Today was a DAY, you guys.
I let Dexter out of my sight exactly twice. First time, I ducked into the kitchen to make some toast, and when I reentered the living room I found he’d broken our ottoman. Second time, I was prepping dinner and Dex was eating lunch and I thought we were safe, with him locked in his high chair, but no.
The UK observes Mother’s Day on a different day than the US, so this is my second this year. UK Mother’s Day fell on Matt’s birthday, so this is the real one (USA! USA! USA!). The weather is beautiful, sunny and breezy. We’ve opened the windows. I’m on my third mimosa.
We had planned brunch, but rather than spending the $, I decided I’d just eat brunch food all day, instead. I’ve had avocado toast and eggs and smoked salmon. Strawberry waffles are in the works.
Matt is on top of making everything special. Dexter colored the living hell out of a card for me. We have been to the park and both kids are napping.
Mother’s Day used to be about grieving, for me. That crappy feeling that only those who have lost their moms can understand, where I’m so, so happy for people celebrating the love of their mothers, but every photo and tribute feels like a punch to the gut because my mom is gone.
And then I became a mom, and the meaning of the day shifted, but my path to being a mom was not what you would call smooth, so that hangs out in the corners of my psyche, as well, because the story of my family is bound to the story of my children and how and why they exist.
I have told Dexter approximately 5,034,552 times not to run back and forth across the sofa. If I can, I just grab him and move him to the floor, but Dex is an evil genius and will wait until I’m trapped under Theo before climbing up and sprinting back and forth like a madman. Yesterday, it caught up to him.
I saw Dex faceplant into the arm of the sofa and heard the sickening THUMP. Honestly, I want to think he tripped and fell but I suspect he actually dove face-first into the arm, because toddlers do dumb stuff like that ALL THE TIME.
And then, there was this horrible, silent moment when he was face-down, not wailing yet, and I imagined him emerging with a smashed nose gushing blood.
1. Matt returns to work next week, leaving, nay, ABANDONING me with these two little urchins. ALL ALONE.
Yes, I know how lucky we are that Matt got a couple months of maternity leave. Yes, I have a deep appreciation for this time we’ve spent with brand new Theo, both for practical reasons of tag-team parenting and emotional reasons of allowing Matt to bond with his new son. But that doesn’t change the fact that I am soon outnumbered and I am FREAKING OUT.
Yesterday’s egg hunt was more of a scavenger word game. Great neighborhood event but over Dex’s head, so this morning Matt — er, the Easter bunny — hid six Kinder Eggs around our front garden for Dexter to find.
Like most people, our lives are a patchwork of big decisions, loaded with uncertainty.
Lately, it feels like the stakes are especially high.
When Dexter met Theo, the new baby and I had been in hospital for a full day. Dex was wearing the special outfit I’d bought for him, envisioning adorable photos which of course didn’t happen, because as we’ve discussed, toddlers don’t give a damn about their parents’ photo ops.
Dex came into the curtained, shared room (weird), saw me on the bed (weirder), eyeballed Theo, who was still very tiny and kind of red (even weirder), and backed up, like, “No, thanks.” He wouldn’t get onto the bed with me and he really did not want to hold his brother. We gave him the gift that “Theo” had bought him and Dexter did give the baby a kiss on the top of his head before he left with Matt to have dinner and go to bed.
Theo and I didn’t make it home until almost the end of the second day. We hoped Dex would be more interested in his brother when we were on his home turf and our hunch was correct.
As certified parents of two kids, Matt and I are officially switching from man-to-man to zone defense.
I am exclusively breastfeeding, which means Theo gets most of my time and attention, while Matt either hangs out with Dexter or Dex plays independently and Matt gets stuff done around the house. I’m finding moments to give Dex hugs and kisses, or play with him for a few minutes, but we’re not really getting any quality time.
I see him all day, every day, but I miss him so much. I guess I miss Us.
Dexter’s and my favorite playgroup meets Monday mornings, so I decided I wanted to take Dex, just the two of us. Last night, a post appeared on the group’s Facebook page:
Theo is a week old today!
He is tiny. Theo was just under 7 pounds at birth – Dexter, a week earlier, was around 7 and a half – and has a completely different build than Dex, with skinny legs and a bony little bum and fingers like birthday candles. Not only is it a completely different experience, holding a baby this wee, but Dex was under NICU staff care for the first few days of his life, so all of the first-few-days baby stuff was brand new to us, too.
Yesterday, I sent Matt these photos:
And Matt responded, “Pantsless wonder!!”
Dexter ended up eating lunch bottomless thanks to his new pal and his new passion: