Tag Archives: expanding your family

Rawhide bones double as binkies, right?

Everyone tells you. Everyone. But of course you don’t believe them. You didn’t believe them about breastfeeding hurting so bad it made you want to shoot yourself in the face. Why would you believe them about this?

But it turns out they’re right. (On both accounts. I can’t be around any weapons until my nipples are mine again. I like my face too much). And when it comes to having kids, the second time around is indeed completely different.

It’s not that you set out to treat your second baby differently. And it’s not as though you love them any less. You love them the same and for the exact same reason you love your first: They’re the most amazing human being ON THE PLANET (crazy how you gave birth to all the best people who’ve ever existed…what are the odds?).

It’s just that the situation has changed. Because as much as you’d love to take a snuggly nap with them or go on a gentle stroll through the park with them or even take five minutes to huff that magic-scented aura wafting up from the top of their head, you simply can’t. You can’t because chances are extremely high that there is a toddler trying his best to kill himself somewhere.

Not to mention you have more experience now. No longer can an 8-pound human trick you into believing that they can nap ONLY while sleeping on your chest. HaHA! Those clever little slightly demonic imps and their manipulative ways. But you’re onto their game. Here’s a section of the floor not covered in Legos, kiddo. Nighty-night.

And here are all the other reasons my youngest is bound to need a therapist some day:

The Scenario: The Crying Game

First kid: *barely mews*

Me: *sprints over immediately, hurdling toys and small pets* What’s wrong, baby?!? You alright? Aw, come here. Momma will make it all better. There, there.

Second kid: *has been screaming bloody murder for the past 22 minutes*

Me: *knee deep in poopy toddler diaper* Stop being such a drama queen! I’ll be there in a minute. Or possibly 45 minutes. Definitely before bedtime. You’ll be fine.

The Scenario: Stranger Danger

(First kid)

Close Acquaintance: Aw, may I hold him?

Me: Sure! *dumps gallon of Purell over their head*

Close Acquaintance: He is so adorable.

Me: *hovering uncomfortably close* Thank you! I just…would you mind…his head needs more support…oh god, please just give him back *rips him out of their arms, hunches over the baby all feral-like and growling*

(Second kid)

Hobo on the street: Aw, may I hold her?

Me: Sure! *throws her football-style into his chest* Hey, I’ll be back in three hours. Probably. Have fun! Thanks!

The Scenario: Breastfeeding

First kid: *stares lovingly into his eyes, my own welling up with tears* I didn’t know I could feel this much love.

Second kid: *running down the street chasing naked toddler while baby clings desperately to wildly flapping boob* GET BACK HERE RIGHT NOW! SO HELP ME WHEN I GET AHOLD OF YOU, KID! DAMMIT! YOU’RE MAKING ME LOOK LIKE A BAD MOM!

The Scenario: Dropped Binkie

First kid: Burn tainted binkie in ceremonial cleansing fire before running out to buy 36 brand new sterile binkies.

Second kid: Stick binkie covered in dog hair immediately back in their mouth, realize three hours later it was actually a section off the dog’s ancient rawhide bone, shrug and continue making dinner.

The Scenario: Nutrition

First kid: Pour over any and all literature regarding childhood nutrition. Join breastfeeding forum online. Breastfeed exclusively for the first six months before pureeing mountains of organic sweet potatoes and green beans.

Second kid: Hey, how did you get ahold of a slice of pizza? Can I have a bite?

The good news is that while my second little angel got the short end of the stick during her early years because of her unfortunate place in the birth order, it will be made up to her ten-fold during her teenage years. Because by the time we’re done surviving puberty with our eldest, we’ll likely be too tired to put up much of a fight with her.

And we will welcome her fiancé, Lizard, (you know, the one with the face tattoo and booming underground opium business) with open arms into our family.

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Who did I just give birth to?

Numbers are a funny thing, ain’t they?

It all starts with a One who wants to be a Two. So the One finds another One and charms him with her awkward sexual puns and beer drinking prowess. Then, after awhile, the Ones spend a whole bunch of money on ridiculous things like purple tulle and officially become a Two.

family1

And together, the two of you will build a whole world together.

Eventually, you two will decide, probably drunkenly, to go from a family of two to a family of three. And when you do that, the entire world you built is set on fire and decimated with bombs and then drop-kicked into a black hole by an 8-pound human. Everything changes. Everything. Your house, your habits, your hygiene. Especially your hygiene. Oh…oh, the hygiene. It all becomes almost unrecognizable there for a bit.

family2

And yet, when you go from a family of three to a family of four, the only thing that really changes is the volume.

Everything is now just permanently set on loud. The baby is always crying. Loudly. The dog is always barking. Loudly. The toddler (tiny dictator) is always demanding a tee-tee (cookie). Loudly (and repeatedly).

family3

And the grown-ups are always yelling at each other in an effort to be heard over the cacophony, but yelling in that very particular parental way that says “I’m trying to avoid having an edge to my voice so as to not provoke a fight but I’m going insane and there is totally an edge to my voice.”

family4

Of course, it’s all worth it (modern parenthood requires I say that). But no, really, it is (and that). Every time you look down into the gorgeous, big-eyed face your lady parts made, you realize you’d do anything for them. You’d walk across fire for them! You’d die for them! You’d get into a 20-minute argument over why M&M’s are not an acceptable lunch and then LOSE that argument, all for your love of them.

But here’s the funny thing. When your kids are really young, you don’t actually know them that well. You’d kill for them, and yet, you honestly don’t know that much about who they are as a person. I mean, you know things like how much they poop and that “Little Einsteins” puts them in a trance-like state for 23 minutes and that if they eat an onion, even the smallest, barely-perceptible-to-the-human-eye piece of an onion, they’ll DIE. But that’s just surface stuff.

Of course, that all changes as they get older. Soon they are able to tell you all their hopes and dreams and fears and favorite Sesame Street characters and long, rambling, pointless stories about a rocketship that has no discernible beginning, middle or end.

But in the beginning (and I might get my Mom Card revoked for saying this) they really aren’t that interesting. Newborns are beautiful and squishy and eternally cuddly and smell amazing and are surprisingly strong. But it’s not like the little critters are known for their sparkling conversation and dazzling wit.

For example, here is what I definitively know about my newborn daughter:

  1. She’s a champion long distance pooper. If that wall in the nursery wasn’t there, I’m pretty sure she’d shatter the world record (if such a record actually exists…and it really should).
  2. She does not care that my nipple is attached to the rest of my body.
  3. She makes hilarious faces when she farts (that I’ve dubbed the Popeye, the Chris Farley and, my personal favorite, the one reserved for the really big farts, the Surprised Wombat).

Oh sure, people are always attributing personality traits to her, myself included. According to the doctor, she’s tall for her age, so naturally she’s going to be an athlete. She loves to eat, which obviously translates into a hunger for life and adventure. Her hair grows in a Mohawk shape so she’s also clearly a feminist punk rock star.

We do this because otherwise we’d have to admit that during the first month of their life, our precious little angels are really just glorified drooling meatbags (shout-out to my friend Elaina for that fantastic description that I just blatantly stole).

It’s not just with my daughter, either. All this upheaval in our lives has also made me realize I don’t know my toddler nearly as well as I thought I did. For example, I was previously unaware that his favorite method of protest to any big change is a hunger strike. I also didn’t know that it truly doesn’t bother him to sit in a highchair for three hours staring at me over a plate of uneaten spaghetti.

Nor did I know that he is not, in fact, a big fan of babies. (However, he has gone from poking his sister with a stick to petting her like a dog, so…progress, I guess).

Yet, I still love these tiny strangers with a depth and fierceness I didn’t know was possible. And hey, let’s be honest. What do these kids really know about me so far? To the one I am merely Milk-Giver at this point. And to the other, I transformed from Momma, The Greatest Human Being In The World into The Betrayer Who Brought Home The Screaming Hairless Puppy.

Luckily, we have the rest of our lives to get to know each other.

The beauty of pregnancy *fart* *burp* *sob*

I made myself a promise, you guys. A promise back months ago when I was lying sleepily in my husband’s arms discussing expanding our little family. A promise that the next time I got pregnant I wouldn’t complain. Not even a little bit. Because creating life is a beautiful thing. And I should be so lucky to get to experience it all again.

Aaaaaaand then I got pregnant again.

Needless to say, now I consider it a good day if I resist the impulse to set everyone and everything on fire.

joy

And we’re only on week 12.

But no. No, there I go being all negative again. I mean, I’m building a life, cell by cell! If you think about it, the way pregnancy changes your entire body, mind and soul really is an amazing expression of love. Some might say the ultimate expression of love.

I mean, pffft. Who can complain in the face of something that powerful?

It’s just these constant headaches, you know? And the puking. Oi, so much puking. Not just nausea but full-on “The Exorcist” re-enactments (complete with the colorful language). I never had that with my first born. They say that every pregnancy is different. But my suspicion is that they say this because they’re too polite to say the truth (that truth, of course, being that every pregnancy sucks, but each one sucks in its own unique way).

And this one sucks in that “I wake up every morning feeling like I have the flu AND a hangover” way.

But no, no. The whole process really is miraculous. I need to remember that. A mere nine months of some discomfort in exchange for a perfect tiny creature with your eyes and his mouth and tootsies so cute you just have to stuff ‘em in your mouth or else die? Sounds like some pretty good math to me.

Then again, I always did get C’s in algebra. I mean, do you know what it’s like to have to pretend to be human when in actuality all you are at this point is a bloated walking ball of raging hormones and ginger ale? What it’s like to have to interact with other humans when every time you sit down it’s like you got hit by a tranquilizer dart? Like, people expect me to care about ridiculous things like deadlines and bills and basic hygiene when it’s taking all my self-control not to curl up and fall asleep at their feet like some sad, hairless, always slightly sweaty dog.

Not to mention, when you say hello to me now, I can instantly tell you everything you ate and drank that day. It’s the worst superpower ever.

But there I go again. Complaining. I mean, I got my wish. I’m pregnant! I wanted this with all my heart! Or at the very least, three-quarters of my heart! (The other quarter is still mourning the loss of my post-night-night time cocktail).

And just think of all the wonderful upsides to pregnancy. The gigantic boobs that spring up out of nowhere seemingly overnight. Eating steak for breakfast. The knowledge that you have a tiny tadpole/gummy bear hybrid growing inside you. The…um…well, I know I already mentioned the boobs, but seriously, they just become a work of art.

In fact, it almost makes up for all the bosom area soreness and tenderness you also experience. And the industrial strength farting. And the craving for half a gallon of milk even though your doctor told you to slow down with the first trimester weight gain because in all her years as an OB-GYN, your weight gain is, quote, “unprecedented.”

And then there’s the constipation.

And the sausage fingers.

And the having to pee every 11 minutes.

And the uncontrollable sobbing because there’s only one donut left in the box and it looks so lonely and you just wish it had a friend and so you know you have to eat it so it’s no longer alone but you’re already a fatty fat mcfatty face.

So, obviously, as you can tell, this pregnancy is something I plan to treasure. Especially since this one is likely to be my last due to me and the mister being firmly entrenched in the “two and through” baby making camp.

And I look forward to sharing this amazing journey with all of you. Especially those of you who can help chip in for my bail when I finally do lose it and light someone on fire.