Friday, May 17, 2013

The post I'm sure I'll edit later.

The desire for a third child comes not so much from felling that would be an optimal number- far from it, in fact. Two is easy, manageable, 3 makes an uneven number, harder to cater for, harder to house- all of that.

No, if I'm honest it's because I want the sweetness of pregnancy

But mostly, because I want my time with Patrick as a baby over again. I want to atone for my sins committed during his babyhood (I'm using a metaphor here, don't worry). I want to find again the joy of Ollie's birth and puerperium.

I don't love either boy any less, but my love for Patrick is tinged with sadness and regret.

I love him all the more fiercely for his awkwardness, his number 4 haircut which really doesn't suit him but he loves, his prominent ears, the scar on his cheek. But there is guilt there too.

Do I associate his babyhood with guilt, or is it a conditioned, ingrained reaction to this baby? Will I ever be able to love him freely, without guilt, without shame at the terrible way I couldn't love him when he was born, the way I resented him, wanted to shake him, punched the bed next to where he was laying? The poor babe must have been scared, confused, torn between this mother who cried and yelled at him, yet gave him the warmth and milk of her body.

Does his anxiety now result from that? A baby who wasn't sure whether his mother would smile and coo or wail and rock with her hands on her ears whilst he screamed for... something... something... . Does he inherently not trust anything in the world because for the first few months of his life he lacked the security and comfort of a mother who cared?

People tell me he's just an anxious kid, highly strung, sensitive. And I get that. I, too, am anxious, highly strung, sensitive. Where does the innate tendency stop and the learned behaviour begin? I've had him gently assessed at school, and they could find nothing wrong, just a driven, intellegent kid who wants to get everything right the first time. So does my worry and expectations and concern that I have done something to harm him psychologically as a baby then nurture him to be what I expect, but also dread him to be?

Oliver- well it's different. He was smiling on the very first day, and he hasn't stopped. He was easy to feed, easy to comfort, sweet and dimpled. He faced novelty with surprise and interest, not fear. He has grown into a happy, confident and headstrong boy. He is universally acknowledged to be 'a cutie' with his curls and big brown eyes, and doggie tucked under his dominant left arm.I'm sure I get an oxytocin surge when I see his ears waggle as he drinks through a straw. It feels like only yesterday the midwife told me to look for waggling ears. I've never felt that with Patrick.

Will I ever be able to love him freely, without guilt, as I do Ollie?

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