March 15, 2016 was a big day in our family’s history. It marked the second anniversary of the birth of my first baby (well, my first human baby anyway), and it also signified the one month mark until the much anticipated arrival of my soon-to-be second baby on April 15.
The day started like any other: I woke up early, as I do everyday, to creep downstairs and drink my morning coffee alone in peace. Not long after, at around 8:15am, I started to hear the beginning of my son’s morning concerto – he sings himself into wakefulness and I friggin’ love it. After about 5 minutes, I couldn’t take it anymore and I had to go and see what my newly two-year-old looked like (spoiler: he looked exactly like he did the night before when he was still 1).
I walked into his dim room singing his current favourite song, Happy Birthday; which, by the end of the day I think we sang over 15 times… and that is NOT an exaggeration. My terrible singing was greeted with big smiles and bomb dance moves notwithstanding the motion-limiting sleep sack he STILL loves to wear. We hugged for longer than Mr.Independent usually allows for (maybe he knew that exactly 2 years ago I was cut open on an operating table with my guts beside me as he was being pulled from my abdomen; the hug certainly said so).
We walked to the next room where Daddy sleepily joined the chorus and received his own birthday bear hug. Beau insisted that Dad get dressed immediately… I think he must have had an inkling that there were balloons waiting for him downstairs.
He spotted the coveted helium-filled balloons about 3 steps down the stairs and his face immediately lit up. When we got downstairs and fulfilled his request to “hold it”, he looked at us and said in his tiny little voice, “BALLOONS! SANK YOU!” And then he saw that I’d decorated the chalkboard behind him in honour of his big day and he said “CHATS! (that’s Beau-talk for “Chalk”) MUMMY! SANK YOU!”
After telling him how welcome he is, I retreated to the bathroom for a brief cry and to be honest, as I write this right now, it’s through a haze of what I assume has GOT to be largely pregnancy-hormone-induced tears. That moment was a small but significant victory – as parents, we hope and pray that we can successfully raise humble, kind, patient, grateful, non-assholes and this was the clearest indication I have had so far in my 2-year parenting career that we are on the right track. This Rebel Baby of ours is one hell of a toddler and he’s on a good trajectory to be one hell of a kid. Cross your fingers for us that we can stay on this path for the next 18 years.
I adore this child of mine. I love him so much that I took him to the ROM to see some REAL dinos during March friggin’ Break to help commemorate his big day. (Next year, we will be celebrating his b-day either the week before or after the big day, however. That place, and I assume anywhere like it, was a mommy anxiety attack waiting to happen).
I love him so much that I waddled my 34-week-pregnant ass all around that museum and then over to my in-laws house for birthday party #1, complete with Pizzeria Libretto pizzas and one seriously delicious ice cream cake (of which I had 2 pieces – yay pregnancy!).
His cousins and his grandparents love him so much that they spent the night of March 14 decorating the dining room at my in-law’s house with balloons and dinosaurs and presents.
His daddy loves him so much that when he passed out in the car – 5 minutes from home – he drove around the area for half an hour to let le petit prince recharge his batteries.
(His daddy loves me so much that he dropped me at home so that I could have the same chance at a power nap.)
His Maternal Grandparents love him so much that they flew in from Mexico at 1am so they’d be there to celebrate his big day with him. (enter birthday party #2 which kicked off at 5pm!)
They were kind enough to bring back with them a very special gift from my pseudo brother – yet another person who went out of his way to make sure that our little man had the best day ever.
His aunty loves him so much that she postponed her next business trip by 48 hours so that she’d be able to join the festivities.
(His maternal grandparents love me so much that they took their little sugar-infused grandson home with them *with zero notice* when they left, allowing me the luxury of sleeping in until 9:30am, and enjoying a piece of chocolate birthday cake [homemade by Grandma, may I add] for breakfast in solitude.)
So this morning, I picked up the last scraps of tissue paper, dumped a few half-drunk glasses of prosecco down the drain, smiled at the “2” birthday candle that adorned our boy’s second cake of the day before tossing it in the bin, and realized that I needed to write this all down before it got all blurred in my memory bank – especially with our impending arrival in less than 4 weeks.
This morning I saw a photo in my Facebook feed that made me fall apart at the seams. It was of a mother saying goodbye to her first born before going into labour with her second:
Am I allowed to say out loud that I am not ready for that moment? I know it’s coming but I’m not ready. I know once I’m in it, it will be the most heartbreaking moment of my life, but I also know that it will be followed almost immediately by the most exhilarating moment of my life – when my 2 babies meet for the first time – but I’m still not ready.
I just had another piece of leftover cake… and I’m still not ready.
I don’t imagine that anyone feels ready for that moment.
The one thing I’m confident of is that this family of ours is bubbling over with love. Looking back on yesterday’s events makes that more obvious than ever. There will be more than enough to go around once we throw another little guy in the mix – actually, we could probably throw another 20 in the mix and still have enough love to go around; and that sets my mind at ease a little bit.
But I’m scared of that last squeeze. That last big “tiss” before our family of 3 becomes 4. Maybe I shouldn’t be, but I am. And I think that it’s ok to be scared. I’ve never been the type who loves change…
It’s hard to believe it, but a little more than 2 years ago, it was Beau’s arrival that was the impending change I was terrified of – when I look at it like that, I know that everything will be fine. It’ll be more than fine. It’ll be perfect.
(In the meantime, if you come visit me within the next few weeks, please come equipped with endless hugs, endless tissues, and endless slices of chocolate cake. Thanks.)