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2.02.2015

Separate

We took the boys to the museum of science yesterday, and as part of the fun, we went to the 4-D movie playing in the morning - something about shallow seas.

For those who have not attended a 4-D movie (as I had not until a few weeks ago), you watch the film wearing 3-D glasses plus you might smell hot chocolate or Christmas trees or you might feel snow or bubbles as they fall from the ceiling.

Or you might feel like there are snakes hissing and moving around your ankles.  Which promptly terrified Squish and led to my husband carrying the poor thing out of the theater.

Bug and I stayed to watch the rest of the movie, which had begun with a momma humpback whale and her calf making their way from the shallow seas back to deeper waters.  Bug turned to me and said, "That calf is so cute!"

"I totally agree," I said.

Twenty minutes later, the movie returned to the momma and calf as they gorged on krill.

The narrator said that it would soon be time for the momma and the calf to separate.

"Separate?!?" Bug exclaimed.

"Yep.  It's time for the calf to make his way in the world.  He's ready, sweetie," I whispered.

"But will the calf have to go to danger?  On his own?!?" Bug worried out loud.

"He will be okay.  He's big and ready for plenty of adventures - even if they include a little danger, buddy," I tried.

Bug was quiet as the movie ended. 

When we left the theater and were tossing our 3-D glasses into the bin at the exit, Bug said, "But what about sharks?!?  Will the calf have to see sharks?"

"Maybe.  But he will be a grown whale by then.  Nothing to worry about.  Sharks don't mess with humpback whales.  [Plus, my little calf, I love you very, very much, and I am sure that when the time comes, I will be the one fretting about danger and sharks, while you are the one reassuring me that you are grown and ready.]" I suggested.

"Okay.  What do beluga whales eat?" asked Bug.






12.22.2014

First Trimester Fun - Part 3

My husband and I wondered for several weeks toward the end of the first trimester when and how we would tell the boys about baby number three.

I read articles about creating a comfortable environment in which my children would be able to express conflicting feelings, and I would tell them that I have felt happy and anxious at times, too.  I would guide them through the complex emotional landscape known as Momma Is Having Another Baby.

We finally decided that we would tell them on a weekend.  I did not want to tell them on a weeknight  because I didn't want any anxiety about the news to affiliate itself with bedtime.  I then read an article confirming that bedtime was the wrong time to reveal our big news.  Good.  So we were on track to be amazing parents.

And the best laid plans . . . confronted an bumped into an ordinary Thursday night, after dinner:

Bug, standing on the couch, looked down at my belly - which the third time around is noticeable even in the first trimester.

He said, "Why is your belly so big?!?"

I just looked at him and said, "What?" (A tactic I use whenever I am trying to avoid answering a question.)

Bug repeated, "Why is your belly SO big?!?  Why is it so fat?!?"

I looked at my husband in the other room and said, "[Bug] wants to know why my belly is so big."

My husband smiled.

Bug kept staring at my belly, then up at my face, then back at the belly.

He smiled and asked in a whisper, "Is there a baby in there?"

"Yes," I replied.

"What baby?!?" he exclaimed.

"A new baby that will be here in the spring," I answered, wondering if I was about to find out how capable I would be as a guide through the complex emotional landscape known as Momma Is Having Another Baby.

Bug got pretty excited and jumped around saying a few nonsensical sentences.

Squish had been jumping around on the couch near Bug for most of this exchange.  At some point, I heard my husband tell Squish that he was going to be a big brother.

Squish acknowledged the news by puffing out his three-year-old belly and proclaiming, "I have a baby in my belly, too!"

Then it was business as usual for both of them. Time for the bath.  Pretty small emotional landscape, if we had journeyed across one at all.  Apparently, we're ready.  All four of us.  


12.18.2014

First Trimester Fun - Part 2

Remember how tiring the first trimester is?

No?

Right.  I didn't either.  Then around week 11 or so, I was sitting at my desk at work thinking, "Gosh, I am tired!  Those other times I was pregnant, I had an office and could close the door and curl up on the floor under my desk.  That sure sounds luxurious now.  I know this office is quiet and slow, but I am pretty sure someone would notice if I curled up on the floor at my cubicle right now."

So I did what I do sometimes, and I Googled my troubles.

Google: "peak exhaustion pregnancy"

Results: not helpful

I tried again because I was so tired it didn't seem at all absurd.

Google: "peak exhaustion first trimester"

Results: not helpful

I took a break from asking the internet to help me and tried to tell myself, "Hey - this is probably the worst of it - you know the answer.  Stop Googling it, silly!  And by all means, please stop reGoogling after you have already discovered nothing helpful in the internet.  The only way the internet could help you now is if it could reach out to hand you a pillow, a blanket, four walls, a door, and fifteen minutes to lie down on a couch before you go back to reading about the latest and greatest in accounting standards."

I hated that advice and went back to Google because I was so tired it didn't seem at all absurd - again. 


12.11.2014

First Trimester Fun - Part 1

Now that I have shared the amazing news that we are expecting a third munchkin, I would like to share some of the highlights from the first trimester.

The following is the first of a few installments I will call First Trimester Fun (and by "fun" I mean what most people mean when they say "nausea" or "exhaustion.")

One night, around week 8, I said to my sister, "I either rage or cry these days.  No in-between.  Just those two settings.  I should start a twitter feed and list what happens during the day to set me off with hashtags: #rage or #tears."

My husband offered to get me a glass of sparkling lime water one night.  #tears

The woman behind the desk at the Y asked me to swipe our member ID cards a second time.  #rage

On a Monday, my husband told me it was probably going to rain all week.  #tears

I got a parking ticket.  #rage

I felt so, so tired.  #tears

I thought about the fact that my job only provides six weeks of paid leave .  #rage #tears #morerage

I saw Zoomy's heart beating during an ultrasound.  #tears




12.09.2014

Babies in bellies

Bug: "I want a baby in my belly!"

Squish: "Me, too!!"

Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery?

Maybe.  We'll see how they feel when Zoomy arrives in late May.  Until then, I will be the tired (but very happy) pregnant lady who tried (unsuccessfully?) to hide her belly for the first four months at work. 

11.22.2014

Momma's Boy

Have you ever felt like shouting, "What the **** did you just say?!?" and then pushing someone in the face, but then you chose not to waste your time because your two munchkins were sopping wet and crying because they were so cold?

That's how I felt this morning.

The boys and I had had a fairly lazy morning followed by a mad dash to get ready for swim lessons.  None of which should surprise anyone who knows me.

We were late to the lesson, but I dropped them off with their teacher in the pool and went to get a seat in the parent viewing area.

During the first ten minutes of class, Squish spotted me and kept saying, "Momma!!" as he gave me a big thumbs-up.  This happened several times, and it was as endearing as you would imagine it to be each and every time.

Toward the end of class, the kids swam to the end of the pool closest to the parent viewing area.  The viewing area is separated from the pool by a wall of windows.  So, when Bug and Squish are at that end of the pool, they can see me, and we are no more than fifteen feet apart from each other.

As the class got out of the pool and lined up behind a starting block to practice jumping into the water, each of the kids was freezing.  They had their arms crossed in front of their bodies and were shivering.

Squish was the saddest of the group.  Literally.  He was shivering and crying.  He saw me and called out, "Momma!  Momma! Momma!"

I gave what was meant to be an encouraging smile and said, "It's okay.  It will be okay," hoping he could suddenly lip read.

But this was not reassuring, and he kept crying and shivering.  Soon I was about to cry, too.

Finally, Bug gave him a little bump forward - his signal that it was Squish's turn to jump in.

A few minutes later, class was over.

I met the boys on the pool deck.  Both of them were shivering, crying, and saying, "Momma!"

Their teacher was standing there and said, "Momma?!?  Ha!  [Squish] kept saying 'Momma, momma!' all through class today.  I called him 'Momma's boy,' and [Bug] laughed.  Hahahahaha.  Good job today, boys."

I said, "Oh . . . No."  Then I wrapped up the boys in towels, picked up Squish, and escorted them to the family changing room as quickly as possible.

What I wish I had said was, "Momma's boy?!?  MOMMA'S BOY?!?  Ha?  Hahahaha?!?  Let me tell you something.  He is three years old.  He is THREE. YEARS. OLD.  And another thing.  He is not a momma's boy.  He is THIS Momma's Boy.  And THIS Momma does not abide by adults calling children names! AND ONE LAST THING.  If my FIVE YEAR OLD laughed when you called my THREE YEAR OLD a name, it's because he didn't realize that you were being an asshole.  But I do."

Then I would have pushed him, and he would have fallen into the pool, drenched in humility. 

11.14.2014

Favorite Book Day

This morning, about three minutes after I had put clean clothes on Squish, I heard him in the apartment:

"I have to poooop!"

This is code for:  "I am probably pooping my pants right now because I haven't mastered the art of getting to the toilet in time.  For the love of God, could someone please come help me?!?!!?"

My husband started the clean-up process, and I finished it with lots of coaxing and my most patient voice.

With the first crisis out of the way, I set the boys up with a show and got ready for work.

When the show ended, Bug started asking me if he could watch some kind of Christmas Curious George show.  Sure.  No big deal.  When it's Christmastime, my pleasure.

I took Bug to the kitchen to get his sneakers and jacket on and heard Squish screaming from the living room, "Christmas George!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I want Christmas George!!!!!!!"

Hoping this scream festival would end quickly, I ignored it.

Silly me.

I said, "[Squish], time for sneakers and jacket in the kitchen.  Come in here so we can go to school, please."

Squish, still sitting on the living room floor, staring at a television that had been turned off many minutes ago, screamed at me, "I want Christmas George!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

I explained that he needed to stop screaming at me and start putting on shoes and a jacket.  Not effective. 

So I carried him to the kitchen and tried to get sneakers on his feet.

He yelled, "I do not want sneakers!"

Having hit my yell/scream quota for the day, I decided not to fight it.  I put his sneakers in the bag and started out the door with him in my arms.

Half-way to the car, Squish yelled, "I need my sneakers!!!!"

"You will get them in the car.  You chose not to wear them.  So this is the consequence.  Choices have consequences."

"I WANT MY SNEAKERS!"

"In. The. Car."

We drove to school in relative peace - I don't know how or why.

When we arrived, I got Squish out of the car and held his hand in the parking lot while we waited for Bug to climb out and join us.

Bug, in all of his long-limbed, five-year-old dearness, sort of galumphed out of the car in a way that made one of his arms fly forward.

That arm that flew forward landed on Squish's face.

"He hit my nose!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

Many hugs, apologies, and reassurances later, we made it inside the school. 

I heard another parent say to his son, "Yep - today is 'Favorite Book Day,' so I brought your favorite books.'"

I looked down at my two boys, who had just made it through a wringer of a morning, and who were oblivious to Favorite Book Day but would probably figure it out in about ten minutes when they saw all of their friends with their favorite books, and all I could say was, "Sorry."

Which was code for: "Of course it was Favorite Book Day.  And of course it felt like a minor miracle that we managed to get out of the apartment with poop-free clothes and shoes on everyone's feet.  Sorry, guys.  Maybe being poop-free and wearing shoes is some kind of de minimis standard in other families, but in ours, it takes a lot of emotional energy and an hour and a half.  We'll do better next time."



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