The itch

So lately I have been watching this one video of BabyK aged 17 months, making adorable animal sounds and smiling with those huge baby cheeks. My professor said, “sounds like you’ve got the itch! Watch out!” It’s true – I am helpless in the face of us, frozen with head cold and gappy baby teeth, happy and snuggly and in sync. I remember how I felt like he was so grown up then!! And then came three. Oh three, age of defiance and unlocking doors and wandering into alleys. Age of repeating things that shouldn’t be repeated and making comments about the physical characteristics of strangers. Age of sharp, completely unpadded elbows constantly up in my boobage. Why, oh why?!?!

I don’t honestly think that I want another baby. I remember how awful that was, and how awful at it I physically am. I just want a time machine, when I could go back to my squishy, cuddly little baby who was often difficult but never truly defiant. We were bonded back then in a way that my newly independent, cocky preschooler is so not down for. Of course we were, because we saw each other every four hours all damn night. So I want to take that time machine right on back to my 11 hour sleep time window at night.

But he is still there, of course. That little boy is inside my big boy. I didn’t lose him, per se. But I miss him. And much as I enjoy the relaxation that comes with older kid parenting, it brings new worries. For instance, my little kid DOES NOT STOP TALKING. Ever. When he is cold at night he talks constantly in his sleep. But for all this talking and book memorization and scrawling on anything and everything that holds still (and even his parents, on occasion) it seems like the alphabet business is going no where. I haven’t pushed it, I’ve assumed that he will pick it up when he’s ready and done what I think is a moderate amount of coaching and questioning and all that. But I had expected to see a lot more letter recognition after 9 weeks of preschool. He will volunteer the letter of the week a little more readily but still is just grasping at shapes. I also know for a fact that he could count to 10 ages and ages ago – but absolutely, unconditionally refused to count for me under any circumstances. So I figured that was what was going on – the more I push, the less he displays. Then tonight he told me that 3 was M. And I thought, fuck. My mom has a form of dyslexia. Fuck fuck fuck. So then I am sitting, alone and unattended (as always) googling preschool signs of dyslexia. Some he has, some he most definitely doesn’t. For instance, being slow to pick up new words or find the right word. That boy has words for days. Case in point: Right now we are playing the “I say, you say” game. “Mom, I’ll say Boo and you say AHH!” “I will say no and you will say yes.” Etc. etc. about four more times than was amusing. Tonight, I was kind of half listening and I said, “What can I say?” And he said, “You can say ‘Oh Dammit'”. Which is true – I am a grown up and I can say Oh Dammit and that references our earlier conversation from four months ago about how he is a grown up and a baby but not a big boy because he can say oh dammit but he didn’t like to use the potty (his logic, clearly)… but why can’t you tell me what letter I’m pointing at when I know that you spent FIVE DAYS of tracing and talking and games and activity trying to tell you what this letter is? Why don’t you like to trace the letters? Why is today the first day you’ve made anything resembling letters (which they didn’t really, but I got the idea)?

I’m sure it’s nothing. I’m sure he’s going to be just fine at that perfect school that I have yet to select or qualify or pay for, but this. This lurking dread about the next thing to go wrong, the next shoe to drop. The days and then MONTHS that I spent terrified that he was not going to keep breathing on his own, aspirating on his own gastric fluids in the middle of the night, being malnourished, or killing himself with his uncanny ability to acquire the most lethal object in the room in record time. This I don’t think I could handle again. I don’t think I can handle another miscarriage. I don’t think I can handle another nine months of fear, let alone hours of lives on the line. Perhaps I am a coward. Or perhaps I just know more than your average mom. Or perhaps I just feel so amazingly lucky to have this one awesome relatively healthy kid that it seems impossible to imagine being so lucky a second time – and then, being even luckier and hoping to not be in PT for almost 30 weeks, to not have liver failure, to not have a c-section, to not be up all night for two years straight. It seems too much to hope for. Probably because it is.



2 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    lauraloops said,

    I remember taking Monkey to the zoo last summer and he was silent the. entire. time. A similar experience was had just this spring at the museum. I have not been privy to the constant stream of talkiness, as the last time I saw Monkey he had no interest even in saying hello to me 😦

  2. 2

    anonymousk said,

    Boo. You clearly need to hang out more, because the words are so very there. Also, I looked at his letter paper from yesterday morning and found a highly legible ‘G’ hidden in the scrawling. So there you have it. G.

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