I started bribing my kid with kiddie crack (Elmo). My husband and I are not proponents of television, but we do cave sometimes - for instance, when I am alone with him and I need to take a shower and there is no one around I need him to not kill himself, when he is sick and we give him whatever he wants as we crumble in his feverish moaning presence and lately, when no manner of cajoling or stern talk appears to be working and we resort to bribes. At 24 weeks, I am finding it difficult to carry the belly and the baby up 4 flights of stairs (the romance of the walk up has certainly worn off). My son can physically go up the stairs in a part walk/crawl, but he would rather mama carry him. Most of the time, after successive cajoling, including throwing my keys - which he loves to play with - up each flight of stairs for him to scurry to- we do fine. However, there are instances, such as last week, that he refuses to go up. Usually I pick him up, but recently I’ve been fearing that carrying a 27 lb toddler up 4 flights of stairs is probably not the best idea for my younger son. So I instinctively turned to bribing. I told him if he went all the way up alone, he would be awarded with 10 minutes of Elmo. That worked a charm. In looking at renewable energy increases, we really need to take a closer peek at the toddler reaction to Elmo - there has to be a way we can harness that for the greater good. Admittedly, he only did 3 1/2 but that was good enough. After having promised him Elmo and him performing his due, I knew I had abide by our bargain. I don't want him to think that he can’t rely on what I say - what kind of precedent would that set? So HBO wins.
The second time round is harder and easier at the same time. It’s harder, because you have one babe in the belly and one scrambling to get back in. It’s a two for one deal that you didn’t bargain for and you carry them both (or resort to bribing). There is no time to rest - when you’re not working, you’re looking after your first (or more!) which, as fun as it can be, demands as much, if not more energy. It’s also easier because you are less anxious. During my first pregnancy, I read everything I could get my hands on and the contradictory advice as to what to do/not to do drove me and my OB crazy - to the point that she thought it a good fit for her time to write me a prescription to not undertake any more google searches on the subject. This time round, I never once wondered whether my bath temperature was too hot. Or whether I squashed my baby when I woke up on my right side after a few hours of sleep. Or whether a sharp stabbing pain at times is a sign that both me and baby were in dire distress - now I know it’s baby simply kicking my vital organs, nothing to worry about (they say we’re built from man - sure, we’re built from man and THEN some, because a pregnant man is the most tragicomic situation I could think of, albeit I suppose we would see maternity leave lengthen in leaps and bounds). I’m sure my second son will soon figure out just like my first that he gets more space by putting his feet between my ribs. That was a fun time.
I’ve had to consciously take time out for baby and me this second time round. I adore my prenatal yoga and aqua classes (there is something miraculous about being in the water when you’re pregnant, it feels like home and I suppose since we all started in water, it is). I connect with baby, move our blood and decrease my stress. Hubby knows Saturday mornings he is on duty as much as he wants to sleep in because I am going to my prenatal yoga class. I am invariably late. Luckily, so are most pregnant ladies. It makes sense - we waddle and make innumerable bathroom pit stops. It adds up.