|Santa, waving good-bye to Lapland. The|
other Lapland, not MY Lapland.
I mention the new baby to Andy as often as I can, lest he forget that there's a small person trapped inside me that's going to burst forth in about eight weeks and turn our world completely upside down. "This is your baby," I keep telling him, trying to give him a sense of ownership. "This is your brother. This is your best friend in the whole entire world. But he won't be much fun for at least six months- possibly a year- so as far as best friends go, he's going to be a pretty crappy one at first. Which is fine, because I expect you to be a pretty crappy big brother for a while, so it's all gravy. We're embarking on a journey, Andy, a period of serious personal growth and major sleep deprivation. Hey, you still listening to me?"
I'm getting a whole lot of advice and words of encouragement from seasoned mothers now that my belly is so big it's smothering out my lap. Moms seem to know what I want to hear, and they tell me. My own mother is excluded in this list of moms who are offering their sweet reassurances, as her comments have been mostly along the following lines.
Two kids are really going to drive you nuts.
Are you sure you won't go crazy sitting at home with two kids?
I hope you don't feel like you're losing your mind.
How are you feeling lately? Like you're mentally disintegrating into pieces? Yep, been there!
If you ever need someone to convince you that you either are insane or are about to GO insane, my mom's the one you want to call. Her talents really fulfill a unique niche in today's market.
The other moms, though- friends, relatives, clients, strangers at the grocery store who are dying to know my unborn baby's gender and future name- have all been telling me what I need to hear. I'm not sure I believe them yet, but the statements are along the lines of:
Two kids are easier than one! Several people have told me this. There's no way this can possibly be true. It sounds like an oxymoron- Twice the trouble is only half the trouble! I mean, do you take me for a sucker? And yet, I take comfort in the sheer volume of times I hear this ridiculous statement.
I was afraid I wasn't going to love my second as much as my first. But you totally do! I really appreciate the moms who have come out and said this without being prompted. It seems like such a horrible thing to worry about, but the fact that moms- other than myself- have expressed this sentiment aloud makes me feel a little more normal. And less, you know, crazy.
You've quit your job to stay home with your kids? GOOD FOR YOU! It's nice to be validated that this is the right decision. I mean, I KNOW it's the right decision- for my family although not necessarily my family's finances- but in this dimension, I've had a job non-stop since I was 16 and have never stayed home and have never been without an income. In other dimensions, I'm relatively certain I'm an heiress who's never once lifted a finger and instead spends her days working on some eccentric hobby involving items that are gold-plated. In this dimension, learning to let my husband worry about the money and not actually having a job (aside from the 24/7 full time job of raising two little boys) will be a new venture for me and a prospect that alternately fills me with absolute joy and utter fear.
The second baby slides right out. This one is from my mom, in a rare conversation where she didn't bring up going crazy. Of course, this statement is disturbing in its own right and somehow paints a picture that is not necessarily reassuring- but I hope the overall sentiment of second time labors being easier holds true. I'll let you know.
As Lapland disappears and my firstborn true love gets pushed further and further away from me, the new baby is now more present than ever- as present as he can be without actually being here. The whole situation is rather bananas. Crazy. Coming soon: new family member. And at some point, my sweet Andrew, you will get your lap back. But you may have to share it.