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.