Summertime and the living is…complicated

Hello, hello! Sorry that it has been so long. Lots to catch up on, and I’m not sure I’m up for actually creating transitions between topics. So bear with me.

I had an OB appointment last Friday, at 17 weeks, 2 days. It had been a very very long 4 weeks since the last one. I haven’t felt any movement yet, and the queasiness has let up a lot (which is great. But also leads to lots of paranoia). When I was pregnant with Tadpole, I knew that my mom had had a miscarriage before getting pregnant with me, but I didn’t know many of the details. This turned out to be a good thing, because I would have worried an awful lot more if I’d known that her miscarriage happened at 16 weeks. But in the intervening time I have asked her for more of the details, and I can’t exactly un-remember that information. So that was also something that was on my mind as I went into the OB appointment. But everything seemes to be fine. Sprout’s heartbeat was definitely there, and just the right speed. And now it’s only two weeks until the anatomy ultrasound!

We will find out the sex at that appointment (assuming Sprout cooperates). It’s complicated, since we’re fully aware that finding out what is between his/her legs won’t really tell us anything about Sprout’s temperment, personality, etc. And it doesn’t even guarantee what gender of kid we’ll be raising once s/he is old enough to tell us who s/he is. But given how little we can know about our kid before s/he comes out, we do want to find out this one random fact. Sprout’s sex won’t necessarily have much of an effect on our preparations–s/he will probably still wear a lot of Tad’s hand-me-downs. And it won’t affect the nursery decor–we’ll actually probably be moving Tad into a room with pale purple walls, and putting the baby in Tad’s current room, which is yellow. But it’s helpful to be able to pick just one pronoun and to begin to narrow down names. And given the very gendered world in which we live, it helps to make this whole having-a-baby thing feel a little more real.

Tadpole has become quite independent these days. Most mornings he wakes up before Roo and I and just goes downstairs to play until we get up. He even helps himself to a yogurt and starts in on his breakfast. He has gone to several half-day camps–one at Roo’s school and one at a park–and has come home each day with stories of his exploits: “I was trying to catch a water strider but I caught a fish instead!” “I have a new best friend. Her name is Sophie.” “I got my face painted like a shark!” “We sang a song about mermaids!” He has been excited to take on these new adventures, and hasn’t seemed worried about being in new places or with new people. It is fun to see him finding his way in the wider world, and his various camp counselors have seemed very fond of him and pleased with his enthusiasm for every activity.

Unfortunately, some of this independence has led to way more moments than usual of Tad being really difficult to live with. He would like to make all of the decisions about everything, and every little thing (getting dressed, washing hands before dinner, cleaning up toys, etc.etc.etc.)turns into a power struggle. I’m not sure if all of this is about the reality of Sprout really hitting him, the change in routines over the summer (and lack of naptime since he refuses to take one when not at school) or hitting 4 1/2. It feels very “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde” in that he alternates randomly between being sweet and cuddly and eager-to-please and being defiant and falling apart.

The other day Tad was mad at me for setting some limit and he looked like he was going to hit me. So I said, “Tad, you can tell me that you’re mad at me, but you can’t hit me. Why don’t you go stomp around the house and tell me about being mad.” I was all proud of my parenting prowess, as he marched around the house talking about being mad. Until he marched back up to me and kicked me in the shin!

And then he has these moments when he gets upset and just can’t seem to get “un-stuck” and settle down; the other night he couldn’t pick out a song for us to sing at bedtime, wouldn’t let us pick out a song, and couldn’t stand the idea of us leaving him without singing a song. Poor kid! I’m not sure what it is that’s going on for him, but I hope (for all of our sakes!) that we’re able to get through this patch soon!



Filed under Parenthood, Pregnancy, Tadpole, Uncategorized

10 responses to “Summertime and the living is…complicated

  1. I’ve heard that 4 is particularly tough for boys because they get a huge surge of testosterone at that age and are trying to learn how to deal with it. So maybe consider this to be an extended form if male toddler PMS?

  2. HURRAH FOR LIVE FETUS! That’s fantastic news. And…I had to laugh at the shin kicking episode. Parenting hubris. Gets you every time. It certainly sounds like he’s got a lot going on in his little world–but that doesn’t make it easier or more pleasant to be the ones he takes it out on.

  3. Glad to hear everything is ok with baby! I do love when I hear other parents aren’t parenting to the sex of the baby. In such a ‘gendered’ world as you put it, it’s so very uncommon!

    • Thanks. It can feel lonely to be the only ones not putting our kid in “Daddy’s Little Slugger” or “Mommy’s Princess” outfits. And we’re certainly not perfect at it. But it also feels really important to make as much space as possible for our kid to figure out who s/he is.

      • I think it’s an excellent philosophy. We have basically introduced Punky to a little bit of everything. She just decides what she likes.

  4. Regardless of sex, Teeny will be wearing a lot of Critter’s hand-me-downs. (The vast majority of which were, in turn, handed down to him by other children, both boys and girls.) My mother-in-law was a little horrified when I told her this, in response to her telling me that if we didn’t find out the sex, we couldn’t shop for “girl clothes” if we needed them. (It’s not like we’re lacking in “girl clothes” either, since we have a whole bin of things that PB convinced me we couldn’t dress a baby boy in. Should Critter decide at some point that he wants to wear dresses, that’s fine, but in the meantime, mostly he’s gotten “gender-neutral” to “boy, but not too obnoxiously so” clothing.) Hell if I’m not dressing a baby in dinosaur-themed outfits because she’s got a vagina. Dinosaurs are cool. Ahem.

    I’m glad to hear that things are going well with Sprout. I know that my paranoia level has decreased a bit since I’ve been able to feel Teeny, and I think PB is feeling better now that she can feel movement too. So hopefully that will happen soon for you guys. Did they mention where your placenta is at any of the previous ultrasounds? PB’s was anterior with Critter, which meant it was maybe 22 weeks or so before she could feel movement. We went into the anatomy scan mostly just hoping Critter was still alive in there, because all the books had been telling us that she should have been feeling movement weeks before, and she hadn’t.

    • Ha! Love your clothing rant! And your description of the gender of Critter’s clothing. I think we’re in about the same place–most of Tad’s clothes are seen as “boy” clothes, but we passed on the obnoxiously-macho ones. He doesn’t have much pink, but he does have one dress. We had bought it to give to a neice, but Tad saw it and absconded with it and he LOVES it.
      I’ve wondered about the placenta question, but don’t know where mine is–I might find out more at the anatomy scan next week. The wait to feel Critter move sounds really tough. Fortunately I’ve begun to feel more definite movement in the last couple of days.

  5. I have nominated you and your blog for a Liebster Award. Read my latest blog post to learn more about it…

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