New Baby

1865 1865_ () 1865 1865 Weekly column
I asked the boys the other day if they wanted to be at the hospital when the new baby is born. They were very enthusiastic with their reply and the mere mention of time spent in the waiting room brought up happy memories for them.

Almost three years ago, when Henry came, Paul and I let the boys hang out with relatives at the hospital as everyone waited for the baby to be born. That day, as it turns out, is one of their happiest so far because it involved some kind of Spongebob cartoon marathon that the boys got to enjoy with abandon.

“Also,” said Elliott, in response to my question, “I want to be there when Dad comes out and says ‘It’s a boy.’”

The fact that we don’t know if the new baby is a boy or girl seems to have little affect – my boys are rooting for another brother, and that is what they plan to get. I’m not sure if their hopes and dreams and prayers (literally, they pray for another brother) stem from just liking things the way they are or not wanting to deal with the world of girls. Maybe they just don’t like change – and having a girl around here would sure change a lot.

So often we are asked if we know “what we’re having”. We explain that we decided not to find out, that we want to be surprised and find out the gender of the baby when he or she is born. Some people find this amazing; many find it insane.

I don’t regret this decision, but I can tell you it has been tough. According to our sonographer, close to 90 percent of people now find out their baby’s gender before birth. Baby stores seem to vouch for this fact. No longer is it enough to simply know you are having a baby; nearly every baby item is made with the baby’s gender in mind.

Friends and family members have assured me that the minute the baby is born, they will help get us what we need. The nursery waits with the few gender-neutral sheets I could find, and once baby arrives, we’ll go grab the rest of the bedding – either the girly pink or the boyish blue. My personal shoppers are standing by.

I realize this is not really a hardship at all, but when you’re in a hormonally-induced organizational frenzy you want everything just so. Having to wait to get the staples, a few new towels, a few new outfits, well that can drive someone in my state a little (more) crazy.

Countless people have told me that they hope we have a girl, and I always thank them for the well-wishes. I tell them I would love to have a daughter. And I would – having a girl around here would be an incredible delight.

One thing I’ve loved about this pregnancy is having complete strangers tell me the gender of my baby, based on how I’m carrying. I’m not sure if they’re rooting for a girl (when they see me out with the five boys) or if they can truly tell we’re having one. But it’s always fun to hear what people think based on the way my extra-large belly looks.

One day I was grocery shopping and no less than five people stopped me to say that because of how high I was carrying the baby, they were sure I was having a girl. After a while I started to think this was my guarantee, and that I should just go buy all those girl items I had been eyeing.

Then the bag boy, as he loaded my groceries into the car, told me with much certainty that I was having a boy. He could just tell. And I was back to the waiting game.

Not too much longer either way. And either way is wonderful.

One thing I have certainly learned in my journey with boy after boy (after boy) is that the minute I meet this child – whether it’s the new and wonderful adventure of a girl or the joy of another boy – we will fall madly in love with him (or her) – and that he (or she) will be the answer to all our prayers. 1865″>



1864 1864_ () 1864 1864



Life With (These) Boys

Him: I only bought three gallons of milk.

Me: That’s okay, I’m going grocery shopping tomorrow.

Monday, Monday

1862 1862_ () 1862 1862 Today we cleaned out the garage. This was quite an undertaking and I’m so glad we’re done.

All of this was prompted by two things: one, the boys have the week off of school and Paul told them he wanted them to work on the garage; and two, it occurred to me today that despite what I had said to the contrary, I didn’t really want a Foosball table in the nursery. It needed to go in the garage, which meant the garage had to be majorly purged and organized to make room for this new item.

Let me explain a little something about our garage: we “inherited” it totally and utterly chock full of stuff. This house previously belonged to Paul’s parents, who for a time shared it with Paul’s grandparents. That’s pretty cool — our boys are the fourth generation of Balducci’s to live here.

The downside of such an arrangement is this: when Paul and I moved in, we got the garage, complete with all of Nonno’s stuff — he being a Depression-era “saver” type. My husband got 50 years worth of tools instantly. This is totally awesome and also a tad overwhelming. When we go to “organize” the garage, we’re not talking just about our 15 years worth of junk — we’ve got generations of stuff to deal with.

We still have miles to go, but we got a nice little chunk chipped away and yes, the nursery is now Foosball table-free. This is nice, because I kept imagining the letter I was going to write to our precious newborn to help avoid years of therapy. “Dear Baby, about the Foosball table. Let me explain.”

Now I don’t have to!

Late this morning, before we set ourselves to garage-purging, I took the boys for an early lunch. I know I should have waited and fed them afterward, but I liked the idea of getting them all fed and ready to go, no excuses but to WORK.

After we ate, I decided to let them run around on the playground for a bit, mostly because no one else was there. We’re getting to that stage where everyone but Henry is really just slightly too big to be out there. Whenever they start acting a bit wild in these situations, I am quick to remind them that when they were little, I totally resented it when people would allow their big kids to run wild on the playground. Entertaining a younger sibling is one thing, but taking over the place is another matter entirely. They did a good job of keeping it together.

While they ran around, I decided to sit on a bench that was in the sun. The rays felt so good on my face, and it was a few minutes before I noticed that I had sidled up next to the resident spokes-clown, who had his arm around me in a rather forward manner.

“Mom, you need to move,” said Augie after a bit, “that’s kinda creepy.”

A few minutes later, I made a phone call to a friend and it wasn’t until I took note of my body language that I realized I was leaning in to him, my hand resting comfortably on Ronald’s knee. (He tried to get my number, but I was all “Ronnie, you and I both know that isn’t going to happen.)

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