Speaking of keeping him alive

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Last week I took Gus to the library story time. It’s fabulous. There’s a back room with carpeted stairs for all of us to sit on while a storyteller woman animatedly reads out the books. Then we sing. And at the end she pulls out a big box of shakers and drums.  It’s pandemonium.  The library also has a toy section so all the little kids go there while the older ones do crafts.

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And to make it even cooler, I ran into an old college friend Kris Kruger, and her beautiful two year old. So we sat and caught up as the kids played. She just moved to Hood River 6 months ago, is working at the local clinic, hasn’t seen many of the old group of friends, just Brian who is still in Eugene with two kids and is pretty happy….Suddenly the storyteller woman rounds the corner with Gus in tow saying, “we gotta watch for the stairs around here.”

Oh my god. It wasn’t one of those ‘take your eyes off him for two seconds…” –I had forgotten I was watching him! Somehow that piece of my brain that had been hard wired over the past 11 months was turned off. Due to the work lately or Charles taking care of him? But it’s something that I’m terrible about anyway –I can get focused on one thing and ignore everything else around me. But to do it with Gus? I was mortified. Still am.

It was a real wake up call.

I also noticed that Gus has been more connected to Charles lately too. He’ll laugh more and want to go to him more often. Again, probably partly because of the work load. But not totally. I don’t expect Gus’ affections to be equal doled out between us and I’m sure it’ll go in waves at times, but it’s hard not to feel jealous or like I’m failing. So I started doing more of what Charles does –more interaction, less housework. I’ve made a real effort over the last 3 days to make things more fun. Not that they were bad, just turned it up a notch. And it’s already better.  We’re already having more moments together. I love it.

So I write these things, not to beat myself up or to ask for reassurance, but just to let you know what’s going on. It’s something I need to watch as we go forward –not let myself get so focused on other things.  Or to miss out on the good stuff.

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8 thoughts on “Speaking of keeping him alive

  1. Love the subtle dig: “more of what Charles does –more interaction, less housework”. More like less facebook methinks…

  2. Hey, I have a question. Do new parents like you guys look around at other kids when in these gatherings and do a compare and contrast?

  3. Yeah, me too. I currently have my back to Elizabeth while she plays with her reindeer. I’m reading blogs, updating data, emailing, and thoroughly absorbed. I need to watch it. Going to go play with E now. XO

  4. Jake, yes, I do a bit. I ask how old they are and then watch for how much movement they have now. There’s a ton of variation at this age. Gus’ mate Louis in Sydney was walking months ago for example. Size and amount of hair can also be wildly different. But there’s no judgment (from me at least). None of it signals any long term advantages etc. It’s just really interesting to try to see the pieces of each kid that are unique and the pieces that are just ‘baby.’

  5. ps the little boy who’s standing in the first picture is Cody -the one who taught Gus to crawl. He’s started walking now. tick tick tick

  6. I feel that guilt, too, when I am running back and forth between the living room and the kitchen, trying to get the dishes or the laundry done. Luckily, she is very content playing on her own. But sometimes when I’m really stressed, I just have to take a deep breath and focus on her, shutting out all other responsibilities. I know that those moments with her will be limited, esp. as she gets older and wants me less and less. Great post, Em!

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