On this day in the year 2000 I know exactly where I was and what I was doing.
Laying on my back with my legs in the air screaming……;
oh.. no I, wasn’t screaming oh.. I mean I might have and actually I wasn’t screaming it was more like
Yea not what you are thinking so don;t even go there. That was nine months to the day before today 12 years ago. HA!
I have three sons. My three sons. 17, 12 and 5. If you are a number person you might notice that there are 12 years between the oldest and the youngest and 5 between the middle and oldest and 7 between the middle and last which doesn’t exactly jump out at me but it may be it some integer reverse square root of the sum of 17 minus 10…yea ok well anyways
Actually if you add all the Gaggle there is some weird coolness with numbers and stuff but if you are curious how there got to be 12 years between the eldest son and youngest son the bigger picture is that there is 17 years between my eldest child and my youngest which means that I was having babies pretty regularly from the age of 22 to the age of 38. In addition to the 6 I have, there were 3 more who I miscarried. They were between the eldest son and the middle son.
So I was pregnant a total of 8, no 9 times in 18 years.
Did you know it takes a woman;s body approximately 2 years to return to pre baby state after birth of said offspring? And it really is kind of noticeable as in at somewhere right around the 2 year mark, if I wasn;t already pregnant again, the extra weight would drop off and things would be where they were supposed to be.
But I digress from the purpose and point. So unlike me I know but hey, what are you going to do?
Today is the middle one’s, who we affectionately call Doodle, birthday
I wasn;t going to have anymore kids after I turned 30. Of course that is before I got divorced and remarried and my new husband wanted kids of his own. And why not? He has 5 siblings.
So after a couple miscarriages I finally was pregnant again and this one turned out to be Doodle. I wasn’t quite AMA (advanced maternal age – such a great term) but with the previous recent losses, I was treated as if I was already AMA and this was a high risk pregnancy.
I think that all women worry about losing the child they carry, yet not like one who has lost one then gone on to get pregnant again, lost two right in a row I did and not only was I hyper vigilant to ever single creak and squeak and leak – one time I swore my water broke when I coughed too hard and went in to the dr only to discover I had peed my pants. it happens but if I wasn;t scared of losing yet another, I would been able to figure that one out pretty easily, worrying my husband went a little over the deep end. Ok a lot.
My best prego mishaps and horror stories and funniest childbirth moments were almost all from this pregnancy. Weird cravings, horrid all day sickness, dreams and depression, heartburn, all that was normal but it was all worse. NOt to mention that I was off-limits according to my husband (can;t hurt the baby ya know 🙄 ) and that in itself drove me stark raving mad. SOme women cringe at the though of being kissed while pregnant and some, well don;t. And if you don;t and no one um… kisses you it is a mighty uncomfortable situation. I also had an epidural with him when I went into labor and since I was in no pain and immobile like a beached whale, at midnight when I was fully dilated and ready to get him out, my Dr. (who was an excellent dr,, very popular and I can totally understand his decision, kind of) decided to have me just wait until he came in the morning.
He said as long as the baby wasn;t in distress and I wasn;t in pain he would just kind of slow crawl his way down and I’d have less pushing in the morning. I did too. Dr came in and hadn;t even put on his scrubs yet, which meant he was wearing his high quality high-priced office clothes, and said he wanted to have one push just to see where the baby was at and how well I was controlling my muscles.
He damn near dropped Doodle, all 9 lbs of him right on the floor and he ended up wearing scrubs the rest of the day. Makes me wonder if he has ever made that mistake again. Never mind Nurse Ratchet while I was in labor and delivery. It is true and I had quite forgotten that when you are in labor and giving birth there is no such thing as dignity and luckily there is something that turns off the need for it. After the fact, usually weeks after you get that I did what and who saw what? blush going if you think too hard about it but at the time, no shame and who cares.
It wasn’t an easy 9 months and this child is ..not an easy child. Not that he should be or I expect him to be or love him on teeny tiny bit less. Just a truth about Doodle. He barely slept and he would not for anything I don;t care if he hadn;t eaten in hours take a bottle. He threw horrific tantrums when he was a toddler and once squirted red paint all over the grey carpet when I saw what he was doing and asked for it back, and one time he had a bottle of my dark maroon nail polish and when I tried to get that from him, well he ran, opening the bottle at the same time and then throwing it at me right in the middle of the kitchen eating area, on the light colored carpet. I stayed up all night with a bottle of nail polish remover, carpet cleaner and a bottle of wine trying to clean it before morning when my husband got home from work.
He hated daycare, loved being with his dad and me, broke his leg doing a back somersault off the bed at 2, resulting in a toe to hip cast and orders to not walk on it for 6 weeks. Ha! the cast was put on in such a way that his knee was bent oddly so that it would not be comfortable for him to walk. That lasted three days. Then daycare wouldn;t take him because they didn;t have enough people to have him supervised and kept sitting and I quit my job and stayed home.
He wouldn;t poop in the potty til well after 3, which was then stalled by my next pregnancy, because he was afraid to get flushed down the toilet, one time he bit my finger so hard in the middle of the food court that it began to bleed profusely, and another time, when I was painting his sister’s room, took a break and went for a nap, he painted his own room, with his hands…..
But we spent lots of time together. I took him to Gymboree, and we had an arts and crafts box and toddler time music. When he was one he got a ball pit and a toy truck that really drives. He had every toy made in that time frame – and I actually got to really decorate his room.
My mom gets all the grandkids their first “lovey” when they are one and for Doodle we got Wooby, a blue dog that was cross between a blanket and a stuffed animal. He still has it. All my kids have their respective loveys and I think that is really neat.
He was the one most affected by the fights, and the divorce. The one who tried to live up to his dads admonition to take care of everyone (at 5 years old) and felt the most guilt for knowing what was wrong between mom and dad but wanting his dad back anyways, the most anger at me eventually and the most hurt just plain hurt by the world, his parents, his friends.
The last few months he was with me, he threatened to kill himself. Would sit on the couch with a knife and the last incident before deciding to let him live with dad for at least a school year to see how it went, he threatened to kill me and then himself.
I have a tremendous amount of guilt about my son, the newly 12-year-old. I have not written about him because I ache when I think of him of what he needed and what he went through. Because out of the whole Gaggle, he might be the one that has taken on my burden. He is so sensitive and so sweet when he is happy.
His smile lights up the room.
He gives the best hugs and he always just .. we fought so hard him and I because we pushed each others triggers, but he would always make up and … I hated when people would say you just need to discipline him.. no he ended up on medication, for a while he was the kid he was meant to be, good grades, shocked his teachers b=who thought he had a learning disability by catching up to his peers in all subjects but math in order to go to a field trip…
But I didn;t have what he needs, and after his dad got remarried he went there to live. that was 18 months ago, maybe more. He is coming home for thanks giving and we are both counting the days.
No mother wants their child to hurt, or to think they hurt them. No mother wants her child to be scared or unhappy or teased or angry. And for me it was all that to watch plus the guilt of the situation we were in then another heartache with.. leaving after being with me and my kids for 5 years and I felt every bit of his hurt and pain at all those things. And even more that he might have gotten what I have, that I could not, no matter how hard I tried, remain calm in the face of his rage, that I could not give him structure and anything more than love, and time.
All three of my sons are very artistic and we drew and Doodle likes legos and he is doing well at his dads. He is disillusioned but stable and has asked me twice to come back home and I want him to but I had to tell him no… for his good, and my own. But either way that goes, I have the burden of the memories and the times of sadness and the God awful guilt. I have made peace with the ways I have failed my kids, all except him.. I don;t know how.
He is a great kid. And the thing about boys and their moms is that boys, love their moms just because.
Ok I am sure there is more to it but that;s how I feel. Boys and their moms are easier than girls and their moms.
Even with all their shenanigans, there is a definite beginning with the pull away from mom by girls and it can be nasty in the need to find themselves apart from mom.
Boys, they want to stay on mom’s side even though they have to go through it too.. but one day they are babies and the next they are young men and compared to a girl it is easier and smoother and they kind of slip out of your grasp yet never are gone, and when they are older you forget all the things that used to make you nuts. At least that is how I have seen it and experienced it so far.
And one other thing, I don’t know if I just expect that the girls will be disappointed at some point – but when you know your boy is.. its harder. I don’t know why.
Boys need their moms and vice versa.
I am blessed with three. They are 17, 12 and 5. Something weird about the numbers but that hardly matters. I brought one of them into the world 12 years ago today. A really neat kid with an amazing smile who I am proud to be a mom to. I hope someday he will tell me, or at least know in his heart, I did the best I could and I loved him better than anyone ever did or could. I hope he will know he brings me joy and I am enormously proud of how much he has grown and how far he has come. I know he knows I love him.
Because I am his mom, and that’s my boy.
Happy Birthday Doodle.