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.
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:
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.
“I’ve helped a lot of women through labor,” I heard our doula whisper to Matt, maybe a little nervously. “But I can honestly say that’s the first time I’ve seen anyone bite her husband.”
Dexter Ian, then known as Biscuit, was born April 10, 2015.
I had a Strand burger for lunch and was at my office April 9 when I started to feel strange. I was 37 weeks and 6 days pregnant and that morning, I had “graduated” from my high risk doctor, which means he shook my hand and we bid farewell to my every-other-morning appointments where I’d sit on an armchair with elastic bands around my belly, clicking a button every time I felt a kick. No diploma or tassels. As the strange feeling intensified, my instincts screamed “THIS IS IT,” so I called Matt and told him to come home.
Look, Matt and I would never claim to be parenting experts, or even people who should be giving advice. Nearly two years in, we still make mistakes on a daily basis and I don’t see that changing any time in the future. I’m not sure ANYONE is qualified to give parenting advice. The whole racket is complex and ever-changing and impossible to master.
However, Dexter is a pretty great kid, so far, and although I’m convinced it’s about 90% luck, I’d like to think we had a little something to do with the other 10%.
New parents get a flood of parenting advice, and thousands of conflicting opinions can be yours with just a quick Google search, so we did (and still do) put some effort into deciding how we wanted to try to do things and what kind of parents we’d like to be.