I gotta work on my multitasking before kiddo #2

3:48 pm. Fold laundry while reading an open magazine on the couch and listening to Zoe begin to wake up.
3:52 pm. Jump over toys strewn on floor while simultaneously placing water glass down on table after hearing "Mommy! I need to poop!" over the monitor.
4:08 pm. Spend yet another eternity wrestling over the potty sticker chart (Why oh why did we think this was a good idea? Stickers can entertain this child for HOURS. ON THE POTTY.) while doing Kegels to keep myself busy as well as keep my own pathetic bladder patient, and PLEASE GOD obedient, while waiting for my turn on the potty.
4:31 pm. Place Zoe on the counter and keep one hand on her while we add eggs, water and oil to the mix (Trader Joe's pumpkin bread/muffin mix. YUM.) and allow her to "stir". Place muffins in oven while managing the toddler's escalating tantrum on the floor about wanting to "break eggs BY SELF".
4:52 pm. DRAG Sweet Dog outside to lead her to a brutal slaughter give her an oatmeal bath. Lasso Sweet Dog with leash while convincing Zoe that she will not have to get wet and CANNOT eat the soap just because it's "oatmeal". Completely forget about setting a timer for the muffins.
4:58 pm. Remember I was supposed to set a timer for the muffins but I am now up to my elbows in wet dog hair and oatmeal shampoo. Glance at my watch and vow to check on them in 5 minutes. Talk a whiny, crying Zoe through drying her legs with a nearby towel because Sweet Dog has already shaken on her.
5:07 pm. Was that 5 minutes?
5:08 pm. Muffins are done! Explain several times why we cannot immediately eat one just yet even though we "WANT ONE RIGHT NOW". When logic fails to convince her, cut one open to show the steam rising and allow it to cool off sooner. Quickly find out that it's now RUINED because she "wanted it WHOLE". (All while listening guiltily to the soaking, oatmeal-y Sweet Dog whine pathetically from the backyard where she is shivering to death, though it's 9o degrees).
5:16 pm. Sweet Dog has been rinsed. Towel off Sweet Dog with one hand while stuffing half a pumpkin muffin in my mouth. Realize that hands are still covered with wet dog hair. *SIGH*


Lying low

Zoe has been sick, so sick, since Friday and once again I am shaken by how sickness takes us totally out of orbit. It's no news that I've been feeling low physically and emotionally with this pregnancy and I'm beginning to realize how much and for how long I've been out of orbit myself. All week I was looking forward to a much needed date night with CG and fun Halloween plans to help lift me out of my funk. All were canceled, of course.

It is my new strategy to be as good as possible to both of us as much as possible. Sometimes our needs are at odds. Sometimes we are in sync. This weekend we both mostly wanted to sit. Read books, many many books. Have extended doll play (her). Read New Yorkers (me). Cuddle, NO EYE POKING!, with Sweet Dog (both of us).

Dressed however we wanted. (I'll spare you the pics of me in my perma-bathrobe.)

And though neither of us is totally better, I am so grateful for so many things.

And I know we will both be better soon.


Book Report: The Plug-In Drug.

I think this might be a good time to revisit our decision to keep Zoe TV-free as we are finding ourselves suddenly warming to the idea. (Funny how a crappy first trimester can do that!)

First a little history: we have wrestled with whether to allow Zoe to watch TV since she was about 4 months old. At that time, I noticed that whenever I was nursing her in front of the TV, she would unlatch (causing geysers of milk to drown nearby cities) and stare glassy-eyed at the TV until I did something to block her view. So we decided to keep the TV off when she was awake, though I still watched during many naps and in the evenings. I quickly figured out that some of my less-than-complete bliss at being a stay-at-home mom was related to the way I felt after spending too many hours prostrate before the tube watching "Jon and Kate Plus 8"/"Rock of Love"/"Made"/"What Not to Wear" and whatever the hell came on after because OH GOD I CANNOT SEEM TO TURN IT OFF. When Zoe was an infant, TV kept me company, made me a feel a little less alone and gave structure to my strangely formless days.

It also made me feel pretty crappy. So after initially focusing on keeping the TV off when Zoe was awake, I started to seriously limit my TV intake in general. CG too. If there is something specific we like ("The Office", "The Daily Show", "Entourage", "Weeds"), we TiVo it and if the time comes that we really want to watch it, we can, without commercials, on our own time. Today, this means that we don't watch that much TV, usually an hour or so a couple times a week. Which is quite lovely. (Though lately, with this ever present nausea, I've been watching way too much again. So I'm hereby resolving to go back to the No TV During The Day rule. Her naps can be my naps and I trust I will manage to survive without seeing my 1,000th "A Baby Story".

We don't plan on keeping TV from Zoe forever; after all, we await the blessed time when she can wake up early on a Saturday, take herself into the living room and watch cartoons while CG and I sleep in. But we decided to go with the American Academy of Pediatrics recommendation and wait till she was at least two and then decide.

She is now two and a half. Now what?

Last spring, after I noticed a tattered billion-year-old copy of "The Plug-In Drug" by Marie Winn at my parenting education class, I went home and ordered myself a copy of the "updated" book. (Updated to include references to VCRs but not DVDs. Winn mentions with TERROR one "new" minivan that now comes with a built-in VCR. OOOOOoooo. Me thinks it's time for her to update again.)

The book is straightforward and decently written. No poetry here, just get-the-point-across prose. (Hmm perhaps that should be my new blog tagline...) However, Winn clearly has an agenda (can you guess what it is from the title?!) and relies on waayyyy too many anecdotes to support her arguments. (I know anecdotes are supposed to be helpful, so many parenting books include them, and honestly, they mostly annoy the F out of me. I prefer statistics and an N of 1 does NOTHING for me, people.)

And just what are her arguments, you ask? (Her points are summarized in bold, my comments follow.)

1.The real issue with TV is not the content (many parents counter any argument against TV with "But it's educational! He's learning Spanish/spelling/math!"). The problem is that time spent watching TV is time NOT spent doing something open-ended, using your child's imagination. TV captures the imagination, it does not stimulate it. This is especially problematic in young childhood as their developing mind should be busy making sense of the world and exploring, at their own pace, based on their own interest. TV is a passive experience that replaces play in which the child is the active leader. Young children so often have things done TO them and rarely get the chance to lead their own lives. Only open ended play does that. TV does not.

I find this argument persuasive. Zoe often plays independently, in her own world, talking to herself and her dollies and her shoes (! Should I be worried about that one?). I wouldn't want to disrupt, limit or impinge on her having that open-ended time. I hear the educational argument all the time from parents who don't understand why we don't show Zoe TV and I'm not terribly persuaded by it because, as Winn points out, EARLY childhood is not about acquiring rote skills through prescription (there's enough time for that later in school) but about acquiring social skills, independent play skills and imagination, all of which can be limited or hampered by TV watching.

2. The slippery slope issue: TV habits often start small (a half hour here, a half hour there), but as the child gets older TV replaces more and more of the open ended exploring that is the cornerstone of childhood development. It becomes more and more of a draw and harder and harder to limit. A daily battle over how much TV is allowed is common in many households.

(I just saved you by not including the 8,000 anecdotes she uses to illustrate this point.) I know myself and TV and fear my own slippery slope tendencies with it. And we still see Zoe completely zone out whenever she does see TV (at restaurants or friends' houses) so it's easy to imagine that it would be a big draw for her. I fear I would resort to it more and more and more. Once that gate is open, I know it would be hard to keep limits.

We are wrestling with this even more, just in the last few days, because somehow we got into the habit of watching some short videos of dance recitals on YouTube. I'm not sure how it started but now Zoe is a bit obsessed and insists on seeing the "Mary had a little lamb dancers!" ALL DAY LONG. We've got to put a stop to it, if only to keep my brain from rotting. I feel like it's just semantics at this point that we're keeping "TV" from her when she's watching videos on the computer. They are short and I'm right there with her but still, it's screen time all the same.

3. It allows us as parents to get a little lazy when faced with a task we need to do and a toddler who wants our attention. It becomes too easy to plunk your child down in front of the TV while you are cooking dinner rather than finding ways to include them in the process or find a parallel play activity that they can do while you work. It may be an easy short term solution that becomes an entrenched habit.

I was first really REALLY was tempted to use TV when Zoe started being clingy RIGHT at dinner-making time. For a month or two, it was IMPOSSIBLE to cook anything without her screaming, whining body attached to my leg/hip/neck. Soon enough, I figured out things that she could do while I cooked and now she mostly plays independently in the kitchen with me while I cook or I involve her in cooking (okay, right NOW, I'm not really "cooking" at all but the warming up of Trader Joe's food and the doing of dishes from the three previous meals so that we have a clear table and some dishes to eat with still has to get done somehow!). I fear that if I had used TV then, I would never have tried to get her back into the kitchen with me. Dinner making time would just be TV time and that would be the end of it.

4. It doesn't allow for the imagination that comes with "boredom". Finding something to do when you are in unstructured time is a skill. As the TV generation ages we find many adults who are unable to do this. These are the people who automatically turn on the TV on vacation, the ones who have it on all weekend long without really watching anything, the ones who spent the whole evening after work endlessly channel surfing to see if "somethings on". Boredom for kids inspires creativity. Those who learn how to deal with boredom and entertain themselves will not be as likely to yell "Mom! I'm booooreeeddd!"when they're older as they will not be counting on external stimulation all the time.

I have friends and family who must always have the TV on and I honestly find it a strange and sad thing. What about silence? What about a little space to hear the voice of your own thoughts? What happens if a child is not given the opportunity to live and play without external stimulation all the time? What if even a little of that external stimulation becomes so treasured that it surpasses all other play in value to the child?

5. Children are different from adults. Adults can use TV to unwind from stressful days, to relax while being effortlessly entertained. Children benefit from other ways of unwinding. TV time, instead of relaxing children, often leaves them crankier than before, which, she argues, is most likely a result of the different kind of consciousness that occurs in young children watching TV. It is akin to post-sleep crankiness where the brain is challenged to come back to wakeful, purposeful alertness.

She goes on to describe TV as addictive (hence the title of the book) for parents and for children. She describes the way parents use TV, as a way to entertain kids when they are sick, to calm them when they are upset, to help them transition to new activities, as akin to drugging them. This is over the top, but I get her point.

The whole idea that TV affects the brain and "consciousness" is interesting and scary but, unfortunately, she uses very little fact and lots of stories about kids "zoning out". She asserts that the visual images presented in such a flattened visual field is really a "sensory assault" to young brains, one that "activates an immediate passive response in many young viewers". She goes on to link the constant shifting of visual frames in most TV programs to ADHD but uses only anecdotal stories and quotes from doctors with no mention of specific research. ARG. Give me STATS!

So, if you're still reading, what do you all do about TV? What do you make of her arguments (or, at least, of my poorly summarized versions of her arguments)?

PS. I should just mention here that I was raised on TV from a young age and can tell you all about every single game show, soap opera, and laugh-track sitcom from the 80's. And I have no brain damage (that I can link to TV, anyway). I'm STILL interested in whether TV is a good, necessary, desirable thing to show to my kid(s!).


The ultimate craving is finally satisfied

Don't even think about it, Sweet Dog.

There's a McDonald's a few blocks from my house. (Apparently, that's how you know you live in a "transitional area"! Well, that and the closest business establishment to our home is actually a liquor store.) When this undeniable craving struck, I only had to jump in my car and drive 5 minutes. I pulled into the parking lot and saw two windows for the drive through. I figured one must be the order window and the other a pick up window, so I drove to the first window and the teenager there said "That'll be $6.73, please". I stammered and finally told her I hadn't ordered yet. She looked at me like I was .... a person with special needs... and told me this was the PAY window and I needed to get out of line, drive around the corner to the order-speaker-intercom thingy and start over. OOps.

I did ask her if she could possibly spare a bucket of BBQ sauce while I was waiting (two minutes? TOO LONG!).

Notice: I got the Chicken Selects, with pieces of actual inhumanely factory farmed chicken! as opposed to the amalgamated chicken-ish Chicken McNuggets! I'm practically Mother of the Year! Don't you think that'll make the difference between Harvard and prison for my unborn child?


Lima bean blues, or I think I'll leave this one out of the virtual baby book

So I guess I should just admit that this 11 week old pregnancy has sucked donkey balls. There. I said it. I haven't been enjoying myself on any level and I even think every once in a while that maybe this whole thing was just a big mistake. Looking back, it feels like we were coasting along with a polite, charming, almost potty trained two year old, my body was back to something approximating normal, my clothing was somewhat cool and well fitting, my dinners were often home cooked and organic, my relationship with my husband included things like DATES! and, sorry relatives, S E X! and CONVERSATIONS! And not necessarily in that order! I often feel like we were in the home stretch, everything was getting easier and more manageable and then we had to go and eff it all up. We are just past that lovely cresting moment at the top of the hill (with the expansive views and placid family life), now we're adding speed and plunging back down into the land of poochy-stomachs, ill-fitting-knitwear, no makeup wearing (except for gobs of cover up), sleepless nights, harried days, exhaustion, DOWNWARD SPIRAL ABYSS.

(Yes, I know this is clearly the effect of the hormones and the nausea and the dog who sleeps on top of me with breath that smells like she's been assiduously licking her own ass [because SHE HAS] and the whining, poop-withholding, non-napping toddler. No need to call me a shrink.) (But perhaps you could send me a housecleaner/chef/dogwalker/babysitter?) (and also an editor to reign in my use of parentheses?)

I'm beginning to think that I just don't deal well, mentally speaking, with pregnancy. (You: "YA THINK?") Last time I was pregnant, I was a pretty miserable stress case and I just chalked it up to the general level of stress in our lives at the time (multiplied by Googling "stress and pregnancy" one night. Woo Hoo! That was a fun time!). Like this time, I got pregnant a little too easily with Zoe. A few months before we were really, really ready. Before the time was "right". (Does anyone ever feel ready? Is the time ever right? All I know is that with Zoe we didn't and it wasn't.) It was an unusually stressful time in our lives. We were moving, bought a new house, got a puppy, I started a new job, and CG was finishing his dissertation under extreme time constraints while concurrently starting a new position as a post doctoral researcher. In short, it was hellish. This was not how I wanted to be pregnant. I expected pregnancy to be a time of glowing expectation, lots of loving foot rubs, time to relax and plan and nest. Instead, when I was pregnant with Zoe, I lived in chaos, surrounded by boxes, an unhousetrained, chewy, spazzy puppy, a stressed out husband and on top of it all, I was alone and lonely in a new town where I knew no one. I promised myself that we would carefully choose the next time we got pregnant to make sure I got that easy, fun, glorious pregnancy experience that I assumed was available to those who chose a decent time to get knocked up.

As it happens, this is actually a reasonable time in my life to be pregnant but it sure feels stressful just the same. We are well established in our home and community, we are not changing jobs right now, our dog knows to pee in the back left corner of our yard. But CG is -ssshhhh- sort of on the job market; his funding runs out in August next year and he has to figure out what he wants to do pretty soon. Hence the traveling he's been doing and will continue to do (Lord help me). He's super busy finishing up his research at his full time job while resume writing, job hunting, and connection schmoozing on the side. Our house has dropped in value so much that we don't talk about what will happen when we move. We are just praying the market changes for the better before that happens. We are luckier than most young families financially but it sure gives me pause when I can't turn on NPR or open the paper or turn on the TV without hearing about the "global financial crisis". I don't know about you but expecting a new baby in the middle of a neverending sh!tstorm of a war (excuse me, TWO wars) as well as our brand spanking new "global financial crisis" isn't exactly compatible with predicting a glorious future for my unborn child. Or, you know, looking for a great new JOB for CG and home for us.

But all this war/election/global financial maelstrom aside, this is really all about Zoe. I'm smacked in the face EVERY day with how Zoe suffers at the expense of my having another little life to attend to, even if that little life is still an internal lima bean who asks only that I lie prostrate for hours a day and eat full fat cottage cheese, pretzels and chicken nuggets. I hate that she's getting short changed, getting less than she deserves. I had vaguely thought it would be good for her to not have all my attention but now I realize that's like saying "I'm going to ignore all but your basic needs. It will build your character! Buck up!". I already feel a loss in my relationship with her. I miss having energy and running around with her. I miss feeling like she was the center of the universe. Mostly though, I miss her napping.

(Okay, it's only been two days and the girl still CLEARLY needs her nap. It's a defiance thing. It's a testing boundaries thing. Perhaps, it's a "let's make mom crazier and MORE TIRED" thing. It better be a "HA HA, just kidding, back to normal thing!" very soon.)

Just to be clear, I was, I AM, grateful to have been able to get pregnant so easily after years of fearing it would be difficult (News Report: My poor gynecological history aside, I'm apparently quite FERTILE. And yes, I wish I could bottle that fertility up and give it away. It's beyond unfair that so many who want desparately to be parents cannot get there easily and unassisted. I do realize how lucky I am.)

Things that are helping: (Yay! Bullet points!)
*CG is home! And sweet and supportive!
*My mom is coming to help out during CG's next trip! Yay!
*I just reread "Waiting for Birdy" by Catherine Newman. It reminded me that I am not alone in feeling that the first trimester, especially in a second pregnancy with a needy first child at your feet, can really suck. But it also reminded me that, one day, I may be lucky enough to be holding a healthy happy new baby, one that I will love with the same heart-exploding fervor that I love Zoe. I knew this intellectually but "Waiting for Birdy" brought it home to me emotionally.
*I'm at 11 weeks now, almost 12. Getting closer and closer to, hopefully, feeling better.


Windy days and napless Mondays always get me down

*Zoe says "I love you, Mommy", unprompted, apropos of nothing, and before my heart can swell to bursting, I catch a whiff of the present she's just deposited in her diaper. You know, the ones she's back in because she's suddenly totally not interested in potty training. AT ALL.

*I attend a parenting workshop and when I come home all fresh and ready to try out some new ideas on some behavioral issues we've been struggling with, Zoe totally trades them in for brand! new! issues that I don't have the foggiest idea how to handle.

*CG left this morning for two days and Zoe decides NOW is the perfect time to try skipping her nap and spontaneously combusting at the drop of a hat. I keep thinking that her behavior should be on some kind of upward trend. It should be getting better and better all the time, right? She should be learning what types of behavior are acceptable and favorable and what types aren't and then applying this knowledge. Instead, if you charted her behavior over the last three months it would look something like those terrifying financial graphs on the front page of the paper that I cannot bring myself to look at much less try to make sense of.

*The 95 degree days have finally subsided but now we are in full Santa Ana, our-house-will-land-in-Oz, winds. California, your "weather" effing sucks. How about some fall color on some ancient oaks and maples and elms? Instead we have our lovely glorified telephone poles, palm trees. As a result of the insane winds this morning, there are leaves and branches and palm fronds all over our yard and the flower and veggie beds are FULL of palm tree seeds which means I will spend yet another year in the Sisyphean task of pulling miniature palm trees out of my beds over and over and OVER again.


Weekly pregnancy roundup, or Mama's too tired for anything but bullet points

*Last night I lay in bed, crazed with worries, even ones about the sweet things that have happened lately. "I totally didn't make it clear enough to Zoe that she CANNOT feed cheese to an INFANT. I should totally wake her up and tell her to NEVER FEED CHEESE TO A BABY, right?"

*I'm so effed the next time I have the stomach flu. I'm going think: "Huh, I totally feel like I'm going to blow chunks, I guess I should stuff my face, RIGHT NOW."

*We were wandering amongst the baby clothes at Target yesterday and Zoe picked up a little fuzzy pink romper, size: Impossibly Tiny. I told her it was too small for her and she looked at me with a teenager-y "Gawd Mom, you're so lame" look and said "for the BAAA-BY, Mommy. The baby in your belly." Awwww, so sweet. I promised her we would go out and buy the baby some clothes as soon as we know what sex it is. She's still not quite clear on the whole "it could be a boy" thing.

*Also at Target yesterday, I was trying to steer Zoe towards an easy to manage, sensible, non-itchy Halloween costume (a ladybug! a doctor! a happy -happy?-witch!), something she could possibly even wear for much of the day with no fuss and she only had eyes for this. Lord help me. I bought it.

*I was totally aware of how much would have to slide when the baby comes; I was NOT prepared for it all to slide in my first trimester. The house is a wreck, we're all wearing the-bottom-of-the-drawer clothes, we eat only frozen, prepared Trader Joe's food or take-out, and I'm completely unable to parent in exactly the way I want, what with my a$$ permanently attached to the couch. I went to parenting seminar the other night about "calmer, easier parenting" hoping it would be possible to implement the ideas from my couch. Unfortunately, the ideas were pretty high maintenance (like, "spending more positive time with your child so they don't seek negative attention". PFFFFTT.) and will therefore have to wait until ..... the next baby is a toddler, I imagine.

*Oh and belly bulge (to the point of pants UNBUTTONING THEMSELVES) evident at 10 weeks. WTF?


My very big girl.

I'm taking my very big girl with me this morning to my doctor's appointment. When I told her about it last night, she asked excitedly: "the baby's going to come out?!". My mouth hung open for a minute or two before I could squeak out "No, sweetie, not tomorrow. Not for a long, long time. We're just going in for a check up." but she was off and running: "I can HOLD her! I can PAT her!". I was so thrilled by her excitement, I had to egg her on. "That's right darlin', what else will you do with the baby when it comes out?". She thought for a moment: "I can sing to her! and....... *deep contemplation* FEED HER CHEESE!".

We'll have to work on that one....

(Notice she's convinced it's a girl. We've stopped trying to tell her it could be a boy.)


Completely and utterly annoying. And also, Not.

Completely and utterly annoying:

*People keep telling me that feeling like I may ralph up my chicken nuggets with BBQ sauce and cream cheese (SHUT IT) at any moment is a GOOD thing! *BIG SMILE!* *THUMBS UP!* It means your hormones are doing their thing! It means your lima bean baby is getting properly bestowed with thumbs and a forehead and necessary organs! Rejoice! (ARG! WHERE IS MY UZZI?!)

*Zoe woke up this morning at 4:30 am crying pathetically in sporadic bursts, just enough to get me up, at her door, only to turn back after a few moments of silence. REPEAT MANY TIMES until I gave up and went in to make sure she hadn't impaled herself on a knife she somehow smuggled into her bed (once I thought of this insane impossibility I couldn't get it out of my head). She was fine, a bit cold (TRY KEEPING THE BLANKET ON FOR A MINUTE OR TWO SOMETIME, FOR THE LOVE) so I brought her into our bed and lay there wide awake realizing that while this early wake up call is annoying, it pales in comparison to imagining doing it all after being up all night with a squalling, nipple-biting, lava-pooping infant.

*I appear to be incapable of eating chocolate while pregnant. SERIOUSLY. This is very, very, VERY wrong for someone who normally eats chocolate after most meals.

And also, Not.

*Oh, it must be true! At least my constant nausea means that I'm a bit less likely to miscarry! It does have a benefit! Rejoice!

*I pulled Zoe into bed with us this morning and plopped her head on the pillow next to me. I breathed in her smell, measured her impossibly long body against mine and hoped she would fall back asleep. After I felt her breath regulate, I watched her, awestruck. What used to be a tiny, swaddled infant asleep next to me in bed at this hour after her morning nursing, here she is stretched out beside me, a huge, beautiful PERSON. And when she sat up bolt upright not 5 minutes later, announcing "I'm ready for BREAKFAST!" I wiped away a few tears, embraced her and told her how very much I loved her and was excited to start the day with her.

*No chocolate but oh god, there is BBQ sauce! YAY!


Big sister ain't happy, ain't nobody happy

The first week after I peed on that stick, Zoe couldn't have been sweeter. She was all smiles, had the tiniest and most sporadic of tantrums, cleaned up without being asked, was happy to play independently, spouted effortless "yes, please"s and "no, thank you"s. CG and I would gaze adoringly at her and each other, imagining the glorious future of our family with two such precious children.

Then, we told her there was a baby in Mommy's belly.

That was the end of the preciousness, it seems. (I'm pretty sure this eff you was unintentional, however her behavior lately has been a toddler version of an eff you.)

She's been so fragile that EVERY. SINGLE. transition suddenly warrants a full scale meltdown, even the ones she's NEVER had a problem with. She refuses to help clean up her toys, wash her hands before a meal, use the potty/change a pull-up, get out of the car, chose her clothes, YOU NAME IT, SHE NO LIKEY. Her usual half hour of happy babbling to put herself to sleep has suddenly become OVER AN HOUR of red-faced, staccatto breath, big tears SOBBING. She wants us to sit with her, pat her back, read her more books. CG and I are resisting too much bedtime coddling as we have friends who must SLEEP ON THE FLOOR of their child's room to get them to go to sleep and I refuse to go there, especially with a toddler who has always been the Great Sleeper of all Time. So we check on her regularly and ask her how she is, tell her we love her, that it's okay, that we know she can put herself to sleep. And then we close the door and we all cry by ourselves.

I've taken her temperature more times in the last week than I have in her whole life, so convinced am I that some horrible dread disease has infected my child. I've been expecting technicolor puke or itchy hives or racking coughs any moment now for over a week. Instead, I am faced with a confusing and confused little girl who, apparently, is trying to make sense of what it means that Mommy has a baby in her belly and sometimes doesn't feel very well. She's told CG she doesn't want to be a sister. She mentions wanting "the baby to come out RIGHT NOW" but it's not clear exactly why that is (so that she can play with it or get rid of it?). Her little toddler brain clearly doesn't understand what it all means but just as clearly has decided IT'S NOT GOOD.

This is killing us, breaking our hearts, wearing on us deeply. We are convinced we told her too soon. But the cat is out of the bag and we want, WE NEED, to comfort her, to tell her that she will always be our baby and that we love her very much, that she's not being replaced, that she'll be an awesome big sister.

Sometimes I also want to scream "THE BABY'S NOT COMING FOR A VERY LONG TIME SO PLEASE CHILL THE EFF OUT!". I expected her to have issues about the baby just not in my first freaking trimester.

It's going to be a loooonnnng nine months.

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