Monday, September 15, 2008

some Charlie musings...

So, I have promised a big birth story and it is in "drafts". But it isnt done and it has made me not think it was ok to just blog about more casual stuff. so....birth story is still coming and my goodness thank you for all of the support. I have been a complete loser about commenting back on my own comment section--I apologize! I get every comment sent to my email and I savor each one. These words are what keeps me going, period, many days. I do not know how you all even find my blog (someone help me install one of those tracker things, huh?) but just thank you thank you thank you. Man.

Well I am here to do some realistic reporting on the man himself, a.k.a. Mister Baby Charlie. Sigh. Baby Charlie....he is one pissed off dude. I dont even know what to say about him right now! I have ALWAYS maintained that 2 year olds are babies and that 2 1/2 year olds are kids, and this huge change comes about sort of subtly....your fat little baby you remember so well from their 2nd birthday party ("say thank you, honey! say thank you!"....blank stare) is now this kid, this totally verbal, opinionated, talented, strong willed CHILD....that (for our family) is in this bizarro space of "is it a tiny boy or a giant baby?". He nurses and nurses and nurses. Nursing for milk. Nursing for comfort. Nursing out of habit. Nursing out of blatant angry possessive jealousy of the new baby. Nursing everytime she does and then some. Screaming I WANT NURSIE in a very un-loving tone. Turning it into this thing, that frankly, isn't always ok anymore. Dealing with that. (The isolation that can come from doing something so far out of ANYONE's "comfort zone"....I have nursed him "in public" at this age only a few times---pathetic traitor to the cause, right? Im trying....)He is in diapers, he sleeps in a crib, rides in a stroller, has a high chair and a car seat and a baby-soft toothbrush, wears clothes that have the Gerber-baby head on the tag...but is feeling more and more KID and less and less BABY by the day. and its good and its sad and its scary and its wild and its bittersweet and its normal and i have been here now quite a few times and it never gets easier, and it always creeps up on me out of nowhere, and it has less to do with the the latest "new baby" than i used to think, but boy o boy let us Mamas never, EVER underestimate the shake-up that a new baby always, always causes/brings.
Let us Mamas not fantasize that if only the birth had gone the way of toddler watching the whole darn thing right in the middle of the living room floor would there be no sibling rivalry...cuz that just aint true.
let us Mamas and hopefully, oh I do hope for all you preggos out there, that your support network,( may you all have a real one and not a vapor-one) can deal with even a fraction of the shake-up that is the Homebirth Transfer....or the unplanned cesarean....or the planned cesarean that still ended up massively f'ed up and devastating.....please please someone alert the caregivers (may you have some!) to the gargantuan vibrations that will come home along with the little squalling blanket in mommy's arms.....the anger and the sadness and the pain and the shame and the disappointment and the processing and the frustration and the Mommy-is-home-but-she-really-isn't-here weirdness....oh god the toddlers, the husbands, how does anyone plan for that? Did baby Charlie even have a chance at smooth sailing? Did he really fare any better than poor, poor baby Casey, who, at 26 months old, was the casualty of a planned homebirth-transfer-cesarean-zero assistance whatsoever decimated Mom scene November of '05? A full time nursing tot whose Mama was just GONE? GONE for a week and then returned in complete tatters? Shudder shudder sigh.

What am i even talking about? Oh yeah. Baby Charlie. Last fall he was a white-blonde curly haired one year old and now he is an almost three year old dude...sorry to obsess about the hair, daddy took him for a trim and he got way too much of a big boy haircut for my gentle will grow..... Yes, I am using a bit of poetic license in the way i say that but its all still true. I miss him. I missed him. Somehow. Again. Another pregnancy, another 2-ish year old, just POOF!-ing into a 3 year old.
I am enjoying him and we are relearning about each other. He is very wonderful and very very grown up all of a sudden. Now that the older kids are in school, I am home with this baby-kid, this angel-devil, and I am amazed and exasperated and touched and proud and saddened and frustrated and in love with him. I am trying to capture something I never really had with him, which is just a really warm and familiar, cozy relationship. Dont get me wrong, I feel that him and I "bonded" quite well for a c-section (compared to my experience with Mickey, which is all I knew when Charlie came, it was great. With Mickey, I just sort of stared at him for 3 months and wondered when the doctors would come and take him away, and tell me there was a big mistake and this squelching colicky gassy bald strange little critter was not mine).....Me and Charlie were always "bonded", but being so busy with 4 kids he was just Good Old Baby Charlie, chewin' on a cookie, and then i was pregnant, homeschooling, bartending, and then, well, I dunno. We moved to the new house and he is a big brother. And almost three (November 1st). And big and smart and funny and angry and loving and ridiculous and I feel like I just dont know him sometimes. I want to be closer to him and it is getting easier everyday I am further away from the cesarean, further into healing, further into routine, further into rest and recovery, there will be more of Mama in this old woman.

I love you, Charlie, and I hope that one of the good things that comes out of this putting the kids in school thing is that you and me can really snuggle in and become awesome together. You have the sweetest spirit, and now you deserve to flourish and grow in peace and gentleness, home with Mama and Baby Sister. I have great great dreams of an extremely cozy winter, with the wooden floors and the sunny windows and the little toys that I have spent so many hours going through for you, the little finger puppets and spinning tops, the wood doll house and the blocks that me and Steve hand-sanded so long ago...the nursery rhyme books, the fat crayons, the pull toys, the wooden trains, the vintage fisher price stuff, and the music. The music the music the music, how I have missed the music. Woody Guthrie. The Babysitters. The Roches. Lunch Money. The Classical station on the TV. My "Healing Harp" CD.....big kids dont want to hear this stuff as much anymore, but I have missed it all acutely.

I think I might be my best with kids under age 7 or so. I really have quite a passion for early childhood and all of its trappings.
Who knows.


Anonymous said...


Your love shines through. Thanks for putting this all out "there" .

I have to say i had a great homebirth with my second. But the Post- partum time really tore my family apart and it took a full 6 months to get back o a good place.

Heal and enjoy your children. They grow fast. it seems although i spend almost all of my time with them I am missing out.

Judit said...

You are a poet. I've never met your Charlie but I love him just through reading your words about him.

Chantel Hayes said...

Oh yes, my goodness how you caught that age so well with words. So big, and yet not. Noah is three and a half this month (!!!) and he's no longer a baby. Isabella is almost 2 and I already see it starting. She's talking more and certainly has her own opinions. ;)

Rest and be well Mama.

Kelley said...

I love that age for that very reason. I love seeing the transition from baby to "big kid." I wish I could meet your little Charlie. You portray him beautifully.

becks said...

oh good luck to you. i am a mama of a "baby kid" (as he calls himself) too. it's such a daily/hourly struggle. you are so tough to do it with a new baby and older kids. i hope things get into a great groove now that your kids are in school. good thoughts from a stranger in texas!

Rae said...

My "baby" turns three on Halloween! Happy birthday babies!

TracyKM said...

I'm having many of the same feelings. I don't have a new baby, but my 'baby' is turning 3 in November too, and the other kids are now both in school full time, so it's "All Meg, All the TIME". I've never had just a 2-3 year old at home. #2 was born when #1 was 2 1/2, so I was consumed with the baby and was already very detached with my son as he had also been a colicky, refluxy, SPD baby/toddler. I look at my 'baby' and say "Baby? Child?". I think back to #2's 3rd birthday and how I thought she was no longer a 'baby' she looked so 'old' but now when I see the pictures, I clearly see the baby and feel I robbed her of more babyhood. It's a damn good thing they won't remember ANY of this!!!!

Angi said...

Such a sweet post. I was in tears thinking of my own nearly two year old and the transition from nursing baby to nursing toddler and how all that is going to go.