For the Fourth of July weekend, we drove to Kentucky to visit JC’s sister, Katie, her husband, Jeremiah, their massive dog, Clover, and their tiny little new person, Elora.
Carlos came with us. He’s such a great kid to have along, so helpful and patient with everything. We borrowed our friend’s van (which is Petra’s very favorite vehicle, on Earth), so all five of us got there comfortably.
We stayed at a campground not far from their house (not wanting to impose on them with the whole new-baby thing going on). I learned the hard way that Petra isn’t really ready for camping. Part of the fun of camping is having a break from the routine, all the things you’re used to. She was not into that, and kept demanding food and clothes that we just didn’t have with us. The boys were awesome, though. Silas finally really got into it, in a way that he hasn’t before.
And then, of course, the baby. She was so tiny! She was a bit early, so she was smaller than either of mine were, and just so adorable. Lovely little features.
I think I must be getting over my baby PTSD, because I actually thought she was pretty cute. I remember, for the longest time after Silas turned one or so, I would just pity people, and worry for them, when they announced a pregnancy. Especially a first baby–I would just think, “Oh, you have no idea what is about to happen to you. I’m so sorry.” I grew to resent baby showers where people were squeeing over the tiny shoes and whatnot because, seriously, guys, do you know what is going to come out of that person in a few months???
Petra exists only because Silas was a moderately not-horrible toddler, and even that was a leap of faith (of course, she was a relatively easy baby, luckily!).
But even after that redeeming experience with a newborn, I absolutely feel for people who are going through that fourth trimester. Good gracious, it is hard. I told Katie, “I think I overcompensate for how little people talk about babies being jerks by talking about it a bit too much.” And this is true.
Elora mostly slept while we were there, and so we took turns holding her, changing the occasional diaper, and putting food in front of Katie. We also took the dog for a walk a time or two, and the kids wore her out. I gave Katie a quick baby-wearing tutorial, with the various carriers that had survived my kids.
I felt like we could have or should have done more, but they seemed to appreciate what we were able to manage.
Christmas this year should be fun–the kid population on JC’s side has nearly doubled!