Welcome to the World!January 24, 2012
My sister had another boy yesterday. Cousin IT’s brother will be called Flat Stanley, declared Thing 1. (long story….)
Because the C-section was scheduled for 0-dark-30 about an hour and half north of me (so during rush hour traffic on a cold, dreary winter morning) my sister graciously said I did not have to be there. I was relieved but I feel bad for her nonetheless.
When I had T1 and T2, I had my husband and my best friend in the room. My sister was there but at the last minute the nurse kept her out–also telling my mother to leave. My in-laws were waiting in the hall. For my sister, my mother was keeping Cousin IT. She has no living in-laws (and brother and sister in-laws live states away). This must be what it is like for a true military spouse.
We went up in the afternoon to visit. I planned on lying and saying both girls belonged to my sister. Instead I said they were mine and that T1 was 14 and T2 was 9. T1 could go back but not T2. UGH. I probably should not have lied. Okay, I know I should not have lied. It set a very bad example for the girls. T2 and DH stayed out in the hall and T2 got M&Ms and got to play on DH’s Kindle Fire.
T1 got to hold the little peanut. 6 lbs. 10 oz. TINY! Mine were 8-6 and 9-2 (would have been 10 lbs. if I had gone to 40 weeks!). Even she felt a little uncomfortable with how small he was. So I took over and held him, talking to my sister. She had a much better time–amazing what an anesthesiologist who is on the ball can do! The nurse came in and said we could take Mr. Flat to the receptionist window for T2 and DH to see. That was very nice of them to help arrange that.
Back in the room I picked him up again, “I still don’t like babies but I will hold you today.”
We stayed until it was time for him to get his bath and my sister could get a chance to rest. We would later stop by and visit with my mother and Cousin IT.
On the way home, T1 asked what everyone asks me: “If you don’t like babies, how come you have us?”
I usually answer in two ways: “You didn’t stay babies long, did you?” and “It’s other people’s babies I don’t like.”
I said both to T1 and T2 but for the first time I talked about my other reasons. “I don’t like things I cannot control. Babies have so many unknown factors. Top that with different parenting types and I really just don’t like them. I was very nervous and anxious the first few weeks with both of you. I’m thankful Dad was home to help us get into a routine. I don’t know what kind of Grandma I’ll be–but as long as you do it my way, we’ll be fine!”
I went on to explain getting the dogs has been stressful. One good thing about retired greyhounds is that they’re relatively easy as long as you learn and establish a schedule. DH chimed in, pointing out that it is important for us to be in charge and not the other way around. “Dogs and children are the same in that way.”
I gave more examples: I don’t like troops that let their scouts run all over the place–you can tell the scouts do not respect their leaders; and I pointed out that the best teachers the girls have had (and T2 has had 95% the same ones) were the ones that had order and control of the class.
I explained it was my personality type, rather than explaining it is a PTSD thing. I also said it didn’t mean I wasn’t good with babies. In fact, I’m very good at soothing babies. I pointed out that my fly by the seat of their pants coleaders appreciate and value that I am an excellent planner–and yet in a chaotic crisis they cannot handle the situation and I’m called on to lead.
T1 has a similar personality type. Having a child that thrives on order and routine as much as I do actually makes her more predictable. T2 is a little more easy-going and flexible and yet she needs the routine more for discipline rather than comfort.
Change is hard for me. But I push myself because I don’t want to stagnate. I don’t want my fear to be a limitation that defines me in the eyes of my children. At the same time I’m not going to open up a daycare just to prove to myself or them that I can. “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results.” (Albert Einstein)
I’m really not a big fan of banging my head against a wall if I don’t have to. I’ll rise to the occasion when I’m a grandparent and perhaps the “child of my child” will give me more warm fuzzies than my nephews. For them, I will make an exception.
For the rest of you… babies are cute, just keep them at a distance. Small yappy dogs that cannot be trained are just that: small yappy dogs. I’ll take my greyhounds, even with their puppy chewing at the moment over your small yappy dogs any day of the week. I may be a strict scout leader but I know these girls will appreciate and thank me for it one day… and they’re still having fun!
So, my dear sweet newborn nephew, welcome to the world. I do love you and I will spoil you mercilessly, just like your brother. Just come talk to me when you’re a little older and more reasonable. Love, Auntie
Hmmm… for a different POV check out Mama Kat’s vlog My Husband is no spring chicken.