Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Neve turns twelve

When I was pregnant with Neve, Spencer had a hard time comprehending the process. He wasn't curious about how the baby got into my belly or how it was going to come out; instead he puzzled over who the baby was going to be. In his almost-four-year-old mind, he thought she must be someone we already knew, no matter how many times we told him it was going to be a brand new person who'd never existed before. Many times during the last month or two of my pregnancy, he would ask, "But who is it going to be?"

At the time, he went to Sioban's awesome home daycare. There was a little girl who also went there who was a bit of a bully. Let's call her Kayla. She wasn't his favourite.

One day when he came home from a particularly frustrating day, he asked his usual question.

"We don't know who the baby is yet. We'll have to wait and see," I told him for the hundredth time.

He sighed deeply and said, "I sure hope it's not going to be Kayla."

Spencer was very relieved not to be holding Kayla.

Neve was our little bonus baby. Still is, in fact. We thought we were finished after two kids but then we reconsidered. We hemmed and hawed for months (years, even) and weighed the pros and cons. Finally, I got some wise advice from Teresa who said something to the effect of, "Don't ask yourself if you want another baby and all the work that goes with it; instead ask yourself if you want another older child. The baby years last such a short time but you'll have an older/adult child for the rest of your life."

Thinking about the big picture was very good advice indeed and nine months later, Neve was born. Okay, maybe not exactly nine months, but Neve at least partially owes her existence to Teresa. 

My only regret is that we didn't have her five years sooner. Imagine if she turned 22 on 2/22/2022. That would be the best thing ever.

While looking through Neve's baby pictures, I'm reminded of how she was everyone's favourite toy. There's a picture of her in a doll cradle. There's one of her in the baby swing with headphones on, listening to an old walkman (set up by one of the kids). There's one of Chloe taking Neve's blood pressure with the toy doctor set. One of newborn Neve dressed in a princess crown and accessories. And many, MANY pictures of Chloe holding her possessively. We loved that baby from the start. I guess I could just post the pictures instead of describing them, but that means digging through digital files or scanning the prints. Ain't nobody got time for that.


We still love that baby. She's a good kid. She works hard in school and at play. She writes sweet notes. She loves popcorn and chocolate. Gymnastics is her passion and she's always flipping and twisting and handspringing around. She's always up for a challenge or for an episode of Gilmore Girls. She loves her sister and brother and is excellent at folding laundry and making smoothies. She also has a soft spot for cats, Bean in particular. As she makes the transition from little girl to pre-teen to the teenage years, I'm enjoying every ounce of "little girl" while I can. There's lot to look forward to, but why rush it?

The celebrating started last night with some family over for birthday cake. It was a good turnout for a Tuesday night. we were delightfully surprised to have my nephew bring a friend ... that was actually more exciting than Neve's birthday. (He's an awesome, funny, good dude; the surprise is just because he seemed pretty comfortable with his single life).

My picture-taking was not on point.

The partying continued today with scones for breakfast, home for lunch and a partial episode of Gilmore Girls, and bringing cookies to school. Things were dampened (literally) by having to go to swimming lessons. Due to pool renovations, it's only a six-week session so we don't want to miss any classes (plus I like to run during that time).

Dinner was at the Old Spaghetti Factory. Chloe had to work, but joined us as soon as she was done. Finally at 9:15 p.m., we were all home together for the first time and Neve opened her gifts. We gave her a gymnastics mat, which we're hoping with all of our hearts will muffle all the jumping and bouncing she does upstairs. It's the gift that keeps on giving. I hope.

The last piece of the birthday puzzle is her party with friends. That doesn't happen for another 10 days, so we'll take a break from partying until then.

Sweet baby Neve twelve years ago


someone said...

Oh my gosh - SO many things to say!!

First: I wish you had your babies now. I'm SUCH a better caregiver now. Your kids were part of the learning years. Haha! (But seriously...).

"Kayla" - she is STILL a sourpuss. Or at least she was when I saw them about 3 years ago. Gah!! There were some challenging moments back then. I wonder how I'd deal with her now.

How I LOVE that photo of Neve and Bean. I was really hoping that was a new birthday kitten.

And I even MORE love that photo of a newborn Neve and her big sister who is clearly just besotted with her new dolly. SO adorable!!

Look at all your kids so grown up!! Man, just yesterday, CoCo and Maimee and Emma were babbling at each other in playpens in my bedroom.

Happy HAPPY Birthday, Nevie!! You really are a special girl. And I still remember those sweet little pink ballet-like shoes I bought you. They were just so darn cute. As are you!!

Big birthday hug to you!!

xoxoxo Sio

ps - I like that story about Teresa.
ops - Is Sabrina yelling at her mother in law in the kitchen?? ;)

someone said...

Wait!! I have more!!

Spaghetti Factory has had those same chairs since *I* was 12!!

And I also love that last photo of Neve. And now I am remembering when she really little - like, 8 months maybe? And she PRETENDED she was sleeping when I sat for you one evening. PRETENDED!!!



Daniel said...

LOL Sio! Neve was a little actress even at that young age!
So much to love in this post, and in your great family! The sibling love is so sweet!

Anonymous said...

What amazing advice from Teresa. That is exactly what people should be told about babies. That baby stage feels long and hard but it really is so very short and those little people become big people who are around for so much more time and can bring so much joy and sad (both are important), fun and challenge (again, both are important). Nobody ever said that to us. Stephen desperately wanted another baby. I could not fathom making it through another baby after my post partum depression with E. I was way too afraid for myself and for my kids, current and future. I also was getting older and did not want to be thinking about being 55+ as my kids were graduating...I thought it would be hard for kids to have an aging parent earlier in their own lives (not that 55 is old....i guess that equates being 75 when your kid is 38...again 75 is not OLD...but that was some of my thinking).

I don't know if that advice would have changed my position for a 3rd baby and I'm happy with our family. But I do think so many of us look at child bearing and rearing with such short term lenses...

I'm so glad for Neve. For her in your life. For her as a person. For how she connects you to Teresa. For how she will impact her world by the sole fact that she is here.

Happy Birthday, Neve.

p.s. Sio made me laugh out loud commenting on Sabrina and her mother-in-law. Haha. Funny moment caught. I'm sure she is not yelling, but just animated. FAKE NEWS, Sio. Quit it. :P

Anonymous said...

p.p.s. I also still stand by my parenting advice (for myself and Steve): we cannot let them out number us. :P Travel and events and activities are crazy enough with 2. Ahem.

someone said...

Fake news - hahahah! :p

xo Sio