December 1, 2010 stages.
I’m about to get real serious on you here, blog. You see, I’ve been having a couple panicky moments lately. I chalk it up to the fact that Jackson has started crawling, er, scooting as fast as he can push his body forward (which is pretty freaking fast). And I suddenly have that dreaded thought of a full blown toddler on my hands and my head starts thinking, “Am I really doing this again?”
When you are pregnant all you can think about is the baby arriving. Names, baby gear, nursery themes. You think about going through labor. You think about the first few weeks and doing the newborn routine. You certainly don’t think about, well, when that baby grows up. Especially when you are a new parent because everyday is filled with some “holy shit” moment because your kid picked up a cheerio by using his pincers. But all bets are off when the second baby comes around. Because you know that after the pincer grasp comes the finger foods and after the finger foods comes a grocery bill that is sky high because your toddler/preschooler/kindergartener doesn’t want anything else besides chicken nuggets and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches so you are stuck making two different breakfasts, lunches and dinners
for the rest of your life for the week.
And you know, crawling is exciting when you’ve never had a baby do it before. I mean, sure, it’s exciting the second time around too. But now I know what happens after crawling. Now I have to really cover my bases (and my electrical outlets). It won’t be long before Jack starts pulling up on the coffee table and I spend my days gasping out loud for hours on end because he somehow always manages to be within one inch of knocking his block off on every piece of furniture in this place.
But I also know that this feeling of dread will pass. Because it’s a lot of fun to watch Jack push up on all fours and rock back and forth while he is grinning from ear to ear. And I remember really loving when Mckenna could run around outside with us. And it really ruled when she started talking and could actually tell us what she needed instead of a constant guessing game. And when she could feed herself and use the bathroom on her own and even get herself dressed, ding dang! A whole new life opened up for me then and I quickly forgot the, sometimes, arduous process to get there.
Recently I have had a lot of my friends who are expecting ask me about pregnancy and/or labor and/or the newborn phase. I quickly start rattling off a time line of how cool pregnancy is at first and then I get in to the final stages and all the gross, painful things involved in labor and postpartum recovery and how much work it is to have a newborn, etc. And all the while I am telling myself to, “SHUT THE FUCK UP AND STOP FREAKING EVERYBODY OUT!” and then I am all like, “JK LOL! It’s no big deal! You totally can do it!” Because the truth is, you can. All of these stages and phases are over in an instant. I remember driving to the hospital when I was in labor with Jackson and being so totally afraid to go through labor again because I already knew all the shitty things that were going to happen to me. And I was dreading the postpartum recovery SO HARD. But guess what? I hardly remember it now. Just like I will hardly remember how much it sucked to sweep the floor everyday so Jackson wouldn’t put the lone crumb I didn’t clean up in his mouth. To be honest, sometimes I look at Mckenna and forget she was ever a baby at all.
So consider this an open letter to myself, and to all of you almost/new/seasoned mothers out there – nothing lasts forever as far as your kids go (unless you have a daughter who took a liking to sleeping in your bed one night THREE YEARS AGO and has never left since because I truly see that lasting forever. For real. We might as well invest in a bigger bed now because her husband and kids are probably going to be in there one day with us.) and all these phases and stages are nothing to worry about. Things get easier and things get harder everyday but there is no use in sweating it. After all, that’s what wine is for, right?