Sunday, April 25, 2010

Daddy's Attributes; Mommy's Attitude

My baby boy wakes from his nap, comes into the living room to find me curled up on the couch with a library book, promptly grabs his own library book from a pile on the floor, commands UP! and snuggles into my lap.  He reaches down to pull my blanket up to cover him too, while announcing banky!, then grasps my wrist with one hand and guides it into place so he can put the book into my hand with his other.  BOOK MOMMY! he says, with both excitement and expectation (I'll admit I almost never say no to a book), and then as an afterthought adds: wata?  We scan the area and see his sippy cup on the floor nearby.  I leeeaaannn as far as I can to snag it with my fingers (without losing prime lounging spot on the couch), and toss it up toward him.  He misses, but then picks it up and takes a long sip.  Then, again:  BOOK MOMMY!   Just up from a nap, and the child's first instinct is to lie back down, cuddle up with a blanket, and read a book, while sipping from his ever-present water cup.

I officially have a mini-me. 


I was nine days overdue, enormous, uncomfortable, and suffered from a severe case of PUP that meant I had to shower three times daily and twice during the night to keep the itching to a manageable level.  It was July, and we had one room in our apartment with an air conditioning unit.  I spent 24 hours a day in. that. room.

Finally, I went into labor, and the contractions were 3-5 minutes apart immediately.  They stayed that way for over an hour, so we went into the natural birthing center and spent another few hours walking the halls, to dilate a sufficient amount before they would officially admit us.  I spent eight hours in labor with no epidural, and then another miserable two with pitocin, waiting for an epidural.  (My deal was, no pitocin, no epidural, but if you give me pit, you better bring the epidural, right quick!  They didn't listen to my deal.  While they managed to smuggle the pitocin into both the natural birthing center and my IV against both hospital policy and birth plan, I had to wait for a hospital transfer to get the epidural.)  I spent another eight hours in active labor, then two hours pushing with no progress whatsoever, followed by a c-section and three days in the hospital.

The day after I brought my baby boy home I ran into my teenage neighbor on the sidewalk between our homes.  Can I see? he asked.  I pulled the blanket down from around his face, and held my hard won bundle of joy out for the teenager to inspect.  He looked at the baby, then up at me, then back at the baby.

Hmmm, he said.  I ain't see none of you in him.


We drive to the babysitter's house in the morning, yelling at each other.  Angrily?  No, not at all!  We just love to yell.  HEY!  MOMMEH! he shouts with a grin.  I shift the rearview mirror so I can gasp in mock shock, making him grin all the more, and then I holler back HEY!  BABEH!  WHATCHOO YELLIN' AT ME FO?  We laugh and we shout all the way there.

When I pick up the toddler in the afternoon, she greets me with:  He really likes being loud, doesn't he?  As if to prove her point, his eyes light up when he sees me and he shouts:  YAH!  HA YAH MOMMEH!  No karate moves to match the outburst of sound, just the loud, loud sound for it's own sake.

I come home, and tell my husband about it.  I haven't taught him about an indoor voice yet, I muse.  Have you learned about an indoor voice yet? my husband retorts.


Who does he look like? all the distant relatives would ask over the phone.  I couldn't tell, and so I asked the other relatives, who live nearby.  And they all agreed:  He looks like himself.

But then my husband dug up an old album with his baby pictures, and he looked an awful lot like our son when he was a baby.  He had that same button nose, and made similar expressions with his mouth.  He looks different now, but there's a clear resemblance in baby pictures.

And as our son has gotten older, he's grown to look more like his father.  More people comment on it.  No one ever tells me he looks like me, and fewer people are saying that he doesn't resemble either of us.  I figure it's only fitting; he's a boy.  I wouldn't be a very good looking boy myself, so I don't mind if he looks like his daddy!

Now we tell the faraway relatives that he looks like his dad, which makes them very happy to hear, since it's mostly my husband's family that lives far away.


My sister and I are taking the toddler to the Erie Canal.  We pack him in the car and he begins to sing, just nonsense words strung together to the tune in his head.  We drive for blocks and blocks through the city before arriving at the on-ramp to the highway, and as I'm making the turn, I notice he's still chatting away amiably in the backseat, though neither of us has spoken to him since we started the drive.

He hasn't shut up since we left the house, has he?  I ask my sister.

No, she laughs.  He just loves the sound of his own voice!

That is definitely my boy!

Yes, he is, she says.

Yes.  He is.


  1. seeing them row and change and become Like You must be amazing. I look forward to that part of having kids. it's the carrying/birthing them that makes me break out in cold sweats just thinking about it.

    if we worked together we would be the loud people who weren't allowed to sit near one another after the first week. my husband and your husband could relate. I blame it on my family. see, circle of life :)

  2. omit row and insert grow.
    there. my ocd is happy now.