With this one, I have an idea. I guess I know for sure where he is going. It's not my first choice, but I think it's a wise choice. It's not the shiniest newest trendiest place in the neighborhood. It's not the place where all the doctors, lawyers, and indian chiefs send their babies. But it's also not the most expensive. It's super convenient to Jake's school and afterschool program, where hopefully they will have summer camp next year. It's super convenient to the subway. To the house. A major busline. The ladies who take care of the babies clearly love the babies dearly. They are older. And fatter. I don't want any boney young adults holding my baby when he's upset. Or not upset. Babies don't like pointy. Nor do I want women my age tending to him who are left to taking care of Other People's Kids and aren't able to stay home with their own because I know too many people who are in that situation and I know there are some feelings in them about that. Older softer ladies are a prerequisite. Grandma types. This place has them. This place will probably have my kid come springtime.
I guess I sort of thought that since there is such a large age gap between these two, things would pretty much be the same. Jake is old enough that I don't have to baby him while I baby a baby. None of that "two in diapers" or "two on the tit" or "two under two" stuff. I thought I would have the time and energy and space to treat this one more like another first baby and less like a second
When I was pregnant with Jake, I got to the gym most days. Ate better. Slept better. I was able to give in to my hormonal and visceral need to be alone most of the time. To read lots of books. To hermit up inside myself and my house and only come out for air when I felt like it. Lots of blankets and camomile teas and candles and other squishy stuff.
Not so much this time. I hardly get a chance to be alone and when I am I get weirded out. I have a job where I'm on the move all the time and I don't have anything left in me for the gym. I read lots of books, but they are mostly all read aloud. To Jacob and about things that Jacob is into. Ninjas and dragons and space and silly words and funny poems. This baby gets hours of storytime per week, I tried once to read to Jake before he was born and I felt like an asshole so I stopped. This one gets songs every night. He gets Reiki. He gets washed in the emotions I feel when parenting Jake. Emotions that don't really exist inside you until you are a parent. Emotions that aren't necessarily good or bad or right or wrong, just deep and true and real. He gets a big brother kissing him and tapping his butt and whispering secrets to him. He gets lots of rubs from friends and colleagues and family and check out girls since I actually look like a pregnant person this time around people take great liberties with the belly. I like the rubs. Some people don't. I think it is a show of excitement and affection and caring and love and cohesion amongst humanity. Some people don't. This one gets schlepped to rehearsals and to go on stage once a week where there is no shortage of laughter and play and applause and feel-good hormones and adrenaline and a sense of community and support.
I wonder how all this will shape his temperament. I'm big into the idea that fetal health and life and personality and preferences and such all begin long before birth. What we do and how we feel and what we put in and near and around our bodies impacts our unborn babies most giantly.
Whereas Jacob loves quiet and to stay at home and to hermit up inside himself and only come up for air when he feels like it, maybe this one will be different. What does singing and reading and laughing and touching and playing do to a person before he is even born? Maybe this one will be more like me because I'm more like me with this pregnancy than the last. Maybe I'll have a harder time dealing with a child who is more like me. Maybe it will be easier. I'm not sure. It's hard to be me. I'm a total spaz most of the time. I don't particularly like to hang out with other total spazes, especially if they aren't old enough to take a drink or wise enough to know how to control the spazitude. It's exhausting. I'm exhausting.
Thinking about all this is exhausting.