Thursday, May 1, 2008

Reflections on Nine Months

Oh, I'm tired. I think we may have over-scheduled ourselves yesterday. We had a pediatrician appointment, a blood donation appointment, lunch with the Mrs., and babysitting, which involved trying to fit baby nap and baby bottle and baby changes and baby snacks and baby dinner into the gaps between school pick up, kid snacks, homework, volleyball, and baseball. For the month of April, we babysat twice a week instead of once, and since both cousins schedules are now chock full o' sports activities, it makes for a lot of running around. And yesterday, I did it a pint low. Oh, I'm tired. That's why I'm blogging instead of treadmilling this morning. It's a low-energy activity.

A mother at Robert McGee's baseball game yesterday told me that she was the seventh of eight kids and said that she figured I probably want to "fill the house with little [Thumpers]." I resisted the temptation to make some kind of Star Trek joke about 7 of 8 and told her that a little sister might be fun, but I didn't really want to "fill the house" with anything. Two would be more than enough. One seems like more than enough most days. And babysitting two elementary school kids a couple days a week confirms the obvious: more kids = more work.

I've always wanted two kids. I think I still want two kids. Despite Dutch's assertion that while one kid was fun, two kids is more like work. I worry about the additional expense. The additional work. What if a second pregnancy's worse than the first? What if the fetus is unhealthy? The baby's unhealthy? The wife's unhealthy? What if the second baby's not as happy as Thumper? Or smart? Or adorable? There are days when I think I can't stand one baby another minute and can't wait for Mrs. Rodius to get home. What if I lose it with a second?

But time is flying, flying. Thumper's world is rapidly expanding. His personality is coming ever clearer. He's asserting himself more and more, and while it's aggravating when our wills clash, it's thrilling and astounding to watch the person slowly and too quickly emerging from that tiny little ball of a baby.

Watching Thumper play at the indoor playground at the mall, I was proud, and a little relieved, to see him crawl away from me with barely a backward glance. It sometimes seems like he's a little too stuck to me when we're alone together at the house. I was glad to see him crawl out into a new world without demanding that I come with him. He not only watched other kids play, but played with them. He gently touched the face of a nine-month-old girl and pondered her hair clip. He emulated the way older kids played with some of the equipment. He crawled up; he crawled down. He pulled up; he fell down. He blocked up tunnels and made other kids go around while their mothers reminded them to "be careful of the baby." He laughed, he yelled, and he made the small mouth he makes when he's thinking, thinking. I think a sibling would be good for him.

And of course, I think I can do better. I want the chance to do better, to be more confident through those first few months when everything seemed so uncertain. But mostly I want another baby because I don't want it to be over. It's not over, in some ways it will never really be over, yet it feels like the end is coming. I want to keep it going with another one. I never want this magical time to end.


Lisa L said...

Beautiful post. You are a great dad. Thumper is a lucky boy indeed..

Minivan Mom said...

Well, dang, Rodius, you are light years ahead of Rich and I in your thoughts on having more kids.

We just wanted to better our odds of someone taking care of us when we're old.

I kid. Rich also wanted more help with the yardwork.

In all seriousness, I think those are just about the best reasons I can think of to want more children. We knew we wanted a large(ish) family, but I don't think we had the clarity of "why" beyond that. Of course, we were also 25 when we started popping them out, so what the hell did we know, right?

It's exponentially more work the more kids you have, but it's also exponentially more joy. And this coming from someone who doesn't even like the baby/toddler stage.

anniemcq said...

This brought tears to my eyes. Granted, I've been dredging out our crap-filled basement all day, so I was a little close to the edge to begin with, but as I was working I ran across pictures of JH at Thumpers age. It seems like a minute ago. But, oh, to hold a little one again. I so understand your desire to have another. You are such amazing parents.

suttonhoo said...

oh boy. is this the one you tweeted about chocking up over?

got me good.

tender and perfect. just like a good chicken. ;)

I, Rodius said...

Heh. Tender and perfect, just like a good chicken. If I had a tagline, I'd change it to that.

Thanks, guys. I'm not feeling like such a great dad these past few days. Wrote a blog about it. Like to hear it? Here it goes... Well, tomorrow, maybe, anyway.

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