After Lucy was born, I made sure to preserve special time with Bud. It usually occurred in the morning, before anyone else was up, we would sit on the couch and talk a bit before everyone’s day actually started.
As time has passed, Lucy has been the one to get up with me in the morning, though she is not a morning person. She is a ball of fury with fists clenched, puffy morning face and birds nest hair, typically throwing herself on top of me while maintaining a death grip on “blankie”. Our conversation is the same every morning:
“Hi baby girl, how was your sleep?”
She’ll snuggle for 5 minutes or so before she is ready to face her day. This morning was no different. She turned over so that she was cradled in my lap and turned her face up for a kiss. “There’s my baby girl”, I said, and she smiled. “Pretty soon, LuLu, you won’t be the baby anymore.”
“I know, I’ll be the big sister!” This thought clearly excites her. “I will help you with diapers! And sing songs to Olivia!”
I ask her what else she will do, and after thinking for a minute she asks if we can go to Target to pick out a binky for her. (Neither child has ever used a binky, but Lucy is obsessed with them.) “Sure”, I tell her, and she scrambles down to say good morning to the cats and the rocking horse, and everything else in her path.
Our day has begun.
Bud has actually worked himself in to an evening routine. This child is a night-owl and thrives on getting 8-9 hours of sleep, max. He waits for Lucy to fall asleep, and finds his way out to where I have curled up on the couch, and settles in beside me twirling his fingers through my hair.
“You should be in bed.”, I tell him.
“I can’t sleep….” is always his reply.
He talks about things that are on his mind, things that he won’t say during the day when he’s busy being a rambunctious 4-year-old, and last night was the same. He wants to know about the baby, why she’ll be wet and dirty when she comes out and will the doctor say ‘take a deep breath and push’ (darn you Discovery Health); will I scream like those ladies on TV (I have assured him several times that I will have lots of medicine so that it won’t hurt), is she as big as a toaster yet? (one of our books mentions that all curled up, the baby is about the size of a toaster, but I think he pictures a toaster-shaped baby in there) He asks if I remember things and kids from his old school, which he hasn’t attended for about a year now, and if I knew about the dreams he had about Swiper swiping his toys while he slept. We talk quietly before I tell him again that he needs to be in bed, and somehow, he convinces me to let him sleep in the living room with me. When I wake up around midnight, he has put himself to bed.
I check both children as they are sleeping, making sure they are not too hot or cold, feeling their chests rise and fall under one hand as I brush their hair away from their faces with the other.
I return to the couch and place my hand on my belly, where Olivia is now kicking vigorously. For the first time I am not worried about how she will change our dynamic, or how I will love her as much as the other two. She’ll fit in just fine, and easily fill the space in my heart, or the time in my day, that has been waiting all of this time just for her.