Saturday, January 16, 2010

Unexpected Reactions

Everyone warned us about how jealous Pumpkin would be of Petunia. We were prepared for it, and had discussed plans for how each of us might spend some time just with Pumpkin to help combat it.

We weren't prepared at all for Pumpkin's actual reaction. She seems to genuinely love her little sister with all her heart, and has become surprisingly fixated on the fact that the four of us are a family. She is constantly talking about her family, naming the members over and over. She spurns all offers for "Mommy and Me" outings, preferring instead to go out as a family. I'm still trying to find time for just the two of us, but the only time she really seems to want that is at bedtime. She always wants me to read her stories and snuggle with her until she falls asleep. We trade off nights reading stories, but if I'm in the house, I am the only one she wants to snuggle her to sleep.

We're not sure what to make of this, so we're just following her lead, and trying to plan outings that we can do as a family.

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Before we had Pumpkin, Hubby and I were in agreement: we wanted two kids. After the sleep deprivation of our first year and a half with Pumpkin, I wasn't as sure. Hubby still was. I waffled, and waited, until one day, when I was watching Hubby play with Pumpkin in the backyard. She was smiling up at him, laughing happily, and he looked so comfortable and at home in his role as a father. I just knew that I had to let him have another kid, and I had to give another kid him as a father.

So I got pregnant again, and was surprised at how much harder the pregnancy was the second time around. There were no real complications, but I was always exhausted and uncomfortable. Another chance to eat as much ice cream as I wanted was a redeeming feature, but I was definitely looking forward to not being pregnant, and not just because I wanted to meet my baby.

Petunia is a much easier baby in terms of sleep (as in she will actually sleep). I think she is also a mellower baby, but I don't discount the chance that it could just be that I'm less stressed by it all this time around. She is also a bigger baby- Pumpkin has always been in the 15th percentile for weight, and Petunia is in the 90th. She is already almost 15 lbs, and, at 3 months old, has out grown most of her size 3 months clothes. Newborn clothes that Pumpkin wore for months lasted Petunia just a few weeks.

Today, I put Petunia in her bouncy chair (she likes to sit in it and play with a toy) and took her into her room to sort clothes. I pulled out the clothes she had outgrown, and put the next size up in her drawers instead. As I folded her little fuzzy sleepers and my favorite polka dot onesie for storage, I felt a bit sad. When I put away the clothes Pumpkin has outgrown, it has always been with the expectation that I'd see at least some of them again. This time, I am putting them in bags to either give away or sell. No baby of mine will wear that little pink polar bear sleeper again.

I don't want another baby. But maybe I wish that Petunia would slow down, and stop growing so fast. I'm trying to savor her babyhood- she likes to take long afternoon naps in someone's arms, and for the most part, I'm happy to sit on the sofa and hold her while she sleeps. With Pumpkin, I was always looking ahead to the next milestone. When will she roll over? When will she crawl? When will she talk?. With Petunia, I'm holding on to the milestones for longer. I'm still enjoying her smiles, a full two months after they first appeared. She doesn't seem to be in any hurry to roll over, and that's just fine with me. Of course, I want her to develop and grow just like her sister did. I'm reading to her and giving her tummy time and all that. But I feel like I'm looking back more than I'm looking ahead.

I was prepared for another round of sleep deprivation and feeling like any moment I get for myself is stolen from someone else. But I wasn't prepared for how bittersweet it feels to watch my last baby grow.

6 comments:

  1. I was very scared of having a second child after my first. (My first, however, was a special needs child, and I was afraid that the second would follow suit. Fortunately not.) I was told that there would be a lot of jealousy from my older child, but at first, there really wasn't. Later he said that he thought we loved his brother more than him, but as he's gotten older, he's come to understand that his brother is simply at an age where he needs more attention. Either way, there wasn't any obvious acting out of his jealousy. Kids will surprise you.

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  2. Amen, sister. I'm right there with you. That's why even though B has outgrown most of her 3m clothes too, it's still not packed away. Glad to hear you're enjoying every minute of it. It goes by so fast...

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  3. Anonymous2:04 AM

    WOW, I could have written your post! Even down to the point that my son sees the four of us as a unit not to be separated! It is indeed sad when you're playing with your baby, and realize she can do so many things, knowing that you'll never be the parent of another newborn again. On the other hand, sometimes I feel so relieved I won't have to do that again! (like sterilizing bottles and pacifiers!).
    Regarding the putting stuff away, I got a great idea from my mother. She kept some clothes from when I was a baby, so that my baby would wear them. I think is such a special thing when another generation can wear the same things again! And you can compare the pictures of you and your baby wearing the same thing! I am planning on keeping some of my favourite baby clothes for my grandchildren to wear, so that those cute outfits get to be worn by a baby again.

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  4. Awww. How sweet this whole post is!

    We are 90% sure we are done with the two kids we have now. And I am finding myself looking forward to some of the last times I will do certain things. I try to concentrate on those so I don't get all upset about the ones I will miss. :-)

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  5. You said it! Hit the nail right on the head. Now I am crying. ;) I think DD is our last baby, but until DH actually gets the vasectomy (and then goes to the urologist for follow up to make sure there are no remaining sperm) who knows? We're probably done though. I can type that and feel good about seeing those words. Boy, I am a lot more wistful than I ever imagined I would be!

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