Yesterday I bought Fable a push present. And yes, I know what a “push present” is. And yes, I think they’re ridiculous. (Segue: does anyone actually know anyone who has ever received one? I mean… if you want to treat yourself to something nice, treat yourself to something nice. But expecting your partner to treat you to something fabulous as “reward” for the greatest reward EVER seems silly to me. If Hal bought me a “push present” I would push him in the face. Anyway. Segue over. More on that, here.)
So, no. I don’t believe in “push presents” in the (newly) traditional sense but I think they absolutely come in handy with first (and in our case) second children, when bringing a new baby home.
Last week Fable told me that her tummy hurt because the babies in her tummy “wanted to come out!” … Since the beginning of this pregnancy she’s been sympathetic with her own tales of twin pregnancy. Conveniently, the babies in her belly share the same names as the babies in my belly and every time Hal takes my weekly pregnancy pictures, Fable joins me – pulls up her shirt to share HER bump.
So, naturally, when a reader posted a picture of the Graco Double (Twin) Stroller on my Facebook page a couple weeks back, I had an idea…
“I’ll buy Fable a PUSH present! I’ll surprise her with HER OWN babies and double-stroller and we can push our twins around the block together in our sunglasses like an exclusive mommy-and-me group.”
My earliest childhood memory was meeting my brother for the first time, but also meeting my first baby doll. Her name was Laura. My mom thought it would be helpful for me to adjust to my baby brother by having my OWN baby to look after. It was hard for me, not being the only child, but Laura was a godsend. When my mother was caring for my brother, I had Laura to look after. When baby David had a dirty diaper? I force-fed Laura water and changed her pee-pee diapers, too. (She was fancy like that.) And even though it seems silly now, I really think it helped me aclimate to big sisterhood. Or at the very least, helped distract me from no longer being “the baby” in the house.
With Archer, this was not the case. Archer didn’t so much as speak until his sister was born and for all my worrying that having a second child would make him feel second-rate, it did the opposite. He, in a way, was reborn with her entrance into our family… Brotherhood became him, still does… and even though we brought him a gift (the Little Einstein’s Rocket he had been eyeing) the day we brought Fable home, he couldn’t have cared less. He just wanted to be next to her.
This isn’t to say Fable won’t feel the same way, but Archer and I both agreed that she would be THRILLED with her own pair of twins and a double stroller to PUSH them around in. And in a way, it lightens the guilt I feel as her parent. And yes, there’s guilt. Of course there’s guilt! Guilt and a certain kind of sadness that hovers over the weeks before welcoming a second or third (or in our case third and fourth) child, mourning the calm before the storm of a whole new family dynamic.
Fable will no longer be the baby. She will no longer be our “best girl” but instead… a BIG SISTER to TWO little sisters. The sudden eldest of three girls. I felt the same apologetic way with Archer before Fable was born. The same nostalgia for our family of three.
So maybe, in a way, the “push” present is for me, the parent as much as it’s for Fable, the baby. Much like it was for my mother when she gifted me “Laura” and introduced me to my new role as caregiver and eldest child.
I guess in a weird way it gives me comfort knowing that behind me, locked away in the closet is a double-stroller JUST for her, with two twin baby dolls waiting to be opened and loved and pushed around the block by Big Sister Fable, best mama in town.
“I can’t WAIT to see the look on her face when she sees that she has babies, too,” Archer says.
“Me too, dude.”