a little drunk)

So… there it is.  The Teen will be 17 in December.  The Baby , I guess will have to undergo a name change at some point?  The Toddler?  I suppose she could be The Baby because the new one is still The Embryo, soon to be The Fetus – which sounds like a place to buy bongs, hemp jewelry and rare Clash EPs..  Anyway, she will be 2 next month… and this one… this little cupcake…. is due the end of May.

We have no place to put this new baby.  I have a large shoebox from the boots I bought last winter and it’s looking promising.  We don’t have the $2000 a month it will cost us to have both the kids in the Montessori/Reggio school we love.  We don’t know how we will manage 2 little ones at once.

My OB revealed to us that the hernia (that wasn’t cancer balls) that I had surgically repaired  back in June with it’s own little soccer net has busted back out, thanks  to an expanding uterus.

It will need to be repaired again.

With a new soccer net.

She doesn’t know if I can go the whole pregnancy without it being repaired, so I get to see the surgeon again next Wednesday for a consult.

She said, “Boy, I’m surprised they did the repair surgery if you were going to have more kids!”

I said, “Well, we didn’t know we were going to have more kids.”

When I see the surgeon on Wednesday, he will probably say, “WHY DIDNT YOU TELL ME YOU WERE GOING TO GET PREGNANT WITHIN 3 MONTHS OF HAVING THIS SURGERY??”

To which I will reply, “Well, my goal in life is to eventually look like Sally from Nightmare Before Christmas. Also, we didn’t know we were going to have more kids.”

The OB investigated the patchwork that is my abdomen.  She ran her fingers down each scar from each old incision. One.. two.. three… four… five… six…

She looked up at me.

I don’t….  I….  I’m just not…. “, she stammered.

Honestly, I don’t know where I can take this baby out.”  (I have had 2 prior c-sections, so I have no other option)

“Maybe HERE…”, she said drawing an invisible line with her hand across the middle of my stomach, horizontally, dissecting my belly button.

Oh, goody.

Her plan is that she’d like to deliver the baby and then step out of the OR and have the surgeon step in, take me deeper on my anesthesia and repair the hernia AGAIN, all at once.  Which to me sounds like a really complicated dance move.  Will there be a nurse by the OR door wearing a Spice Girls headset keeping the show going?

AAAND… 5..6..7…8…. Cue OB! GO! GO!  Let’s move it people.  Baby is out. Repeat baby is out. Cue surgeon! And ACTION!.Annnd.. tell me what you want, what you really, really want!

The OB, I like her.  She said, “This is it.  No more births, ok?” … and I’ll admit it…  I was scared.

Did we make a mistake?  Was this the wrong choice?

We struggled for months to make the decision, Kory especially so.  Weighing the good, the bad, the hard, the money, work, what’s best for the kids, what’s best for our family… and we decided, finally.

We decided we were done.  No more kids.

And then…. we mourned.

A family with 2 only children, essentially…

And then we waivered.

Ok, Universe, we aren’t going to get all fancy or anything.  We aren’t going to TRY, but we won’t PREVENT.  For 6 months, we’ll live in this effortless zone of possibility.  And you know, I’m overweight. I’m 37 years old.  I have chronic anemia.  It’s UNLIKELY to say the least, but we can live with it – because we’ll be able to tell The Baby that we tried.  We’ll be able to tell OURSELVES that we tried… and that’ll be enough.

And two weeks later, I was pregnant.

You hear that sound?

That’s the universe laughing.

And in the spring, when the leaves are fat and green and the nights are just starting to buzz  and smell like barbecue… when the kids are waiting for the last day of school until delicious summer break… when the lilacs start to bloom…

We will welcome our new love and we will marvel at how we could have ever imagined our lives without them.

We will kiss tiny feet, as they kick the air from their big DSW shoebox.

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