The long soak

Published on Monday March 5th, 2012

Bronchitis. Sinusitis. Busted ribs from so much coughing. Stomach virus. That’s been our existence since January. This morning Mr. G fell down the stairs and simultaneously bumped his head on the door frame, which pretty much sums it all up. I have a new sweater and a new hat to show you, but putting my face within reach of a camera has seemed like a laughably poor idea. I think we are all finally on the mend, but outside there’s steady rain, and the photographer is still in bed with his cough and sore muscles anyway. So today you get Ada in her comical (but very effective) rain suit.

Apparently we’re not quite a size 2T yet. But getting another year’s wear out of this will be no bad thing. It’s the perfect protection for those times when you need to plop down on the wet sidewalk and exclaim over a “wom” braving the trek across to the dirt on the other side. (Then Mama picks it up and we admire its pinky-brown squiggliness before Ada directs its careful placement in the “gwass,” safe from wheels and boots.) The rain suit is made by a company called Tuffo, if you’re interested.

Speaking of boots, my girl is thrilled to have a pair she can put on by herself. She clomps around the house in them just because she can. I’m delighted her feet finally grew big enough to fit the smallest size. It took her a little while to get accustomed to the little heel on these; she looked just like John Wayne climbing off his horse and swaggering into a saloon the first few times she tried to walk in them.

The long soak of the Northwest winter isn’t over yet, but there are daffodils starting and fat buds burgeoning on the magnolias. The hellebores are at their plum-and-ivory best. The red currant is unfurling its new leaves and fountaining pink blossoms at once. Spring is so close we can smell it.

It’s hard to believe that this new season will be capped with the arrival of another child in our family. Pregnancy is a wondrous time (and I’m fortunate that it’s pleasurable for me, health wise), but it’s very different when there’s a first baby already absorbing all the focus and energy you can give. Carrying Ada, I could turn inward and revel in every fluttering movement, submerge in my imaginings of who she’d be and who we’d become as a family of three. The new baby seems to sense already that there’s competition for Mama’s attention. This child knows kung fu. Ada kept her head down and pranced back and forth across my abdomen; this baby rolls and flips and unleashes breathtaking flurries of sharp blows. The common response when I tell people this is, “Oh, it must be a boy!” I have to raise my eyebrows at that. If there were any scientific evidence that boys are more active in the womb, wouldn’t we all have read about it? And whence this notion that boys are more active at all? I work at an elementary school. I watch the children at recess. Yes, boys are generally the ones playing football and soccer. But the girls are fearless and nimble as monkeys leaping across the bars or practicing flips and cartwheels, and I see both sexes racing across the grounds in games of Tag or goodness knows what imaginative play. I ran as swiftly and climbed as high and played as hard as anyone when I was a child. Three more months will tell who this baby is; I’m not making any judgments in advance. But I’m trying to steal moments to soak in his or her lively presence.

12 Comments to “The long soak”

  1. abby Comment Says:

    I love the Tuffo rain gear! Now that it’s light at the end of the work day, I want to get back on my bike, but need to commute with the kiddo in a seat on the back. Do you think the Tuffo suit is a good option for her to wear while I pedal us to and from downtown?

  2. sue Comment Says:

    Oh my she does look very cute in her Tuffo rain outfit! I love how she is saving the worms too. I had a quiet pregnancy with my son and my daughter used to move around so much my stomach was in waves all the time!

  3. Susan Comment Says:

    My first son was very active in utero. In the later months of pregnancy, it was more entertaining than TV to watch my stomach rise and fall with his kicks and rolls! My second son was not at all as active, and I secretly feared some sort of physical disability. However, this boy – who climbed his first flight of stairs at 7.5 months and walked at 10 months – was born at 22.5 inches and 9 lbs. 5 ozs.. I realized then that he was quiet in the womb because he simply had no room to move!

  4. EmilyW Comment Says:

    I just wanted to post and say that I really love reading your blog. You have a beautiful way with words. I hope your family is all feeling better soon as you prepare for the newest addition.

    Thanks for sharing.

  5. Siga Comment Says:

    Somehow I either missed that you were expecting again (or maybe I just totally forgot). Either way, congratulations to you! I remember when I read about your first pregnancy. Time flies by. Wishing you and your family all the best!

  6. Max Comment Says:

    Well, it must be a girl then. Ha! I am just joking! REally! People say this type of thing all the time, don’t they! I have two daughters. After they were born I could totally picture them in the uterus hanging out and doing their thing. For instance, number one would raise a huge hard bump on the side of my belly and stay that way for many minutes. Afterwards, I could totally imagine her in there giving a great stretch, uncurling from fetal position with a great “aahh that feels great!” type of sigh. The second one was quite active they told me at check-ups, but I hardly noticed because I was so busy running after the first. While they were in there I had no idea what they were up to, but after they were born I was so amused thinking of my little person in her “own room”. I hope you are feeling better!

  7. Luci Comment Says:

    Whichever you have, boy or girl, what a delight these little ones are. I am very glad you are getting over your “bug.”

  8. Kristyn Comment Says:

    Hopefully you are all on the mend now. She looks so adorable in her rain outfit!

  9. marijke goudzwaard Comment Says:

    from Holland, get wel soon. I love the rainsuit ,looks very pretty and usefull.

  10. Denise Comment Says:

    First off, Ada is beyond adorable in that rainsuit!!! I think Kira may need one of those.
    Second, I was so sure I was having a boy (when pregnant with Kira) that we hardly even considered girl’s names. Kira was so active and busy. She never stopped moving. The kicks and pushes and rolls and flipping and flopping around made me sit down on more than one occasion.

    You will know soon enough!!!! I’m hoping (like I have any say) for a girl…I’m not sure an “orange-ish” quilt will work for a boy?

  11. Seanna Lea Comment Says:

    Ada is super sweet, and I’m glad that pregnancy is good for you healthwise. Most of my friends have had fairly terrible morning sickness, which sucks a bit of the joy out each day.

  12. Daphne Comment Says:

    My dear – I missed your announcement, unless this was it. Congrats, then, and I cannot wait to meet Ada’s sibling!

    I have been wondering how to bike to work with Rowan in the iBert this spring–Tuffo looks like the answer. Will check it out.