Sunday, April 20, 2008

Spacing Kids

Well, I have actually experienced having a 5-year-old "only" child and also two babies 22 months apart in age. You might say that I have fairly good insight into each situation!

First of all, it was never my intent for Walker to be newly 5 and in kindergarten before he had a sibling. But that was God's intent. I tried, He denied.

Being young and petulant whenever I didn't get my way, especially if I imagined my way to be totally honorable and blameless (
Come'on, Lord...all I want is another baby! Is that too much to ask?) I didn't take the denial well. I felt sorry for myself. I thought that other mothers with a string of little chicks, or even just two in stair-step heights was adorable. My lone baby was not a baby anymore, and my four losses grated on my mind quite a bit.

Until - I learned that almost certainly they would not have developed into healthy children. Then I
understood God's mercy. Four little precious souls soared to Heaven without gasping under ventilators and enduring tubes, needles and early death. Praise God from whom all blessings flow.

Walker was my solitary child for over 5 years and I have to say that I enjoyed his company immensely. He was funny, he was relaxed, he didn't compete with anyone, he had friends when he wanted them and lots of Mommy time when he wanted that. It was easy and fun to take him places as he grew older because he was cooperative and not rowdy - there was no one to be rowdy with! He was cherished by both sides of the family - the only child during his little kid phase.

You think - only child= SPOILED. I don't think he was spoiled because we didn't have much money at all and he didn't get toys or treats whenever he desired them. Besides that, Daddy and I weren't soft on discipline.

He also didn't have a playmate in the home. We had to import them.

Along came Laurel at last. Walker was 5 years, two months old. They would never "play" together in any way, shape or form.

She was 22 months old when Sean was born.

things got stirred up a bit! Diapers in two sizes! Tugs over toys before Sean could sit up well. Lots of tears and lots of baby giggles, too. I think one reason he talked well so early was because Laurel was constantly talking to "Connie". He crawled after her with infant rapture. They lined up stuffed animals under the oak breakfast table and made a "house" under there after I topped it with a sheet which overhang the sides. When they were seated in a wagon people thought they were twins...they had matching yellow blond hair and
jammered to each other ceaselessly. Sean's first belly laugh was when a hot dog wiener jetted out of her hot dog bun onto the floor. Her wails turned to peals of laughter because "Connie" showed her the humor in the situation. I think he was under a year old that day.

She was bossy and he was controlling. Sounds like a married couple, doesn't it? The thing that struck me as amazing was that he was worried about her safety by the time he was four. "There you go, talking to STRANGERS again!" he yelled when just we three were at JC Penney and she showed the lady in line ahead of us Brad Randall, her Cabbage Patch doll. He jerked her away with fierce anxiety while I stood there bewildered. Was my baby the man of the family while Winston was away? He'd grab her hand when we were about to cross a street and of course she'd try to pull away but he got stronger quick!

Inevitably, their gender differences, not age difference, created the GREAT DIVIDE. Laurel didn't want him in her room "touching" her things, (he could care less about her things). Walker was out and about the neighborhood long before Sean could cross a street without holding my hand. But for fully Sean's first four years he and Laurel were best friends. Just about the time she met Jennifer he met Miles so no one was left out in the cold.

So...that's what raising an "only" bigger child without a close sibling, vs. very young children close in age is like. Frankly, I enjoyed both situations to such an extent I wouldn't do it any other way! I loved hopping quickly in the car for outings with just one kid. I loved watching two babies tussle, hug and laugh together!

Love, Mom

Saturday, April 12, 2008

The Ring Bear

Hi. we're baaaaaack! Had a fun time but we had offered to take Wendy to the motel with us after the rehearsal dinner so the bride and her parents could relax and the girls could get their hair done in the morning without worrying about chasing a toddler. Well, we got stuck in horrible traffic and it took us 1 hr. 45 min. to get to the motel in San Antonio!

That would have been bad enough, but Wendy began to vomit and she drenched her only pair of pj's I had with us and her beloved Pooh bear she now carries everywhere with her and splashed the flowergirl dress, and we still couldn't even pull over to clean her up! She kept saying, "Baby sad...fingers YUCKIE! Mouth sick!" all the way there. She actually had TWO major throw-ups then. When we got to the motel I had to carry her through the lobby - both of us reeking. Bathed her trembling body and then she threw up again on the only play outfit I had with us. Two baths. Wrapped her in a sheet while she cried for "Bay-uh! Baaaaay-uh!" and I dunked him in the basin and did all I could to get the odor out...even blow-dried him but he was still like a wet sponge. So she couldn't have him to sleep with. End of story? No...she cried and coughed until 1:38 AM!!

Don't forget the flowergirl dress, ecru eyelet with specks of broccoli all over the back of it. Had to dab at that with a wet washcloth.

Wendy up at 7:00. Took her in last remaining outfit - a sundress - to the "continental breakfast". She ate grapes and seemed better. Walked her around the lobby with still-damp and slightly stinky Pooh. Out to the parking lot where she insisted on carrying Bay-uh Pooh, her sippy cup and every rock she could find. I think she has all the makings of a fine hoarder. When she failed to be able to add in a 2' long stick, she began to weep. Time for a nap.

Winston takes van to be "detailed" and de-stinked.

Nap going fine...then Wendy wakes with you-know-what all up her back. This is not looking good.

This is now the wedding day. Wendy is flowergirl.

Off in the car to move to a closer hotel. Wendy now clad in only a diaper. She spews yet again. Winston says, "This is the perfect storm..."

So much for the $50 detailing job.

He sits with her in the car while I run into Target to get another outfit and wipes, paper towels and diapers, some sort of nausea remedy for babies...oh, and Pine sol.

To Taco Cabana so Winston and I can eat something. New brown heels and I step in a fat fresh wad of gum. What a day. Clean Wendy up in restroom feeling like germs are leaping from every surface to distance to get us.

Back in the car I pray aloud that she will be able to participate in some way in the wedding despite everything. Actually, begging for a miracle. Wendy listens and says, "Again." So I say the same prayer again. And Again. Again and again and again. Finally I switch to singing "Jesus Loves Me" but she doesn't like that as much.

To church. I am supposed to pin on the boutonnieres and corsages. Wendy asleep again in van. Winston sits out there with her with doors open. Thankfully it's a cool day!
Run in to pin boutonnieres...forget about corsages...out to check on Wendy every 15 min.
32 min. before wedding I reluctantly wake Wendy. Her cheeks are bright pink. She says, "Hot!" and she is. Why didn't I think to get baby Tylenol at Target?

Dress her quickly and she looks like a doll despite her half-closed eyes and whining, ""
Yep. Bear still stinks. Wendy's holding Bay-uh and so she stinks and I'm holding her so I stink as well. We are a stinky threesome.

God hears prayers. Wendy was able to walk down the aisle holding James' mother's hand and Bay-uh. Not the flowergirl basket. I guess you can say she was the Bear Girl?

Maybe she can start a new trend...she accessorizes with a stuffed animal!

Love! Mom