Mixed Bag

I am having a hard time. Happily, things aren’t all hard at the same time—the Snerks is just amazingly fun, if really able to get into trouble now—he can open the garbage can, open our sliding doors, and managed yesterday to tip over a nearly-full cup of lukewarm coffee onto a pale carpet. Sure, that was my fault (I ran to the back of the house for something, literally ran, but it takes no time at all for him to accomplish these things), but as I cleaned the carpet, he kept trying to eat the cleaning agents and smiling at me. It is a very toddler time. He’s so playful and sweet, even when he is absolutely determined to pull dishes off the table/drive the cats to suicide/climb into the fireplace—he’s having a great time, and he wants us to have a great time with him. I am very grateful for the ball pit.

Still no work for the Mister, although he’s had a couple of interviews; we’re both discouraged, although I am trying to see each interview as a step closer to eventual work.

We had a Skype date with Cricket and Ruth today. It was awkward, although Cricket was very excited about the ball pit and asked his mom whether he can have one—he also called out to Joey, trying to get his attention and succeeding briefly. (Joey was otherwise occupied, trying to tangle himself up in my yarn.) Ruth is still planning on the three of them visiting at the end of April, although the amicable coparenting arrangement they had planned on is looking more challenging than they had at first thought it would be. I have already delicately mentioned that we have spare sleeping spaces in more than one room and will let it rest there until and unless they buy plane tickets.

That was Friday; it’s Monday now. Yesterday we went to Hollywood for the afternoon—my father gave the Mister and myself tickets to an NPR taping of an Oscar special, which was fun, and then we wandered around, looked at handprints in cement and ate some pizza. There really are good things going on, but I’m still quietly having a hard time. But it’s something I can live with. The pregnancy is emotionally harder than my last one, which I hadn’t really expected; there are days and days when it feels like a thing that I am doing to Joey. I talked to a mother who has two girls born fifteen months apart, and she talked about preparing her older daughter for the birth of the baby—she bought and cared for a baby doll, which is what I’ve heard advised for dog owners, funnily enough. I can’t imagine Joey being able to understand what’s about to happen, so while I’ve talked about it with him a couple of times, the only result that I can see is that he will now point to the picture on his container of wipes and say “Baby.”

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5 thoughts on “Mixed Bag

  1. I remember that feeling that the new baby was something I was doing to the toddler I already had…her life seemed so jolly–why would I throw a potential monkey wrench into it? etc. It was very scary.

    It turned out fine, of course. Better than fine, really, as they were inseperable play buddies for the next decade-plus.

    Hope that you too will be able to look back with a big sigh of relief.

  2. My brother and I are 15 months apart and I view our relationship as one of the greatest gifts I was ever given (granted I am the younger sibling). He doesn’t remember life without me and we are incredibly close. Sure we fought like dogs as kids but we were also fiercely protective of the other and very close. I have five children close in age (6,5,3,2,5 mos with the biggest gap being 22 months and smallest gap being 17 months) in large part because I love his and my relationship so much. You are giving him a gift. Now for some assvice. Please feel free to tell me to sit on my hands and shut up already. Wear Joey a lot when the new baby comes home if he is used to being worn. If both are crying help Joey first. Don’t have Joey come to the birthing center or hospital (obviously personal preference but this worked really well for us) but when you come home have Joey meet the new baby outside and bring him and and show him around. Let joey hold the new baby as much as he wants whenever he wants as long as he does whatever rules you feel needed (ours are wash hands sit down and have boppy on lap) he will likely get tired of it and leave the baby alone more then if the baby is forbidden to him. Ask joey if he wants to be your baby or your big boy. if he says baby cradle hold him and fuss over him and kid etc like you would were he a baby and if he says big boy feed him something fun like crunchy apple pieces and play a game with him. this way he doesn’t feel like he is replaced and has to be such a big boy. ok thats all of my advice. seriously thought it saved my sanity and came to me bit by bit from other brilliant women. sorry you are having a hard time and I will continue to pray Mr. book finds work asap

    • I love this advice: thank you. I’ve been trying to come up with a list of things to do with/for Joey when the Possum comes, but so far have a rather lame collection of “get him a small present for the baby’s birthday” and “make sure Joey and I have some time alone together.” I’m sure we’ll also end up eating takeout for awhile, which I know he’ll enjoy. 😉

      What you have with your brother is so what I want for my kids—thanks for sharing your experience.

  3. Wow, I love Mary Elizabeth’s advice! My oldest sister had her kids very close together. She went to the doctor for her post-partum visit to ask about birth control and her doc said, “Too late! You’re already pregnant.” Those two kids are so so so so close now. She has a third as well, who’s quite a bit younger and they both get a long with him, too, but the oldest two are crazy-close. She said that she thinks part of it is that the first doesn’t remember being alone so her brother is just part of her heart/soul.

  4. Such great advice.

    I was guilty before the second & my dear friend, for whom I’d babysat (her wonderful daughters, all grown now) said, “Just remember you’re giving your kid the best gift ever in this sibling.” They do adore one another. I believe she’s right.

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