Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Theoretically Speaking

Many have asked whether Marryn “gets it”. Does she understand that a baby is coming? The short answer is yes – she does. She knows her baby brother will be on the outside of Mommy’s tummy soon. She’s begun to ask when. “When will baby brother be here? When can I play with him?” And more specific questions too; “What will baby brother eat? Where will he sleep?” She’s very curious about him. We pray for him every night and she pats my stomach. She’s even squeezed me around the middle a few times to give him a hug. As it stands now, Marryn likes her hypothetical baby brother.

What my sweet girl doesn’t know is how much her life is about to change because of him. We are going to try our best to keep her world and routine as constant as possible. She loves her routine, as do we, because it keeps us all happy and feeling secure. However, we also realize that adding another human being into our family is bound to cause a ripple or two…hundred.
My first memory is of the night my brother was born, when I was two and a half years old. I remember it being really dark in the house when my parents left for the hospital, and my grandmother came to stay with me. I remember going to the hospital the next day to meet him, and looking into the nursery. What’s funny is that I don’t remember how I felt at the time. However, when my parents reminisce about the same events, they recall the process being emotionally difficult for me. There was a lot of crying, whining, and one well placed spanking. I’m not sure if they worried about my mental well being in light of my new sibling, but they shouldn’t have. For my part, all I recollect is the basic information – a new baby brother came into my life, and I have no memories without him.
Marryn may like her baby brother alright now, but he also may be the cause of the biggest disturbance in her life to date. Try as we might, Ben and I can’t fully prepare Marryn (or ourselves, really) for his arrival. All we know for sure is that we will love him, as we love one another, and that’s the best we can do…in theory.

"I'm getting a what?"

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Lauren's daughter speaks in third person

Lauren and her husband have taught their daughter how to wash her hands, brush her teeth, and feed herself. They have taught her how to run, jump, and play hide and seek. Lauren and her husband have also taught their daughter how to say her name, which she does repeat, continually. Only, mostly their daughter refers to herself in third person.

Marryn doesn’t want to. 
Where’s Marryn’s drink?

Marryn is being silly.
I think I’m partly to blame. I regularly say things like, “Mommy needs to rest.” “That is Mommy’s dinner.” “Mommy will be right back.” Lord, Mommy is annoying herself with this manner of speaking! Why did I start doing this? I think it began as an effort to simplify my language in order to teach my baby who was who.

Now, surely Marryn is a more sophisticated linguist, but because I’m the person she hears the most often, and I have adopted this inane speech pattern, she has copied me. Bless Lauren’s daughter’s heart. She didn’t have a chance.  
I said I was partly to blame. The other part I blame on him.


What I have to remind myself is that even though Marryn speaks in third person, it’s most likely a phase. Like most idiosyncrasies from childhood - it’s cute as hell, and Lauren will be sad when her daughter stops.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Too much?

We’re expecting a baby boy in about ten weeks. We are all really excited about him, and now that we are moved into the new house, we have finally gotten busy with preparing for his arrival. Since he is the second child, we already have the vast majority of baby gear – strollers, car seats, play pen, burp cloths, sheets, etc. Luckily, we registered for gender neutral colored gear the first time around.

However, one thing we are missing this time around is baby boy clothes. I was under the impression that Marryn wore way more yellow and green clothes than she actually did. When I physically went through her old clothes, 98% of them screamed I’m a lovely, dainty female in pink and purple polka dots. I think she had maybe one shirt with a duck on it, and a couple of green sleepers.

I hate waste, and I love to recycle, so I have to ask myself…how much pink is too much pink…for a boy…that lives in Texas…in a rural area…who has a very masculine father…and grandfathers…before it makes an impact?
I don’t intend to dress him in his sister’s old skirts in public, but if he runs around the house in some pastel numbers that’s not going to affect his psyche, right? Will he really know if his pajamas say Night Night Princess? Will he care if he hangs out in a Jenny Jump Up versus a Johnny Jump Up? Won’t his pink pacifier do the same job as a blue one? Truly, I think this all matters not. Want to know why?

This is my brother during the 2,765th time I dressed him up. We are 2.5 years apart, the same distance my children will be. There was a period in his life when his favorite color was pink and he wanted to be a Solid Gold dancer when he grew up, all because those were my preferences at the time. He was subjected to countless dress up sessions (see above), make up applications, pretend mommy/baby play times, and sometimes called his underwear “panties”.

Today he is one of the most well-adjusted and compassionate men I’ve ever met. He once told Mom and I that he would make a good husband because “knew about periods and stuff”. I’m not sure if his wife would agree, but from the outside looking in, this has proven to be true. I think that he benefitted from being raised with a big sister, and maybe, just maybe, from literally walking in her shoes a time or two.

As a side note, a few friends with older boys have been amazing about lending us their son’s hand-me-downs. Between those and his sister’s leftovers, our son will be well outfitted in many shades of style.