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Why I Might Be Naming My Baby Braxton

The other morning right after he woke up, Drew informed me he wanted to go to the “park, basketball and golf course.” Exactly like that. As if you could “go” to a basketball. He said all this minus the letter “r” sound, so it was more like “pawk, basketball and golf cose.”

Whew, I thought to myself. Quite the itinerary. Let’s see if I can find a hook to hang my belly up somewhere…

And then it dawned on me Drew has my same tendency towards biting off as much as possible on any given day just to see how much he can accomplish in a vague attempt to validate his existence. I suppose. Or maybe I’m just projecting.

Regardless of his reasons, Drew isn’t one to just sit around and watch the world go by — is any two-year-old? — and maybe that’s the heart of my struggle with him lately: he’s just so BUSY. And I’m just so…TIRED.

“Busy” is a nice word moms use to describe hyperactivity or craziness or any other state of being that completely wears the adults in the vicinity out if they approach within 30 feet of the child in question. “Busy,” as it so happens, is also the word we mammas use to validate our existence to one another when asked how we are doing. How are you doing? Oh, fine. Just so BUSY. If we were to say, “Oh fine. Not really doing much these days,” we would elicit shock and awe, and part of the sun might go dark.

But you know all of this. For a toddler, “busy” is a euphemism for “wild child”; but for a mama, “busy” is a euphemism for “well-adjusted suburban woman.” I think the former is really the best description of both. We’re a bunch of wild and crazy gals…to quote someone funny who said that once about guys.

Yesterday I felt a certain little “warning” sign that I might be over-exerting myself: Braxton-Hicks. For any gentlemen in the audience, this is not the newest Hollywood baby name to blight the birth certificates of babies everywhere; this is a term for early labor contractions. They weren’t very painful, but they were a bit regular — probably four or five in a row. We were on our way to a Ranger’s game, and if my unborn daughter is anything like me, she was protesting, “Fine. If you insist on taking me in-utero to a hot, boring event like baseball, I’ll just go ahead and be BORN. How do you like that?”

I asked my doctor about it today, and she said that while Braxton-Hicks are normal at this stage in my pregnancy (32 weeks), they should not be coming regularly and that if they do reach up to six per hour, you should lie down and drink some water. They will usually go away. Baby isn’t ready to be born and you don’t want to bring on labor any earlier than it needs to, as tempting as that might be for a control-freak planner like yourself. (She didn’t really say that last part.)

The rather alarming thing is I can’t remember the last time I lay down and had a glass of water. Isn’t that awful? But with a BUSY boy and a BUSY life, I’m just trucking along like nothing miraculous, tenuous and completely exhaustifying (to use my mother’s term) was happening in the core of my miraculous, exhaustified body. With Drew, I would take naps in the middle of the day; I would lounge around eating Oreos at night and generally rolled from place to place like a beached manitee. With Maddie, I basically just take my prenatals and attend my appointments. Ugh. I haven't even ordered her baby book yet.

And while I’m sure my cardiovascular health and BMI are in much better conditions with this pregnancy, I’m beginning to think I’m not taking care of myself like I should. (Maybe this has been very apparent to you if you’re a regular reader, but this is how I come to discover things; I write them and read them with the rest of you and usually say at the end with the rest of the chorus, “That girl’s got issues.”)

It’s hard being pregnant with a toddler. Not pregnant WITH a toddler, like he’s been gestating for 3 years, but pregnant while BEING the MOTHER of a toddler. (Incidentally, the guy who made Drew’s curtains claimed to have been 14 lbs. when his mother delivered him; and he wasn’t even a silverback gorilla. Can you even IMAGINE?). Bottom line is: I want to be a good mama to Drew, which means I can’t lay around all day on the couch playing one Barney video after another. But I also want to be a good mama to my baby, which means I probably shouldn’t take Drew to the park for two hours in 105-degree temperatures. What to do?

The juggling act has already begun and Braxton isn’t even born yet. MADELINE. (I meant Madeline…)