What is it about my second-born that feels so alien? It’s almost like I’m going to get to raise a mini-Ralph. He feels foreign to me after my first child who I seem to have known innately my whole life.
He is big, for one thing. Big-boned, big-arsed, burly. He has a slight olive-golden skin tone and Ralph’s beautiful reddish brown lashes that are blonde at the base. As far as I can tell, the only things he gets from me are his pretty hands, his curly hair, and a green tinge to his brown eyes.
On Friday we had the first experience as parents of going for medical help for an injury. Nels burned his hand on the heater in his room. It isn’t easy to burn your hand on that heater – you have to stick your finger in, in just the right place. Well, I guess he figured that all out. He’s such a tough li’l fucker I didn’t even know he’d hurt himself at first. I was nursing him and he was fussy and I saw he had a big blister on the index finger of his right hand. Perhaps because that same hand has both a black-and-blue thumbnail from two weeks ago and a broken-glass-cut from the day previous I felt suddenly overwhelmed with guilt. We took him to Urgent Care where we learned how to care for the burn (two days later so minor-looking I feel silly) and watched him try to dismantle the examining table in the patient room.
This morning my father called and asked how Nels’ healing was going. “The first of many” injuries, my dad predicted. Sadly, I think he’s going to be right. Months ago my father had looked at my then-crawling boy cruising around the living room and said, “He’s going to be hell on wheels.” He was right then, and the games are just beginning. I don’t want to be the mom that has to deal with a child who bonks his head, gets stitches and minor breaks, and tears the crotch out of his pants on a regular basis. But that looks like what may be in store. After all – again – my husband has similar traits (How do you tear the crotch out of jeans?! You’re a full grown man!!!).
Five minutes ago as I was bathing The Girl I heard an interruption on the music on the laptop in the living room. “Ralph, I think Nels is playing with your computer!” I call out, and Ralph jogs down the hall to check it out. Moments later he’s back. “Yeah, he’d climbed up on the table, activated a song, and started dancing,” my husband reports, “while grabbing his dong.”
That’s my boy.