Yesterday, my midwife grabbed and wiggled Cricket’s head from outside of my belly.
That’s all I’m going to say about that moment, because it is impossible to describe how bizarre it felt.
Other than occasional freakshow incidents such as that, and thrilling near-death experiences such as this:
it is safe to say we’re officially entering the boring part of our expat adventure. We knew it was coming – you have to slow down and sleep while you can before a baby comes or you’ll hate yourself once he gets here – but it doesn’t make for very interesting blog content. We obviously are not traveling for a while, and even local explorations are low-key or paused either because I’m sore and knackered, or because it’s been grey and rainy and when it’s like that, it’s more fun to snuggle up with Dex and enjoy these last few weeks together before Cricket invades.
Team Awesome is enjoying some upswings.
Most importantly, our stuff finally came!
It arrived a couple of weeks ago. I was terrified it would be completely overwhelming, that we’d be drowning in boxes, but it’s not been so bad. We are only chipping away, though – it’s a huge job, it required some shopping (after all, we got rid of all the furniture in which people generally put stuff) and it’s impossible to do when Dexter is awake, so it’s slow going. The house is starting to feel more like a home, though.
Yes, we’re finally in our place! A lot of you have asked for a photo tour and here it is. Things are VERY BEFORE. Debris scattered about, including some stuff that isn’t even ours, which I will detail later in this post.
Dexter had a hell of a weekend. Observe:
But let’s start at the beginning.
One year ago today, I posted online a photo of Dexter and me taken at 3:30 a.m. We had a full house – grandparents visiting – and he and I were the only ones up. He’s just finished nursing and was snuggled into me, so warm and tiny. See?
Today, as I’m driving to daycare to visit him, I remember this photo, and get all warm and fuzzy and really, really excited to see Dex. When I get there, I can’t immediately find him, and finally, one of the teachers says, “He’s behind you!”
I turn around and Dexter is lounging in the sunken area (which you might remember as The Furniture Pushin’ Gang’s preferred ledge over which to shove cribs), lazily swinging his legs in the air and grinning that grin he gets when he knows he’s pulled a fast one on mommy. Look:
Last week, Dexter’s sweet teacher decided to treat herself to a Happy Meal for lunch. Believe me. SHE DESERVES IT.
She dug through the cardboard box, looking for her prize, and out it came: a small plush emoji, a yellow smiling face wearing sunglasses. I’m pretty old but I believe it stands for “cool.” (Also, it had a tag on it that read “cool.”)
Dexter immediately feel madly, deeply in love. He reached toward his teacher, begging her for the object of his affection. She handed it to him and he immediately, for some reason, put it in his mouth and began crawling around the daycare looking disturbingly like a dog with a chew-toy. (Add that to the list of things I didn’t know babies do until I had one. It’s getting to be quite the tome.) When she saw what she was doing, the teacher determined the cool tag was a choking risk and took the emoji from Dex to cut it off.
In order to survive the mean streets of daycare, my one-year-old son has joined a gang.
They call them The Furniture Pushin’ Gang. The members are Dexter, Camden, Jaxon and Mary Lou. (Names slightly changed to shield the not-so-innocent.)
Jaxon: the muscle, with the chunkiest thighs on planet Earth.
Camden: just started walking, so he brings that to the table, plus he grows hair at a rate hereby unseen on a baby – 4 haircuts by the time he was 7 months old and still going strong.
After about 10 and a half months, my time breastfeeding Dexter is coming to an end. Our weaning story isn’t unusual – he’s been nursing less and less since he started solids, and since I returned to work full time. I’d suspected for a while that he wasn’t getting much out of it. His top two teeth popped last week and that sealed the deal – three hard bites later, I decided I didn’t want to end this beautiful thing we were doing together with pain and frustration so I called it. If I’m honest, he called it a while ago and I was just keeping it going as long as I could.
I’d love this to be a “10 months? WE ROCK!” post but the truth is, I’m blue. I choke up every time I tell someone. Add “weaning depression” to the shockingly voluminous list of things I never knew about until I had a baby (cerclage, breast pump phalanges, wubbanubs… oh, it is such a long list) but I am in it. As I’ve mentioned before, we fought really hard to establish breastfeeding and somehow, that makes it feel worse, like I’m giving up on the tail end, even though that isn’t the case. (I tried EVERYTHING to boost my supply after Dex started daycare. You do not want to know the things I have seen, done and consumed in the name of milk supply.) I never imagined being a mom would involve so much weeping about breastfeeding, making it happen, keeping it going and letting it go.