Fell off the couch
She falls down. Her pain is lessened as I draw her close. Her breaths go from cries to regulated. Like magic.
She comes to me when she is scared. When she is sad. And we take a minute to connect. She feels less afraid, less lonely.
She comes to me when she is tired. I help her to unwind and relax into sleep.
I go to her when she wakes afraid in the night or because her teeth hurt or she is cold. I help her to keep warm. I help the bad dream become the past. I help her to rest again.
She pats my belly. Sighs. Curls into me. Her toes tickling my knees until they are still again.
She smiles at me in the morning and says, "Hi mommy" with a lilt that lights up my heart. I tell her "Good morning,baby" We snuggle into the day. She takes a moment to get ready. A little mama milk before the hustle and bustle begins.
Sometimes she is wiggly-giggly. Sometimes relaxed. Other times distracted. Or oh so serious.
Sometimes she touches my face. Other times she counts my arm freckles. She says "Gank you, mommy" and goes on her way. My big girl who is still my nursling.
I cherish these days. I know they will not last. The day will come when she requests other things. Replacing these times with a hug, a shrug or a band-aid. There will come a day when a kiss will do. A book. A special treat.
But we are not there yet.
And so I will nurse her until she is ready for those other things. No worries. No timeline. No regret.
For now, I am physically her anchor. And someday when she decides it's time, she will cast off and sail away.
Thankfully, for my heart's sake, that day was not today.
I sit and stare at her in amazement at least once a day. Usually it's more. This girl is fancy. This girl is funny. She is silly and smart. And beautiful. I know I'm not supposed to emphasize beauty but I can't help it. She is a beautiful girl and I can't believe that she is mine. Well, sometimes I can. Like when she puts on her clown wig and rainbow pants. I totally believe it then. Because, duh.
I have been putting off writing this post. It's mostly because I have no idea what to say. My feelings are all over the place. She's two now. She's two. Two whole years old. And I am all at once in love with little ball of awesome energy she has become and wistful about the little tiny baby who lay skin to skin on my chest this very night two years ago.
She has changed and grown. She has learned to talk. She sings and dances. She dresses up and has mad fashion sense. She loves Dora the Explorer (Dora Bora!) and putting on a pwee-tee dwess (pretty dress). Her favorite foods are avocado and turkey wraps. Her favorite drink is still mama's milk. Her second favorite drink is apple juice. She has learned how to bring the best and the worst out of her brother and she is an expert in knowing when to play her cards with him. She knows her alphabet and the sounds the letters make. She is smart smart smart.
She is always excited to see you. She is always chatting with someone or something. She cares deeply for her babies and tells them how loved they are. She will rock and nurse her baby dolls to sleep and then let us all know that we need to "Shhhhh, a baby sweepy". She runs to most of the places she goes. Her amazing chub-a-lub jiggling, even though I notice when a roll disappears and is replaced by a longer body. And yes, that makes me sad. She was my squishiest baby. Maybe the squishiest baby of all time. I'm not ready to see those rolls go just yet. But she's running and jumping and climbing. Determined to grow them out. She has a twinkle in her eye and lilt in her sweet voice. She is gentle and kind and funny and loves her family.
But tonight as I sit here typing, all I can focus on is that she is my little itty-bitty baby. I can still feel her curled up like a kidney bean on my chest. Wrapped in a Moby wrap. Breathing her soft breath in my ear as we slept. Sometimes sleeping with her head stuck in my armpit. I remember the little barracuda baby who knew exactly what to do to get the milk from me. I am remembering the smell and lighting of the bedroom where we spent a lot of time during our first weeks together. How the bedside table lamp tossed a soft light on her face and how I would just stare at her. How when I sang to her, she would smile and coo along. I'm remembering the little baby who eventually won her brothers heart. She knew he'd come around. Because you can't help but love her. You just can't.
She made our family whole. That is how I am thinking of her tonight. Our last baby. Our Plum.
But she's is not a little baby anymore.
I knew she was the last and I made sure that I was soaking up the scents and soft snuggles of her babyhood. But I still want to go back for a few minutes and nuzzle my nose onto her soft fuzzy newborn head and take in her sweet baby scent. Just for a minute. I swear I'd come right back and be ready to move forward on this new chapter. But it seems there is no return but for dreaming. And time will march forward like it always does. What with the flying by...
So I will hold my heart in my hands and say out loud that I am so very sad at times when I think of how fast she has grown. My heart is squeezed and my breath is shallow as I fight tears, wishing I could hold my new babies just one more time. But then I am pulled back into this place. This time. And I hear her call out to me, frightened. Maybe from a dream or just not wanting to be alone. "Mama? Mama?!" and I jump up from my keyboard and slide into bed next to my sweet Plum and say "Mama's right here baby girl. Mama's right here. It's ok." She is immediately calmed. She makes the most beautiful sounds as she nurses back to sleep. And I am reminded that while she is not a baby anymore, she is still my baby. She will always be my baby.
Happy Birthday to you, my precious and loved baby girl. You light up my life every single day with your joy. You are a gift to this world. It is an honor to have been the first to love you. Love you always, Mama
Newborn Baby Plum
I didn't have a chance to write a post about our year. We were in the thick of germ warfare in this house as the ball dropped in Times Square. But I can't not recap. This blog is nothing if not a chronicle of our life together. Had I not been washing puke towels and bleaching my house, my year end post would have gone something like this...
My Dearest Husband, Pants and Plum,
2012. Oh, it was a year. It was all at once brutal, beautiful, hard and amazing. It taught us that we can weather anything. But we already knew that, didn't we? As I went through the pictures of what 2012 brought us, I sat and stared and cried. In awe of us. Remembering. Photographs can do that. They take us right back to a feeling. A thought. A memory.
We've made so many memories.
Relaxing on Thanksgiving morning. Bellies so very full. Or the day that the two of you brought your mama comfort because I was so so sad. Sad that my friend had died.
There was the day that we played in the mud and the day that Plum turned One. The day that broke our hearts when Pants had his tonsils out and the day that we rode on a real train for the first time.
So many days. So many moments. But if I had to choose just one, it would be that this was the year you two became inseparable. This was the year you found each other.
I remember every single moment in each of these pictures. The second it occurred to me, Mr. Pants, that you would be ok because you spoke a sentence to me for the first time in your life.
Plum, you started walking and talking this year, baby girl. And you were such a champ when we went camping. I can't believe that you know all of your alphabet and shapes and numbers. You are so crazy (and almost scary) smart.
Pants, you started pre-school and you are r.u.l.i.n.g. it. And Mama cried when I gave you your first short haircut. You loved it but I hope you will choose to grow it out again. You always tell me, "I got you, Mama" as you hug me tight. It melts me.
Daddy, remember when we sat in the driveway and watched our babies play? Do you remember that moment we realized that we were becoming parents to bigger kids?
We've played in the hay, sandboxes and on swing-sets. We snuggled so close every single night. We played dress-up, got fat lips, shared all of our viruses and jumped on beds. We turned 36, 37, 3 and 1.
Winter, Spring, Summer and Fall. Life moved forward. Life happened. Life was so beautiful.
And it still is, my loves. I cannot wait to spend 2013 (and all the years to come) loving you. You have made my life full. You bring me a joy that I had no idea existed. You are my heart. All three of you.
You mean everything.
Here's what The Family Pants was up to last year...
Daddy and I practice attachment parenting; Breastfeeding (well that's all me), co-sleeping, babywearing and we don't use the cry-it-out method or sleep training. Why we do these things is simple. It's not because it's the right way to parent. It's because it's how we would have parented anyway. It makes sense to us. It works. For us. Those pictures up there are the physical extensions of the style. The rest of it revolves around building trust with your child. Like believing that when a baby cries they are communicating with you and should be responded to no matter the time of day or night and that biology and instinct should not be ignored. But here's the thing, those things aren't exclusive to AP. It's just when you put all of those things together it is called Attachment Parenting. Because someone named it that. To me, it is just parenting.
AP is an approach, rather than a strict set of rules. It's actually the style that many parents use instinctively. Parenting is too individual and baby too complex for there to be only one way. The important point is to get connected to your baby, and the baby B's of attachment parenting help. Once connected, stick with what is working and modify what is not. You will ultimately develop your own parenting style that helps parent and baby find a way to fit – the little word that so economically describes the relationship between parent and baby.
Quoted from the site http://askdrsears.com/topics/attachment-parenting. You can also find all the "baby B's" there.
I am not a rule follower. Actually I often say things like, "the rules are there ain't no rules" or "I know I'm not supposed to cuss around the children but I won't be tamed!" Ok, the latter one was more of a confession so just never mind that and let's keep going.
I never actively looked for a parenting style. I didn't comb through a bunch of books as my belly grew to gargantuan sizes hoping to find rules for bringing up our kids. I never took a breastfeeding class (totally should have). I never even considered
co-sleeping let alone bed sharing. We had a nursery set up and back-up formula in the cupboard just in case my boobs didn't make the milky-milks. My friend had given me a Moby
and I thought it was a smidgey bizarre (so, wait I'm supposed to wrap the tiny human to my body? Weird.) I thought I would probably do some sleep training too. My thought was that at around four months old, we would move the babies out of the room with us and into their own cribs in their own rooms. I figured that the transition would be a bit tough on everybody but that it would be important.
But then slowly things began to unfold differently than I thought they would. Mr. Pants didn't latch for the first eleven days of his life but my milk was enough to feed not just him but also all of the neighbor children. At four months old we had learned some things about him and sleep. Moving him into another room would have resulted in no one
sleeping. Wearing him helped his gas and sensory processing. Etcetera etcetera etcetera.....we evolved, we adapted and we experimented. And then one day it occurred to me that we were following the AP style. Not because we made a conscious choice to, but because it's what came naturally to us once crossed into parenthood and met our kid.
But I didn't answer my own question, right? What I asked you
was, "When I hear the term Attachment Parenting, I think .
So having said all that up there, here is my answer.
When I hear the term Attachment Parenting I think , "Ughhhhhhhh" (complete with dramatic facial expressions and over blown sigh). Sometimes
when I hear the term it makes me roll my eyes so hard. It's true. Not because I don't jive with the style (obvs), but because the term itself suuuuuucks. It's a craptastic name. Because it stops people from even knowing what it is before judging it to be ridiculous. It makes people think things like, "cut the cord, already!" or smothering parenting or creates defensiveness because well, the opposite of attached is detatched. There's no getting around that. And add in a few sancti-mommies making people feel less than enough by condemning other parenting styles and you've got the makings of an "I'm better than you" powder keg. Result? Mommy wars.
Like so very many things, Attachment Parenting has an image problem. And it's because the internet is a silly little place where misinformation spreads like herpes and people get wild hairs and rant (GUILTY!).
The loudest people are always the fanatical ones, right? That's true for e.v.e.r.y.t.h.i.n.g. Ya know, the squeaky wheels and how they get the grease? That. Attachment Parenting has some really squeaky wheels, dudes. And squeaky wheels are experts at condescension and superior thinking. And they get noticed and put on TV in shows like Wife Swap and Extreme Parenting! They get interviewed on news shows and talk shows making us look like a bunch of douchecanoes. But I know
that "The Situation" Sorrentino does not represent the entire male population of New Jersey and I am POSITIVE that the vast majority of Christian parents are not like the self-proclaimed God Warrior
. So, my hope with this post is that most people will be able to see that the squeaky wheels do not represent all parents that use attachment parenting in their tool box. You know, people like me. Because I promise you that I'm not crazy and I don't think that you are either. The floor is now open for questions and comments. Just be nice or I will wrap you in a Moby and breastfeed you. ;)
Attachment Parenting has been quite the hot button topic this year right? Between the Time magazine cover and its own spokesmodel in Mayim Bialik (who I love, btw) and the media's pointed move deciding that Attachment Parenting is extreeeeeme. And yes, I just tried to type that word as though a snowboarding stoner said it. You know, because parenting is so extreeeeeme, dude.
If you read parenting blogs like I do, you will eventually find some on the subject. And then if you read enough of those, you will most definitely come across more than a few who think it is just an awful way to parent a kid. I've let my blood boil a few times about this because I can be an emotional volcano (SURPRISE!). The truth is, it's hard to read posts that make fun of the way you parent or even go those steps further to call your parenting hurtful or even crazy and cult-like.
If I'm being honest I have even taken those posts pretty personally. I get all offended and I say things to Daddy like, "LOOK at this! This lady is such an asshole! She is judging the shit out of us and she doesn't even know us! She isn't even explaining AP right!" and then I pause and it occurs to me that I have just judged her, too. I have decided that she is a cold and unfeeling asshole that hates me and my family. My only recourse then is to make myself feel better by deciding she is probably a terrible, cold and soul-less parent, right? Her poor children probably sleep on stone slabs without blankets
Someone said to me recently, if you put three religious extremists in a room together, they will kill each other. I disagree. I whole-heartedly believe that if you put those three in a room long enough, they will emerge peacefully. They may not become besties but I believe that they will understand each other better because they will find reasons to not hate
each other. It's hard to hate those that you find common ground with. It's hard to hate what is standing right in front of you. And I believe that every single one of us has common ground to discover in every person. No matter how different we are. Even in this war zone of opposing parenting styles, we can find common ground. Because we are wired as humans to try and find that common ground.
But we cannot find it without first going into that room together. And that's uncomfortable. We worry about the intentions of the others and fear their potential judgment of us. So we then gather up our defenses to arm ourselves with judgments in preparation for counter attacks. Also a very human thing to do, no?
We humans are bunch of dummies sometimes.
I've been wondering recently if we really can
rise above the so-called mommy wars. I wonder what it is that fuels it. I wonder what the bottom line is. And I keep coming back to the internet itself. The internet keeps us out
of the room. It keeps us safe and gives people license to say things they would never dream of saying to someone's face. It creates a space for snap judgments and anonymity with little regard for damage. But what it doesn't provide is a shield for our feelings. And we are only human, after all. We cannot shut those off. Oh how I've tried.
So what inspired this current ramble of mine? On our Facebook page I asked this question... "Wanna help me? I have a question for you and there are NO wrong answers (I mean that). When you hear the term Attachment Parenting, what do you think? Your first reaction. Be TOTALLY honest, pretty please. I'm writing a post and would LOVE your input. ~Mama Pants"
My intention was to write a post about attachment parenting. Tomorrow I will post my personal answer to the question that I asked of all of you. It may not be what you think (Or it may be exactly what you think). But then as I read through the comments on our Facebook page I noticed something happening. I have long suspected that this blog has readers of vastly different parenting styles and the Facebook thread validated that. People began opening up and taking risks. People were honest. There were negative and positive reactions to the term Attachment Parenting. Some opened up further and shared some of their parenting tools with the group. Some were more succinct, answering the question with two or three words. But you know what? Nobody fought.
No one said anything rude directed at another commenter. There was even some peer support going on. And let me tell you that I know for a fact that some of the ideas expressed rubbed some people the wrong way, including me. But instead of fighting about it, there was pause given. I noticed that many comments began with phrasing similar to "please don't judge me but here's what I think". People braced themselves for an attack but the attack never came.
Like our newest reader, Jenny. She had this to say: "I'm going to be honest, I was nervous when I mentioned the name Ferber & semi-'dissed' the Moby.... But I will say... It is SOOO refreshing to know that we can all voice our opinions & they all be so different :-) without fear of retaliation or judgment.... Totally encouraging!!! So glad I 'liked' this page this morning!!"
And something else kind of awesome happened in that thread. Common ground started to form. It would seem that the parenting style of "love your kids, do what works best for your family, trust your instincts and eff the haters" started to emerge. And that's a style I think I'd like to write a book about someday.
I always wanted to have an epilogue on a blog post. Forgive me. I know it's ridiculous and makes sense to no one but me.
It is my goal for 2013 to grow the Facebook page as a place for conversation and discussion about parenting. For everybody
. You know, like that room I talked about up there. It's gonna be tricky because despite our best intentions, talking about parenting choices can often be a minefield. And the whole feelings and the internet thing. But I have high hopes that it can become a great thing. My belief is that we have so much more in common than not. And that the only way to truly play a part in ending the parenting wars is to get into that room together. So consider this your invitation. I'd love to see you there. Come join us on Facebook here and bring your friends. We have a community to build.
Dear Joodge (George),
I just want to let you know how lucky you are. I bet there are a lot of other creatures and blankets and lovies out there that are in mourning today. Because she chose you.
She calls you Joodge.
She's been courting you for some time now, George. Carrying you around. Nursing you. Kissing you. Hugging you. Having awesome giggley conversations with you. I hope it's not too humiliating for you to be breastfed by a 1 yr old. I know you are probably old enough to be her father.
But then last night she took the leap. She brought you to bed. She even added you to the list of those who are on the coveted Night-Night list. Congratulations, George. It's a pretty great list to be on.
I want you to know that I appreciate you patience, too. I found you three years ago at a garage sale for a quarter. You were the only thing I bought at that sale. I had to have you. I thought Mr. Pants would love you right up. But I'm sure that you remember what happend. I hope it never hurt your feelings that he didn't like you and that you spent the next two years being crushed under a pile of rejected stuffed animals. I will say this, you handled yourself like a true gentleman every single time he winged you across the room and slammed you against wall. I'm impressed, George. You stayed true.
I can only assume that you knew your day would come. You spent the last year wooing Ms. Plum, too. Well played, George. You won her heart.
So I just have a few requests, that is, if you don't mind. My first request is the most important one. Please, George, don't ever get lost. You are one of a kind, dude and I'm pretty sure you were one of those stiff carnival prizes once. So if you wander off, I will never be able to find another you. So stay close to your girl, ok? Next, I'm gonna have to ask you to please be washable. Considering that she enjoys eating her meals with you, you need to be ready to be spaghetti-ed. I know I don't have to tell you about how she loves to dump juice on things, too. You've seen her do it and so far you've escaped that bath but I can't promise forever, man. I will try and keep you as clean as I can but I make no promises. So I'm really hoping you don't fall apart on me the first time I have to sneak you into the wash. Don't you fall apart on me, George!
And lastly, George, please be a loyal friend to my Plum. I'm sure you already know that she is the best snuggler in town. Don't take that for granted. Because someday she is going to move into her own room with her own bed and you know what? You are going to get to go with her. But me? I'm gonna have to let her go. So I need to trust that when that time comes, you will keep her safe. I need to know that you will comfort her if she wakes up scared in the middle of the night. I know you can. I watched you do just that last night.
So congratulations on winning the kid lottery, Joodge. Seriously, your wait for her was worth it. But you already knew that, didn't you?
Be a good lil monkey.
Perhaps a better title would be...
Step Away from the Buttholes in the Comment Section of Divisive Parenting Articles.
Because you know what? People are assholes. And I say that with the knowledge that I have been one of those assholes and am reformed. I'm just so done with anyone judging my parenting and I have been working hard to be sure that I'm not judging theirs.
I admit. As a new mom I was fresh off a dose of hormones and emotions. There were times when I just couldn't imagine how any baby not born to me could ever be loved. Times when I cried about the idea of a baby sleeping in a crib. Or sat at my keyboard in horror reading about xyz thing that I didn't do. I was high on new mom love and post-surgical Vicodin. I have asked the parenting Universe for forgiveness and moved on. I know not who that woman is anymore. It wasn't me.
In the interest of full disclosure, I throw out my exceptions: Don't hurt your kids. Don't abuse them. Don't endanger them by driving drunk or making them go base jumping. Don't be a mean and unloving a-hole. If you can promise me that you can do those things, then I will promise you that I am in your corner.
All of those other things I used to think are gone. I'm not hating. I refuse. There are so many bull roaring arguments on the web about what is The Right Way to raise children. And tonight, my head nearly exploded as I read the most recent article on parenting
over at the Huff Post. The article is being passed around like herpes. More fuel for the mommy wars fire. You can see me shaking my head right now, right?
Being a liberal, the Huff Post is often my sanctuary. Not tonight. Tonight it was an all-out parent judge fest. On the site, Facebook and my Twitter feed. Sides were being taken. Name calling.
"AP parents coddle their kids and make them weak!" OR "... pushy attachment breastfeeders lol!! " OR "We are already seeing a generation of kids who can't get out of their own way because of helicopter parenting." OR... oh eff it. You get the point. Judgy pointy fingers are wagging.
I'm tired of all of this in fighting.
As a matter of fact, I'm just tired. I should be in bed, but my blood pressure spiked reading about how my kids are going to be wussy pants sissy crybabies from people who don't know me or my kids. I wanted to put on a pot of coffee and take to the comment section like crazed mama bear and intelligently brow beat the handful of asshats that got me so fired up. I was trying the pull Daddy Pants from his brand new video game to discuss it. He wasn't into it.
I wanted to start linking research to challenge and debunk the author's assertions that attachment parenting is detrimental to kids and marriages. I wanted to tell her that being an asshole to Mayim Bialik is rude. Yep! She took a stab at Blossom. I mean, Blossom
. She's just raising her kids. Just like me. Just like you. Probably while wearing an oversized hat and adorable flower print dress with high tops. I've got no time for Blossom hate.
I wanted to scream in ALL CAPS at the author, "Attachment Parenting does not equal helicopter parenting!" But even if it did, so effing what? Some people are more comfortable being helicopter parents. They aren't bad people. They aren't bad parents. Just like I am not a bad parent for being not close enough to my toddler to catch her as she fell from a climber this summer. I wasn't next her. She fell. I'm a good mom anyway.
Because the big reveal here is that none of us are going to raise perfect people. We just aren't. I mean we have to all know that on some level. We do the best we can and we try to teach our kids how to live in this world. But not a single one of us will do it perfectly.
Why are we competing like we can?
Ok, man. I'm going to bed. I'm going to snuggle my toddler who is also sleeping in my bed tonight. She is going to wake up about four more times because she is teething hard and I am going to nurse her. And I would challenge you to not care at all about that or assume things about me because of it. Because if you are going to bed tonight with your child in a crib in another room, then that is what you do. And I am not holding it against you.
Vaccinate/don't vaccinate, Breastfeed/Formula feed, Babywear/ or don't, co-sleep/crib sleep, stay at home moms/work outside the home moms, Single parents/dual parenting, religious parenting/atheist parenting, helicopter parents/free range kids. Whatever.
I'm holding up a sign right now in my living room that says, "GO YOU! LOVE YOUR KIDS!"
Come on over and drink this kool-aid with me. It feels good to stop being a judgmental douchecanoe.*
I parent my kids, you parent yours. Let's not be assholes.
*I've been waiting to say 'douchecanoe' for some time now. Finally found the perfect spot for it. But I cannot take credit for its brilliance.Thanks Jessica! Or HB! Or whoever said it first. I love you.
A few weeks ago, Daddy and I were talking about this night. We were planning on the best possible situation for staying a night in the hospital with Mr. Pants. "Who do you think should stay with him", I asked. "Before you answer that, you know I won't be able to leave him right? Like it won't be physically possible." I was probably crying the anxiety tears while saying this but I cannot confirm or deny that. Daddy totally understood. Hospitals kind of skeeved him out anyway and we had two babies to arrange for. It seemed the perfect solution that I would stay with Mr. Pants and Daddy would come home to be with Plum.
Well here I sit. At home with Plum. Daddy is pulling the all nighter at the hospital. I'm a mess. But it's ok. It's ok because I picked the right Daddy for my kids. I'm not the only one that brings comfort when they are hurting.
It all started in the pre op waiting. I answered the questions and gave the health history. I talked with the Child Life Specialist and prepared them all for what I predicted would happen. Mr. Pants was scared. Daddy played with him and held him. "No touch!", he yelled at everyone who came within a foot of him. He even went as far as to chastise the RN for listening to his heart. "My back! Not yours!", he told her, letting her know that it was his body and she had no business messing with it. He would be constantly touching his dad. Never leaving him for even a second. They even let Daddy take him to the operating room.
When Daddy came back we both let some tears flow. Fifteen minutes later they were calling us back. The surgery was over.
As we entered (ran to?) the recovery area, he was upset. He really really didn't want that blood pressure cuff. Or the IV. Or the pulse oxygen monitor. The sound of his scratchy voice stabbed through my mama heart and we set out to help calm him. He reached up and saw his daddy first. The nurse told him that he could pick him up and rock him, so that's what daddy did. And Mr. Pants relaxed into him and drifted back off to sleep. This was right about the time I realized that Daddy was The One today.
Daddy makes it better.
It stung, but just for a few minutes. My mama heart wanting to be The One on this day. I took a minute to gather my feelings and I came within seconds of trying to hold the baby one crib over whose mama hadn't made it back yet. But thankfully a nurse picked her up and comforted her right before I lost my marbles and tried to mother her. Focusing back on Mr. Pants and Daddy, I felt my love for both of them start spilling out of me. Daddy's fear of hospitals all but gone. Because his boy needed him. And so we went about the rest of the day caring for the lil dude. He was sad, spacey and hurty. We held him and encouraged him to drink. He asked for pizza but settled for noodles and applesauce.
He didn't want either of us to leave. "Take a seat, mama" he ordered when I tried to hit the bathroom. "Take a seat, daddy" he suggested when daddy tried to do the same. All day we tried to discern what he wanted. Which one of us should stay? It wasn't so clear anymore. We encouraged him to lay down and rest in the crib. He stared off and just seemed so sad.
I hate this crib.
We stood united on the decision to ditch the crib they suggested and request a bed. We signed a waiver that we would never leave him alone in the room (um, duh) and they releneted and gave us a real bed. I mean, we are a bed sharing family. Mr. Pants refused to even lay his head down in that big old crib. He wasn't gonna sleep alone. Not on one of the scariest days of his life. Nope. He needed company. A snuggle buddy. His favorites. Daddy, Thomas and Percy.
And in the end I came to the final conclusion that Daddy was it. It was getting late and grandma, who had been watching Plum, needed to get home. My boobs were about to explode because I had been so wrapped up in this day that I forgot to pump. So I told Mr. Pants that I was going to take care of Plum and that Daddy would take care of him. He seemed pretty cool with that. Especially when they went off on an adventure to the playroom.
He just happens to have the perfect trains for this!
I spoke to the nurses about his pain medication throughout the night. I told them that he needed really cold apple juice and that bringing in ice to make it cold was a good idea. My head almost popped right off as I readied to leave my husband and baby. I repeated myself about fifty times to Daddy about what to do. He didn't roll his eyes once. I didn't want to go. He knew that and he was careful to protect my heart. But Daddy was The One today. And on this scary day for our baby, his needs are more important than mine. So as I left the room to head home, I snapped one last picture. My big guy and my little guy were going off on a flashlight adventure.
I kissed them both and headed home to care for Plum. Who, it turns out, as though she knew I needed an act of mercy, really really needed her mama tonight.
Roaming the hospy with a flashlight
Thank you to everyone who has been thinking of Mr. Pants! I have been so moved by the messages I have recieved and the love shown to our big guy. He is doing great! I can't wait for him to be all healed up and to hear his sweet little voice without those pesky adenoids and tonsils jacking up his airflow. Let the ice cream bonanza begin!
Hey there baby girl,
Did Daddy tell you that Mama was sad about how fast you were growing up? Did he tell you that I was feeling like your babyhood was slipping away and that I needed some extra love from you? How else did you know? I have always treasured nursing you to sleep at night, when it's just you and me. Our time alone. But this last week you made your mama cry so many tears of happiness. Because you have been staying awake instead of nursing to sleep and then snuggling into the crook of my arm and looking in my eyes as I sing you to sleep. Just like you did for the first four months we were together. Cooing with me as I sing your favorite song and slowly drifting off to sleep. You are my sunshine, my only sunshine. You make me happy when skies are grey. I can not think of a more perfect present to give to your Mama than that. I promise to cherish this time you gave to me. And to always remember it. Because I really needed it. I love you, my plum. With my whole heart.
She has a tooth. A teeny little white tooth. It cut a few days ago and there's a second one close behind. And it feels official now. She won't be a baby forever. I know that it's par for the coarse and I know that there is even a part of me that looks forward to having kiddos with more independance. Family vacations with out a diaper bag and the ability to actually have us all on the rides at amusement parks is up there in my daydreams. But it's so bittersweet watching your last baby try to crawl, eat solid foods and yep, cut a tooth. Sooner than I am ready for, she will be a toddler. She's well over half way there. So this tooth that's been bugging her, is bugging me a bit too. It's making me miss a few months ago when snuggling her mama was her favorite thing to do. I've been replaced by exploring the room with her ever faster army crawl and a steady stream of "what's that, wait no...what that??? Oh my God! It's a piece of paper!!!". It seems like they are in a full on sprint to grow up. And it heavy's my heart. I know, I know. I am not revealing anything new here. It's just on my mind.
Last night I watched Miss Plum as she slept and she started to giggle. Full on giggle. Something in her dreams was super awesome. I selfishly let myself think that maybe it was mama making her laugh but I know that it was probably Mr. Pants. He will put on a show for her, knowing she is watching and knowing she loves it. She giggles and giggles. How cool is it that he makes her laugh in her dreams too? As I lay there watching her breath and soaking in her cheeks, her perfect skin and her amazing eye lashes, she giggled again. But this giggle was a lot different. I recognized it. It was very specific. I knew it instantly. It was the crazed three second guffaw she gives when she's really pumped to eat. It's as if to say "OMG! YES! Give me that milk!! Wahoo!". And I started to cry because I am positive that that giggle was for me. My Plum was dreaming about her mama. Seconds later she opened her eyes. Ready to eat. As I pulled her close to me, she smiled as if to say "Hey there mama. I'm glad you're here". And she had a midnight snack and fell fast back to sleep. But not me. I stayed awake for as long as I could force my eyes to stay open. Because I didn't want to stop looking at her. I wanted to always remember this night. This small and seemingly easy to forget moment. I wanted to freeze time and stay in her warm snuggly squishiness forever. My last baby.
My lil pumpkin with a lil pumpkin