Monday, April 20, 2009

Hairy Caterpillars, Baby Toys, and the Horrible Truth

It seems like Andrew is always finding something creepy and crawly to play with. He absolutely loves all animals and never misses an opportunity to snatch one up and play with it. He becomes freakishly attached to them though. Last summer there was a frog that he found outside by our water toys. He carried the thing around all day. When it started getting dark outside, I told him it was time to let froggy go home. Drew obediently said good night and put the frog in the bushes but came in a few minutes later sobbing because he was afraid he would never see Mr. Froggy again. I love that he loves so freely, and that he cares so much for all of the creatures that God has created. If I wasn't such a germ-a-phobe, I'm sure Drew would have a zoo full of creatures in his room, but the dog and the fish (and Sean and the kids) are more than enough for me to try and clean up after. This weekend's pet was the blue and brown, hairy caterpillar that he found at the ball park. Fortunately there wasn't any drama this time when we had to part ways with our new friend.
Maddi has grown up so much the past few weeks. She's started playing with toys, and of course everything goes straight to her mouth. I'm a little embarrassed to admit that I didn't have an overwhelming motherly attachment to her when she was born. With Drew, there was this instant bond that formed. I immediately loved him so much that it physically hurt. With her.... it was just different. It's so hard to describe without sounding like a horrible mother. Maddi just came at such an awkward time for me. I finally felt like I was realizing my potential. I had finally learned how to balance work and family. I was only a few semesters away from graduating. I LOVED my body. I had worked so hard to get back into shape after the first baby and finally felt comfortable in my own skin, then suddenly I couldn't even see my toes anymore and had ghastly stretch marks everywhere. And for some weird reason, I felt like I was betraying Sean's parents by giving them a grandchild that they would never know, and it just ripped open the wounds of grief that were slowly beginning to heal. Then came the guilt for not being more excited and grateful for this miracle God had given us. It just seemed that I was headed full speed down this beautiful, successful path that I'd chosen and WHAM... here comes baby #2. I felt like I'd ran face first into a brick wall and couldn't find what direction I was suppose to take. I was thrown back into the world of being weighed down by over-sized diaper bags, frumpy clothes smeared with baby puke, and sleepless nights. I just couldn't look at her without all of these regrets flooding my mind, and I felt such a detachment from my beautiful baby girl. I still got up every few hours and completed the obligatory baby tasks, but that was just about all I could do. Fortunately, the cloud of self-loathing has lifted, and I now see my sweet Maddi in a whole new light. She is now animated and bubbly. She giggles at me when I smile at her and she smiles when our eyes meet. I love her more and more every second of every day. The birth of my second child was definitely not what I expected, but I am so grateful that God blessed our family with her sweet little spirit and that I have an amazing husband who is patient with my weaknesses and compensates for my inabilities.


Ranee J Fratangelo said...

Amanda thanks for your honesty! That can be hard as a mother.

Cari said...

Those caterpillars scare me. There was one on Noah's slide the other day and I freaked out.

I so know what you mean about the 2nd baby. I found it harder to bond with Eden too. I was mourning the routine that I had established. I was REALLY wanting my body back. I went straight from breastfeeding Noah to pregnant. But, like you, I am finally able to fully appreciate the fabulousness that is my daughter. I think most moms go through this at one point or another. Being a mom is tough but I wouldn't trade it for anything and I know you feel the same way.