|We just wanted to give him a friend and partner-in-crime.|
If I were to confess one regret, it would be this: I wish I had waited till Vito was maybe 3 or even 5 years old before I got pregnant again. Let me clarify that Iñigo really was planned to follow Vito immediately. There were many reasons: I was already 34 years old, I wanted to have a new baby while I was still used to the sleepless nights, I wanted to pack on the preggy pounds then lose the combined baby weight from both pregnancies just once (which would be a year from now), I wanted a Dragon baby even though I don't really buy the astrology hokum.
Lucky for me, life followed my plan. Iñigo was conceived when Vito turned 1. And that's when I realized maybe I should've given this more thought. At 1 year old, that's when Vito started to learn walking and running. Because of my delicate pregnancy, I wasn't able to play with him. His milestones were rapidly developing but instead of me actively participating, I watched and cheered him on from the confines of my bed.
Because I was rendered unavailable by my pregnancy, Vince stepped in. He was the one who taught Vito his alphabet and numbers, played with him, ran and jumped with him. We called it Papa Preschool and Vito enjoyed himself immensely. But when he wanted to wrestle and play with Mama, I had to fend him off. "No, darling, Mama has to stay in bed. No, sweetheart, Mama has a baby in her tummy. You can't kick it. We can't super hug. You can't sit on my lap."
|Sleepy Vito and sleeping Iñigo|
When Iñigo did finally arrive, Vito was bewildered. If before I didn't play with him, at least I was in the same room with him, cheering him on. Now, because a toddler can be so noisy and active, I usually leave the room so that Iñigo can sleep in peace. And a newborn baby sleeps all the time. Vito is heartbroken. So am I.
It hurts me to see him ask for a big hug and I can't give it to him because there's a baby in my arms. He's never really satisfied with a one-arm hug. Or he'd ask for a cuddle but I'm breastfeeding. Vito used to sleep wrapped up in my arms—since the day he was born! Now, because Iñigo is where he used to be, he curls up by my legs. When Vito sees my arms are free, he always lets out a shout of joy and jumps into my arms. He's crazy happy when he sits on my lap or when I chase him around the house. Then when Iñigo awakes from all the racket we make, Vito deflates, his smile wiped off his beautiful face, his shoulders slumped, and he drags his feet while I walk away.
People always dismiss our pain. "Oh, he'll get over it. Tell him he's a big boy now. Tell him to be a big brother. Explain, show, make him realize, yada yada." I want to scream at them all: "He's NOT a big boy. He's not even 2 years old. He's still a baby!"
My poor baby Vito. It's hard to remember he's still a baby because he's so big and tall. He fits into clothes marked for 2, even 3 years old. But he really is still a baby and he is struggling ever so hard to understand the huge changes in his life, and I wish my hugs and kisses—so few and seldom now—will assure him he's not been replaced and he'll always be loved.
|My two baby boys.|