A Boy Is Hard Work

Two weeks ago I was waxing whimsical on the lovely, peaceful days. They are still lovely and peaceful, but I am worn to the bone. Which is a lot of wear when you consider how far you have to dig to find any bone on me these days. I’ve reached that stage of pregnancy they laughably call “not full term quite yet” where I have given up all my personal space to this not-so-tiny occupant and all day long I am being climbed on from the inside by one child and from the outside by the other.

There is no right time to double the fun, multiply your ranks, whatever you want to call it. I have had more than two conversations in the last few weeks about the joy and good fortune of welcoming #2 while #1 is still securely in diapers. I am not joking in the least, because the thought of dealing with the potty aspect of toddlerhood, from every imaginable angle, at this stage in pregnancy and then with a newborn in tow completely blows my mind. Two in diapers suits me just fine, thanks very much.

But as I was saying, I am worn, diapers or no diapers. My lungs are competing for space and every trip up the stairs leaves me gasping a bit. Nothing puts the personal space infringement of pregnancy in perspective quite like having a 15-month-old, 30-pound boy as your constant companion. I am wishing, longing, deeply, physically craving the return of my own agility. I’ve stayed agile enough and I can still chase his ball down the driveway to the street at top speed, squat down to look him in the eye, sit in my chair and lift him across the arm of it into what’s left of my lap. But it takes conscious effort to meet him where he is these days, which is climbing and running and rolling and squirming and falling over in need of rescue and throwing everything at my face in good clean playing fun and getting a grip on my head like it’s his bowling ball with my nose just right for the finger holes. (You can’t make that stuff up.)

As I crave the days only weeks away when I will be my size again and can chase him around less like a lumbering elephant, I fret that my new-mother fatigue and the urgent needs of a newborn sister will leave him still in need of the crazy love and energy to match what’s erupting from his every little-boy pore. With daddy hard at work and school, this guy is about to be outnumbered: Girls 2, Boys 1, and I just wish my younger brothers or even his toddler cousin lived nearby to come over now and then and wrestle him to the point of exhaustion like he wrestles me five times a day. Maybe then he’d sleep a little more and fuss with frustration a little less. For that matter, maybe I would too…

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