Monday, August 12, 2013

Starting Over

"First shot complete."

That was the text I received from Lyndsay five days ago that literally made my my eyes sting with salt-water.

I held my phone under Jimmi's nose so he was forced to read the same three words. "Oh, Jeez," he joked. "My life is officially over!" After I punched my husband playfully in the arm and told him he'd better be ready for all the changes a baby, or babies, will bring, I actually started to think about those changes myself. And that's when my heart started pounding faster and my palms began to sweat.

What's going on? I thought. I've done it all before...twice! Yes, it's been ten years since the last time I had a newborn, but I'm sure it'll come back to me pretty quickly. They cry, you change them or feed them or burp them or rock them or some combination of those options. No big deal, right? I've been doing this parenting thing for almost 13 years now. I'm an expert! Well, as much of an expert as any mom can be. I'm sure it won't be that difficult to start over.

Oh my GOD!!

I have to start over?! But I've come so far!

Honestly, with the exception of some serious attitude every now and then, my boys are SO easy! They dress themselves and feed themselves and wipe themselves and entertain themselves. They can even stay home alone for a few hours while I run errands BY MYSELF! And if I do need to take them somewhere it's as easy as, "Dylan, Justin! Get your shoes on! Let's go!" And we're out the door. They grab iPods or iPads or phones or whatever electronic device will keep them happy at the store of choice and off we go. My boys can tell me if they're hungry or sick or sad without it becoming a stressful guessing game. They can read books on their own and work the TV and the DVD player. They even make their own Pop-Tarts when they wake up on weekends so I can sleep.

SLEEP!

Oh no! Sleep. Oh, wonderful and blissful sleep! Jimmi and I are basically nocturnal. If allowed, we'll stay up until the wee hours of the morning and sleep until noon. When the boys wake up on Saturday and Sunday mornings, usually around 10:00 AM, they head downstairs to the Xbox or the playroom and they don't bother us at all. If they don't feel like making cereal or toast, they'll wait until I roll out of bed and make them pancakes at 11:00!

Thoughts flooded my head of packing diaper bags with not only diapers and wipes, but also four different outfits (for multiple puking or pooping emergencies), 17 pacifiers (because the first 16 will inevitably be thrown on the mall floor within the first five minutes of a shopping excursion), six bottles of purified water with six Ziplock bags of carefully measured out, powdered formula to mix as needed, 80 jars of assorted mashed food of various colors, disposable changing pads for the lovely public bathroom changing tables that have never ever seen a can of Lysol, three pairs of extra socks for the moments you look down and realize the Sock Monster has clearly visited your car and stolen the foot coverings right off your sweet, innocent little angel since there is no other explanation for where they possibly could've gone in the thirty-second period when you were not staring intently at the child, 20 different musical, educational or texturally satisfying toys that can stick to or clip on to any surface, a cloth cover for the nasty, germy grocery store shopping carts or restaurant high chairs, plastic, stick-on covers for the restaurant tables that will be instantly peeled off so the baby can quickly lick the table before you have a chance to grab her, 15 tupperware bowls filled with soft and nutritious snacks that will most likely end up in your hair or down your shirt rather than in the kid's mouth and 2 "spill-proof" sippy cups that will leak sticky juice all over the car as soon as the precious munchkin gets bored and decides to whip them across the backseat.

And that's just the prep work that comes before you actually try to get the baby ready to leave the house!

You need to be somewhere at 11:00 AM? Ok, no problem! You'll start getting ready at 9:00. Feed, burp, change. Shit. Change again. Wipe spit-up. Sniff baby's shirt to see if she smells like sour milk. Change shirt. Pack bag. Put baby's shoes and coat on. Remove outer layer and change again. Feed again. Burp again. Put baby in carseat and hope she falls asleep. Grab diaper bag, purse, phone and baby in carseat. Get everything into the car, click carseat into base, settle into the driver's seat. Where are the keys? Go back into the house and find keys. Realize you're still wearing pajamas and never bothered to brush your hair or your teeth. You'll look and see it's already 10:45 so you'll sigh, shrug, throw a hoodie over your PJs and and a stick of gum into your mouth, run your fingers through your hair and head back to the car. The baby wakes up screaming at the sound of the slamming car door and, as you pull out of your driveway, you start to belt out every song you know from The Wiggles' catalog hoping one of them will soothe the little bugger enough that you won't lose your mind. Of course you'll arrive 15 minutes late for whatever appointment you had at 11:00, only to be told you're a day early and should come back tomorrow.

And what about date nights? Romantic vacations? Oh no! We're gonna need to find a whole new crop of babysitters! The ones I used for my kids are all grown-ups with real lives now! And then another thought came to me. I texted my ex-husband, "So, do you think you'll be able to take the new baby on your days with Dylan and Justin, too?" He wrote back, "Lol! Nope! No more days off for you!" Yes, obviously I was joking when I asked the question, but his response was exactly what I was really thinking.

NO MORE DAYS OFF!!

Ok, I know it sounds awful, but divorce isn't necessarily a bad thing. When the parents can manage to get along and everyone shares custody, it can actually be a very satisfying arrangement. My ex and I live five minutes from each other and we each have the kids two days during the week and every other weekend. When they aren't with us we can still stop by or call them or go to their games or school activities, but at the same time we have a few nights to relax and decompress. What parent doesn't need a few hours of stress-free, alone time every now and then? Well, that's about to change too.

Seriously, what am I thinking?!

Oh! I know! I'm thinking about seeing Jimmi's eyes staring back at me when I look at my precious baby. I'm thinking about how it will feel when she first learns to give a hug and it's more like a head drop on the shoulder that says, "I know you. You make me feel safe." I'm thinking of the smell of baby lotion and brushing her soft, newborn hair with my hand. I'm thinking of the excitement of watching as she accomplishes each new milestone. I'm thinking of the first time I'll hear the words, "Mama" or "I love you." I'm thinking of the smile behind her pacifier when I walk into her room as she's waking up from her nap. I'm thinking of the running leap into my arms after I return from a trip to the grocery store. But mostly, I'm thinking of sharing it all again with Jimmi, my soulmate. I can't wait to see him with our daughter. She's gonna have him wrapped so tightly around her little finger he won't know how to unwind himself. And, quite honestly, I don't think he'll mind one bit.

Yup. Here I go again! Starting over and I really can't wait!

Just make sure you send lots of coffee and please accept my advanced apologies for exhaustion-induced bitchiness.

Let's do this!

4 comments:

  1. Breatheeeeee. It's not only going to be okay.... It's going to be amazing!
    And the best part of having older kids, BUILT IN BABYSITTERS! And they love doing it!

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  3. Oh I am just so very excited for you guys and sending so much baby dust your way! John & I are going though infertility treatments right now. We will be doing a 2nd round of IVF in a couple weeks so we will hopefully have a baby (or 2!) around the same time as you!! xoxo

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