It's no secret that I haven't bonded with Alex the way I did with Talia (instantaneously and stronger than anything I've ever felt in my life). I don't know if it is because he's a boy or because he's the second child. Or is it that the move to Wisconsin came less than two months after he was born. Or because I had him naturally (I had an epidural with T) and it hurt like hell. Or was it the crying crying crying?
My mom talks about how having my sister, her first child, ruined her life. She didn't think about whether or not to have children, it was just what everyone did. She never realized how it would change her life. When I asked why she had me she said that it wasn't that she didn't love my sister, just that she ruined my mom's life and since her life was already ruined she may as well have a second (and a third). I never felt that Talia ruined my life. I didn't really care so much that I didn't have time for anything. I didn't want to follow my general creative pursuits-- she was my greatest creation and I was content to sit and watch her grow and to nurture and spoil her. I never put her down. I never thought, ok she's asleep, can I go and do... whatever. There wasn't anything else I wanted to do.
Don't get me wrong, there was a time when I was exasperated and felt like I lost my identity as a person and had become only "Talia's mother" but that didn't happen until she was about 15 months old and most of my friends had finally really gone back to work and I just felt bored. Eventually I found a happy medium-- I sent her to daycare two days a week. I worked one day and did all the house stuff (and some stuff for myself too) the other day. Later, she went to preschool two mornings a week as well and I worked less so I started to have some time to myself and felt a renewed energy to be creative again. Well, that and also to try to get my house together for the move. While pregnant.
I just never realized how much my life would change with a second kid. No one bothered to tell me. I resented that my relationship with Talia had to change. I also figured that my desire to do things for myself would disappear again when Alex came. It didn't. At all. I look so longingly at my quilt magazines, shelves of books in the bookstore, even house projects like organizing the pantry (who would want to do that?) and I think that I'll never be able to do them. I put Alex down at every chance I get. I still almost always help Talia first when they both need me (he's so used to crying what's one more minute anyway?) I resent the fact that I can't really give quality time to either kid and I'm so sick of people NEEDING THINGS FROM ME! STOP TOUCHING ME!
I was just feeding him at midnight and with closed eyes he was gently reaching out to find some part of me to hold onto. His smile is contagious. I'm so proud of him for rolling over-- I feel like he won the Nobel Prize or something. I didn't think I would feel that. I took some naked pictures of him yesterday because I don't want to forget what he looks like at this age. I'm beginning to realize that he might be my last baby and I'm TRYING to be in the moment a little bit more. I look at him sometimes and think, "I love you." That's kind of new.