Friday, September 5, 2008

In which sluggo says hi to the other one

Husband felt Sluggo kick last night. Did I say "kick?" I meant "do the rhumba." We were lying in bed, overexhausted as always (last night of the convention! hilarious Samantha Bee! plus, I made corned beef! who can go to bed on time?), and trying to have a Very Serious Conversation about something-or-other, when I started sponaneously cackling. 

Not that that is so unusual. 

But the baby was tickling me. From the inside. If you haven't ever been tickled from the inside, let me just enlighten you: IT IS WEIRD. I've been feeling the little gentle fluttering movements for over a week now, but in the last day she has graduated to something much more insistent, much more ... ticklish. There was no going to sleep with her leaping around like early-era Daffy Duck.

Husband put his hand on my belly, but missed the mark; i guided him away from my bladder (why? why always my bladder?) and up toward the sweet spot near my browning, shallowing bellybutton, and he closed his eyes. I thought oh, he won't feel anything, she's still so small. I thought oh, she's tuckered herself out, she's not going to jump around now. Then she pushed off into a triple-flippy-enormo-leap, and both our eyes flew open, round and startled. And then we were both cackling. 

My ringtone right now is Joan Jett, hollering "Hello, Daddy! Hello, Mom! Ch-ch-ch-ch-CHERRY BOMB!" I think our kid is taking it to heart.

The disquieting thing is that I cannot silence the jealous, insecure part of myself that, even as I'm laughing and round-eyed, reminds me that Husband's been here before, and that the thousand little intimacies around Sluggo have antecedents. He's not the type to compare; I'm the one making trouble, and I keep my dark-green thoughts to myself, but I wonder if it doesn't make me possessive -- of Sluggo, of my lineage, of our specialness in the crowded room. My parents never made a distinction between my older sisters (from my mom's first marriage, but integrated into our family unit completely) and me and my younger sister; nonetheless, when I describe the odd personality quirks that most people ascribe to birth order, i can't help but point out that I'm my mom's third ("oh, she'll diaper herself"), but my dad's first ("eight rolls of film in my camera bag? check."). Sluggo, too: alone in my room, lots of company in her dad's. 

but of course I know that -- as my mom used to say, and as I said to my old stepkids -- "my heart is not a pie, where everyone gets a piece and then it runs out. no matter how many pieces of my heart you get, there's always more." or some such. i know those crowded rooms are comfortable and warm and full of love, and the more love in a kid's life, the better. But oohhh, i get seduced by my jealousy! it's so much more entertaining than the reality -- that now is now, our home is full of love, and that's all that matters. BoRING! 

Skip to 2:40 in this clip, by the way, if you're wondering what Sluggo's up to in there:

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