It's a beautiful, beautiful post and I printed out the list and taped it to the side of my desk as a reminder to stay focused on the simplest yet most important things. Tonight at bedtime, inspired by the list, I did #11: Tell them the story of their birth.
Monkeyman's birthday is coming up very soon, and we have been counting down the days and talking about it a lot. Tonight we curled up together, alone (Little Bug was already in bed asleep and Daddy was out tinkering in the garage), and I started telling him the story.
Once upon a time, there was a guy and a girl. They liked each other a lot and decided to get married and live by the ocean for awhile. Then they missed their families and decided to move back to Ohio. They bought a house and decided they wanted to have a baby. So Jenny got pregnant with a baby in her belly
Monkeyman: How did the baby get in there? Does the daddy put it there?
Me: Yes, the daddy puts the baby in the mommy's tummy. It's kind of complicated. I don't know how to really explain it to you. We'll look it up together tomorrow okay?
Anyways, so Jenny was pregnant. At first her belly was small, but then it started to get bigger and bigger, and then the baby started kicking and poking and wiggling and flipping around in there! Like crazy! All the time!
Monkeyman: (Giggling) That baby was me!
Me: Yep, that was you! You kicked me lots more than Bug did when he was in my belly!
Then one day, it was time for the baby to come out. When it's time for babies to come out, the mommy's belly starts hurting a lot, on and off, for a while. That's called "contractions". So Jenny's belly started hurting sometimes, and Jenny and Shane were timing how long the pains lasted. This went on all night long. In the morning, they went to the hospital and that afternoon, the doctors helped Jenny get the baby out of her belly.
Monkeyman: How does the baby come out?
Me: Well, it's sort of like pooping, but different.
Monkeyman: Like pooping!? You pooped me?
Me: No, it's different. Babies don't come out of a butt, mommies have a different place where babies come out. We'll look it up tomorrow so I can explain it better. Anyways...
(around this point I reverted to telling it in first person)
So Daddy was there, and Grandma was there, and they were both holding my hands and cheering for me, and they saw you get born. It's hard work getting a baby out, but finally you were out, and in the doctor's hands - and we didn't find out ahead of time if you were a boy or a girl, so we didn't know - and everyone saw you and yelled "It's a boy! It's a boy!" And everyone was so happy. And you just looked around with your big eyes, blinking and checking everything out, and you didn't say anything for a few minutes. The nurses cleaned you up and then brought you over and handed you to me, and I was so tired and my arms were shaking and I was afraid I was going to drop you. And I could hardly see you looking up at me with your big beautiful eyes because I was crying.
Monkeyman: Why were you crying?
Me: Sometimes when people are really, really happy, they cry tears of joy. I was crying happy tears.
Monkeyman: Oh, okay. So that baby was me, Monkeyman!
Yes but you didn't have a name yet. You lived for a whole day with no name! We couldn't decide what to call you, so for that first day you were just called "Baby [lastname]" We liked the names Logan, and Lucas, and Christopher, but we finally decided on Monkeyman. You and I spent the night at the hospital and Daddy went home to be with Noodle (the dog), and sleep, and he came back in the morning. The first night you & I slept a lot, but the second night, you said (imitiation of baby crying) "Waah! Waah! Waah! Waah!" all night!Monkeyman: (Laughs hard at my silly imitiation.)
And I said, "Ack! How do I get this kid to stop crying?! Waah! Waah! Waah!"Monkeyman: (Laughs even harder.)
Do you know what? That day you were born, was the happiest and best day of my life. I am so glad you were born and that I was lucky enough to get to be your mama. If I could've chosen any kid in the whole world I would've picked you. Oh, and that day? It was this same time of year as it is now, you know - winter - but it was a beautiful day, warm and sunny, with blue sky and white fluffy clouds. It was a very special day.
OMG, I hope he forgets to have me look that stuff up tomorrow! I guess I better dig up that children's book about where babies come from, just in case... I remember buying it at a yard sale or thrift store or something a long time ago...