Since bringing Charlotte home from the hospital I make more stops to Babies R’ Us than I do the grocery store. Trust me, no one is starving over here. We will always find a way to eat at Casa De Bonventre. It just seems like every few days I’m realizing the
need want for more baby stuff to cram in our house.
A friend, further down the road of parenthood will stop by with their toddler in tow. I will be explaining the challenges currently at hand. She will then tell me about this life changing [thingamagig] she had at our stage in the game. Days later I’m at the store searching for it. Anything to make this Mom gig easier.
Yesterday my Mom was visiting while Matthew was traveling for work. Her extra hands were eager to peruse the racks of baby clothes and so we packed up the kiddo and headed down the road to Babies R’ Us. Charlotte is literally a real live baby doll for this women to play dress up.
Isn’t that what all good Grandma’s do though?
After an hour or so the stroller was loaded up with our spoils. 40% off was to blame. Before I got in hot water with the Hubby about our credit card bill I made the call to wrap this shopping adventure up.
Under the florescent lights we started making our way to checkout. My Mom got side tracked to ogle over some fluffy pink dress and I kept moving. I couldn’t risk stopping and falling victim to another impulse buy.
As I made my way I walked past a Grandma assisting her daughter on a similar excursion. Grandma held a wiggly little baby girl in her arms and laying in the double stroller was another little girl swaddled in yellow.
Behind me several steps, I heard my Mom strike up a friendly conversation.
“Awww, how old are they?”
“They are so cute!”
“Thanks. Twins are a lot of work. I might become an alcoholic.”
I was not part of the conversation but I could hear her words. They sliced through me all the same. I get it, she was just making conversation. She didn’t know by saying this it would cause an onslaught of emotion to come over me. At first I just shrugged it off but the more the words replayed in my mind the more heated I got.
Really lady!!! Having two beautiful, healthy babies is so awful you want to drink non-stop. Sit here why I lecture you about how you won the baby lottery and I got shafted.
My Mom turned away from them and towards me. She gave me [the look] as she walked away from them. The same kinda look I’ve been getting since I was a kid.
[You’re strong but if you need to cry, I’m here for you – look.]
I think she half hoped I hadn’t noticed the twins and more importantly overheard this ladies complaint but I noticed them before she did. I always notice them.
This woman didn’t know but in a perfect world I too would have had twins. She didn’t know when she said that her two babies make her want to become an alcoholic that her words, I assume were a joke, didn’t make me laugh. They made me mad. They made me hurt. They made me wonder why she got to have her two girls and I didn’t.
Here’s what I wanted to say to this lady in Babies R’ Us…
I have a newborn so I get that you are tired. I’m jolted awake minutes after falling asleep because now that I’m a Mom the slightest murmur from my girl throws me from my peaceful rest to ACTION! I too know how frustrating it is to finish a 3AM feeding and hold your breathe as you lay your little one back to sleep. Hours of fussing later and neither one of you are any closer to getting back to bed. I know what it is to go through multiple diapers in one changing as your baby doesn’t quite understand how expensive these poop catchers add up to be. I too am covered in spit up. I too am doing laundry almost daily.
But unlike you one of my daughters didn’t make it. So while you are probably more tired than you could have imagined, know that I look at you and wish I knew what it felt like to console two crying babies instead of one. You are covered in double the spit up, changing double the dirty diapers and doing double the amount of laundry. But all this extra work means your girls are alive and by your side.
You may be barely surviving but know this, I watch you and long for my daughter. I watch you and wonder why I don’t have her to hold. I am envious of you. So next time someone asks you about your daughters have a little more class and gratitude because we all aren’t as lucky as you.
As we got in the car my Mom and I talked through our encounter. As much as I wish I had both my girls with me I have Charlotte. While I will always mourn for my little Juliet – I know how blessed I am. Trying days will come but as long as I have her to hold I have more than a lifetimes worth of blessings all wrapped up in this little angel.
And then I realized something.
Women are watching me. They hear me cry about this loss and wish they at least had one baby to hold. They try to get pregnant with no avail. Months pass and still nothing. I used to be one of those women and this lesson is not lost on me.
We all are yearning for something. A baby. Healing. More money. More sleep. And while numbing the pain with alcohol is one way to deal I will deal differently.