Dear Dumplings — 8 weeks: For the Love Of Pets


Dear Dumplings,

This week, I do not get to see you.  I am not worried about that, as I have no reason to think you are not growing like little weeds in there given the fact that my pants are starting to feel way too tight around the middle.  It is fun to take a peek at you and hear those little heartbeats.  We will see you next Wednesday and then two weeks after that we will have our first appointment with the doctor who will deliver you.  She seems very nice and she is the one who recommended Dr. K to us, so for that we will always be grateful.

I have to admit, I am going to have a hard time leaving Dr. K as I feel like he has been with us so long, but unfortunately he does not deliver babies.  We’ll definitely take you to meet him, especially since he is in the same building as our new doctor.  Plus, we might run into him at yoga.  You never know.

Last week I decided to call you Harper and Harlow, which everyone seems to love.  I wish I could feel you so I could tell you apart, but being as small as you are, I can’t feel much except stretching.  When we were doing yoga last weekend in Ojai, I felt you stretching a lot.  I took it easy, but it was nice to be back on my mat for three days in a row.

Today you are eight weeks and three days old.  Depending on what I am reading you are slightly bigger than a jellybean or a raspberry.  I am more of a raspberry fan myself.  I never did take to jellybeans, though I do love Swedish fish and Hot Tamales.  Both of those things are candy, and have no relation to fish or tamales. The two of you actually seem to like Swedish Fish quite a lot.  And Jello pudding cups.  Lots of Jello pudding cups this week.

I have this iPad App called Sprout and it shows me pictures of what you look like each week and tells me what is going on inside my belly.  Your noses and upper lips are growing more prominent and your little arms and legs are further emerging, but they still sort of look like little paddles.  The very important event of closing your neural tube has also occurred, at least we pray it has.

This week your Mama and Daddy had a big blow.  Last Thursday, the day after we saw your little heartbeats for the second time, we had to put down our fur baby, Boomer.  He was with your Mama for almost eighteen years.  I am sorry you will not get to meet him, as he was quite a character — but you will definitely know who he was and what he looks like, as he will have a permanent home on my desk.  We’re already talking about getting a new fur baby before you arrive in the fall.  We will definitely get a cat.  Daddy is trying to talk me into a puppy, too, but I think we should hold off on the puppy until after you arrive and we move into our new home.  But if the right puppy comes along, I suppose your Mama can be persuaded.  I’m a sucker like that.

I have been thinking a lot about pets this week.  I am curious what kind of pet each of you will want as your own.  If I am lucky it will be pets we like too.  Fish.  Dogs.  Cats.  Birds.  I had some birds for a brief period of time, Lisa and Marvin.  I never would let their eggs hatch so they could have babies.  I was always wandering in there and breaking them.  There are some things you are not quite ready to wait for at six years old, and apparently giving the bird time to grow in the egg was one of them for me. Your Daddy grew up with birds and your Grandma Wilcox always had birds as well.  Right now she and Grandpa Wilcox have a parakeet named Puck and a Miniature Schnauzer named Sir Duff.  And I won’t even go into the number of cats living with your Grandpa Roy and Grandma Sandy.  Hopefully you’re not allergic.

For the record, you will never have a snake.  Ever.  Your Daddy cannot even watch shows about snakes, and I don’t much care for them either.

When I was little I was bitten by a dog on my left arm while visiting Mawmaw’s farm.  I had to get 32 stitches.  I was afraid of most dogs for a very long time after that incident.  My Daddy’s boss bought me a little puppy to help me get over my fears.  The little innocent puppy “bites” sent me into crying fits of terror.  We had to send the puppy to a better home with a less neurotic kid.  I got a gray and white kitten and named her Buffy.  Buffy slept with me every night I was home from the day I got her until I left for college.  Buffy would get under the covers right next to me and suck on my nightgown.  I think perhaps she was weaned too early from her mama cat, or she was just a strange cat.  We had another cat, Mr. Beasley, but he unfortunately wandered out in front of a car when I was in 11th Grade.  Mr. Beasley was sweet, but never the sharpest knife in the drawer.

Looking back, I know Buffy felt deserted when I went off to college.  She was loyal and I was young.

Learning to love and care for a pet is an important part of growing up.  Taking care of something that needs you in order to survive is no small lesson. It’s an introduction to taking care of kids, I think.  Of course, you have the safety net of your Daddy and me picking up the slack when you forget your pet parenting duties.  The litter box was always in my bathroom, but my Mom can verify that I was most definitely not the one keeping it clean on a regular basis.  Of course, your Grandma Kay is a neat freak and hardly gave me a chance to clean anything. I can only hope you hang around her enough to pick that up, among other things.  I lived with her and I unfortunately, did not.  I am getting better, though.  Since finding out there were two of you in there, my inner neat freak is emerging.  But not too neat.  I’m ready for a house full of kids, family, dogs, cats and possibly even birds.  Oh, and a fish tank.  I’m almost positive there is a fish tank in my future.

When things are too neat, it makes me nervous. I feel like I’m in a museum and not a life.  Life is not that neat.

Today your Mama talked to a literary agent in New York about publishing 60+ Days On the Mat.  It was an interesting conversation.  He is going to read it and see if he wants to work with me on getting published.  That would be pretty cool, huh?  Your Mama may be an author yet.  Lots of work before me on this front, but the story of your creation is one worth telling.

I read this week that I do not have to play Mozart for you in order to make you smarter.  Apparently, Turnpike Troubadours and Sarah Jarosz are just fine.  Thank goodness, because they have been on a loop at my desk.  Once those ears start hearing things, look out — your Mama is going to sing.  It might eventually embarrass you, but for now, you’re protected.

I will try to keep my embarrassing traits to a minimum, but it would be impossible for me to refrain entirely.  I’m too weird.



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