Five years and one day ago, my life changed completely. I had been a mommy for four and a half years already, but on May 31, 2001, I became a mommy to a BOY. And I never saw it coming. I mean, I thought, "Babies are babies are babies, right? They don't know if they are boys or girls."
I knew that I was pregnant with Bear before I was ever even "late." I had had an ectopic pregnancy a couple of months before. I was heartbroken. So when the doctor gave us the go ahead to, *ahem*, start trying, we did. AND? About three weeks later, I woke up several days in a row feeling very queasy. I whipped out the omnipresent (at least at that time) EPT and sure enough, there were two lines. The second line was very faint. So faint, in fact, that I had to call SD in for a second confirmation. But it was there and I was pregnant. And sick. Oh, lord, I puked all day, every day for probably four months. I had to pull over on the side of the (very narrow British) road to throw up at least once a week. I lost 15 pounds in my first trimester.
When we finally told SugarPlum, she said that she really wanted a little sister. You see how that worked out for her.
The pregnancy was fairly uneventful. I got an emergency ultrasound after I had some spotting at 16 weeks. SugarPlum and I were at my folks' house in TEXAS! while SD was deployed to SW Asia. So, my mom and SugarPlum accompanied me to the sonographer's and we discovered that SP would be having a baby brother. She was none too pleased.
She came to terms with it fairly quickly, however, and began looking forward to having a baby brother. Finally, the time came and SugarPlum spent the night with our neighbors. SD took me to the hospital and we discovered, deja vu style, that I was dilated to two. Bah. But the OB didn't want us having to drive all the way home, so he told me to go walk around the base. Fortunately, it was a beautiful night. We walked from the hospital over to the post office and around the pond, then to the Officers Club where the bartender cruelly offered me a beer! Yeah, that's funny, offer a cocktail to the lady who is having contractions.
Finally, I got my epidural (which wore off about a half hour before Bear made his entrance. The nurse was great and let me nurse him almost immediately after SD cut the cord. Actually, I got to nurse him several more times after that in the L/D room because minutes before Bear was born, a little boy was born in the next room with no heartbeat. So the nursery was a little preoccupied with him. Talk about God giving you the big picture from he get-go! I ultimately ended up rooming with that mom since the maternity ward was full and doubling patients up. (Her baby ended up being fine.)
From the very beginning, Bear was a very, very different baby than SugarPlum. When he cried, he sounded just like one of those baby dolls or a parody of a baby crying, "Wah! Wah! Wah!" every night from 10pm to 1am. As he grew, he was so strong and self sufficient. He rolled over at six weeks. The night that happened, SD was away at a wedding so I videotaped it. I wanted proof for when everyone said, "Oh, yeah, right."
Plus, he made boy "noises." He made little grunts and had this very masculine laugh. And the first time we gave him a toy car, he went, "Vvvvvrrrrrroooooom!!!" How did he know to do that?! SugarPlum certainly didn't make those noises. He was always so busy playing with balls and blocks and trucks. He really wasn't a snuggly baby, he had to much to do. So I took my hugs and kisses when I could get them.
On his first birthday, I made him a "caterpillar" cake with different colored cupcakes. As soon as we sang "Happy Birthday" and gave him his blue cupcake, he smiled really big and planted his face in that cupcake. It was the best birthday picture EVER!
Over the past five years, my SugarBear has evolved into this sweet, funny, very snuggly boy. And he is MY boy. He is the one who tells me for weeks after I have been on a trip how much he missed me. "Mommy, when you were gone? A long time ago, remember? To see J's mommy? I really, really missed you." He is the one who will almost never turn down snuggle time with me.
And every single thing he does is with an intensity and wholeheartedness that is astounding. When he loves, it is with his whole self. When he is angry, well, Katie bar the door because you are about to bear witness to a fury rarely seen in the preschool set!** And when he is sad, it will break your heart. When he was three, he was sitting in his room looking rather downcast and told me, "Mommy, my a sad boy."
He loves his siblings so incredibly much. He thinks that his big sister just hung the moon. He is in awe of her every day. He wants to be in brownies, play on her soccer team, and go to school with her.
He is such a great big brother. I had never wanted to have kids as close together as Bear and Bug are, but now I see the advantages. Those two are like peanut butter and jelly. They enjoy each other's company so much. Best buddies. To hear Bear say, "C'mon Bug! Let's go put out that fire!!" just makes me so happy.
So, Bear, on your fifth birthday (plus one day because Mommy couldn't seem to get it together to post yesterday!), I want to let you know how much joy you bring to my life and how proud you make me every. single. day. I hope you enjoy your firefighter costume that matches Bug's, your new garbage truck, and your REAL vacuum cleaner. Yes, the vacuum you have been telling me you want for three months. I know what a big help you will be once your daddy has to leave.
Thank you for initiating me into the world of boys. The loud, intense, crazy world of little boys. I can't imagine what life would be without you my SugarBear. I love you so much.
**okay, before I freak you out, he has no "anger issues" and his anger is, mostly, expressed appropriately. For a four/five year old, at least.**