I remember, vividly, each time we decided to have another baby. I remember making the choice to conceive, and then finding out with each baby. I bought a pregnancy test in August of 2009, and result was … vague. Was it a line? I don’t know. I kept staring at it, in every different kind of light. It wasn’t definitely a line, but it wasn’t NOT a line either. So I shipped Marc back out to get a new test. That one was absolute. A bright blue line appeared almost immediately.
Her pregnancy was horrible, but enough time has passed that I’m able to look back and remember it wistfully. My memories gloss over the terrible itching, the non-stop braxton hicks, and the exhaustion. I just remember the fun parts, the first little twinge of morning sickness, when I was at the playground watching Marc push little Sammy on the swings, and how Marc, Sam and Jessie would all cluster around me in the bathroom, hugging me and rubbing my back when I was throwing up. I remember feeling her move, and the look on Jessie’s face when the ultrasound tech said that she was a girl. I remember Marc whispering in my ear as she was born, and how peaceful and easy her labor was.
She’s my third child, and possible (probably?) my last. She looks like my mother, I think, and sometimes I think she looks like me. She has my eyes, but so do Sam and Jessie. And we all got them from my mom. She’s got long brown hair that she hates to have brushed and every single night, she tries to “make her teeth dirty” by searching for chocolate after I brush her teeth. She doesn’t really like princesses that much, but she loves her stuffed animals. She dresses up only reluctantly when Abby-with-a-bow comes over (eerily reminiscent of how I used to play barbies only because Abby’s mom liked them). She won’t watch movies, doesn’t have the patience or attention span to sit thru a full length feature. More importantly, she gets too involved and yells at the screen, or starts crying because it’s too scary. Team Umizoomi has the potential to be too scary for her, I avoid Disney movies as a matter of course. My tenderhearted girl isn’t the right audience.
She wants badly to be big, like Sam. I don’t think she thinks about being big like Jessie, that’s too far to imagine. But sometimes, the fact that she can’t quite keep up with her seven year old brother breaks her heart. She’s imaginative and dramatic, makes up songs and dances around the house. She likes to fight the zombies and play army guys with Boy (and she’s just always going to call poor Sammy “Boy” – I can’t break her of the habit). She’d always rather wear a dress than pants, and wakes up incredibly cranky and needs to be snuggled and hugged for a while before she’ll talk to anyone. Jessie mothers her – which sometimes she loves and sometimes she hates. Nobody can get her dressed quicker than her big sister, and Jessie has the magic ability to come up with the perfect distraction to make her forget her temper tantrum.
She’s my baby. I know she’s not. In a lot of ways, potty training specifically, she grew up faster than her brother and sister did. She’s brilliant and kind, sweet and frustrating. Sometimes I have to dig deep for the patience to get through another temper tantrum, another night when she’s awake every two hours (it’s rare, but not rare enough). But there are more times when she takes my breath away, just with her utter deliciousness. She’s social and happy, except for when she’s not, in which case, she’s hostile and openly resistant to the existence of others. She’s very much the doted upon younger sibling, when Lilli and Sarah are over here, and all five kids are together, Julie owns them. She’s imperious and demanding, certain of her place in the world and her importance in it. She’s loving and tender, and her favorite place is still with me. I know that’ll change someday, but I pretend it won’t.