He’s here, and it seems like he’s been here forever already. (In a good way.)
In two weeks, we moved out of one house, into another, and then had the baby. And it all worked out pretty well. Now we’ll see when I get around to writing about any of it….
(Like writing about why I was hissing threats at certain maternity ward nurses as soon as they shut the door. Mean threats, too, about slapping them.)
I now lie to strangers when they ask me (and my alarmingly enormous midsection): “Do you know what you’re having?” I say: “Nope.”
(I do know, though. It’s boy #3.)
The top five reasons to lie–especially when Boy #1 and Boy #2 are with me…and listening:
5. “Another boy? Well, you can just keep trying!”
4. “Oh, no–you are going to need plenty of patience!”
3. “I hope it’s a little girl in there!”
2. “Don’t lose hope! My [insert family member or friend] had 3 boys before finally getting a girl!”
1. (And my favorite–from just last week…) “Oh, God is playing an evil little trick on you!”
But to the lady at the plant store yesterday: I forgot to lie to you when you asked, but you said: “Oh, that’s wonderful, because you make such adorable boys.” Thanks.
I hope that Kris will not mind if I add these excerpts from Garden Varieties. Often, when I get frustrated with all the boy/girl/expectations stuff–especially when a poor baby hasn’t even been born yet, I think of these two so perfectly-put ideas from her blog:
From her post called Three:
[I could substitute “boy” for “girl” in the following…or keep “girl”…either way…it’s just so right on.]
I’ve never understood why people want a girl. You don’t get a girl, you get someone so unique, so unexpected, so utterly and completely themselves, there’s not much connection to whatever it is we think a girl will be.
I wanted a child and I got a Lu, and she is exactly the right Lu for me.
And, also, from her post called “Forces of Nature,” which I love:
As Lu and Nell grow older cultural expectations will become more pressing, throwing acceptable differences between boys and girls into sharp and disappointing relief, but I love that at the moment they are simply themselves with no thought of what they ‘should’ be.
Thank you, Kris. These posts have always stuck in my mind…
To my gently diplomatic friend who texted me the other day, writing: “Ummm, your blog?” I say, “Oh, yeah, that.” I almost couldn’t remember where I put it…or my password…which is not a good sign.
I can’t seem to focus on more than a few things at a time very well, I guess. I’ve been preoccupied with selling our house, and buying a new house–oh, wait, almost buying a new house, that is. Just as the sellers were about to initial the latest adjustments to the contract–their own adjustments, I might point out–they apparently freaked out and started crying and tried to rip the “For Sale” sign out of their front yard. So that was weird. But plenty of houses remain…
As the kids and I walked along a path in the woods this morning, we passed quite a large dog being walked by quite a large man. I try to keep my kids from touching strange dogs they encounter in the woods (which, now that I think about, never actually works), but the thrill of seeing this giant animal overwhelmed the two-year-old (as it always does), and he raced toward it. “Say hello, but we won’t touch him, Chris…” I say, only to be drowned out by the dog-walker: “No, no, he’s really friendly. He won’t hurt him; he’s great with little kids,” and more insistently as I hold Chris’s hand, “Seriously, he’s really friendly!” Which begs the question: How I do I really know you are friendly, let alone your dog, Mr. Stranger in the Woods?
While I was nearly 100% certain that none of us were going to attack each other, and the man and his dog certainly seemed as nice as they could be, I don’t tend to hand over decisions about the safety of my kids to nice guys in the woods. And, to be fair, while he could also be reasonably sure that we would attack neither him nor his dog, he shouldn’t necessarily trust that I could keep my toddler from grabbing his dog’s tail or poking him in the eye–even if he’s never done it before . . . and even if it were meant with love. It’s a toddler’s nature–like a dog’s–to be somewhat unpredictable.
So, I propose this: Next time, let’s all just say hello, and maybe trade some inane, friendly comments about the weather and how the rain finally stopped and how beautiful the dog is and how cute the kids are, and then, without any of us touching each other, licking each other, grabbing anyone’s fur, or slurping on anybody’s face, just move on by with a friendly wave.
And the grasshoppers can breathe a sigh of relief. A very excitable nature explorer has learned to corral his enthusiasm for little critters into an oh-so-gentle touch. This happy development saves his older brother a great deal of anguish, and delivers his parents from off-the-cuff lies . . . Oh, that cricket must have been just too tired to stay awake another moment. Let’s let it sleep. (You know, those little white lies to save little children from a broken heart for an accidentally murdered cricket…)
Boy. Boy #3, otherwise known as Baby X. I think I already knew it was a boy–I kept envisioning three little tiny boys in red print bathing suits running around on a beach, and I’m pretty sure they were all my kids. I wish I knew all their names, though, that would help, as I’m at a loss for what to call Baby X. I would love suggestions. Oh, and he’ll need a super-secret blog name as well, I guess.
(Martin is really J., by the way, and Chris is actually J. Martin and Chris are their blog names, mostly because of the thrill “Martin” gets from knowing that I’m calling them after his favorite creature-adventurers: the incomparable Martin and Chris Kratt. Also because I felt a little unsure of a preschooler’s legal expectation of privacy, particularly when it’s a given that at some point, his mother will be telling stories to the universe about some sort of toilet-related behavior. I also hedged at the last minute at posting the ultrasound picture that showed, in shockingly explicit detail, precisely why this baby was defined as a “boy.” I felt a little guilty at possibly humiliating him like that.)
(Oh, and I will save for another time the slightly panicked feelings that I’m having–too early–about how I’m going to do this. Have a third (third??!! Oh, crap!!!) baby, that is. That doesn’t seem like a welcoming caption under a baby’s first appearance–as a recognizable human being, at least–to the world.)
(And, also, I will save for later how likely it is that someone will eventually get a smack in line at the coffee shop for making a not-cute-even-though-they-think-it-is remark about having a third boy and how it’s too bad it’s not a girl…. Time enough for that unpleasantness.)