Lynnette, Madison and I registered for baby supplies at Babies R’ Us today. Madison is 7-years old and I have not thought about the finer details of raising an infant in some time. It all came rushing back today.
First, I want to take the time to thank the staff of Babies R’ Us. They were helpful, thorough, quick, and very informative. They knew their stuff and made for a smooth experience.
So. What I want to say is today is the day that sh*t got real. As the three of us walked through the store with lists and the scanner in hand, I was reminded of so many things I had forgotten. We scanned a bunch of towels, washcloths, and sleep sacks. My mind flashed back to those days of constant laundry; I visualized those small piles of sour-smelling onesies, burp cloths, and sheets. What about taking all those bottles apart, then washing them, then drying them, then reassembling them, then doing it all over again in 3-hour cycles forever? I don’t know how I made it through the first time and this time we’re going to have to do it all twice at once. That seems insane, but I know it’s possible because Lynnette and I see twins all the time! It’s the human equivalent of thinking about buying a certain car, then seeing them all over the road all of a sudden. We’ve just started noticing these parents with huge strollers, two of everything, and bags under their eyes. Many of them, though, don’t have the x-factor we do: Big Sister.
Madison is delighted by the thought of being a big sister. She already seems to be showing some bias against the boy, but maybe that’s because he still doesn’t have a name and we still refer to him as “boy”. It could be that he’s just not real to Mad yet.
Lynnette and I have been preparing Madison for big sisterhood since Lynnette’s oven started baking those two cats straight out of the bag. Mad has responded admirably. Earlier this summer I had an argument with Madison over chores. I asked Madison how I could count on her to help us with the twins if I could not count on her to wash a few small dishes. She did not answer. “Mom is going to be very tired and sore after the babies are born. She’s going to need us. I want to know if I can count on you,” I said. She teared up a little. “Yeah,” she said. She closed her eyes and tears fell out. “You can.” There have been hiccups, but she’s been much better since that day.
In fact, Madison has agreed to help us with everything baby-related except for changing diapers. “But it’s just like wiping your butt!” I argued. “Yeah, dad, but their butt is not my butt!” she said with some sass. It’s a sound argument but I didn’t like her tone. Still, from time-to-time, I look for “big sister” shirts on the internet, but I haven’t found one I really love for her. Rest assured when I do I will purchase it. Don’t be surprised if the shirt features a huge star or the New York skyline, OK?
Lastly, we let go of Papa Joe’s recliner today. It had been a fixture in Madison’s room since we moved into our home. Using the chair itself was a commitment; it required taking the door off the wall to get it into Mad’s room. Early on, Lynnette and I sometimes used it to feed or read to my baby Goobi. As time passed, Madison used it to read to herself and to Abby. In fact, for reasons I don’t quite understand, Abby grew quite attached to the chair. If the family spent extended time in the room cleaning or hanging out, Abby would follow along and eventually make her way atop Papa Joe’s chair. Abby is often very wary of sitting with Madison – because Madison tries to accost her all the time – but never on Papa Joe’s chair. That’s how we were able to successfully take this photo.
It is never easy to move on from something that hold so much sentimental value, but time has a way, you know? In the chair’s place is Madison’s desk. The second grade is just a month away and she needed work space. I have spent much of my life fighting through this very particular struggle, trying to navigate time and space, trying to figure out when it’s time to let things (and sometimes people) go. “I think Abby’s going to miss the chair the most,” Mad said. “She loves that chair.” I agreed with her. So before my dad and I took the chair to the dump, I positioned the chair at the top of our steps and snapped a few pictures.
It just so happens that Michelle Branch is in town to play a 4th of July concert at Schofield Barracks, so she’s available this time. Farewell, Papa Joe’s chair…