Babies are miniature people who require their own everything: tub, crib, playpen, rocker, swing, potty, clothes, chairs, car seats, stroller, diapers, wipes, bottles, toiletries… everything. And all this could vary with different baby stages (so even more things)! Currently, my modest 3-bedroom house is full; so full of all the in-between baby things that Charlotte has steadily grown out of. People tend to toss things they no longer have use for, but we have no idea what we want to do with most of it. Every closet in my house is brimming with baby stuff we are not sure we’ll need again. These boxes of things represent hope and grand expectations of what could be, but each time I open a closet door to shove more “things” in, they gradually become painful reminders of what we may never have. My husband and I are stuck (eternally, it seems) in a place of what-if. There are reminders everywhere that Charlotte is no longer a baby, and we still don’t have any prospects of whether we’ll be able to grow our family any further.
Do we make space for the family we have or hold space for the one we hope to have?
A couple weeks ago, we I made the agonizing decision of transforming her room from a baby room to a “big girl” room. Our original-original plan was to eventually be pregnant again and by the time I popped out a second, Charlotte would be ready to transition into another room without the crib. Unfortunately, things haven’t worked themselves out according to our blueprint, and I didn’t think we could possibly keep Charlotte in her crib any longer (although, up until then she really had no complaints). So, we sadly sold the rocker that I nestled my baby in from the day she was born, and in its place is the double bed that we transformed her crib into. It was the markings of a new era. As my husband and I were taking apart the crib and assembling the double bed, we talked about how we really couldn’t believe Charlotte would be 4 in just over 6 months. To us, it honestly feels like just last month we were putting together her crib and room in preparation for her arrival.
Where did the time go?
Recently, a fellow blogger “exposed” her quirks to the blogosphere and invited us all to share our own quirks. It got me thinking about all my weird quirks (because I have plenty). Before I became a mom, there were a lot of things I chose not to eat, touch, do, etc. Some of these quirks were peculiar (never eaten/touched blueberries, olives, beans; have a strange fear of seeds and nuts) and others would be considered quite common (fearful of bugs, exercise, losing people). A lot of the quirks, I realize now, are rooted in fear (obviously most are irrational, some humorous). I’m a big scaredy cat and since becoming a mom, a lot of these quirks have disappeared dissipated. I think when you become a parent, a lot of the things you feared take a backseat in the grand scheme of everything in your newly developing world.
For example, now I have the strength of a bodybuilder when it comes to being tested on a quick walk with an undiapered 3-year-old who suddenly needs to poop when we are furthest from home. I have the steady tolerance of a Monk when it comes to remembering that my toddler is just doing her job by testing my limits each time she throws herself to the ground because of something inconsequential. I have the courage of a feral animal when it comes to annihilating a gigantic household centipede lurking behind my clueless child just so she doesn’t see it and thus get squeamish with a weeks’ worth of nightmares that I’ll have to deal with in the crux of the night. Now, all that matters to me is that my baby is alive, happy (i.e. not screaming her arse off crying or yelling), and sleeping peacefully.
One of my remaining fears though, a fear I can’t seem to shake, is the fear of the unknown; a fear I am slowly learning to live with, in between all the joys of motherhood.
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