I am the lucky mom of a wonderful boy. He’ll be two this spring. He loves to climb, colour and help us cook. He also likes to say something that sounds a lot like “Oh shit!” (I take full responsibility for that one … ) It’s a phrase that might come in handy for him soon. You see, he doesn’t understand this, but he’s about to become a big brother.
When my husband and I announced last summer that we were expecting our second child, people reacted with appropriate levels of joy and excitement. But there were also warnings. “Going from one to two is so much harder than going from none to one!” “Being pregnant with a toddler at home is brutal.” “So soon? Your last pregnancy was so hard! Aren't you worried?” These concerns were fair. And now that I feel like a beached whale, I can confirm that pregnancy and caring for a toddler aren’t always compatible. But I’m happy to report that this pregnancy has been smooth. I feel weird admitting this, but over the last several months, I actually often forgot I was pregnant. And so here we are, three weeks before our due date and I can’t help but feel it’s time to panic.
You see, the first time around, we were insanely prepared. We had read all the books, a few before I was even pregnant. We had the nursery (okay, half of the one bedroom we had at the time) ready two months in advance. The car seat was installed and ready to transport our little bundle of joy weeks before we needed it. I was put on bed rest at five months so I didn’t have any loose ends at work to tie up, and I’d had time to adjust to life without my Blackberry. We even thought we were prepared for the impact a newborn would have on our lives. (We weren't … )
This time, we have done virtually nothing to prepare. Well, we finally bought a dresser for his otherwise empty room but haven’t put it together yet. We haven’t set up the crib, maybe because this time we know it will probably be months before he agrees to actually sleep in it.
The baby clothes are packed away in boxes, neatly sorted by size but need to be washed and put away. (Hard to do with the dresser still in pieces!) The carseat is sitting in our basement. It’s not even close to being ready to be installed in our car that mostly serves as my office because rather than slowing down my pace at work, I seem to be diving in deeper.
But these aren’t the things worrying me most. My greatest concern is for our son. His world is about to be turned upside down and he has no idea. I suddenly have an intense need to snuggle him every chance I get. I just want to hold him close and show him how loved he is. We talk about the baby and he points to my belly proudly, but he can’t understand what’s about to happen. So for the next few weeks, I will enjoy him being my only baby. I will spoil him just a little more. I’ll read the extra bedtime story. I’ll let him have a spoonful of peanut butter before dinner. I will snuggle him a little tighter. There might even be a new Elmo doll in his future! These small actions will certainly go unnoticed by our toddler, but they’ll make me feel a bit better. And that still counts for something, right?