December 27, 2007

Little Brother

The influx of Christmas gifts aimed at the impending new addition to our family has once again made me realize oh shit we're having another kid! This is not a bad thing...but it is a scary thing. I want to set the record straight up front - having a kid is a wonderful thing. There are many hardships that go along with bringing said kid into the world but they pale in comparison to the wonder that is the brand-spanking-new addition to the Cactus-Fish family. I'd also like to fully qualify this post by saying that, as the man I have a much easier job than my wife. But there are several things I'm either not exactly looking forward to or are moderately concerned about:


  • My wife's health. She's fine and this pregnancy has been great but still, I worry, you know?
  • The hospital stay. Maybe this time around it'll be easier but it ain't no weekend at the Ritz. There are a couple nurses I'd like to track down and bitchslap based on our last stay.
  • The baby, duh. Naturally, I want the baby to be healthy, happy and perfectly, wonderfully normal.
  • Time. I'm amazed I get as much as I get done, well, done. I'm not gloating, just stating fact. Somehow, I manage to be a professional, a dad, a husband, a reader and a writer simultaneously and, I think, somewhat successfully. How will another kid impact that balance? I'm going to go out on a limb and venture a guess that I won't be taking up chess or bonzai tree gardening anytime soon.
  • Mia. As I've mentioned in the past, I'm worried how the new kid will impact Mia. I know she'll come out the other side alright but the immediate effect concerns me.

For Christmas, my in-laws gave Mia a startlingly realistic baby doll. Mia instantly fell in love. the rest of Christmas day was spent feeding, changing, holding, rocking and comforting the doll. When she started referring to him as "little brother" we panicked for a minute thinking that she believed this was what had been gestating in Beth's belly. She later proved that she knew the difference. But the way she took to this doll (who we're calling Herman), made me believe that she'd handle this whole thing just fine. And, more than handling, she might actually love the kid.

(PS - Yeah, I know I still owe you pictures but I'm working on it...)

Posted by Chris at December 27, 2007 9:18 AM
Comments

Best of luck with your list. It's valid, and yet, I have no doubt you'll be better than fine in each category.

My mom loves to tell the story of how she had to put up string across the threshold to the room I was sleeping in, because my sister would constantly want to play with me. She thought I was HERS to play with and didn't like how many naps I had to take. She wanted to feed me, bathe me, etc... hilarity ensued.

With our kids, our older girl just always felt like the big sister, and she continues to do so. She's good at it and loves her brother.

I'm sure I've passed along this info before, but one of the things that squashed the jealousy thing before it started was that she received just as much attention as the baby did. For every gift he got, she got one. Grandparents would trade off holding the baby and playing with her. She made out like a bandit.

Posted by: Brad at December 27, 2007 9:38 AM

My little girl was just looking over my shoulder as I was reading your post.

She pointed to the picture of Mia and said, "I don't like that girl."

"Why?", I said.

"Because she has shiny red shoes and a babydoll."

Ha, ha. So I think I can safely say that what she meant was, "I am JEALOUS of that little girl in the picture." But she didn't know how to put that feeling into words.

Posted by: Leilani at December 27, 2007 10:10 AM

My oldest was just 3 years old when my littlest was born - and the thing is, I loved my Princess with so much of my being, I was devastated at the thought of HER being hurt, her feelings being hurt, feeling displaced and so on. The day after I came home from the hospital, I was *exhausted*, and my mom offered to take Princess for the day. I so wanted the relief, but felt so much guilt that Princess would think I was shoving her away. And it broke my heart. She ended up spending that day with grandma, and ended up havinga ton of fun. And now, she's 5 and Pumpkin is nearly 2.5 and she really likes her sister... most of the time.

I think in my head, I was so worried about how it was gonna be for my oldest, when I wish I had realized that a) she was going to feed off my mood, and b) she had to find her own way and her own relationship withher sister.

It's fun to watch. God knows, it isn't always fun because there is the inevitable rivalry - but I find that the times when I'm not interfering in the sisterhood is when it amazes me most.

Posted by: sarah at December 27, 2007 10:18 AM

Your points are all valid and every parent of two or more kids has felt them as well. Some days you will think you have the best family in the world and some days you will wonder what in the hell you were thinking. Take comfort in the fact that we'll all be here, hanging on your every word about how it's going. There, doesn't THAT make you feel better? (I also want to know why you're stalking the nurses to bitch slap them!)

Posted by: Susan at December 27, 2007 10:34 AM

I think you will be amazed at how well Mia takes to the new little guy.

What hospital will you be going to? We have experienced admissions in most of them on the VA side of the river - some stays were very nice, some not so much. I know what you mean about hunting down nurses, though. Especially at Potomac and, to some extent, at Fairfax.

Posted by: OddMix at December 27, 2007 10:41 AM

I want a pair of shoes just like Mia's. If I had shiny red shoes, I'd wear them everywhere and Life would be perfect for ever and ever, amen.

Posted by: GreenCanary at December 27, 2007 10:42 AM

That is an absolutley beautiful photo
Pol x

Posted by: Pol at December 27, 2007 10:46 AM

Herman? Seriously?

Posted by: Loth at December 27, 2007 11:03 AM

Ok...first, Are we going with the name Herman? Ummm Ok your name but I saw the Munsters. Am I that old? *making something for Beth...not that youll ever get it since the PO box was killed but we have been pregnant this whole time together and you guys' blogs have helped me survive for real*
Also GO GET THE BOOK "The Darkest Evening of the Year" I did finish it and Holy Moly I feel it was well worth it, but you are much more sophisticated than I so you may opt that it sucks donkey balls. Speaking of balls (introduce that anatonomical feature to Mia) on the ultrasound does it look like Herman *giggle* has elephant sized testicles? My baby boy looks like he has a marine turtle (ok stay with me...think HUGE SHELL and a little roly poly head on it) Eh...Guiness Book looking.
I wonder if my husband has the same fears minus the other siblings ( this is our first and pretty sure our only )
XOXO-Cheryl

Posted by: Cheryl at December 27, 2007 11:33 AM

Ok...first, Are we going with the name Herman? Ummm Ok your name but I saw the Munsters. Am I that old? *making something for Beth...not that youll ever get it since the PO box was killed but we have been pregnant this whole time together and you guys' blogs have helped me survive for real*
Also GO GET THE BOOK "The Darkest Evening of the Year" I did finish it and Holy Moly I feel it was well worth it, but you are much more sophisticated than I so you may opt that it sucks donkey balls. Speaking of balls (introduce that anatonomical feature to Mia) on the ultrasound does it look like Herman *giggle* has elephant sized testicles? My baby boy looks like he has a marine turtle (ok stay with me...think HUGE SHELL and a little roly poly head on it) Eh...Guiness Book looking.
I wonder if my husband has the same fears minus the other siblings ( this is our first and pretty sure our only )
XOXO-Cheryl

Posted by: Cheryl at December 27, 2007 11:35 AM

Ok...first, Are we going with the name Herman? Ummm Ok your name but I saw the Munsters. Am I that old? *making something for Beth...not that youll ever get it since the PO box was killed but we have been pregnant this whole time together and you guys' blogs have helped me survive for real*
Also GO GET THE BOOK "The Darkest Evening of the Year" I did finish it and Holy Moly I feel it was well worth it, but you are much more sophisticated than I so you may opt that it sucks donkey balls. Speaking of balls (introduce that anatonomical feature to Mia) on the ultrasound does it look like Herman *giggle* has elephant sized testicles? My baby boy looks like he has a marine turtle (ok stay with me...think HUGE SHELL and a little roly poly head on it) Eh...Guiness Book looking.
I wonder if my husband has the same fears minus the other siblings ( this is our first and pretty sure our only )
XOXO-Cheryl

Posted by: Cheryl at December 27, 2007 11:35 AM

This post creeps me out. I was randomly thinking (and please don't ask me why, I have no idea, it's not like I sit around thinking about blogger's families, really, honestly) how the heck you were gonna be able to do your weekly recaps, read so many books, review so much music, do a Monday haiku, have time to blog at all, once you have that second baby in the house. One of my friends' wife just had a second child and now my friend is completely overwhelmed. I kinda expect we just won't hear from you for a good long while. And please know we understand that and are ok with that. Family first.

As for all the worries you're having: What happens happens and there's not much you can do to change it so just let it happen. :)

Posted by: Poppy at December 27, 2007 12:10 PM

Mia is so ready for her brother. Sweet.

Posted by: Maria at December 27, 2007 12:10 PM

Dude, those are some rockin shoes Mia has. I am completely jealous of such bling.

I can't wait to see the other pics, the teaser one is great! :)

Posted by: Teenuh at December 27, 2007 12:16 PM

As the mom of a very much NOT "perfectly normal" kid, I can say that you'll all be just as fine even if he isn't. And possibly even extra-charmed/lucky!

Posted by: Tonya at December 27, 2007 1:53 PM

poor doll baby has to sit around and be called herman! for shame! hahaha...

Posted by: mama's got moxie at December 27, 2007 2:38 PM

You guys will do amazing. Mia will adjust and will miracously learn new independence. I felt guilty for how fast Sierra needed to grow up - but she's handled it well. The amount of free time you have will greatly diminish, but I suspect it will return quickly once baby #2 approaches the one year mark. Mia and baby #2 will be able to lay with each other then and it'll be upsetting that she no longer needs you the way she once did, at least that's how I felt today watching my 5 month old and 2 yr old quietly playing together for 30 min. Good luck!

Posted by: Mom On The Run at December 27, 2007 2:43 PM

Is there any particular reason you can think of why Bloglines is no longer telling me when you've posted? This is making it slightly difficult to keep up.

Posted by: Candy at December 27, 2007 3:30 PM

I wish I was still two so I could rock shoes like that. I think Mia's going to be just fine. As for you being able to get everything done ... I think if you somehow manage it now, you'll be able to re-prioritize and fit everything in later. There might be an adjustment period, but I have confidence it'll all work out in the end.

(Of course, I have long suspected that you've somehow found a secret way to squeeze extra hours into the week!)

Posted by: Fraulein N at December 27, 2007 4:25 PM

Please tell me you're not planning on naming the REAL baby Herman. ;)

Btw, dig the shoes. I wonder if they come in my size...

Posted by: Tink at December 27, 2007 5:09 PM

I've never been through the whole baby thing myself so I don't have a single assurance based on experience to give you. However, from what I've observed by reading your site (and Beth's) over the past year or so, something tells me all will be well when the little guy makes his appearance! Does that sound creepy? I hope not...

Oh, and I'm loving Herman's name :)

Posted by: Colleen at December 27, 2007 5:24 PM

Oh Wow! I love Mia's shoes!!! Just beautiful!
She will be just fine with baby-bro! Trust me. She is such a great kid and you and Beth are, well, wonderful, so I just know it'll be great.
You know, the "love multiplies!"

Posted by: Maribeth at December 27, 2007 5:44 PM

Oh I freaking love her shoes.

Posted by: Cassandra at December 27, 2007 6:24 PM

she's going to be such a good big sister!

Posted by: betty at December 27, 2007 6:50 PM

Don't how you love how they play with baby dolls! It's so adorable!!!

And, yeah, you will have NO TIME for anything when the baby first arrives. But, you'll find your groove again. :) You'll adapt to it all. No worries there.

When my little guy first came, I got everything done like I always did a couple of weeks after he was born. It just meant I was up till 3am sometimes, though. But, it's better now. :)

Posted by: Haley-O at December 27, 2007 10:43 PM

Somehow, it will all work out. It always does. Kids are so adaptable and you guys seem to be such a good team. It's all about teamwork after all.

Posted by: Nila at December 29, 2007 10:46 PM

OMG -for SOOOOO long I've been way too busy with our 2 year old to read up on your blog and now I find we have pregnancy in common again! We're expecting our TWINS in April. Didn't see when Beth's expecting, but I wish you the best. Vincent seems pretty excited about his baby sisters, but at times seems pretty vague on the whole concept. I am particularly excited when he watches the sonograms (every single visit w/ twins) and says, "Babies moving," but slightly aghast when he pats my generous bosom and says it in the middle of the grocery store. I guess when we told him we're getting TWO babies...

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