Here’s something interesting, and as usual, let’s all take “interesting” with a grain of salt.
I always figured I would use this blog and the various and sundry baby books and the one million baby pictures as a substitute for memories, because I thought the days would fly by so fast that I’d have no hope of remembering what five pounds of baby looks like or what Eli wore home from the hospital or any of those first fleeting moments.
But even now four years later I remember those firsts as though they happened yesterday. I can see the tiny yellow fuzzy outfit coming home coveralls and the way they hung off of him, and I remember sitting on our old blue couch nursing all the time and I remember the way every time we’d take him anywhere, out to breakfast in his little bucket car seat, everyone would stop and peer in at him and say “Oh! SO tiny!’ and we’d beam with pride at our minuscule, perfect boy.
But I am glad I have these records because while I remember the beginning of Eli with a clarity I hope I will always possess, the time from 6 months to 3 years might as well have not existed, that’s how little I have retained from that time. I look back and I wonder if it was the fog of depression or if I was just too tired or too busy and I am not sure I will ever know the reason especially because self awareness has never been my strong suit, but the fact is, I have nothing of those times. I know only that it was hard. It was really really hard.
I do know that I looked down at a six month old and I wasn’t at all sure what to do with such a creature, and I do remember thinking a great deal of the time that it would be really wonderful if he would just take a fricking nap already so I could do something I wanted to do, something like read blogs or take a shower. I know that I fretted that I was supposed to be teaching him baby games or playing him music or STIMULATING! HIS! BRAIN! or god knows what, and at no point did it feel like any kind of natural mothering instinct was at work and the thought that our days would not always consist of me staring nervously at a six month old did not occur to me.
This is just a long winded way of saying that lord, I had no idea how on earth I was going to hack it with two of these mysterious creatures, and as with all great things I have ever done, I took a leap of faith and I trusted in something and I trusted in my husband the baby whispererer, and while it is also true that I have a baby who should come with a warning label because she is SO AMAZING and EASY and WONDERFUL, the reality is that for me, two is easier. Two is way way easier than one was, for me.
The best way I can think of to explain it is that it’s the difference between one of those jobs where you don’t have enough to do, and your day seems very very long, and between one of those jobs where you are very very busy, and your day goes by very quickly. Please notice I am not saying that two is less work. It is a lot of work, it is more work, but I do not have silences to fill. And I find three almost four year olds very entertaining, as compared to six month old babies, and on those days when I am ready to sell the three year old to the gypsies, then I have my little garbonzo bean baby to smoosh and I smell her neck folds and then it’s time to make dinner and another day comes to an end.
At times I am tired, and at most times I desperately wish I had someone to clean my house. I don’t love loading two children in and out of the back of a Volkswagon Jetta. But most of all I am astonished at how good I have it, how right I was to leap, how empty things seem now, looking back. And more than anything else, really, I just simply can’t imagine my life, this life, without my two.
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