i was just recently talking with a friend of mine, making plans about things to do in the springtime, something i always like to do in winter, helps get me through, when she hit me with, “yeah, you’ll be quite pregnant by then”. shit. i looked down. she was right. this friend also happens to have one child, a little older than ruth, and plans to keep it that way. for so long, we had been on the same page, our daughters growing up, entering the same phases, planning the same activities. suddenly, it hit me, once again, that my life was about to change dramatically.
you see, in many ways, i feel like we are just getting to a place with ruth where life is a bit under control. she eats regular food, sometimes even with a fork, sleeps at a regular time each night, can hold her head up, talk, walk, and for the most part, doesn’t do crazy things like run out into the street or stick her wet drooly finger into the electrical sockets. she can even climb into her car seat by herself, almost get dressed herself, sometimes, is somewhat successful at putting on her own shoes, even.
not only that, but something amazing and wonderful was just peeping over the horizon. her third birthday, and following that, next fall, when she will reach that magical stage of going off to preschool. alone. for like, two hours, or something awesome like that. not only that, but in the rest of the activities we do, she would also be graduating, to the independent threes. no, i would no longer get to don my sexy grandmotherly one piece and freeze my ass in the pool. she would be, supposedly, flying solo, and there would be me, on the sidelines, dry, with my feet up, reading my people magazine like a true addict, lifting my head up once in a while to wave and give a thumbs up. damn. and we all know how much i love any chance to show off my hot bod. and everything else: gymnastics, soccer, skating, dance, karate, what have you. ruth is supposed to be old enough to venture off on her own, join the big kids, and all i do is pay the fees, drive her there and then watch.
but, no, it’s just not meant to be. by the time next fall rolls around, joel will be four months, sitting in his car seat like a human anvil, getting heavier by the day, crying, fussing, and me, his seven eleven, open 24 hours a day, like a human slurpee machine, lugging him here and there to ruth’s activities, breastfeeding round the clock. and by that time, he’ll be just a couple months shy of his magical six month milestone: the time when activities begin opening up for him. swimming, gymboree, his library program. there i’ll be again, for all you gawkers: in my sexy mama swim suit, look at that body, walking my ass around and around with baby joel while ruth does her thang. then, it’s two wet kids to change and dress for home, not to mention myself. it’s a cruel trick that just as ruth is reaching that independent age, joel is making his entry onto the scene (i never initialed any paperwork that came across my desk ok-ing a three year gap between children, by the way).
i looked at my friend, then with envy. she just has a three year old to focus on. how tidy. done with baby clothes, burp cloths, nighttime feedings, breast pumps, crawling, putting everything into their mouths, learning to eat, getting teeth, falling down all the time, SIDS, cribs, onesies, and all the rest of it. god, what have i gotten myself into? what have i signed up for? it’s like i’m playing mario bros and somebody hit the reset button on me. back to level one. how daunting.
not only that, but even this spring is hard to plan for, look forward to, when i think about how big and uncomfortable i already am. what will the coming few months hold? i shudder to think. i’m scaring myself with the amount i’m able to pack away in a single sitting and joel is already beating me up from the inside, using my organs as punching bags (hey in there, i need that liver…). my skin is already taut. it has nowhere to expand to. and my back and legs already throb at various points throughout the day due to sciatica. stay tuned in the coming months, folks. it’s going to get ugly.