Thursday, June 19, 2008

And in the end the love you take is equal to the murder you don't commit


It's true what everyone says - A parent's heart grows to accommodate the love for their second child.

I wasn't sure if I believed that before I had C.C. - I mean, how is it possible to love someone as much as you do your first born? Then again, I wasn't sure I'd ever be able to love anything as much as I loved my dogs. And yes, that's more than a little screwed up - but now I do. My heart has grown and stretched to accept this new child, much like my stomach grew (and grew, and grew) to accept her as she grew inside me.

If this sounds disgustingly cliche, even throw-up-in-your-mouth repulsive, it is. It's horribly sappy and sentimental. Ooh, a mother's love knows no bounds. A mother loves her children equally.

Blech.

If I don't watch out, the next time I use the toilet rainbow colored unicorns might shoot out of my arse.

I've found, however, that this horrible sentimentality is necessary to the survival of the first born child more than for the emotional well being of the latest addition. Actually, it's necessary to all parties involved but to the eldest, or elder children if there is more than two children in your family, especially. If a mother's heart didn't accommodate all her children, then how would the first be allowed to survive when they insist on pushing the sleeping infant in her battery powered swing when the baby is FINALLY SLEEPING AFTER SCREAMING FOR THE PAST HOUR and OMG, IF YOU WAKE HER I WILL MAKE YOU SLEEP IN THE GARAGE? OH, LOOK! YOU WOKE HER UP. COME HERE SO I CAN SQUEEEEEZE YOU REALLY TIGHT, MY SWEET.

The love, man, it's overwhelming.

Chicky loves her "Baby Sister Caroline", as she must be called at all times so that it flows from the child's mouth as all one word. She loves her to a fault. She wants to hold her constantly, especially when the baby is sleeping or attached to my nipple.

"Can I hold her?"

Not right now.

"Can I hold her, puh-weeze?"

Later.

"Can I hold her now?"

Not. Right. Now.

"Mama, can I hold mybabysistercaroline NOW?"

Anyone have an ice pick I can jam in my ear?

Repeat at least 50 more times until I finally get exasperated enough to shoot laser beams from my eyes in her general direction. And then repeat another 50 times because she can deftly avoid the laser beams at this point.

"But why can't I hold her?" *Whine. Kick. Stomp. Hit the couch in the general area of where I'm sitting and throw a toy.*

Uh, because she's using my breast as a chew toy right now, Honey. Now run along and play with something sharp, m'kay?

I love Chicky. I think I love her even more now that C.C. is around, and I'd have to because I've never been closer to pitching her out a window as I am on any given day. Even closer than when she was a colicky infant and she would scream for 20 hours out of every 24. I love her because she pushes me and, even though I'm pushed passed my limits and snap on more occasions than I'd like to admit, the next day I'm better equipped to handle her. I love her because she makes me go to that dark place that parents go to sometimes but can just as quickly snap me out of it so that I'm smothering the poor girl with kisses instead of a pillow. I love her because when I can talk her off that ledge of full-fledged preschooler meltdown, I feel pretty damn good about myself as a parent.

(Step away from the tantrum. That's right, put down that My Little Pony you were planning on throwing at my head and come give your Mama a kiss. Good girl. Here's a bag of sugary cookies now run along and play in traffic.)

(Crisis averted. I freaking ROCK. Yeah.)

Now, lest you think I'm on top of this game let me put those thoughts to rest right now. I'm running out of ideas here. Since Chicky is in such desperate need to help out and pitch in when it comes to her sister I need to involve her as much as possible or dare incur the wrath of Psycho Chicky.

Psycho Chicky? Qu'est-ce que c'est?

That's the part of her personality where the whining reaches window-shattering decibels and if you don't look out someone is going to get hurt. She's prone to dramatic meltdowns but I have never seen her go so far off the edge of reason than since we brought C.C. home.

We do what we can to keep her involved - everything from fetching diapers to handing over baby wipes to throwing away the dirty diapers (Hey, she insists) - but even though I have the most proficient pooper in the world living under my roof and waking me up every few hours to feast from my fun bags, there are only so many diaper changes a day. After that... Uh...

Yeah, I've got nothing.

I'm sure we'll work it out and life with two girls will become easier. Probably just in time for puberty to set in and the real fun starts.

Until then, I'll try to allow the excess love to flow from me and wash over my dear children. Maybe it will rinse some of the drama away. Or maybe we'll just end up all wet.

36 comments:

The Estrogen Files said...

Maybe have her bring stuff for you? Read you a book? Put something away? Give her an unbelievable (to the child) moment of bliss by actually holding CC alone for a sec?

Whatever you choose, I wish you luck. It's rough with (God strike me for saying it) only 2! No built in entertainment.

Heather B. said...

A friend of mine had her second baby recently. While I was visiting her along with a mutual friend who is about to have her second baby, my friend announced to our mutual friend that it will be impossible for her to not love her second baby because she will HAVE to be forced to love the second because she'll be so annoyed with the first at times.

She said this out loud, while my childless self was sitting there and I had to try to not have a panic attack and think about how my hypothetical child would be an only child. I then found out that my mother once threatened to shove me out the window just days after my younger brother was born. She didn't and she survived. Just think of how awesome things will be like 20 years later either that or I have some wine I can share with you.

Fairly Odd Mother said...

I totally get your dog comment. When asked what I'd do if my (not yet born) first child was allergic to my cats, I told someone, I'd have to find the baby a new home.

Um, yeah, I said that.

The newborn stage is hard no matter how you slice it. I don't even have a newborn anymore and yet I hear that ear-splitting scream more times than I want to count in a given day. But, I've heard that girls give you a reprieve for a few years. . .and then they hit puberty.

Katie said...

That is some love flowing in the House of Chicky. That's what we call dangerous love or stabby love. Yup, I know that love that makes you squeeze 'em tight.

motherbumper said...

Hey - that's me up there. I was signed in all wrong.

PunditMom said...

All I can say is you are a much more fabulous mother than me. ;)

Crazed Mom said...

Love the honesty. Back in 1991 when I had my second child, folks thought I was going to harm my older child. Geez peeps hear of sarcasm and humor as coping mechanism ever? I was fairly lucky in that older one ignored younger one more than I expected.

Make sure you remove all sharp instruments from the home.

Getting out of the house for walks helped me tons. 2yo would wander and find me ricks and younger slept in snuggly and my hands were free.

Emily said...

Being the eldest of 4 I have lived through the new child thing repeatedly and I remember how much I used to love "getting baby's things ready" which looking back on it now was just a repeated exercise in folding baby's laundry over and over again. My mother insists it was the only thing she could think of whenever I wanted to "help"!

justmylife said...

Will you teach me your tricks? I have an 8 year old that has teenage meltdowns, I need help!

Pgoodness said...

smothering with kisses instead of a pillow. *snort* with you on that one! The squeezes of frustration that turn into tickles and hugs are what get me through the days.

Anne said...

When people comment on how adorable and cute my kids are I tell them it's what keeps them alive. It is true! There were plenty of time they would have been told to play in the busy street if it weren't for their cuteness. That's the weapon God gave little kids so they have the chance to grow up and either fend for themselves, move out or both.

jen said...

babe, you sound happy. i love it. you. C. and Sweet Caroline.

3XMom said...

I am right there with you, sister. AMEN!

Mandy said...

I laughed so hard.

My second is now 8 months and it, um, gets easier? Yeah. Sure. That's it.

Frankly, I'd start hoping for that unicorn to appear because at least it will be another distraction for the girls. You're gonna need it.

;)

Julie Pippert said...

Yes, right, uh-huh, it will get easier.

Sweetie, what you've got now is now and later will be later, but the best news of all is SCHOOL!

Which happens to be out now. So welcome to the parental freaking out going on all over the web. :)

As it is, you all sound too, too cute, even though I know Just What You Mean.

Carrie said...

Have you asked Chicky to draw a picture for CC? Or sing or dance for her when she's feeding?

Mrs Big Dubya said...

Thank you for the honesty....

I'm so glad to have it confirmed that I'm not alone in my desire to gag older children who wake/disturb the sleeping newborn.

You are learning that 2 is way more than 1 + 1 and we are discovering that 3 is oh so much more than 2 + 1

Good Luck!

Susan Getgood said...

How about putting her in charge of making a scrapbook about her sister. Get her a book, a glue stick and a bunch pf pictures, maybe some sheets of stickers and let her go to town making a special memory book for the family. Once it is started she can work on it every day, probably good for half an hour. Then you'll have a memory of CC's first months created by Chicky.

Her Bad Mother said...

You can use the toilet already? I envy you.

(also? YES. and: DITTO)

kgirl said...

Welcome to two. Although Bee is totally loving and completely sweet to her adoring baby sister, I do believe that her first goal is to wake her up whenever she finally falls asleep. Did anybody tell you that they NEVER sleep at the same time? Enjoy!

ewe are here said...

At least she adores her BabySisterCaroline and wants to 'help'. ;-)

Take heart. IT does get easier. REally. It does. And sooner than you think.

petite gourmand said...

ah...yeah I've got nothin.
sorry.
your post cracked me up though...you're funny as usual and always make the most difficult of situations seem super humorous.

hang in there and good luck!

beautiful photo btw.

kittenpie said...

This is part of the reason (maybe a large part of the reason?) that Pumpkinpie will be remaining in daycare ON TOP OF going to kindergarten this fall. I need time to deal with getting the hang of the baby thing again, I need time when I could "nap when the baby naps," time to myself on a few baby nap occasions, and the ability to deal with one screaming child at a time. I don't know how you do it... But even if you're snapping daily, know you would not be alone! (And if she's anything like pumpkinpie, she'd likely be thrilled to give her lots of pats and so on, which could keep her little hands in action a bit?)

Ruth Dynamite said...

Oh how the love oozes. (You're killing me here with the "go play in traffic" asides.)

Sooner than you think, your TWO little darlings will be entertaining one another and you'll be free to sit back with a glass of merlot and marvel at the wonders of them both - and the love will indeed be oozing.

Hang tight, Mrs. C.

creative-type dad said...

That picture is just too cute.

Heather said...

I found it got easier when my #2 was about 6 months old. Then a little easier yet when he could play with his sister. Now they just fight all the time and I yell at them from the chair while I'm nursing their sister.

Ahhh. Good times.

mothergoosemouse said...

"babysistercaroline" - reminds me of something I hear a lot: "baby ovvivver" Followed by lots of wet, smacking kisses.

Bon said...

ah, motherlove. dragged from us kicking and screaming, whilst we balance at the edge of our patience. and yet, Jen's right, you do sound happy. i'm glad.

amazing thing, species survival. you keep on lovin'. :)

ShannanB said...

I was so scared that I would not know how to spread the love between the boys. I feared that my oldest would feel slighted. I was so wrong to worry. That love is instinctual. It just kicks in. I can't imagine my life before the boys.

Congrats again on the new baby.

Ms Picket To You said...

when baby two was born (that was seven long years ago) I weeped alone on my porch - and that alone time lasted like three seconds it seemed before the baby one and the Stud found me.

all I could think in my sorry misery, when he handed me that hungry baby, and while baby one wrapped her sorry herself around my feet, was, "i just made you your knew best friend" as if that mantra alone could save me.

it didn't. then.

but flash forward, and though their fights so many years later are epic, baby one and baby two still find their way into each other's beds every night. and sometimes they even sneak in baby three.

which is a long winded way of saying: it'll be okay.

mo-wo said...

Not a word of a lie. I know what you say is so true. Didn't I already write you about that scalp pulling thing.

BTW there is a really trashy sort of I never recommend it but kids book. "I'm a big sister" by Joanne Cole. I t was the bomb for my Girl Friday. She studied it for days and really got it thanks to that book.

Mom101 said...

Oh don't worry, she'll outgrow the squeezing in no time and soon she'll just want to take Caroline's toys. And then when the baby crawls it will be a constant chorus of "MOMMEEEEEEE...THE BABY IS TRYING TO GET ME!" That's a fun one.

Christina said...

I have to agree with mom101. Soon she'll be stealing toys and pushing her over when she first sits up and screaming that the baby is going to take her food.

But I so remember the days you're going through, and they are sweet and frustrating at the same time. Wait - most of what's to come fits that same description, too.

Any way you could convince Chicky that CC really doesn't like dust, so could she please take that swiffer cloth and dust anything she can reach? Or is that against child labor laws in your state?

Vicki said...

Have her draw a picture for C.C. while she's sleeping so that she'll have something nice to wake up to. Have her think of a song to sing to her when she wakes up but make her practice it in her room. Put baby in swing in a place where she can't go? Say bedroom with kiddie gate in doorway and baby on other side of room?. I had twins so I don't really know what to tell you. How do you keep two babies who can't walk yet from pulling each other down off the couch every time they pull up?

Good luck with the distraction methods...

Heather at A Boy, A Girl, & A Pug said...

Hi-
I have been reading (stalking) your blog for awhile now and I must admit, you crack me up.

Especially since I know exactly how you feel with your older child.

I have a 2 year old and a 5 month old. There are days when that little 2 year old boy is lucky he isn't living on the streets! But there are other days when he is the best big brother and the biggest helper.

I know going from the only baby to having to share the spotlight was hard for him as I am sure it is your older one. My boy is getting better with it now, but we definitely still have our days! Good luck.

Alex Elliot said...

Welcome to having two kids! I was so grateful that preschool started for my older one when the younger one was just a few months old. Those hours of being a big kid really seemed to do wonders. Wonders, not miracles though. In fact had I known that my son's preschool runs a camp for kids two mornings a week and they only have to be 2.9 I would have seriously considered it.