I feel myself doing it again. With five weeks left until my due date, I feel myself frantically holding onto “normal” life with my boys before this new little one comes into our world and turns everything upside down. I remember these feelings before Grant was born. How would I love another baby as much as I loved my first? From the second I laid eyes on him I loved him just as much, so that is no longer a question for me. There are new questions though, new worries, new concerns. Mostly, just the realization that in five weeks from now, our lives will be something very different from what they are right now.
I’ve been picking up my insanely independent 18 month old and trying to hold him close, pressing my lips to his chubby cheeks while he giggles and squeals, pushing me away. I’m trying to savor what is left of his baby-ness but he seems to think he’s already too big for all that. He is sleeping in his own bed, asking to go potty every ten minutes, carrying on full conversations and answering my questions with, “Yeah! Sure!” My little Chumby, who has always looked tiny to me even though he’s tall and stout, maybe even a little larger than average; will look enormous compared to this newborn. He will be a big brother. In five weeks I’ll never see him as tiny again.
I pull my 3 year old close and ask him about his thoughts, his day, his friends. I look deep into his eyes and give him as much time as he needs to fill me in on the exciting happenings of Spiderman-Truman, daycare time-outs and his invisible owies. He is so excited to meet his new brother and has big plans to help out. He already fancies himself the boss, a grown up, the leader. This second brother may push his ego into a whole new realm, forever setting him apart from the “little guys.” He is three going on thirty as it is and in five weeks, he will act even more so.
I welcome them into our bed in the mornings, pulling them close and breathing in their sweet sleepiness even though my hip aches, someone’s feet are in my chest and I desperately need to change positions before my back breaks. My belly pushes against them creating distance, almost symbolic of the space that a new brother is going to demand. As I lay there, uncomfortable but happily tangled in sleeping toddler limbs, I can’t imagine how I’ll do this with a newborn. With a third child. Where will he lie? Are there beds bigger than king size?
I worry. How can I give each one special attention, especially in the early days when this teeny, new human will need so much from me. He deserves that much of me. After all, his brothers before him got my all in their time of new-ness and he should get no less. When he arrives I know that I will fall in love. I know that not having him will feel impossible. That it will be like he’s always been in our home, in our family, in our hearts. But life will never be what it is right now. With my two silly, rough and tumble boys, best friends and partners in crime. Never again will my husband and I each grab a kid and know that everyone in our family is accounted for. We will have an extra, a third! We will be outnumbered five weeks from now. One of us will have to account for two kids at all times while the other has one. Triple car seats, triple clothing changes, triple bedtime, triple bath time, triple tears and triple love. How will it all work? I mean, it will work because it has to but how? I dread the thought of someone falling through the cracks.
For now, I make couch beds past bedtime and allow just one more snack. I play catch for one more second before we have to leave the house and allow three more minutes of YouTube before screen time is over. I wrap my two arms around my two sons and hold on for dear life because I don’t know how I’ll fit them around three. In five weeks my life is going to change forever. And I know it is changing for the better, but it is changing none the less. Right now will never be again, and as excited and ready as I am to meet our precious baby Clark, a tiny part of me is sad that our two-child chapter is closing. In five weeks from now, we will be a whole new family… of five.