I said to myself when I sat down at the computer that I was only going to add a couple books to Goodreads and check FB. But here I find myself like half an hour later...
As I was on Goodreads writing reviews for Natalie and my latest reads, I thought of something a mom said at story time today. There was one mom at story time who we saw pretty much every week for about a year. Then she had a baby. We saw her once when the baby was a couple weeks old, and then not again until just this last week. It was very nice to see her again. Needless to say, it makes me worry a little about my ability to get us out of the house once there is another child. She also commented that things have been hard not because the baby is a difficult baby, but because her older daughter (who I think must be three now) was so used to all the attention. Again, this worries me some.
Today though, they arrived at story time late and I got to talk to her for a couple minutes at as Natalie ran around. Two noteworthy things about this conversation.
First, it wasn't me who initiated the conversation. While the mom and had acknowledged each other from across the room, neither one of us really had the opportunity to start a conversation. But, Natalie climbed down off the little set of stadium stairs near the picture book area, and went up to the stroller with the three month old baby. She she approached, she was saying "baby. baby." She then peaked over the edge of the stroller looking at the baby. She didn't poke, which surprised me, especailly since her hand was hovering a bit. This is the first time Natalie has gone up to a small baby to investigate. It was very cute all on its own, aside from our current situation. It was very adorable to see her curious about a little baby after labeling babies so often in pictures. Of course, her attention soon drifted to touching all the bumps and buttons on the side of the stroller, but it was still a great moment. It made me feel pretty good about her having at least some curiosity about our impending new arrival.
Natalie's investigation of the stroller led to a quick discussion of strollers. The mom actually offered me the stroller she used to have for her older daughter. I turned it down feeling like we didn't know each other enough for me to except. Thinking back on it, I wonder if that was silly. Maybe this is how mom's network and get to know each other more. Its just that strollers are a rather big item. Anyway, I've made mistakes buying our too strollers. (The first one was awesome as a rear facing stroller, though the car seat insert was so heavy, but couldn't be used front facing like a travel system can. Our current stroller is a cheap fold up one that I didn't put much effort into choosing, and thus am paying the price). When I buy our next two strollers (a nice front facing one for this summer and beyond, and a back to back double stroller that fits our current infant car seat), I want to make sure I really get what I want. Getting a stroller from someone else would save money, but what if its not what I want again? However, I do feel a little guilt about having a new stroller for Natalie and seeing this woman again in the spring. Will she even remember? Or care?
Strollers was not the second point I wanted to write about. Actually, this next things weighing on my mind as I was updating Goodreads is why I decided to pop over here so quick (like that is possible). The mom said that after coming to story time last week, her older daughter would finally sit in her lap to read again. She guessed that it was really that she was bored with all the books at home. She said she felt really bad about not getting out to the library more to get books, but that guilt is just a mom thing. She didn't say it, but we both knew that she had worried the reject of her lap for reading was a reaction to the new baby. This comment struck me when she said it, and was haunting me a bit while on Goodreads, so I had to come write it down. It is so sad that such a warm aspect of their relationship was out of sorts, and even sadder that the mom thought it was because of the baby, but it was really because she was having trouble providing her with the wealth of different books she was used to. It makes me sad to think of Natalie rejecting my lap for reading to her. I don't have too many fantasies about life with this new baby, but one of the ones I do have is Natalie snuggling next to me to read as I nurse the baby. While I know I should not get my hopes up, I think I'll be pretty crushed if she refuses to let me read to her. Reading with Natalie in my lap is one of my favorite things. Sometimes her squirming bothers me or the way she leans all strange when we read especailly large books, but generally I love it when she sits in my lap and gets excited or snugly as I read to her. I've been missing having that privilege exclusively at bedtime as Mike and I have been trying to balance out our bed time duties. I often do the reading, but she sits with Mike.
Okay, one more thing then off to bed. As I've been tired and grumpy in the evenings, I've noticed that while Mike helps with bath and bed time every night, he has managed to get the easy share of responibilites. His current jobs are to set up the bath, make she she doesn't fall over, brush her teeth, hold the face cloth on her face to rinse her hair, pour water on her back to keep her warm, clean up the bathroom, and put on her diaper and pjs. My jobs are to change her out of her diaper if she pooped, set up the bedroom, wash her, take her to the bedroom, put on her lotion, brush her hair, and read. While when I write it out like this, it seems like Mike just just as much as me, but when we switch jobs, I find it so much easier to do his work. He is chasing her into the bathroom, carrying her struggling in her towel to her room, or getting kicked in the stomach with her feet as she climbs all over the bed. I love our close time at bed time. I love singing to her, brushing her hair, rubbing on her lotion. I love the smells after bath time. But, at the same time, sometimes I wish I could just do the less interaction intensive jobs. This has been especially hard to deal with recently as she has been hugging daddy as he carries her to bed more and more often leaving me with barely sqeezing in a kiss on her check. Of course, most nights she still comes to me first for a little good night hug, and there are nights I carry her to bed, or that she gives us both hand kisses, but I miss her mommy devotion on the other nights. I know its good for us to be more balances, especially when I know that might have to give up a lot of her bed time ritual for a while after the baby comes. But, I would say that other than weaning, this is the one thing about her growing up that makes me a little sad.
See, now its been like 45 minutes. Mike's show is over and he'll be coming up to bed and say something like, I thought you were in bed asleep by now. I sometimes think he thinks I'm crazy with the amount of time I'm able to spend on the computer, but at the same time, the computer is a major source of entertainment, communication, and relaxation for me (through FB and Goodreads, FB, and blogging respectively).