Today was our last day with me as your mother and you my only child - when I see you next you will be one of my children. My hormones are having a hay-day with this. To split the love, to acknowledge love for someone new... my knowing it will be possible doesn't make it hurt less. It's not like the days before you were born when my life was my own. Since that day my life has been yours too and now another little person is going to be dependent upon me.
The mother who popped you in the mouth in the middle of a restaurant last week for biting me. The mother who has begged you these past few weeks to just stop whatever torturous thing you were doing in a desperate attempt to get some of my attention. I'm so sorry for all of the sickness and sleepiness that comes with pregnancy and how it has shortened my temper. I am hoping it will be better in a matter of days.
Very soon I will be able to run after you again, play chase, and crawl on the floor and not complain every time you poop in your pants because that means I have to get down on the floor to change you. I can't wait for you to be able to climb all over me again. To go for long walks and play at the park. And then there's the little matter of the new kid.
I don't know what to expect from your little brother, and so I expect nothing and just wait. I cannot imagine him. I tried to imagine you before you came and it was nothing compared to who you came to be so with your brother I can only wait. Anticipate. I can imagine you with him. Just when I panic, thinking I am still learning to be a good mother to you and I have brought another person into this world that will also be totally dependent; I imagine you looking at your brother and I remember why your father and I decided to have another baby.
We wanted you to have a sibling, like Daddy has Uncle Jeff and I have Uncle Clarke. We wanted you to have someone to turn to and say, "Wow, Mom and Dad are idiots." We wanted to give you another kind of love and when we see you at the end of this weekend we will be giving you that gift.
I will just look to you, as I do in so many other situations. I will follow your lead. I cannot wait to watch you wrap your head around the idea that the fat belly I have been lugging around morphed into a crying baby over just one weekend away at Grammy's.
Mostly I am scared at how big you are going to look when you come walking through that door and I am holding this tiny new baby. How big you seemed tonight walking out the door wearing your tight little jeans and carrying your My Little Pony Purse. You are my baby, and I have just not figured out yet how it's going to feel to hold a new baby. To love a new baby. To go through it all again for someone new. Sometimes looking back it seems I barely survived you.
As a tribute to Cohen the big sister, the girl who is forever asking me to tell her a story about when I was a little girl I am going to close with a few stories from this week with you... my little girl.
Monday you fell at Grandma's while I was in the office and bonked your head on the coffee table. It took me almost a full minute of consoling you and checking your mouth to make sure you didn't bite through your bottom lip before I brushed the hair back from your forehead and discovered the head wound gushing blood down your hair line and dripping onto the shoulder of your baby blue pajamas. Your first real wound. I scooped you up and took you into the bathroom. Sat you on the counter while I wet a washcloth to put on your forehead and I remembered one of your favorite stories.
When Uncle Clarke was a little boy he had such blonde hair it looked white. One day he and I were playing in the store and he came running around the corner and slipped. He hit his forehead on the sharp corner of a shelf and when my mom picked him up he had a bright red streak of blood running through his white hair. But when Grandma cleaned him up it turned out to be just a little cut. It had seemed so scary at the time because his hair was so white but he was fine.
With this story (that I now realize was innappropriate to have ever told you) in mind I sat you on the counted and said, "Look, you're just like Uncle Clarke!".
You looked at yourself and as the blood drained from your face you screamed, "My blood! Why am I bleeding my blood?!"
By the time I found an urgent care you had calmed down and were mostly annoyed at how poorly I was handling this whole incident. Once you stopped crying you never cried again and you were such a pro at the urgent care that I saw a strength in you I don't recall having and knew that must be from your father.
Incidentally, while we sat in the room waiting to hear if it would be skin glue and butterfly stitched or a needle and thread your Grandma told me the rest of that story about Uncle Clarke. Evidently, it was a terrible cut and he had to go to emergency room where they tethered him to a body board, strapping down all of his appendages so that they could inject the wound site with the needle that would numb the many stitches he ended up getting. While you agreed to take a needle to the face in exchange for a chocolate bar they were too chicken shit to believe a little kid like you could be so tough and you pranced out of there resilient with 4 butterfly stitches and a free pass for chocolate before lunch.
Tuesday you and I were walking through the Dillard's at the mall and on the way over to kid's shoes you wanted to stop and touch every single piece of costume jewelry within your reach. Finally I walked over and took you by the hand - which you hate - and rushed you along. You dropped your feet out from beneath yourself and turned into dead weight because you know for a fact I can no longer lift you. I pull on your arm and whisper in my meanest mommy whisper "Cohen Beatrix, you had better get up right now," to which you seethed in a whisper all your own, "Don't under-est-i-mate me, Mommy." I asked you what you said and you repeated it perfectly, less for my entertainment and more to make your point, "Don't under-est-i-mate me, Mommy." A smile slid across my face and then onto yours. Technically you had won. We laughed at your way with words and walked together through the store... not holding hands anymore.
Wednesday night you followed me into the bathroom on one of my many night time trips to pee. You brought it to my attention that I was beginning to lose my mucus plug by looking down at my underwear and saying, "Mommy, is that gum on your undies, or pee?" You slay me.
I love you little girl, you are an amazing daughter and you are going to be an amazing big sister. I know it.