Hadassah Lee is the fattest baby I’ve ever had. She’s perfectly average according to the statistics, but she’s at least six months ahead of all of my other children. I’ve never dealt with folds or wrinkles or rolls, and I’ve found there’s a learning curve to be discovered. We’re forever shouting, “Grease the crease!” during diaper changes. That girl can wear some coconut oil like nobody’s business. Certain areas need to be checked and cleaned more frequently. When she drools or spits up, her chins must be investigated and not just wiped. Sometimes, it’s other folks who discover the trail I’ve left behind and all I can do is laugh. It truly takes a village.
I touched on the story here recently, but it seems as though Ames met his fourth birthday at a slight disadvantage, according to his well visit. I nodded at our family doc throughout the checklist, at all of the things Ames should be doing these days. But I had to pause at the question, “Draws three-figured shapes?” Ummm, no. “Okay, but he draws basic shapes appropriately?” Not quite. “Rachael, does the kid color?” Listen, I’m not entirely convinced he knows how to hold a marker correctly. We don’t even own a coloring book. We both laughed and moved on to the next topic, but not before he kindly reminded me to loosen up a bit and let my boy create. Ever the rule follower, I went straight home and pulled out the crafts. We sat on a blanket outside and I asked him to draw me three basic shapes, in three different colors. As long as I live, I hope I never lose that piece of white paper with the crazy squiggles on it. It was beautifully atrocious.
This stuff is embarrassing and fun at the same time. As many kids as I have, there is always room for learning. The big boys bear the weight of this so beautifully, especially when it comes to rhythms and communication. There’s a chance my bonus boys have taught me more about motherhood in the last decade than my birth children might in their lifetime. Instead of filling my days with regret and longing, I’m able to thank the ones who taught me and use those lessons on the next in line.