Table for 5

tater_tots_closeup.0

We have a baby!!

AGMA is happy to announce the birth of a male grandchild, who will forever be called my sweet little tater tot!

By me.

HIs parents must never know.  They don’t approve of “cute” nicknames.

Party poopers.

We’ll just call him TT for short.

Actually, he was born before I posted my last post on June 26th, but we weren’t privy to this information until several hours after he arrived.  I guess they were bonding or something.

Whatever…

I fly up to see the little critter and his older siblings on Thursday.  And Son#1 and DIL.  Of course.  

AGMA has to be honest.  I feel a special bond with TT even though we’ve never set eyes on each other yet.

We’re both the #3 child in the family pecking order.

There have been many studies done about the impact of birth order and a child’s personality and emotional development.

Experts smexperts…AGMA isn’t sure I buy into all of it.

According to an article titled How Birth Order Affects Your Child’s Personality and Behavior in Parents Magazine from 2015, third children are:

  • Fun loving
  • Uncomplicated
  • Manipulative
  • Outgoing
  • Attention-seekers
  • Self-centered

I beg your pardon??  Manipulative??  Attention-seeker??  Self-centered??

AGMA is many things but NONE of those three things.  Well…maybe a very teeny tiny, itty bitty bit attention-seeking.  Minuscule really.

I have a blog after all.

Because there were 6 years between each of my siblings, and I went to foster care as a toddler, and then only lived with my sister & mother after my parents divorced, AGMA thinks that perhaps some of the typical traits of 3rd children don’t apply to me.  There are other, “atypical” traits I developed.  ‘Nuff said.

Little TT has an entirely different situation.  Born to loving, emotionally and financially healthy parents, he has an absolutely adorable sister, V,  2½ years older and a charming, witty brother, B, 4½ years older.  Who both adore him. Right now.  

Poor little guy has an uphill climb a head of him.

Nana will help you my sweet little TT!!!

According to the Parents article, B, as the firstborn, will tend to be:

  • Reliable
  • Conscientious
  • Structured
  • Cautious
  • Controlling
  • An achiever 

So far, the only thing I can say about him for sure is that he, like his father who was my firstborn, is VERY cautious.  Like his dad, he has a strong instinct for self-preservation.  At the playground, his younger sister will climb up on the highest slide possible and slide down, while he just watches.  And he’s just fine just watching.

Self-preservation in action.

My feisty little V is now the middle child.  She is much like I imagine Megan Rapino was as a 2 year old…  According to the article, she will tend to have the following characteristics:

  • People pleaser
  • Somewhat rebellious
  • Thrives on friendships
  • Has a large social circle
  • Peacemaker

Not sure about the rest, but as a 2 year old, people pleasing doesn’t seem to be in her life skills toolkit right now.  AGMA realizes this when I hear her high frequency, 100 decibel screams when she doesn’t get her way. 

Pass the ibuprofen please…

I’m really not sure what to expect when I fly to Chicago on Thursday.

But oh my…AGMA can already tell there is a YUGE difference between the arrival of B 4½ years ago and the arrival of TT 2 weeks ago.

Hubs, Son#2 and I all had to get shots (I’ve blocked out what “horrific” disease it was to protect the baby against) before we were allowed to visit baby B.  And they had a 5 gallon vat of hand sanitizer that we had to use AFTER we washed our hands before we touched him.  And nobody could make a peep when little B was down for his nap.  He HAD to be in his crib or bassinet, and every bit of light had to be blocked out.  And I was not allowed to change his diaper anywhere else but on the changing table.

On the other hand, TT went to Whole Foods at 3 days old and Costco at 10 days old.  He and his mom went out to lunch yesterday at the ripe age of 12 days with a stop at Starbucks.  And, through the miracle of technology, on July 4th we saw him sleeping peacefully in his father’s arms in their sunlit living room while his brother and sister were running around screaming.

And, if AGMA was a betting woman (which we all know I am…), I would say his diaper has already been changed while he was lying on a couch.

Oh the humanity!

What a difference 4½ years and two children make.

No longer a table for four with peaceful nights, self-feeding children and no diapers, they’re now a table for five with delicious chaos and mayhem on the menu. 

This weekend’s going to be fun!

Welcome to the world my sweet, darling, wonderful TT!

 

What happens at Nana’s…

snow baby skiing

We just got back from visiting B, our incredibly cute, sweet and highly amusing grandson. He’s 16 months old and is a chip off the ol‘ AGMA block.

Of course.

He’s our only grandchild. *sigh* That’s what you get when your kids actually listened to you years ago when you told them not to rush into marriage and a family. What the hell…? They didn’t listen to anything else I said.

I have a number of friends who are actually younger than me who have grandchildren graduating from high school. High school for Pete’s sake!

We’ll be lucky if we’re still alive for B’s high school graduation.

B and parents live in Chicago. In a condo. With no yard. Or driveway. Or hose.

AGMA has nothing against multi-family living units. It seems like the majority of the world’s population live in multi-family buildings. It’s just that it makes me a touch sad that most of B’s experiences with the great outdoors will be scheduled, “curated” events. No building a snowman in the back yard, no running through the sprinklers on a hot summer day, no driveway ant floods, no building a fort in the woods.

It’s hard to teach an old AGMA new tricks.

But they live in a lovely urban Chicago neighborhood that has a wonderful new park a block away. A very curated park. Of course. Spongy, bouncy surfaces beneath the swings and high tech play equipment to cushion falls, artificial grass with those little rubber pellets in it to make the ground softer, and fencing all around the perimeter of the park. The only “real” grass and dirt is around the edges near the fence. And the kids aren’t supposed to play in that area.

Of course.

We went to said park twice on our weekend visit. It was packed. The line up of strollers in front looked like Brad and Angelina’s house on play date day. You couldn’t spit and not hit a child having a curated park experience.

B is my son and DIL’s first child. As such, when they leave the house, they’re prepared for every contingency imaginable. Sort of. B had a cold and they forgot to pack tissues. Rookie mistake.

But sans cold, they are ready for any possibility. B’s diaper bag (DB) is stuffed chock full of anything and everything that B might need on their park outings. A block away from their condo.

Mostly, they seem to be worried about the possibility of B starving. I was charged with carrying the “everything but the kitchen sink and tissues” diaper bad on the second trip to the park. It was a lovely sunny day, and my DIL wanted to put more SPF 9,350 on B’s fair skin. She asked me to look for in the DB for sunscreen.

Oops – no sunscreen. Another rookie mistake.

But digging through the DB, I found enough food to feed every kid at that park, and still have six baskets of loaves and fishes left over. There were little plastic food storage containers and plastic bags filled with crackers, veggie sticks, yogurt bites, animal cookies, wheat squares, and other nibbles I couldn’t identify. And there was a whole banana, an avocado and a squeeze pouch of yogurt. All organic of course.

AGMA remembers thinking I was doing something really healthy for my kids when I gave them Cheerios to snack on when they were growing up. Epic mom fail.

A quick call to my son who was at their condo a block away and the sunscreen appeared a few minutes later. Whew! That was a close one.

I realize there is more than one way to raise a child, but AGMA’s very happy that B’s other grandparents live in a house with a big yard only a few hours away. A yard that snowmen can be built in and sprinklers run through and forts built in the wooded area. His other grandpa has lots of tools and other things to use to make cool “stuff”. B’s going to love that.

And AGMA takes some degree of comfort in knowing that, when B comes to visit in a few months, we’ll have an ant flood in our driveway. Although we don’t have a yard per se because we live in a townhouse community, there are plenty of green spaces with real trees and grass and lots of dirt that we can all explore together.

It’s why grandparents are so awesome…  No diaper bags required.

I hope we find some cool bugs.