Friday, April 1, 2011

Tulips and Italian Chores

July 2008 - the twins were less than a month old. I was still nursing Angel. Seraph was in the step-down unit of the children's hospital (better than ICU and almost ready to come home).
I was invited to a lunch for moms with heart babies (babies born with a congenital heart defect.)
Seraph was asleep in her hospital bed (with nurses watching over her) and hey, free food, so I decided to go.

I remember four things about that lunch:

1-everyone thought Angel (5 lbs and looking every bit like a preemie) was my heart baby and that I (being completely crazy) had somehow unhooked her from all the monitors and snuck her out of the ICU.  I got dozens of odd looks until one mom finally confronted me about not being allowed to take babies out of their rooms.

2-The (crazy-pushy) lady sitting next to me decided I was fat and proceeded to tell me that I should go on a diet immediately and lose 30-40 lbs.  She used to be fat and now that she'd shed all that extra weight she felt much better and her husband was happier with her now. This after I mentioned the yummy blueberry cheesecake offered in the hospital cafeteria. Yes, I put on weight when I had the twins....but going on a diet with a newborn in the hospital didn't seem like an excellent plan.

3-The heart-baby story about wanting to take a trip to Italy and ending up taking a trip to Holland instead.

4-"don't treat your heart-defect child differently....give her chores just like the rest of your kids."

Chores.  cool.  OK.  I'll do that.  Lame.  Why would any parent need to be told that?...then Seraph's therapist said it again 2 weeks ago. "Give Seraph chores."

What? You mean now? already?

Ok, so...I give Angel chores.  *but* Angel talks.  Angel understands me.  Angel does the job I ask her to do.
I don't give Seraph chores.  What would be the point?

Seraph's new chore is taking her (wet but not poopy) diaper to the diaper pail. At first she'd throw it on the floor and then clap her hands.  Great fun.  Then I'd pick it up with her hand and walk her to the pail.  Four times later, I just tell her to do it...and she does.  Wild cheering and high fives follows.

With my mom watching, I handed Seraph her old diaper today and told her to throw it in the diaper pail.  Grandma's jaw dropped as Seraph walked down the hall, tossed it in the pail, cheered for herself, and then came back for high-fives.

I love my little "Holland" girl. She is fierce and full of joy.


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