Monday, May 24, 2010

Do you like 'em puking or crying?

Helen's obsession with babies continues. Last weekend, we visited a farm to pick strawberries and Helen literally shrieked when she saw a baby. She put her hands on her cheeks and shouted "Oh my gosh! Oh my gosh! There's a baby!" as she jumped around and acted as if she'd just won the lottery. It makes me laugh just to think about it, because neither Ed nor I act this way when we see a baby. Which is not to say I'm not excited to see a baby, it's just that I remember how much Connor craved people noticing him when Helen was born, so I try really hard to focus on the older children in the family when I'm around a baby.

Because Helen loves babies, we end up talking about them a lot at this house. For example, Connor asked me a few weeks ago about how a baby gets into a mommy's tummy. I told him that it starts out very tiny, just like the seeds we plant in the garden.

It also leads to lots of conversations about what the two of them were like as babies. Connor knows he was my "crying baby". Which is not to say that he cried nonstop as a baby, just when I set him down, or left the room, or walked through the room when he was playing with someone else, or got in the car. Helen, on the other hand, was my "puking baby". Because for about a year, she had pretty severe reflux. Unlike Connor, who probably never puked more than a tablespoon his entire babyhood, it wasn't a day with Helen if clothing wasn't changed at least a few times. (Although, I should point out the sage advice of my friend Ellen, who told me that when Helen started to hurl, I should let her hurl all over me because it's easier to change my clothes than the baby's. True, true, I learned, since changing Helen meant she would be on her back, which could induce a new round of puking.)

These conversations are generally in the context of why a mommy might not want to let Helen hold her baby. Setting aside the fact, of course, that Helen's short time on this Earth might possibly mean she's not completely prepared to hold a baby.

Of course, these conversations often devolve into whether a crying baby or a puking baby is better. Connor thinks a crying baby is better because it doesn't need to be cleaned up. Helen thinks a puking baby is better because it's happier.

Frankly, I liked them both. But not because they cried or puked a lot.



  1. Having Sophie at the playgroup has been really funny. Helen spends a lot of time trying to convince me or Ruth to let her hold and take care of Sophie.