Susannah turned three on Sunday. It is official. I have no more babies. I wish I had another one. Everyone I say that to looks baffled. Three is enough. Be thankful for what you have. You can barely handle the three you have. You've got other things to worry about.
I know all that in my head. It's my heart that is hurting.
Life doesn't always turn out the way you hoped it would. You aren't always who you've hoped to be.
Sukie got to go to Chuckie Cheese with a friend on Saturday. Oma took her, a three-year-old, a five-year-old, a seven-year-old and an eight-year-old. By herself. Dean and I watched four hours of Call the Midwife in peace. It didn't do much to quell my baby longing, yet at the same time when I looked at all those new mothers, with squalling, grunting, squeaking babies, I know that those sleepless nights haunt me in a way that they don't haunt others. Sleeplessness was the beginning of my undoing.
On Sunday we celebrated with a cake and ice cream and some pot roast to boot. Sukie got Barbies and My Little Ponies that are all her own, since her big sister, Molly, hoards them and wants nothing more than to hide out in her room and play alone. I got a small feeling of schadenfreude watching her covet Sunset Shimmer and Princess Cadence. She has it coming.
Sukie is always delighted to get something of her own. She is always delighted to get a hand-me-down, too. Basically she's delighted with everything. One thing that she is not delighted with is when we read the illustrated version of the song On Top of Spaghetti. When the meatball turns to mush and the bush presumably eats the mush that is tasty as can be, she is indignant because a bush doesn't eat meatballs and I am forbidden to sing that part of the song. We have to choose another book then, perhaps an adventure of Frank-uh-Lin the turtle as she pronounces it, and we snuggle together and look at his cozy stone house and paradoxically delicious appearing fly pies. after we are done reading she begs me to sleep with her for two minutes, no five minutes, no all the minutes. She remains as thick and delectable as ever. I tell her every day "I like your little body" and she nods knowingly and then backs up so I can give her thick little thighs a squeeze and start kissing her neck until she snorts with laughter. I have to make her snort before I can stop.
She is a smart little things, memorizing her verses for Awana earnestly in her little blue Cubbies vest. "Mommy, did you know that God created the heavens and the earth?" I did, baby, I did.
Molly has finally started to adjust to kindergarten and has found a new friend whom she hugs multiple times at the end of the day since they won't see each other for a full evening. But she needs many kisses and hugs in the morning to be convinced to leave. The other major problem with kindergarten is that she refuses to wear anything but two outfits. One is a cute top with cream colored leggings that have to be washed quickly in the evening since they go under a long tie-dyed tank top maxi dress, blue and faded which she prefers to wear with high socks and pink tennis shoes. I've given up and let her look like a homeless child, hoping against hope that some child will ask her why she wears the same dress to school three days a week. So far, no luck. She also refuses to wear any clothing to bed except the same pair of aqua underpants every night. Since she also wants to wear them in the morning, you can imagine that washing them proves difficult. Don't judge me. She stretches out on a blue fleece blanket that has to be pulled taut and smoothed meticulously and then falls asleep in the chilly air perfectly stretched out like a corpse until we sneak in later and pull up her covers. She is just like her father; she can fall asleep in seconds, yet just like her mother in that she does not wake up bright-eyed like her big sister.
Frankie seems like such a grown-up girl. She swaggers around with her newly pierced ears and her newly acquired multiplication skills and knows how to get cereal for her little sisters and find my car keys. She is still tiny, her little chiseled face and olive skin so beautiful. She won't let me near her hand in public and resists any physical expression of affection until she is tucked in her bed with her stuffed puppy and dog blanket and then she lets me curve next to her and brush her hair back from her face. She is growing more mysterious to me, more other, while Sukie is still entangled with me in a way Frankie is not. I know this is how it is supposed to be, but if don't feel ready for it. I don't feel ready to be just me again.