Transitioning from one kiddo to two (or, “I still love ya, baby!”)

So in the latter months of this pregnancy, I’ve been freaking out a little about how Lily will adapt to suddenly having an attention-hogging new baby in the house. After all, she has enjoyed the loving, undivided attention of two parents her whole life, and knows nothing different from that.

And while my yammering about this issue one night caused Joe to lie awake in the middle of the night, worrying about it, too, overall, I’ve been obsessing about this much more (shocking, I know). Mainly, this is because Lily’s very mommy-centric – 9 times out of 10, I’m the one she wants to do, well, any given thing – and because Joe won’t be producing milk anytime soon, the baby, by necessity, will be overwhelmingly mommy-centric, too.

So unless the opportunity to clone myself arises between now and July 10, I figure I’m screwed.

It’s funny. Joe, and many other people, point out all the time that everyone who has a sibling has survived the transition just fine, and rationally, I know this is true. Plus, it seems ludicrous to drive yourself crazy because you know your kid is going to be unhappy for a while. That’s just an inevitable part of life. But right from the get-go, your child’s happiness is what you want more than anything. That’s why we parents spend so much weekend time at the zoo, the park, at kids’ birthday parties, etc. You love to see your kid smiley and sing-songy and joyful, and you’ll bend over backwards to make that happen.

But when a undeniable limitation, like a new baby, enters the picture, there are inevitably going to be bumps in the road for your little one. Continue reading

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Birthday party burnout

Lily, having her cake and eating it, too

It’s been more than a month since I last managed to get something up on this blog, and a big part of the reason for this lag is not just preparation for Lily’s birthday and party on May 14 – and the subsequent, still-not-completely finished (of course) “thank you” notes that follow – but the five additional birthday parties (and a dear friend’s wedding in Minneapolis) that we’ve attended since. (It’s been a cake and goody bag marathon that’s convinced me, on the basis of a ludicrously small sample, that the bulk of the world’s current pre-schoolers were born between mid-May to early June.)

Now, Lily’s had fun at each party, but Mommy’s feeling a bit beaten down – perhaps in part because this onslaught has coincided with the infamously fatigue-plagued third trimester of pregnancy. Regardless, I’ll need to buck up and get used to this, since I have years of the same ahead of me.

For Lily and two of her cousins, who now both live in the area, were born within a 13 day span in 2008 (which seemed a strange coincidence, but kind of neat, too, at the time); plus, an older cousin also has a May birthday. And while an appealingly pragmatic thought that briefly passed through my head was, “What if I suggest throwing one big, collective birthday party for all the 3 year old cousins?” I was too scared to even suggest it out loud. For I could hear, and feel myself also giving voice to, the inevitable BIG objection as soon as the idea flashed in my mind: Shouldn’t each girl have her own special day/party, where she didn’t have to share the spotlight?

Again and again, the right answer seemed to be “yes.” But as we all know, doing the right thing is often a huge pain the tuckus. Continue reading