Monday, April 23, 2007

Baby Spacing

Okay, so Swistle started talking about baby spacing and, because it's a favourite topic of mine, and because I was going to write a book in the comments section, I'm doing my own post about the topic.

My kids are each 2-1/2 years apart. I'd like to say it was planned, but it wasn't. Not one single child was planned.

Lisa was born first and she was really all we needed. It was an utter surprise that we were pregnant, but I think it was just fate giving us a kick in the butt to get going. She was smart and funny and well-behaved. When she was about 18 months, we thought about trying for another. Then, I realized that our window of opportunity was fairly small because my sister was getting married just over a year from then and I was a bridesmaid. We were unsuccessful during our "window", so we decided to wait until after the wedding.

Four days after my sister's wedding, Bart was born. Obviously, we had been shocked once again because we had made a conscious decision to NOT be pregnant in that time. Lisa loved Bart instantly, but she wasn't one of those kids who had to be the "little mommy". She never once handed me a diaper or helped to burp him. She held him for a few photo ops, but her daily interaction with him was more about giving him kisses and saying hi than anything nurturing. As soon as he started to walk, though, they started to become friends. She would make up games for him to play, they would sit at the little picnic table and eat their meals together and she looked forward to playing in the sandbox together.

When Bart was about 19 months old, I decided it was time to wean him from the breast. When my period failed to return, I started to take note of other symptoms and took a pregnancy test. Three for three on the shock meter. Even more shocking was the fact that I was 16 weeks along! I was actually embarrassed to be pregnant again, as I had made a fairly big deal about telling people I was *done* with having kids. Maggie was born when Bart was 2-1/2 and Lisa was just shy of 5 years old.

Even though the spacing was the same between Bart and Maggie as it was between Lisa and Bart, Bart's reaction was completely different. He wanted to be around the baby all the time. He helped, he hugged and kissed, he brought her toys, he entertained her... he was amazing! Lisa at 5 years older completely dropped Bart as her little buddy and focused entirely on Maggie. I remember Maggie sitting in her little Bumbo chair with the crazy/drunk expression little babies have, facing the chalk board as Lisa played teacher.

Maggie is 17 months old now, Bart is 3-1/2 and Lisa is 6. I think the spacing has worked well for us and I wouldn't change a thing. In my own family, my brother and I are two years apart, then my sister is 7-1/2 years younger than me, 9-1/2 year younger than my brother. That was fun too, although my brother and I stopped getting along from the time he was about 6 until he went away to university. My sister and I, despite the age gap, are close now, but back when we were kids, she was definitely the "baby". My mom always says she wishes she had had one more child "for my sister".

Conversation heard over the weekend:

Bart: Lisa, where's you Dora ball?
Lisa: I'm not telling you, because you broke my balloon yesterday.
Bart: Lisa, I'm berry berry sorry for breaking your balloon.
Lisa: hmph
Bart: Do you want to know why I broke your big, yellow balloon?
Lisa: hmph
Bart: Because I wanted you to nebber nebber nebber be able to play with it again.


1 comment:

Swistle said...

I LOVED reading this, especially the part about suddenly realizing you were 16 weeks along! I love surprise pregnancy stories more than almost any other kind, the further along the better.