I’ll never forget what a friend told me while I was pregnant with my first child, Henri. I was working at the Clinique counter and she came in to chat. I was about six months pregnant, wobbling all over the place. I was a first time mother, having my child at forty and a little nervous, to say the least. We started discussing what the first year will be like and she said, so matter of factly, “the first year is all about keeping the baby alive.”
I was taken back.
What? She’s joking. Maybe. Not really.
I had such fear of breaking the baby when he was born. Babies look so fragile. It scared me. But I’m happy to say that Henri is alive and happy at three and a half years old.
So what about Oliver?
Well, you know what they say about the second child.
I was a lot more comfortable with Oliver when he was born. I picked him up easily and changed him without worry. Now things are different. I don’t call the doctor if he hasn’t pooped in a couple days. If he has a fever of 100, we’ll keep an eye on it. I don’t drive to the Emergency Room the minute he sneezes. Things are different with the second. I’m just more relaxed. Plus, now I have two to take care of! I don’t have time for nonsense. I also stay away from Google too for the most part. I feel a lot more confident.
So today I took both kids to drop Henri off at school. I usually meet a friend in the parking lot and we watch each other’s babies while the other takes the kids to their classroom. But today we were both running late and we passed each other outside in the parking lot. Our babies were back in the car and we sat outside chatting about sleep, because that’s what we mommies discuss these days…how much sleep we get. And how often the baby wakes up in the middle of the night.
It was so beautiful outside and we had our sweaters on, enjoying the weather. Time was ticking and after about 15 minutes I realized that I had bought Oliver along with me and that he must be in the car waiting to go home.
“Oh my God! I forgot I have a baby with me!” I said laughing nervously, embarrassed that I had forgotten my other child. I looked in the car to see how he was, if he was crying or not and he wasn’t there!
Now I was really panicking. “Where’s Oliver? I said to my friend.
She looked concerned and also looked in the car. No Oliver.
I ran around the side of the car and opened then door to make sure I was wrong. But he wasn’t there!
Did I leave him in the classroom with Henri? Is that possible? I tried to retrace my steps. I knew I was carrying him when I dropped Henri off.
I started to run towards the classroom and my friend started yelling, “he’s here! he’s here!”
She sounded relieved.
I ran back to the car. The door on Henri’s side was open and there he was. Sitting in Henri’s car seat. Happy as can be. My perfect angel, smiling back at me.
I had put him in the wrong car seat. When I checked for him I didn’t even consider looking in Henri’s car seat.
Why would I put him there?
There you have it. Insanity and sleep deprivation at it’s best.