I have a few friends expecting their second child. I can’t help but travel back in time to the days when I was pregnant with Becks. The week I told our daycare to add us to their list, we got the annual increases in price. It was the first time that I saw exactly what it was going to cost us to add this unborn child. I nearly went into a panic when I saw the number. They calmed me down by adding, “You’ll get a 5% sibling discount.” It didn’t matter. I hadn’t even felt the baby move and he was making me uncomfortable. That sent my anxiety into a tailspin. How would we get two kids ready in the morning? How would I handle a cranky (I anticipated the same temperament was going to pop out) newborn and a toddler? How were we going to go to Target? Cooper was still sitting in the cart. It had just started to get easier with Cooper. He was playing by himself a lot. Oh my, what if the newborn ate one of his toys! Yes, in my panic I believed a newborn would roll over to a pile of non-choke blocks and sallow one whole. How were we going to afford a second child? And why did we decide to make our lives more difficult again? Lots of Why’s swirled for weeks. One night, I walked out into our front room and spilled (a.k.a bawled) my anxiety to my husband. He said, “We’ll be fine. We can do this. We wanted this.” I picked myself up and went to bed.
All this sounds so silly now. We did just what my husband said we would. We were and are fine. It’s more difficult than if we would have had one child. And it’s less difficult than if we had any more than two children. Right now we’re in a blissful period with their relationship. They enjoy each other 90% of the time. Cooper corrects Becket on his letters and other info. Becks doesn’t always want the help. Becks gets in a mood and will do things only to make Cooper laugh. He loves repeating whatever slips out of Cooper’s mouth. Which usually ends with Cooper begging him to stop. Cooper begs and bribes Becks to come downstairs to play with him. Which never lasts as long as Cooper would like. If Cooper isn’t home, Becks plays. And then he stops. Runs to the window to scream “Cooper’s home.” When he’s not, this cycle repeats until his brother returns.
Last weekend, we had the sweetest exchange we will ever have. It was bedtime and the boys were excited that the next day was a cartoon day. I figured it’d be a long time before they both settled into sleep. I asked Cooper if he wanted to sleep on Becket’s bed. Becks got excited and moved his pillow over. Coop paused, stepped down, but then decided against it and climbed back up to his bunk. I watched the baby’s* face drop and he whispered, “Don’t you love me?” This shocked both Cooper and I. We’ve never asked this question in our house. Cooper replied first, “Of course I love you. Now I’m going to cry”. And we both did for a few seconds.
Years ago, I was worried about how we’d financially and emotionally survive with two children. I didn’t realize at the time that together they’d be so powerful. Something so right and perfect. I hope that’s something they will one day realize and need as much as we do.
Note to self: On the days when they seem to hate each other, read this again. And again.
Another note to self: Quit worrying about not having straight-on studio style photos of them! This is how you want to remember them.
Note to reader: You’ll learn I talk to myself a lot.
*: Yes. He’s my baby. And I’ll call him that a little longer.