Ruth told me in an email that her thought on looking at the first Joey pictures was that he looks a lot like Cricket. I was a little upset, tried to think of a polite way to tell her how wrong she was, gave up—but it was really important to me that Joey looked nothing like Cricket. Well, last week I looked at early Cricket snapshots for the first time in a long time and got even more upset; the boys look incredibly alike. Joey has more hair—that’s just about the only difference.  They even have stork bites in the same places.


It was honestly kind of a stupid move on my part. My detective work was preceded by plenty of stressful stuff: my uncle explaining that I’m probably going to kill myself to the assembled family, my mother telling me at length how important it is to hit your kids and the right ways to do it, plenty of weirdness related to my grandmother’s death. . . . Did I mention that I haven’t been getting a lot of sleep? That’s not really Joey’s fault at this point; I think he just needed a couple of days to adjust to California, and has been sleeping beautifully for the past few days. Even my mother has officially retracted his “rotten little baby” label and is trying to figure out how soon she can make it up to Stumptown.


This post is a bit rambling, eh? My brain is sort of fried, but my mood is still good, for which I am truly thankful. I feel like I’m constantly keeping a weather eye out for signs of postpartum depression, and while I haven’t seen any yet, I’ve got a full year before it would be just garden-variety depression if I started to go off the deep end. I am finding it very difficult to be productive, but all in all we’re both delighted and talking about the yet-to-be-conceived final Book baby. I had two Christmas presents for Joey already—one from us and one from Santa—but saw a deal and caved and now he has an extra gift coming. Mr. Book doesn’t have to work on Christmas and will be off work early enough on Christmas Eve that we can have a nice evening together capped off by midnight mass. I’m not sure that you’re supposed to take babies to midnight mass, but it’s one of my favorite masses, so we’re at least going to try.


Breastfeeding is still remarkably easy. This has been more on my mind recently, as I’m part of an online group of parents (mostly moms) and four boys were born within a week of each other, Joey being one; two of their moms are trying to breastfeed and having an incredibly hard time. Joey loves to nurse, I make enough milk for triplets, and being at home means that I can feed him anytime he starts to make hopeful fish faces—we are lucky. That said, I’m glad that I resisted repeated offers of a pacifier. Why tempt fate?

5 thoughts on “Rotten

  1. I’m glad nursing is going so well. Breastfeeding Noah was certainly a highlight of my mothering and one of my happiest memories!

    Family of origin stuff (sigh), lord it is work. And stressful work (at least for most of us). Hang in there. No pacifiers, no spanking — not sure why grandmothers have trouble with this. My mom was very hurt that we wouldn’t spank Noah, which speaks to her egocentrism to be sure. Ironically she thinks my sister is too hard on her kids (my sister spanks) so you can’t win for losing with my mom.

    The resemblance thing, that is a hard one to navigate. I guess I was relieved that Roscoe looked so much like his daddy because it saved awkward comparisons although I can see Pennie’s (and Madison’s) smile now that he’s bigger but now it’s a lot less … I don’t know. It’s easier now for everybody because Roscoe is so his own person.

    Navigating siblinghood is one of those many unaddressed issues in adoption/open adoption — one day I hope to real work around it because I sure could use the help myself and would like to somehow offer the help I missed.

  2. I can only imagine what it’s like to see such a strong resemblance between Joey and Cricket (and Mr. Book). I’m so sorry about your uncle’s horrible comment! And some of these comments from your mom sound like they would be hard to hear, esp. ones that bring up moments you have to relive. I’m glad that both nursing and sleeping have gone well on the whole.
    Yay, it’s going to be a wonderful Christmas! I love going to the 11 o’clock Christmas Eve service, and I especially like singing Silent Night in candlelight. That’s so sweet about Joey’s presents…I just ordered my mom a nativity pyramid.

  3. You just aren’t going to hit your child. Grandmom will have to deal with that. But how hard, especially when there is so much up & so little sleep, for you to have to deal with this at all. This difficult family especially the name-calling mom.

    I trust Dawn will do some great work on this sibling issue & that you are going to find your way through it. It’s interesting how R&N seem more accepting/in fact inviting of a connection between Joey & Cricket than they’d signaled beforehand; almost as if the thing they feared isn’t that; it’s more like an opportunity to help Cricket have another bridge to you all. Maybe that’s a gift? Eventually. Maybe it just hurts, I don’t know & I don’t imagine any of us can know for a long time.

    To sleep & to milk & to an extra present & songs for the season. So much goodness to drink in.

  4. Ah, the “Oh, the baby looks like…” thing says more about the person seeing the connection than about the connection itself most of the time.

    I’m glad there are lots of things going well, unsurprised that you still find yourself wiped out and exhausted!

  5. Sorry for the hard stuff. Hope you have a good Christmas. The wonderful thing about young babies is that they’re so portable. This may be your last midnight mass for a while, so go for it!

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