Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Great and Real Expectations

Baby Alive farted today. This may not sound eventful, but it was actually kind of scary to see and hear a doll with such life like features fart and then scream “hug me” repeatedly for 20 minutes. Wren started freaking out a little and I thought about putting a pillow over Baby Alive’s head to muffle the sound. However, I had visions of Wren in a few months trying to quite Sammy’s cries with a pillow to the face and thought better of it. That would totally be my fault. So we just laid her on the bed and let her freak out until she closed her huge eyes and fell into a peaceful slumber.

Baby Alive was only acting this way because her batteries are low. She’s usually polite, not too demanding, one of Wren’s favorites. It was a great visual demonstration of what can happen when our batteries get low. It was also a freaky reminder of that Chucky movie from when I was a kid.

It’s easy for me to forget the tired, run down times when I’m not tired or run down. Right now, I feel so alive and like I’m accomplishing so much. Wren and I have our summer schedule pretty ironed out, the house is generally in some kind of order, and I feel completely rested. Dennis is about to embark on his last semester of college before receiving his Bachelors in December. It’s good. The second trimester rocks. And though it’s not easy thinking about taking Wren back to daycare, I feel like we could be on the cusp of life changes that will eventually eliminate that need and allow us to grow our family even more. I’m not looking forward to returning to work, but I am working hard on doing it with the enthusiasm my students deserve. Plus, I have maternity leave just around the corner.

There have been days in the last two weeks when things have fallen so beautifully into place that I actually felt like I should be wearing a Suzy Homemaker tiara and sash. However, I have to remember that there will be days I want to toss the tiara and hang myself with the sash, days that dinner isn’t hot and on the table at six, days that my house is not clean and I am not functioning on eight full hours of sleep. There will be days I’ve been locked in a room with 75 eighth graders and all their attitudes, and I will want to scream. I can’t wait to meet Sammy, but I know that I’m going to be a Jersey cow for the better part of the first two years of his life, and I’ll be trying to sleep and keep up with a two year old the rest of the time. I remember the first few months with Wren as a newborn as some of the most beautiful moments of my life. I didn’t care that nothing was clean, that I pretty much just served as a milking machine-in fact breast feeding was one of my favorite parts and I’m sure will be again-, and that we only ate because people from our church brought us food. I knew I was accomplishing the most important task by just being with my child and not being anal about everything else. I know it will be that way with Sammy too, but I also know I won’t be napping when he naps unless Wren happens to be napping too. I know we’ll be doing play dates for Wren so she’s not bored instead of just laying in the recliner semi-unconscious together. And I am looking forward to balancing both. However, I know one thing my daughter and I for sure have in common: if not well rested and well fed, we are beast. We are Baby Alive farting and begging for love and not wanting to be hugged when someone finally does approach us. We’re nuts. And I do anticipate the double or triple or more sleep deprivation that comes with having two children instead of just one. So I’m trying to recharge now, rest, cook, play, and just take it one day at a time. I figure if I get into the habit of this it will be easier to accomplish when I am run down with low batteries.

I will not set unrealistic expectations. When Sammy is born and I am chasing one child and constantly feeding the other, I will not scrub toilets, cook if I’m exhausted and need a nap, try to pretend I have it all under control. I will laugh and enjoy every moment and remember that at some point I will be able to clean with my two little helpers beside me, return phone calls, sleep through the night. Every moment with them is so unique and fleeting. I won’t miss them because I’m worried about doing something else. Even when my battery is low, I will bask in the happiness of the moment and remember that real grown up junk is always going to be around for me to do. Little ones grow too fast.

Should my plan of just letting go and not stressing fail and you find me having a Baby Alive like tantrum, please don’t put a pillow over my face. Just cover me up with a blanket and let me nap. That’s probably all I’ll need anyway.

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