I washed Susannah’s pull-up in her load of laundry tonight. As I stood cleaning out those gummy little pellets that make up the inside of diapers, I was immediately transported back in time to a small, bungalow style home which was charming and in the “in-vogue” part of town for young-marrieds and young-marrieds-with-one-new- baby crowd. The year was 2005. It was a cold winter evening and I distinctly remember my feet feeling like frozen blocks of ice as I changed my screaming, colicky newborn’s diaper. For the life of me, I could not figure out what these disgusting pellets that were clinging to her little heinie were until, in the morning light, I discovered they were coming from INSIDE her diaper. Her diaper was dissolving as she wore it through the night.
Irrate, I summoned JJ to “come and look at this.” We lamented about the cheapness of Pampers. Obviously, this was just not a well-made diaper. JJ immediately called the 800 number (I know…as I write this I just want to say “Are you freakin’ kidding me?!) and told the customer service agent about the horrible, gummy pellets clinging to Susannah’s tushie. The kind rep ever so gently told us we needed to go up a diaper size during the night. Oh.
It makes me giggle to think how “green” we were. We literally had no idea what on earth we were doing. Truthfully, I still don’t but I have a little bit more confidence now that I have had three chillens – I now know that they are not going to break and they will survive your sometimes shaky care. But if we all want to be totally real here, I must admit there is a place in my heart that longs for the innocence of that new chapter that was just beginning five short years ago. Though sleep-deprived and snappy at each other because of it, JJ and I had created a beautiful little life together. If I had ever doubted my faith, once I laid my eyes on her, I just knew. I simply just knew. What a miracle we all are. And it’s so much deeper than “just science”.
I remember feeling so overwhelmed and clinging to every parenting type of book I could get my hands on. I read The Baby Whisperer. I read Happiest Baby on the Block. I read Baby Wise. I read so many titles that I eventually realized they all contradicted themselves and spun myself into a deeper web of confusion than where I was before. Do I let her cry it out yet or is she too young? Do we keep changing formulas or allow her system to settle? Do we ever get to sleep again?
But, yet. Yet. I still miss that sweet time.
I miss the complete rapture we felt when she did any little thing. We watched her every move and would elbow each other whenever she did something cute or funny. “Watch her dance” JJ would whisper to me as the Miffy theme song played in the background. “Look at her loving on Ellie” I would point out to him as she hugged our one- year-old lab puppy (yes, we were crazy and still are for that matter…) Feeding the ducks was pure joy. So was a simple walk in our trendy neighborhood or a trip for her first taste of ice cream.
It isn’t that the joy was not felt with my other two babies because it was and is. It’s just different the first time around. This doesn’t make the first one “the favorite” it just means that we were all new together. A true and real bond had been established. No one under our bungalow roof had any idea what was happening and what to do about anything. We were all in it together. Sink or swim, we were in it, baby. Literally.
Susannah continues to survive us and secretly, because she is the oldest, we do still marvel over all of the firsts she is paving for her younger brothers. Most notably, she is about to turn five and I can hardly type these words. I am not so sure why on earth the fact that she is turning five is so hard on me but it is. Five sounds so much older than four. And, of course, there is the fact that she will be off to Kindergarten in the fall. My sweet baby, who was just born last week (!), will be going to Kindergarten.
This tough little cookie made it through the five different formulas we tried to soothe her colicky tummy. On that note, she survived a myriad of different bottle types as I was convinced, with all of my parenting experience, that it must be the bottles. She made it through the Gymboree classes I enrolled us in when she was three months old (Seriously? What on earth was I thinking?). She made it through her first ear infection when we sat, white with fear and willing to do ANYTHING to ease the pain of our sweet angel, in the ER at 11 p.m. She survived a move to another city, she lived through potty training, and she has endured almost all the way through preschool.
Baby girl, please don’t go yet. I am so not ready to let you spread those wings we have been helping you to grow. But yet. Yet. I know it’s getting to be that time. You’ve already started to lose interest in princesses, “Jack’s Big Music Show” doesn’t entertain you in the way it once did and you have deemed some things in our home as “baby toys”. Though you have at least 13 more years with us under this roof, the journey starts soon. But as I tell you everyday, it doesn’t matter how old you are. You Will. Always Be. My Baby.
So true…I can’t speak about the diapers b/c we didn’t even have elastic legs or waist 24 years ago when my first baby was born! I was doing fine until I got to the picture of your baby and Elllie. Just wait until your baby girl is getting married…As happy as I am for mine, I am sobbing as I finish reading this today. xoxo Julie
Thanks, Aunt Julie…I responded to Lora first so see below…The above photo is my favorite picture of Susannah as a newborn…:)
.-= Natalie´s last blog ..Please Don’t Go… =-.
Again, I need to stop reading your blog at work because I end up crying! :) Part of it could have to do with reading my mom’s comment though.
I can’t believe Susannah is almost 5. It seems like just yesterday I came to meet her for the first time during spring break of my freshman year at IU. I had the picture of her and Ellie framed on my desk at school!
She is beautiful on the inside and out and I can’t wait to watch her grow up, as hard as it is to imagine her growing up….
Sorry, Lora…:) Your mom’s comment is great – can you imagine how I will be when she gets married? For crying out loud, she’s only going to Kindergarten and I’m a basket case. AND she doesn’t even go until August…Jeesh…
.-= Natalie´s last blog ..Please Don’t Go… =-.
Okay…now I’m all teary-eyed! I so remember those feelings! My ‘baby’ just turned 16, yet she is still my baby :) I also have a 10yo and 5yo…they grow so fast!
Beautiful blog! I subscribed by email! Visiting from MBC!
I’d love for you to come visit me :) Mine’s a ‘frugal’ blog..full of free samples, coupons, recipes, children’s crafts, and a little of this and that!
Have a wonderful day!
.-= Shelley´s last blog ..~Free Samples of Emergen-C~ =-.
Thanks, Shelley! Glad you visited – your site is wonderful. I signed up for the Free Gooseberry Patch Cookbook – great tips, ideas, and recipes!
Oh that was so cute! I remember when the nurse released me at the hospital after I gave birth…she handed me my daughter I looked back at her with such fear! It was so crazy…! And I remember signing up for so many classes and events (with all the other moms with infants :-) ). It’s all part of the fun I guess.
Thanks for trying to leave a comment at Working Mother too – I’ll email them about the issue as you are the 3rd person who told me it wasn’t working (grrr).
.-= Swati Bharteey´s last blog ..5 Tips for Getting Out of Your Post-Divorce Rut (part 2 of 2) =-.
Thanks for reading, Swati! You are right – it’s all part of the experience but the fact that I took my three month old to a Gymboree class still makes me laugh. As for the Working Mother article, the code I had to type in would never go through or be accepted. Great article though – I definitely want to try it and probably should do so sooner rather than later! Some good Raj Yoga is just what I need if I can silence my brain at all…:)
Ohhhh, I know the feeling with my son. He’ll be 11 this year and I still call him my baby, even though I have a 20 month old now too. I have two babies. LOL
Visiting from MBC, love your blog!
.-= Janine´s last blog ..A Rare Occurrence =-.
Hi, Janine! Thanks for stopping by – I am going to visit your blog as soon as I finish this message!
I am pretty sure I will always see my kids as the little faces they are now. So bittersweet and so necessary…
I so appreciate your comment!!!!