Archive for December 4, 2007

The ups and downs of life with babies.

December 4, 2007

I finally, finally got the kids to bed. Tuesdays are very long days because I have to work in the mornings, the babies have school, and Wheeler has class until 8:00 p.m. Today was especially busy because I had to meet three different contractors at our new house before work, then call all their respective references to see who we should hire.

On Tuesdays, I get to spend all afternoon and evening alone with the babies. Now usually, that’s not such a big deal. We play, roll around on the floor, dance, listen to music, nap, read books, eat – all that fun kid stuff. But today. No. Today started at 4:15 a.m. when Mac decided that it was time to start his day. When Omi wakes up during the night (in my mind, 4:15 is still “the night”), it’s really no big deal because she always goes right back to sleep if we bring her to bed with us. Not so with Mac. When Mac wakes up, that’s it. Nevertheless, I tried this morning. I brought him to bed with Wheeler and myself and tried to will him to sleep. All 25 lbs of his squirming flesh wiggled all over me for about 20 minutes until he decided that he’d had enough and started screaming. Needless to say, Wheeler nor me were very happy. But since he had to get up in an hour for a 14-hour day, and I at least might have the opportunity to rest during the day, I got up with Mac. Not happily, but I got up.

That was many hours ago and with none of those much-sought-after moments of rest during the day, I’m pooped. But, dinner’s ready (yummy corn chowder…yumm), babies are sleeping, Wheeler just walked in the door and fixed me a glass of my favorite pinot noir. Life is good.

“Your Boy’s Different, Ms. Gump”

December 4, 2007

Last night, I went to the hospital to visit one of my students. She just had a baby. I teach seventh grade.

Throughout the visit, I could not keep myself from comparing the situation to the birth of my own kids last year.

My wife’s hospital room would have made most four star hotels look like an hourly rate airport inn. And for visitors to even get to it, they had to pass more security than the average pentagon employee.

Last night, though, I entered the hospital, walked past the orange jumpsuit clad patients from the local jails, and asked the receptionist where I could find my student. She told me, and I went and found her. That was it; anyone could have walked in there. As for the room, it had three beds in it, one of which was occupied by an evidently shameless woman who was on the phone loudly discussing plans to put her as yet unborn child up for adoption: “Look, all you got to do is sign the papers and that’s it, we can both be done with it. Shit.”

Our room was full of visitors from the git go, too. People, balloons, flowers, all kinds of stuff. Didn’t see any balloons last night.

I was thirty when our twins were born. When my student is thirty, her first child will be graduating from high school.

Our kids were born to parents who had already completed their educations, begun carreers, and established a home. This child is thirteen. The dad is in high school.

Still, as with our kids, everyone was healthy. Young as she is, it is evident that my student loves her baby. She does have family to help. Despite doing something incredibly stupid – getting pregnant at 13 – she is a bright kid. To me, this is the essential stuff.

I did not give her much of any advice, other than telling her not to worry about school for a while. But if I had, I think I would have told her that whether or not she likes it, her life is now very, very, very different than that of all her fellow seventh graders. Whether or not she and her baby will be happy depends, I think, on whether she can accept that difference. If she does what she can to be the best parent she can be, they’ll be o.k. Try to be a normal kid, though, and no-one is going to win.