I thought mothers loved all their children the same?
Well, I’m just going to say it, but I think I have a favorite. All I know is one child is perfect, and the other child is two.
When I hold my second baby, five months old, I am in a blissful, dreamy world of her and I only. She looks at the version of my current self (tired, feeble, and visibly worn at the edges) with pure ecstasy. She lights up at even a side glance from me. She makes my insides swell and I pour myself even more into her. She brings me back to life. My two year old, just isn’t my favorite version of herself so far. Is that fair?
We run our days on my toddler’s schedule. Because, honestly, there is no other way. Only after all of her doll babies have been perfectly wrapped in their respective blankies, only after I refill her milk, only after I soak up the pee from the carpet, only after I intercept the last toy she flung directly at the window -- is when I get to escape to the baby bliss of my second daughter. And if only for a few moments, she saves me from the other.
Yes, I’m all read up on Janet Lansbury and Magda Gerber. I get it. But this is about me and the deep feelings of unconditional love for one child and the 12 hours of evasion, negotiations, and defensive tactics that are vital to keep myself semi-sane and the baby safe. This is beginning to feel like war, each and every day and I’m in survival mode. Can I blame it on the pandemic?