When I get a severely upset stomach, instead of abstaining from more eats, I think, “Well, I’mma blow it up anyhow so let’s get my grub on.” Kevin thinks this rationale is beyond stupid and warns me that he will not have any sympathy for me when he hears me weeping on the toilet in the middle of the night.
I thought about this today after a very full day. A fully joyful, fully accomplished, fully exhausting day. Grateful to be back to my active self again after the initial postpartum period.
Walked two miles with the boys in their double stroller to and from a home in/near the Gardens. Thankfully, hardly any rain and such a gorgeous walk. Not too cold yet.
MLK stayed in the basement with a few other toddlers and a sitter, after months of not being able to separate from me. We mamas sat around the dining table upstairs, discussing Galatians 4 through a Tim Keller study. I went up and down from the basement to the dining room a few times to either grab stuff that I needed for E.Z. or give M his milk. I changed and nursed E while listening to the discussion. For the most part, he was perfectly calm, sitting in my lap in his white velour tracksuit, one of our favorite hand-me-downs, with his cheeks ever-so-bountiful and comical for his debut among this group.
We rushed home to get M into his crib for his nap, with my telling stories extra loudly as we strolled, so that M can hear me from the front of the long stroller. If you don’t get them in bed during that magic window when a nap befalls them effortlessly, you in for some rough times. He ended up skipping his nap ALTOGETHER today, my solid, faithful napper. THIS NEVER HAPPENS. I won’t go into this any further as it is too scary for me to discuss.
Second half of the day, we speedwalked for 20 minutes to Gymboree as the ominous rain clouds turned into actual rain. I didn’t want to bother with our new, huge double-stroller raincover so I practically ran towards the end.
The most memorable moment from today started when my e-z E finally started to fuss a bit after patiently sitting in his infant carseat so that his hyung could participate in art class. M was coloring shapes when he looked around from his table and couldn’t see me because I was sitting below everyone, nursing E on the floor, against the mirrored wall for some back support and also lest I break the small kiddie chair that everyone else was seated on. I saw his eyes get huge as he started wailing for me.
I called out from below, “Micah, Umma-yah! Umma here!”
He came running towards me on the floor and flung himself into my right armpit. I was holding both kids tightly, E suckling on my left, M wailing on my right.
His teacher said that M had actually held his breath for a minute, completely stunned, when he thought I had snuck out on him. When I held him tight, he started soothing himself by singing softly through his huge tears, “la la la, la la la.” I swear, these kids do new things daily – I don’t know what this “la la la” is about. By this time, my shirt had wet spots from my nursing pads shifting, milk leaking through.
A young Russian mama who has never spoken a word to the others in class for the last few months finally spoke today. She said to me, “It looks so hard.” We chatted a bit and she said, “I thought I would want another kid but when I see how hard it looks, I do not.” I assured her that while it can be hard, it is all very natural and it will flow. And that the joy is more than double.
I still had to pack up M’s icebox, diaper bag, lift the impossibly heavy infant carseat onto the top of the double stroller, put on M’s jacket, winter hat, shoes, and strap him in, grab his sippycup and E’s burp cloth strewn about the room, grab my jacket and shoes, all in order to just make it upstairs in the elevator for some more play at open gym time. I had to keep my eye on both M and E while M went up and down the apparatus and E was still in his infant carseat smack dab in the middle of the play area with toddlers peering at him, tempted to touch him. I resorted to keeping him there because as of now, he does not like being in the Ergo and my back can’t handle wearing him for too long anyhow.
M’s diaper was about to leak so I asked a teacher at the front desk to watch E for a few minutes while I changed M. He tried to jump off the changing area, of course, asking for more juice. My head was throbbing from having stayed up too late the night before, banking on M’s naptime to squeeze in a small nap myself.
When Kevin met us there after work, I was WIPED OUT. My back was pulsating from either carrying E or his carseat around the play area. I had to remind myself that the man was coming from work himself, not from playing beach volleyball at Hedonism. We all walked home together.
As spent as I was from such a full day, I could already imagine looking back on moments like these when I’m older and greyer, fondly recalling how needed I was and how blessed I was to be able to mother these two morsels at the height of their innocence and cuteness. How our little family was such a tight little unit, eager to reunite with daddy at the end of the day.
So why did today make me think about how I handle upset stomachs? When I get an upset stomach, I know that I’mma have a long appointment with the porcelain throne that night, whether I do the B.R.A.T. diet that doctors prescribe for such bouts or whether I put away some Singapore Mei Fun. Along those same lines, why not have another baby soon-ish, since it’s already so hard (some days more than others), to juggle raising two kids, working on being a better spouse, not burying your personal aspirations beyond being a mama, and carving out time for yourself.
Also, today, I met another mama at Gymboree whose toddlers were only 11 months apart. 11 months! She must have stories.
It is most definitely gonna be harder than juggling two but the joy and reward of sleeping next to a 12+ pound baby, with half that weight in his cheeks, is immeasureable. Kevin is a big baby-lover, too, practically bawling when I told him not to dress two-year old M in onesies anymore.
Then again, pigging out when your stomach is already upset means hella worse diarrhea.
And practically speaking, it’s insane. We really can’t afford another one as kids are SO expensive especially in 2012, in NYC, and because I’ve chosen to stay home. We are getting closer to 40 than 30, so tired, and most significantly, we would be outnumbered.
It may be my strange way of responding to the 12.14.12 massacre of 20 children in Newtown, CT, but my reaction to this draining day was how quickly it will pass. Life is so fleeting.
Don’t have to commit to anything now but the heart wants what the heart wants.
I have to crash now after eating some broken cookies from the bottom of our stroller basket. Hope this post made sense as I wrote it in a semi-conscious state.