Give and Take

There is an ongoing debate in my mind. Which kid has it better? Not in the small ways, the day to day Did I give them each the same amount of attention today? Did I accidentally say “Who is the cutest baby in the history of the world??” to Lucy within earshot of Emily? But on the grand scale. Who has the better mother?

Emily had me all to herself. I never put her in her car seat in the middle of her nap to take her sister to gymnastics. She had my whole heart. I wrote her letters every month on the 18th for the first year of her life. Sweet Lucy, you have had to share me from the moment you were born. And I am two weeks late on your Happy Half Birthday note! (See, I can commit to a “note!” Not even a proper letter!!)

But there is a give and take. Lucy got the mother that was confident. That knew what she was doing. Lucy has never slept a night in a bassinet or a crib because I did not doubt that she belongs with me. Lucy hasn’t ever eaten in a restaurant bathroom because I knew from day one that nursing my baby is something I would not ever do in hiding. Lucy’s mother held her tiny little body and soaked her with tears because I could not imagine loving her any more than I did not because I was afraid that I would never love her enough. Lucy shares her mother. But it is a confident mother.

My position as an “experienced mother” will bite me in the ass. I haven’t ever been Lucy’s mother before. And as soon as she moves from infant to toddler and her personality takes shape I will get thrown firmly back in to the camp of Holy Hell What Am I Doing With This Kid?! But for now, it’s easy breezy in our house.

My Little Lucy Girl,

You are a little over six months old and you do not sleep through the night. In fact you wake more now than you did those first few weeks. You roll towards me and grab at me with your warm and often spitty little hands until you find something to eat. You’re far too busy during the day to while away the hours nursing.

You are desperate to crawl and keep up with the big kids. Your dear mother who has never done a “real” push up in her life until recently must be inspiring you. The determination in your face as you attempt to drag that big old head of yours around on your teeny little arms is endearing. You’re trying, sweet girl, and you’ll get it any day now. You make do by rolling around in seemingly haphazard circles towards any non baby safe items in the room. If you do not choke on a Lego before your first birthday I will consider this first year a success.

Moments after you were born we were preparing to bring you home. Hours after you were born we were here. In our house. Our family of four. And it was as if you’d always been here. Your father, who had previously held a baby like it was a ticking time bomb, can now “hold the baby” AND do something else! This is no small feat. Your sister, who was the center of my universe, now proudly shares it with you. I keep waiting for her to wish you away with the goblins like in Labyrinth but she adores you. More than once when I I have selfishly been in the bathroom (alone!) I have returned to find her rocking you, holding you, giving me the stink eye and preparing a lecture about my negligence. Even Fisher fell right back in to his position as the lowest low man on the totem pole, biding his time until you become a never ending source of snacks.

Speaking of snacks, you are not the voracious eater I thought you might be. You’re a big fan of the carrot stick and the piece of celery. A cold slice of apple is equally fantastic in your world. But a sweet potato or a banana? Anything you might actually swallow? No, thank you. So for now, you join us at meals with your cloth napkin to wave around and something cold to gnaw on. Like a gal who just never manages to take home an Oscar you are just happy to be nominated.

This weekend’s avocado may have been a success. I keep finding spots you have smeared it that I managed to not wipe up so less of it may have gone in your mouth than I originally thought but it is a step in the right direction. Again, a perk of being the second kid, I am not too terribly concerned. You’ll eat when you’re ready. Baby-led solids or (baby-led weaning) is not called baby-led because the parent is supposed to agonize over it.

If a child is a product of their environment than you, little lady, are proof positive that our home is a happy place. You smile. And you smile some more. Your laughter is like no other sound. No one is quite as funny as your sister but you have rewarded me on more than a few occasions with a belly laugh I’ll not ever forget. I have said since Em was born that she was my heart. She taught me to love and to love myself in a way I’d not ever experienced. You, Miss Lucy Q, are my greatest joy. You make my days go by so quickly now and my smiles come so easily. I have made what might possibly be the most difficult transition in my adult life, to that of a for the most part stay at home mom, and I have done it all while laughing. You have taught me already to slow down and not take things so seriously. I thought your sister was a ham, but you take center stage.

This week you have traded in your incessant Dadadadadada (a cruel joke that Da comes out of a baby’s mouth so long before Ma does) for the far more hilarious and linguistically challenging bllbr-blllbr-blllbr. The accompanying flicking of your tongue in and out of your mouth is fun for all.

Lucy Goose, you are every bit as silly as your nickname predicted. And every bit the little champ I knew you’d be. You came in to the world with your fist raised above your head and you are asleep in my lap as I type with it raised still. You are going to give us hell one day, I just know it. But I also know we will sit back and laugh about it one day.

Six and a half months. I knew I wanted to marry your dad after only six and a half months but I had to play it cool for a bit longer. But you, I can be unabashedly head over heels in love with you. I love you, Lucy Quinn. You make me laugh. Every single day. And when I hold you above my head and you smile and drool drops in to my eyes I don’t even mind. Keep it up. The drooling might get old eventually but the laughing never will.

Love you, kiddo.


4 responses to “Give and Take

  1. Love this! Just wanted you to know, I have an older sister too and when we turned into teenagers, there were loads of things I did first and my parents had to learn with me like I was the older one. As time goes on, they’ll switch back and forth between being ‘first’ — can’t wait to read your letters then :)

  2. Your words make me tear up, while I think of my twins who are just two weeks older than your Lucy. Isn’t it incredible how our babies astounds us with their love, and life’s lessons they teach us! Not to mention those belly laughs! THE most beautiful sounds in the world!

Gimme some love!! Please?

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