You wouldn’t do for anyone what you would do for your own son, letting him scratch through the skin of your nose with his tiny razor-sharp fingernails, and even enjoying this attention from him, and finding his lunge towards your nipples adorable, and then not being bothered at all when he pees right into your face while getting changed.
I don’t know whether it’s because of his innate biology or because of what I project that from the start, I’ve felt that baby boys are very different from baby girls. There was no love between Freddy and I at the time of his birth, and our relationship was so strained that I considered keeping him out of the birth process entirely. He didn’t come to a single appointment with the obstetrician or witness any ultrasounds. He seemed disappointed when I found out I was having a boy. Though it feels like blasphemy to say it now, this was what could be called an unwanted pregnancy, with a big question over which day of the week he was conceived. If it was on Tuesday, then Soren would be more aptly named something Gaelic. It has taken these six months for Freddy to concede that this baby was made on the following Friday, and is therefore his biological son.
Even I had trouble in the beginning recognizing that this was my biological progeny. He was shockingly big and fat right out of the chute. There’s no resemblance with me–hazel eyes, reddish hair, broad chest. Sweet, mellow disposition. Our daughter looks a lot like the British model Alexa Chung, who is a quarter Chinese (a mom in Daisy’s Tae Kwon Do class made the comparison and pulled up a photo of her Ms. Chung on her mobile, and I had to agree, the resemblance was weird), and her mind and body are on a spin cycle 24/7 which until recently, I thought was just normal for all children. (Intense, energetic, emotional, distractable, okay then, probably ADD. No question that it is inherited). Soren looks like he was sired by Eric the Red. You can pour gallons of water over his head or make him sit through two-hour long piano recitals, and he’s totally chill. He doesn’t wake up and cry for hours and hours like Daisy did. Maybe she’s more normal, and he’s not? He is costing us a lot more, however, because he goes through 50 bucks of formula per week and several dollars worth of jarred liquid peas and carrots per day on top of my breastfeeding, not to mention all the clothes he quickly outgrows. I feel like a fisherman exaggerating his catch. I have to give away all the winter clothing I’d planned to bundle him in this coming season because he is wearing things sized for an 18 month toddler. Geezus, what a beautiful boy! A Boy!
I should keep on having babies I think, maybe I can fit in 3 more. A better chance that one of them will not hate me for writing this when they fly the coup. The other day, Daisy said she didn’t understand how I got pregnant with Soren because you have to be in love to have a baby. My heart broke a little.