I have been absent for a while, from blog-ville, I mean. One would expect that I'd be posting about the girls "Fabulous First Birthday Party"... and I will. Today though, it's another 1 year old cutie-pie that's gracing the pages of my blog!
My best friend Heidi had a beautiful baby boy Rocco, just 4 weeks before the twincesses were born. We weren't best friends when he was born, but we've grown very close over the past year. Heidi and I, NOT Rocco and I. I was working in OB for a Boston hospital and Heidi was a patient (she's given me permission to disclose that). Heidi and I share a few mutual friends and her husband and I went to school together, so we weren't complete strangers when she became pregnant and started to come in for regular visits. One day she invited me to lunch. We went to Cheesecake factory and I almost canceled on her. I had an ultrasound and OB appt that morning and was supposed to meet her after. That was the day I found out that Ava wasn't growing as expected and I was hesitant to meet her for lunch as I was feeling very nervous and unsure. But I was hungry. And it was Cheesecake factory and she'd be waiting for me, so I went. It was instant friendship. We were both pregnant, both part of big Italian families, mine by birth and hers by marriage. She was honest and funny and she loved eating and shopping... it was a match made in pregnant/mom friendship heaven! Just a few days later she invited me to go walking... I was so nervous. It was like a second date with a great guy. You know, you don't want to mess up and ruin your chances for a future date! The thing is, I am far from physically fit and I was pregnant with twins. Heidi was just starting to limit her daily jog/walks to one lap around the local pond rather than 2 and was a 3 time marathoner. I forgot my water and I swear I almost went into labor trying to keep up with her. But, she was patient and we walked and talked and talked. The cherry on top of my new found friendship was the fact that Heidi loved Jackson. You mom's out there know what I am talking about, right? Some friends ooh and aah at your kids, tell you your kids are cute and bring little trinkets when they come to visit. But nothing compares to a friend that genuinely LOVES your kids. And Heidi did. An Jackson LOVES her too.
So it seemed only natural that when Heidi gave birth to Rocco, that I would love him too. And I do. Problem is, he doesn't feel the same way about me. I am not sure when it started. I visited him in the hospital just days after he was born and I held him and kissed his sweet little auburn head. I helped him latch on, when he was having trouble nursing. I bought him cute clothes, sang sweet songs and did all of the "right" things. Kids love me, really they do! Maybe it's the fact that he had his first real hunger fit while visiting Ava and Emma at the hospital the day they were born. Maybe it's because I tried to give him a bottle when Heidi was at her wits end with his refusal to take a bottle and was exhausted from the round the clock nursing. I am not sure?
It's no secret though. Heidi tried to brush it off at first, she'd kind of jokingly deny it... "no, he loves you, he's just fussy" or "don't worry, he's like that with everyone". But even she could not deny it any longer. So about a month ago she dropped him off for the afternoon, to go to a meeting and when I tell you he cried for almost an hour, I mean he sobbed and hyperventilated and crawled to the door and tried to escape for almost an HOUR!! That's a very long time in 12 month old land! Well, it's not going to last forever right? I had this picture in my head of the two of us, with our babies, always there for each other and of-course we are always there for each other. I would never turn down a request to babysit Rocco, regardless of how upset he may be at the mere sight of me. And Heidi has bravely watched all 3 of my kids, fed them and put them all to sleep, and she had with Rocco with her as well... seriously, that is a true friend! Oh and I should note that the girls LOVE Heidi and are all smiles when they're with her.
Today Heidi had an ultrasound appointment and would be finding out the gender of her second baby! She mentioned not feeling comfortable bringing Rocco, since her husband may have to leave to keep Rocco quiet and happy and would really like to be there for the whole appointment. I of-course offered to watch Rocco. I was eager to see if he'd warm up to me and she's always looking for the chance to acclimate Rocco to being with others. Rocco is very attached to his mommy and daddy, and with a new baby on the way, no time is better then the present! It stared out OK. I woke up early and prepped... it was like getting to know Heidi all over again. I was nervous, afraid I'd mess up. I made him waffles, since I know he likes carbs. I put on Curious George (his favorite). I made sure all of his favorite toys were out. I smiled and appeared calm when Heidi and Rocco arrived (truly I was sweating like a pig and my heart was pounding). Hedi placed Rocco on the carpet in front of the TV, kissed him on the forehead and left. He was fine. For the first 3 minutes. Once he realized she was gone, he started to cry. Although not as hysterically as last time. He would calm down for a few seconds, distracted by the TV or a toy and then cry again for a bit. It seemed liked forever, but when I looked at the clock, it was only about 10 minutes. My mom came over to say good morning and I knew Rocco would be much happier if I could get him outside, so she sat with my kids for a few minutes, while I took Rocco for a walk in the wagon. Walking down our cul-de-sac with Rocco in the wagon, I found myself in tears. It's silly, I know. He's just a baby and I shouldn't take it personally. But I do. I want him to love me, like I love him. Like Jackson and the girls love Heidi. I decided I would relax and stop thinking about it. I know kids sense things and I was a mess.
It was actually a much better visit then we had anticipated. We came back inside and Rocco was happy playing with Jackson and crawling around. I also discovered that he is much happier when he isn't confined. I opened up a panel to the play yard so he could crawl in an out and he was happier sitting inside the play area, just knowing he could get out. I even got a few smiles out of him and when his Daddy came inside to pick him up, he didn't crawl to him in tears, like I had envisioned.
One day we'll look back and laugh at these memories. I hope. I imagine our kids will always be close and I hope they know how lucky they are to have friends that they have known their whole life. One day Rocco will laugh at my silly faces. Maybe he'll even jump into my lap for a bedtime story. For now though, I just have to accept that he's just NOT that into me.
Let's hope his baby brother feels differently! Congrats Heidi, Chris and Rocco, we can't wait to meet baby boy #2!!