Friday, March 15, 2013

Brotherly Love

I used to think it was cute that Monkey immediately asked for "Baby" upon waking up every morning.  I now realize that Monkey isn't asking for "Baby," he is asking if that little Mama-stealing attention hog is still taking up residence in our home.  Trust me.  There is a big difference.  It seems Monkey is not fond of sharing his Mommy.  :-)

The very first time Monkey laid eyes on Bug, he cried.  And we're not talking the whiny-type of crying that toddlers do when they're a little unsure of what is happening around them...  We're talking the "hyperventilating, clinging to my neck, legs wrapped around me, flat-out refusing to look in the direction of the happy, squealing infant" kind of crying.  At that point, I hadn't even held Bug in front of him, so I have no idea what he was so freaked out about.  Eventually, he made eye contact, Bug smiled, and Monkey decided to try to figure this squirming pint-sized human-looking thing out.

The first month was spent as Monkey decided to take it upon himself to point out the similarities and differences between "real" humans and "baby."  Poor Bug got his nose picked, fingers in the ears, his eyes poked, and his head smacked at Monkey constantly pointed out his body parts.  If Bug fussed or squealed, Monkey would mimic whatever sound came out of his mouth.

The novelty of "Baby" wore off during month two, and Monkey hit the "I'll tolerate him because I have to because apparently he's here to stay" stage.  For the most part, he completely ignored him.  Our mornings consisted of Bug craning his neck to get a look at his awesome big brother, and Monkey doing everything within his power to ignore Bug's stares.  On the rare occasion that Monkey and Bug actually made eye-contact, Monkey would screech "BAAABBBYYYY!!!  NOOOO!!!!" and run screaming from the room.

By month three Monkey became hyper-sensitive to Bug.  If he heard Bug wake up from a nap or start fussing, he gasped and exclaimed "Baby!"  If Nana took Bug into his room to try to rock him to sleep, Monkey followed whispering, "Shhhh..."  And if he thought that I was taking too long to see to Bug, he would grudgingly attempt to console him himself.  The first time that happened, I was in the middle of making Bug a bottle while he was fussing in his swing.  Monkey ran to me, pointed to Bug with a concerned look on his face saying, "Uh-oh!"  When I didn't immediately go to him, Monkey sighed, rolled his eyes, and went to push Bug in his swing saying, "rock, rock."

We're now into month four, and Monkey is ever-so-slowly beginning to warm up to the little guy.  He tries to share his cars and trucks.  He pats him on the head.  He'll even return Bug's smile occasionally.  There was one morning in particular where Monkey was doling out kisses.  Mom was holding Bug, I was holding Monkey, and I asked, "Do you want to give Baby a kiss?"  You could see the wheels turning as he decided whether or not to take this huge step in brotherly bonding, and he slowly leaned in to bestow a kiss upon his baby brother...  Only to receive an excited baby headbutt to the chin.  I'm fairly certain Monkey won't be kissing Bug again any time soon.  Although, he has started to kiss his feet most mornings.  :-)

Monkey's all about being "a good helper" these days, and is beginning to take that seriously when it comes to helping out with Bug.  He helps me hold his bottle.  He wipes Bug's face with a burp rag when he drools.  He demonstrates how the baby's toys work (mostly so he can play with them, but he does it in a way that makes it seem like he's showing the baby :-).  The other morning, Bug was sleeping in a little late, and I needed to get him ready for daycare.  I told Monkey, "Mommy needs to go wake up Baby.  Do you want to help me?"  We tiptoed quietly into Bug's room as Monkey whispered, "Shhhh..."  He was silently peering at his sleeping brother, and just as I went to gently stir Bug awake, Monkey slowly reached through the slats on his crib, and promptly smacked his peacefully slumbering brother on the head, screeching, "BAAABBY!!!!" at the tops of his lungs.  Poor little guy didn't know what hit him!

That's brotherly love for you!  :-)

Thursday, March 7, 2013

"Foster Fridays" 2013 Panel Search

I'm planning on starting up "Foster Fridays" again next month, and I'm looking for about 8-12 panel members to contribute to the 2nd Friday of the month panel posts.  April will be a Panel Introduction post, and I will be sending panel members May-December's topics immediately so you can write at your own pace.

If you are interested in being a "Foster Friday" panel member, please contact me at .

Monday, March 4, 2013


I had one of those moments at lunch today where I'm SURE I'm over-thinking things, but...  Monkey's dad came to pick him up and (long story short) Monkey wanted to stay with Mommy.  He cried.  He clung to my neck.  He had the sad, pouty lip and big tears.  Monkey's not feeling well, and you want your Mommy when you're not feeling well.  I told him that he would get to see Mommy again tonight, and that I loved him...  Not realizing immediately that this was the first time I have ever actually called myself "Mommy" in front of his dad.  MONKEY calls me "Mommy" in front of him all the time, but this was a first for me.  I noticed his dad kind of tearing up as they left, and that's when my brain went into overdrive.

Was his dad sad that Monkey didn't want to go to him?

Was he upset that I call myself "Mommy" when he has a birth mom who's missing out on everything because she just couldn't get better?

Was he upset that Monkey's birthmom is missing his birthday today?

Was he worried because he knows something I don't know and maybe he's losing his job and he won't need me to keep Monkey anymore and he knows how upset I'd be and how upset Monkey would be and he doesn't know how to tell me so he's putting it off until the last possible second?  (See...  Over-thinking!)

All sorts of thoughts running through my head...  Heck.  For all I know his dad's allergies could have been acting up and he wasn't upset at all!  But all of that thinking made me think (shocker :-)...

As sad as I am that Monkey's mom hasn't been able to heal enough to be a positive part of his life, I am (selfishly) grateful that I am the Mommy that Monkey knows.  I'm grateful that he's been my little boy for the past two years.  I'm grateful that when he talks about "Mommy," I know he's talking about me.  I'm grateful that his daddy knows that too, and that he supports it even though it hurts him to know Monkey's birthmom is out there somewhere.  I'm grateful that his birthmom risked her life to give birth to him, even though she wasn't able to overcome the things that stood in the way of her being able to be his "mommy" long-term.  I'm grateful that God chose me to take that place in his life when he was two months old.  I'm grateful for every single second that I get to be this little guy's mom.

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