Thursday, March 16, 2017

Motherload

"seek" (sick)

Things I have been noticing lately:

Anyone skinny.
Anyone pregnant.
Anyone with two or more kids.

I am not immune to morning sickness like I hoped I would be. I am also not immune to the cliché. My pregnancy cravings have been unpredictable and very real. Sunday it was these certain oat bran muffins from my childhood, today it was this white wine capellini with lemon, some days it's Trader Joe's Pumpernickel Pretzels.

Danielle picked up Jeanine Donofrio's Love and Lemons cookbook in a tiny bookstore that hosted our lunch stop in Mammoth on the way to Tahoe. She continued to read the book aloud for the next hour of the drive. While at first I wished I had headphones, I ended up aspiring to be Jeanine. I don't own the book yet, but the Lemony White Wine Capellini got to my tastebuds immediately. It's also kind of a good go-to if you like the taste of wine, but can't necessarily drink it.

Scott has been home sick a few days this week. He has been an extra child whose nap I have proudly coordinated with my actual child's. I am so excited to see where he is and what he's doing when Avalon and I come home, however uneventful it has typically been. I long all day for the presence of him when he's at work. His essence is so quiet and so big, like a windmill in the desert creating energy for thousands. I am also grateful for the fact that he has been here to witness my days, as monotonous as they may appear to him too. It's simply nice knowing he has seen what goes into getting out the door to swimming class with Avalon; the tiny canvas bags I purchased with his Amazon account meticulously packed with an extra diaper, a sweater, a quick dry towel and size extra-extra small goggles all placed thoughtfully inside a bigger bag (only to be dismantled in minutes upon our arrival at the pool). He witnesses Avalon having a meltdown over me trying to get her to sit on the potty before her nap. The crumbs, dropped and swept over and over again. The ant traps set most likely in vain, the laundry folded poorly, but clean nevertheless. I guess it's just nice knowing he saw all this considering he could easily come home to a whining toddler, an empty Brita filter and a shrunken wool sweater just out of the dryer and feel like not a whole lot has happened around here in a day. Not that he ever would assume that. Maybe it's more what I see when I don't notice anyone else looking.

We found out we are having a girl! Perhaps this should have been headlining news like it might have been elsewhere. I've loved this baby since before she was here and I'll love her forever. That's the easiest and perhaps only thing to really know about our second child. This predestined love is why the fact of her gender is nestled here in the middle of this essay rather than in bold at the top of it. I am, however, expecting to answer the inevitable question of: Do you wish you'd have a boy? And the answer to that is: yes I do. Scott gets this question more than I do, which I find both irritating and understandable. He's a boy, so he is likely to want someone with the same reproductive organs to help him clean the rain gutters and field ground balls, right? Truthfully, I think I would like to have a boy more than Scott.

I was walking Avalon home from the park yesterday afternoon, gazing through the windows and across the patios of the various shaped houses on the best street in our neighborhood both critically and wishfully, imagining how I, myself, would remodel and paint them. When we passed one I have been inside before, a fantasy popped into my mind. I knew this house had a pool unusually located right by the front door. Pools are a challenge to relocate, my expertise goes this far, so in my mental remodel it would stay put. I pictured opening the front door on a school morning, hands full of someone's backpack and someone's lunch and my own spilling water bottle and tangled car keys, ushering kids eagerly towards the car. Then, inevitably because of the location, a mischievous child would push another into the pool and soon they are all in. I am wet and agitated and tired, but instead of unleashing it on the kids, I declare this a pool day and call their principal to excuse them from class.

It's here in this fantasyland that I realize a boy is the one who started it all, as they do according to the most common stereotypes. It's here that I realize I picture having a boy someday too and I don't feel like I have to apologize to my beautiful Skipper girl or my living, breathing heart Avalon Wild when I say that. My love for them is never in question, never wavering, never anything but everywhere. But my answer to the question: do you want to have a boy? is simply yes.

But of all of this, to me, the craziest fantasy is that I get to have these two girls.

//
+Where are you in the birth order in your family? Or are you an only child?
+What genders are your kids? (is that even how you ask that question? You know what I mean...)
+Happy St. Patrick's Day!
+p.s. as stated in a secret part of instagram, I am looking for potty training advice if you've got it!

10 comments:

  1. Congratulations Devon, a little sister for Avalon, how she will love that. And what a brilliant jumper she has. The littlest boy and I love sausages so very much. We fell in love with one on holiday called Bertie, we talk about him almost every day. Sorry Scott's been ill, but glad he got to see your day in close detail. I remember when my eldest was small I used to wonder what on earth I did with all my time before I had him. CJ xx

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    1. Thank you so much CJ! It's so fun sharing this news with you, someone I have shared my journey with going on so many years now. Your 3 sons are the opposite of what I grew up knowing, being one of 3 daughters. I do so enjoy your the adventures you share with them. Have a lovely weekend!

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  2. Where do I begin?! I love what you said about Scott and having him home. That is the exact way I feel about James. He's been home since his car broke down, and I don't even care about the extra expense because his presence is so comforting to me. I am SO THRILLED you're having another girl!!! You will have the most beautiful, awesome girls of all time. Every single day I wonder if I would want a boy or a girl next. I can never decide. I also want a boy more than James, but having a girl is my favorite thing in the world, and to double that seems like a dream.

    You're making me feel like the worst mom for potty training Avalon. By that I mean I'm so impressed. So many moms around me are potty training their one year olds, and Gracie is a week out from being two, and I decided not to worry about it for at least 6 more months. If it takes her as long to potty train as it did to walk, we're doomed.

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    1. Thank you Michelle! This is so nice and encouraging! In so many ways I could not picture having a boy. I have grown so accustomed, so fond of having a daughter. I love everything about it. I guess I'm also very curious what the opposite would be like. Although, I hate to say "opposite". It's not like I'm so girly anyways or that a boy would necessarily be such a stereotypical boy.

      I am realizing now that mentioning potty training actually might be one of those subtly annoying thing moms do. Like who really cares? And also, I think it tends to make anyone without a child regularly wearing dry underwear sweat a little. Let it be known that by "potty training" I mean I am mostly just getting really good at cleaning pee and poop off the floor. I just felt like I wanted to start since I know I am only heading towards more diaper changes and bodily fluids being everywhere. The thing I can't really think about is that I don't want potty training to be like me pushing Avalon out of the baby role too soon just because someone else is going to be in it. That makes me so sad, probably because there is some truth to it. Most of the advice I have gotten is so just to be patient and let it happen when it feels right, so that sounds like what you're doing. Happy weekend dude! Glad James has been home with you!

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  3. I totally get what you mean though. Before we had our first, we didn't find out the gender because for me it didn't matter. We were elated when she was born but I think we would have been as excited if she was a boy. It's about more than gender I think. When we got pregnant with the second one we decided to find out gender before birth because we needed to be more practical about baby stuff and clothes. I wasn't sure what I wanted, I flip flopped so many times. We found out it was a boy and I was super excited. My best friend was due two days ahead of me and she has two girls and I've felt jealous (if that even expresses the sentiment..) because I kind of hoped this one was a girl too. That doesn't change how much I love them it's just a weird thing your heart does I guess... maybe it's a sign that you're not done having kids... ?

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    1. Thanks for sharing your honest feelings and experience Mila! There is so much about motherhood that lends itself to comparisons, even when they don't do any good. Congrats on your daughter and son! I know you are a wonderful mom.

      Perhaps you're right, maybe I'm not done yet...

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  4. Ahh congratulations!! I didn't even realize you were pregnant:) my boys are a small gap two- my newest just hit 2 months and my oldest is 2 in May and I'm loving it!! I feel you on th gender thing, yes I want a girl but man I love my boys so much! And I wanted my second and looked forward to having as much as my first, I feel even more complete somehow:) I have an older brother and a younger brother and sister- love all of them and makes me want lots of kids too:) eek congrats!!

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    1. Thank you so much Carey! Congratulations to you too! It is so nice hearing from someone on the "other side" that you're loving it. I feel you've always helped provide me this future perspective and it has been so welcome and appreciated. You come from a big family, how fun!

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  5. Hi Devon! I am the oldest of three girls and just adore having sisters. I posted on your instagram wall that we have a 2-year-girl and 4-year-old boy simply because I thought you had already announced you were having a boy for some reason. I am excited you are having a little girl! They will share so much!
    As for potty training, surprisingly we are having a harder time with our girl--everyone told us it would be the other way around! For our son, we posted a calendar on the wall and got star stickers--for every peepee, he got a little star (worth one point), for every poop, he got a big star (worth 10 points)--when he got 50 points, he got a big prize (like an action figure, etc)--he liked it because stickers are fun, he could see how well he was doing as he filled up the calendar, and he was working toward a prize! It really worked! :)

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  6. Devon! I did not know there was a second little gift coming your way... CONGRATULATIONS! So happy for you and your family

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