I Have The Fever!

It’s true. I have The Fever. No, not Swine Flu. That was last week. This week I have The Fever. What it lacks in body temperature it makes up for in hormonal outbursts and ooh-ing and ahh-ing over any baby or pregnant woman. That’s right. The Fever is also known as The Baby Fever. Other ways to explain it include saying that my uterus aches or my ovaries are twitching. Basically, I want an itty-bitty, teen-tiny baby. And I can’t have one. Insert pout here.

Symptoms of The Fever include:

  • Nostalgic perusing of baby pictures.
  • Sorting through old baby clothes to give to a friend and deciding, despite the fact that you’re done having babies, that you’re keeping some of them.
  • Standing in front of the mirror and sticking your belly out to see if you can look pregnant. (Sadly, I can.)
  • Thinking that you could be pregnant the second your period is late despite the fact that its an impossibility.
  • Mentally trying to plan an escape with someone else’s child strapped to your chest. (What? You haven’t thought of that? Uh, me either.)

It’s really all Mandy’s fault. I went to her Shutterfly House Party on Saturday evening. As I was teaching her sister-in-law how to use a mei tai with her new baby girl, I melted. A teeny-tiny newborn was strapped to my chest, round-about the time of year that teeny-tiny newborns were strapped to my chest in the past (all on odd numbered years). Suddenly it hit me: I’m not pregnant. I won’t be having a baby this year. Or ever again. I just wanted to walk out to the vehicle and drive home with a fuzzy little head strapped to my chest. Kidnapping tends to end friendships and so I chose not to follow through with that illogical thought process.

Then I got home and saw this in my camera, care of my friend who snapped a shot while I was demonstrating the carrier.


And I wanted to go right back and bring the baby home with me.

Don’t worry. I’m too much of a chicken to really steal babies. I have this internal moral code that doesn’t let me break laws, cute babies involved or otherwise. (Except for the occasional speed limit. Even then I feel guilty.) And, really, don’t worry about The Fever either. It’s mostly gone today as LittleBrother has what we had last week and is not doing well. I’m debating a call to our doctor at this point even though BigBrother and I survived just fine. Moments like these I’m well aware that parenting these two boys keeps me busy (and stressed) enough.

It’s okay though. Yesterday BigBrother told me that he’s going to have FORTY kids. Forty grandchildren?! Hooray! I’ll be hip deep in babies! It made me laugh because my own mother said that she wanted fifty grandchildren. While she still has some hope left that my brother can deliver her a few, she has lost all hope in me as we can’t have any more children. It’s somewhat doubtful that my brother and sister-in-law will have that many children. What’s the next best thing to having fifty grandchildren? Forty great-grandchildren. So, of course, my mother is thrilled that BigBrother is taking one for the team.

I’m informed by friends who have been through this phase, time and time again it seems, that The Fever is just a part of life. It comes and goes at various points in time, usually returning around birthday times of your existing children. The non-feverish months are sometimes even speckled with outright joy that you don’t have to lug a baby carseat along while trying to hold hands with other children who are all in big, fluffy winter coats and hats and whining that it’s too cold and that it’s all your fault. I’m sure at some point this winter, I’ll think, “Gee, isn’t it nice that I have these two (mostly) capable little boys who (mostly) listen to me?

But for now, I’ll look at the picture and ponder the what if’s and the could have been’s of it all. Or, at least for as long as it takes me to publish this post. Then I need to finish up two loads of laundry, clean up our kitchen mess, get some work done, get LittleBrother into his coat and hat, drive to preschool, pick up BigBrother, get us in the door with our coats on, make lunch, get the kids down for a nap, do some more work while finishing up the laundry from earlier today, play with the boys (hopefully outside as it is supposed to warm up today), make supper (fettucini alfredo, homemade), play some more (okay, so it’s not all difficult), baths, teeth brushing, jammies, bedtime stories, clean the house and then finish up my work for the day. We may or may not add in a doctor’s visit or a trip to the fire station so that FireDad can listen to LittleBrother’s lungs. See? The Fever has already been cured.



The Beginning of the End

I’ve always worn my children. Babywearing, the act of wearing your child in some from of a child carrier, has always been a part of my parenting. I have owned many various carriers over the years from pouch slings to ring slings to mei tais to structured carriers. I have loved most of them for different reasons, each of them serving a varied purpose as the boys have grown. I have sold some as the boys outgrew the purpose. I have kept others, the ones that still work for us and, of course, one or two as keepsakes. Maybe I’ll pass them on someday so that my grandchildren can be worn. Perhaps I will wear my grandchildren as my mother has done.

LittleBrother is twenty-one months old. I didn’t wear BigBrother much at all after he turned two, his personality demanding to be put down, to run and jump and otherwise be free from the constraints of mommy and her carriers. I was surprised when I asked LittleBrother if he would like to ride and he gave me a happy little, “Yes.” I also experienced the easiest back carry I have ever accomplished. Why? I asked him to stand on the bed… and he did. I tossed the straps out on either side of him across the bed, lifted him onto my back and pulled the straps up over our shoulders. BigBrother was never still enough to do such a thing. Had I asked him to stand on the bed, he would have done so ever-so-briefly before launching into a jumping spree. These children are so different.

We took a fall walk. Of course, it’s not quite fall yet but the temperatures in the area are cool and crisp for the moment. We wore long pants, the sounds of BigBrother’s active pant-legs swooshing against each other as he ran in front of us. I was worried that with BigBrother walking, LittleBrother would want down to run beside the boy he would attempt to climb mountains just to follow, to be near. I was happily surprised when he was content for the entire walk. Every now and again he would put his head down on my back just as he did when he was younger. My heart would soar and plummet all in the same brief second.

I know these days are limited. As he continues to grow, I will lose the ability to carry him for a mile and a half or more. BigBrother is already too heavy for me to carry him on my back for such a length (though he did ask once to have a ride on our walk yesterday). Furthermore, I fear that in the very near future he will want to run and jump and play instead of hang out on my back. I will let him, of course. The desire for him to grow and learn will surpass my desire to keep him so close to me. But I’ll mourn a bit for the days gone by.

I am thankful that I have so many pictures with the boys in various slings and carriers. Front carries, back carries, nursing in a carrier. I am thankful that I’ve been able to wear them this long, one of their durations meshing with the follower for four continuous years of babywearing. I am thankful for strong, durable carriers that have passed the test of time and toddlers and car doors and teething and mud puddles and washing machines. I am thankful for little heads on my back, little fingers on my shoulders.

Back Carry

As we enter what is likely our last season of babywearing, I predict many a fall walk. We may get a walk or two in the winter with him cuddled closely in our Peekaru vest. By next Spring, however, he’ll likely be too busy to hang out on my back. Who wants to ride when you can run anyway? I will treasure these next few months. I am hopeful that we’ll take more pictures and make more memories in the process. As my babywearing days begin to end, I look to the future and pray that something will keep us as close as the feeling of having a little head rest upon my back during a lovely walk. If not physically, in our hearts, souls and minds.