We’re about to welcome a new little addition to our family. I’m pretty sure my 2-year-old thinks I’m birthing a playmate for him who will bound out of my womb ready to pass a ball. And I’m afraid the screaming infant we bring home won’t be the only thing my son finds disappointing.
My husband and I have done all we can to prepare his little mind for the changes ahead. We took a sibling class at the hospital geared towards toddlers and they read books about a new baby, toured the hospital rooms where he will meet his little brother, and even learned to diaper his beloved Curious George doll. He left mostly talking about the apple juice he spilled down his shirt during snack.
We have lots of books about becoming a big brother, our favorite being What Baby Needs by Dr. Sears mostly because it shows babywearing, breastfeeding and cosleeping. All things we do in our house, and did with my son, but none of which he actually remembers. He loves to read the books but until he actually sees us doing these things he doesn’t really understand.
What he does understand is that I am physically limited. My son wants to be carried, snuggled and rocked. He wants me to rough-house with him and play trains on the floor. Thankfully my husband is being extra hands-on when he’s home and in the meanwhile we’ve taken to lots of couch snuggles while reading library books, which appears to be a suitable substitute. At bedtime, my son and I would gently dance around his room together before bed time, me swaying with him in my arms and singing a song I made up called “dancin’ with your Mama” — I still sing the song, but can no longer dance while holding my lanky boy. I’m by no means wishing this baby out, but I cannot wait to dance with my son again. We both miss it terribly.
There have been lots of tears and tantrums from both of us as this pregnancy comes to close. He knows that if he runs, I cannot chase him (cue frantic Jewish mother waddling after he toddler screaming “GET BACK HERE!”) and he has figured out that if he flattens himself completely on the ground, I have no way of getting him up. I find myself snapping at him more than usual and the patience I once had left around the time my belly button popped and I lost track of my feet.
Last week after a car nap which lasted over an hour thanks to me driving around, my son woke up and was ready to come inside. But once we walked in the door, he melted into hysterics and refused to climb the stairs up to the apartment. I’m not physically capable of picking a limp screaming toddler off the ground and carrying him up sixteen stairs, so I told him I would let him collect himself and I’d be back to check on him in a minute.
I waited upstairs for five minutes and then peaked down to find him asleep on the step.
I know he has big huge feelings right now and he’s sensing that I’m tired and can’t physically do what he needs me to do for him right now. My heart aches for him on these days. But when I looked down those steps at my sleeping boy, I remembered
He will always be my first baby,
He still needs so much of me,
and there will always be enough love to go around.
Sometimes it’s just hard to be two.
The opposite of kvelling is kvetching–and it’s something, if I can say so myself, that I’m quite good at. Every non-Jewish boyfriend I ever had learned the meaning of this Yiddish word that onomatopoetically conjures up its very essence: kkkvehhhtch. To complain persistently; whine.
I’ve kvetched about heat in August and cold in December, my mother, my father, and all my ex-boyfriends. I could (and have) conjured up a kvetch in Central Park, on a fresh April Day, while eating ice cream in the arms of my beloved (teenagers, you know. So freaking loud). Read the rest of this entry →
We are thrilled to announce the arrival of the newest Kveller on the block, Benjamin Evan Deutsch. Our assistant editor, Amy Deutsch, gave birth to a beautiful baby boy at 10:52 am on May 30. Everybody is at home and doing great.
Benajmin came into the world at a healthy 8 lbs and 6 oz and 20 inches long. His big sister Abigail is being very helpful getting her parents burp cloths and diapers when they need them.
Amy says that baby Benjamin shows an inkling of being a Superman fan as he barreled his way out into the world with one hand over his head. It was his left one, so they have high hopes for his baseball career as a southpaw pitcher.
We can’t wait for Benjamin to visit the Kveller office.
See, the first time around, I worried about the stuff you typically associate with pregnancy: stretch marks, weight gain, and other TMI-type stuff. Luckily, I came out fairly unscathed–if you don’t count the emergency C-section and inability to breastfeed. What I never counted on–or was warned about–was the excruciating pain in the spot where my left thumb meets the wrist that started less than two months after Ellie arrived. Read the rest of this entry →
Okay, let’s back up so I can give due appreciation to this fleshy place I’ve been living in for 38 years. The body is healthy, thank God. The body works fine – better than fine, actually, again thankfully, when it comes to producing funny, smart and healthy kids (pu pu pu).That stands to reason, as I do have what can be charitably called “birthing hips.” Yes, I’m a short curvy Jewess built for life in the shtetl. Slap a kerchief on my head and I’ll start singing “Matchmaker, Matchmaker.” I love to cook, host meals for many people, and eat – but that’s not really the problem. Read the rest of this entry →
For years, the commandment to “Honor thy mother and father” always came ridiculously easily to me. I was the dorky kid in high school who, while I did my fair share of partying, never missed a curfew, and who always ran to tell my parents the details of every excellent grade or youth group accomplishment. In college I remained the nice Jewish girl, an overachiever who always wanted to please and impress my parents with tales of my academic successes and leadership activities. Sure, I had my wild frat party moments, but overall, I worked hard and made responsible decisions because I wanted to honor my parents’ unconditional love, generosity, and support.
Post-college, through jobs, grad school, and marriage, I remained the good Jewish girl, always wanting to obey, respect and please my parents. That is, until our baby Eliana was born three months ago.
All the sudden, there was a 7-pound, pink-clad, new boss in town.–and I stopped trying to please my parents. It wasn’t my hormone-ridden teenage years that initiated my rebellion and sense of independence, but my hormone-ridden early days of motherhood. All the sudden my new family of three became the priority.
It started the night she came home from the hospital, after an incredibly stressful five-day stay in the NICU. My husband, daughter, and I needed time to adjust to our new life at home. Pre-baby, when my parents used to visit, we’d all stay up late spending extra time with my mom and dad by watching old movies of my childhood. On that first night at home, I sent my parents back to their hotel room before 8 pm. And then every night after that for the remainder of their three-week visit. I was a new parent, and this was definitely new terrain. Read the rest of this entry →
The cocktail of postpartum hormones in a woman’s system – specifically, mine – after giving birth creates a mercurial temperament, to say the least. One second, you’re walking along, feeling groovy and grateful, and the next, you’re crying and wondering why you feel so alone, only to have the crying go away ten seconds later. It’s like those crazy summer days where, out of a clear sky, a sunshower pours down for seven minutes and then vanishes as though nothing has happened. Nothing to see here, folks. Move along.
All things considered, I’m doing fine. The biggest adjustment, as mothers of more than one child know, is not to the baby, but rather to the new number of children in the house. When you go from one to two kids, it entails a total recalibration of perspective and priorities. I vividly remember breastfeeding my younger son, R., and having my older son, Z, playing with a puzzle at my feet. Z is only a year and a half older than his brother, so this story takes place when he was just under 2. After about three minutes, Z looked up.
Z: Play with me, Mommy.
Me: As soon as I finish feeding the baby, sweetie.
Z: No. Now.
Me: I can’t. I’m sorry. Read the rest of this entry →
I’ve always been the odd childless one out on the Kveller blog, and while I certainly get my kicks writing about the babies of Jewish celebrities, nothing gives me more pleasure to announce that I finally have a baby to really kvell over: my new (and first!) niece, Madison Isabella!
At 5 lbs, 5 oz, Madison arrived a whopping 4 weeks early on July 12th in Chicago, and she and Mom are doing great. Now I just have to face the fact that the same older brother who used to give me noogies in the backseat of the Volvo station wagon is now a dad. And even weirder, my parents are grandparents! Though my mom looks nothing like the gray-haired, babushka-wearing image that it conjures, when deciding on what to be called, she’s intent on “bringing Bubbe back,” just to make sure that this baby knows she’s got a real live Jewish grandmother on her hands.
And if being an aunt wasn’t enough, last night I got the greatest gift of all while Skyping with Maddie (yeah, she’s already tech savvy): her parents showed off her newest onesie, pictured above, that says, “Will you be my Godmother?” It was just about the sweetest thing I’ve ever seen, and of course, I said yes! Considering that my brother is Jewish and my sister-in-law is Catholic, I’m not entirely sure just what that role will entail, but I’m sure I’ll learn all about it at the joint baby-naming/baptism planned for November.
Mazel Tov to the parents, grandparents, and whole slew of great-grandparents that Madison is lucky enough to have. Aunt Molly sends her love.