Cling Wrap

Kate never wants to be apart from me. If she had her way, I’m pretty sure she would choose one of two things: She would choose to be the baby in my belly again. Which at 32 pounds and 34 inches — hell to the no.

Or she would have us surgically attached at the hip so that I had to carry her everywhere with me.

From the second she awakes in the morning — when she hasn’t climbed in bed with me at 2 o’clock in the morning — she needs to be with me. Preferably in direct contact with some part of my body and with all my attention on her.

This makes showering and otherwise getting ready for work very, very difficult.

Flora, too, is starting to express some neediness for me. If I don’t wake her up so we can eat breakfast together, she gets incredibly sad. Even though breakfast together means that she eats Cocoa Puffs while watching Clifford and I eat on the couch, usually reading Rolling Stone. That’s good enough for her.

But Kate. Kate needs to touch me. When I am making dinner, she needs to play at my feet. When we are watching their nighttime show, she must sit as close as possible to my lap (I don’t have much of a lap, as you can imagine). She is always pulling on or pushing at me. (I should add that during the day, she seems to be fine at school or daycare. I certainly haven’t heard otherwise at this point.)

I don’t really want to be touched right now. (Yeah, I’m a joy to be married, too, as well.) I am so uncomfortable in my skin. My back hurts; my hips and pelvic area hurt. I am exhausted. And most of the time, I really, really have to pee.

Last night, Kate came downstairs at 9 p.m. (Flora had passed out already.) She climbed up on the couch with me, and she was not going to leave. (So much for that episode of NCIS.) And I was not going to threaten her to get her to go back to bed.

So we snuggled. I was getting ready to call it a night, anyway. One great thing about being exhausted: I can fall asleep pretty dang quick. I don’t STAY asleep, but those first couple of hours are blissful.

I stroked her cheek and her forehead. I told her about when she was a baby. I told her how much I loved her, and would always love her and be with her. Then I walked her up to her bed and sang her to sleep.

I worry about Kate with Bud coming. I wonder how she will be when she can’t touch me because of the baby — when I am nursing, when I am bathing him. I wonder, most, what I can do — if anything — to make this transition easier for her.

In case you’re wondering: No, I didn’t go through this with Flora. She was only 18 to 27 months old when I was pregnant with Kate. She was, from the get-go, a more independent, more adaptable child than Kate ever was. Now, after Kate came home, Flora held a little grudge; she wouldn’t let me do anything for her for about two weeks, stating emphatically when it came to dressing or reading books or anything, really: “NO! Nonna do it.” “NO. Bella do it.” “NO! Daddy do it.” (Yeah, that was heartbreaking enough.)

So, if you have any advice about transitioning an older child to the presence of a younger sibling, I sure would appreciate it. And if not, could you just assure me I’m doing okay anyway? I realize that we may all have to wait for Bud to arrive to see how this is going to go.