Soft Chewy Center

He is so soft.

My dear dear little Pickle.

We work, as parents, to make them ready for the big world.  The hard world.  The cruelty, the randomness.  We work to build them up, so that they can face the challenges, the heartbreak.  And we hope that the shell we help to build is hard enough to protect the soft insides, but thin enough that the light can still get in.

His teachers told me so.  They confirmed what I already knew.  He was young, so young, too young to be truly empathetic. But he was.  He is.  He had been playing with a toy, the toy had fallen out of his hand, hit another child and made the child cry.  It was minor, and an accident.  But Pickle spent the rest of the day checking in occasionally, giving hugs, rubbing his friend’s back, trying to make it better, worrying. His teachers were amazed.

He is so focused on being good.  On being good to people.  On being a good boy.  He is already too hard on himself.  I know it too well.  I ache for him when I see that part of me in him.

Tonight, he had a rough time, a tough night.  Perhaps it was the way the stars are aligned, or something in his own rhythms that are off, but he had a toddler meltdown.  He is a toddler.  He isn’t yet two and a half; I need a reminder of that sometimes. He couldn’t bear the thought of changing clothes, so he wailed and fought and whined and cried. When he finally settled, we curled up on the couch together in the glow of the light-up-pumpkins in the the bay window.  I said, “Pickle, you had a bit of a hard time tonight, you were sad and mad, huh?” He responded, “Yeah, Mama.  I sorry.  I sorry for me.”  Oh Pickle, I thought, please don’t ever apologize for you –  for your sadness, your madness, your feeling.  You are not a bad boy, you are allowed to be you, and we love all of you.

“It is okay,” I told him, “It is okay to be sad.  It is okay to be mad. Sometimes I get sad and mad.  Sometimes Dad gets sad and mad, too.”  He looked up at me, eyes wide, to confirm.

Dad walked downstairs, and came over to us to sit, be cozy and chat.

“Dada? You get sad sometimes too?” he asked.

“I do. I do get sad sometimes,” his Dad confirmed.  And Pickle seemed comforted by this.

My sweet boy, it can be rough growing up as a sensitive boy in a world where sensitivity feels like a weakness, until you are much much older.  But we will try to help you be confident, feel secure, know you are so very loved.  Because, just yesterday you told me, “I like myself.”  And I hope you always will.


Hubby and I agree that this little Plum Baby is likely a boy.  Of course, we’re just guessing.  But I feel so similar to last time around it is hard for me to think this is anything but another baby boy.  However, last time around we only had a boy name picked out.  This time, we’ve only got a girl name picked out, so…

Stephanie over at The Life of a Husband and Wife did a stellar job of compiling a list of BOY v. GIRL Old Wives’ Tales to help her readers guess which she is having (I think she’s having a boy).  So I’m going to pick a few of those tales, list them here, and let you guess whether I’m having a boy or a girl…

1. Heartbeat – 140+ is a girl, under 140 is a boy. Plum Baby has been comfortably in the 140-150 range.  Of course, so was Plum’s brother. But the heartbeat tale would indicate a girl.

2. Mayan Legend – If the mother’s age at conception and the year of conception are both odd or both even, then it is a girl.  If one is even and the other is odd, it is a boy.  2011 and 33, so the Mayans would have guessed girl for me.  Of course, they’ve also predicted the world will end this year…

3. Pimples – Break outs mean girl, clear skin means boy.  I’ve had exactly 1 pimple.  Otherwise my skin has really been good.  Boy!

4. Morning Sickness – Bad morning sickness means girl, and nausea-free livin’ means boy.  I did a lot of gagging, but I never felt ill.  So lucky!  Boy!

5. Math – Age of at conception + my birth month + month of conception. If the total is odd, it’s a boy.  If the total is even, it is a girl. (Honestly, who comes up with this stuff???) My formula is 33+12+6 = 51, which means boy.

6. Sleep Position – If you prefer sleeping on your left side, it’s a boy. Right side means it is a girl. I’m preferring my right actually. I’ve never preferred that side before!  Girl?

7. Soft or Dry Hands – If your hands are dry, you are having a boy; if they’re soft, expect a girl. It IS winter in New England, so I’m not sure how accurate this one is, but if you read one of my old posts where I was complaining about dry hands, we’re looking at a boy.

8. Food Cravings – Citrus cravings can mean girl.  Considering the amount of Newman’s Own Limeade I’ve sucked down in the last 7 months I have to be carrying a girl.  However, this craving could be less about citrus and more about my insatiable need for cold beverages.

9. Face Weight Gain – If your face gets fuller, it means you’re having a girl. My face is actually thinner.  In fact, my kind, and oh-so-tactful mother said, “You look great when you’re pregnant – you look all bloated usually.”  Gee, thanks, Mom.

10. Baby Weight – If you’re carrying baby in front, its a boy. Is the baby weight spaced all around your middle, it is a girl.  Definitely boy here.

11. Hairy Legs – If the hair on your legs is growing faster than before you were pregnant, it’s a boy. If it isn’t growing quicker, it’s a girl. Definitely girl.

12. Chest Development – Bigger boobs?  Girl.  If not, boy.  I haven’t seen any major growth, so boy.

Grand tally?

BOY: 7


What do you think?

The Boy Clothes Lament…

Baby/toddler girl clothes are just so much cuter than boy clothes.  Wandering through Macy’s the other day I noted a whole section of fancy holiday dress items for girls.  The boys’ section?  A few argyle sweater vests.

What do I see in the land of girls’ clothes?  Options!  Colors!  Selection! Fabrics!  I have a sneaking suspicion that the Plum Baby in my belly is of the XY variety.  This will be good for my wallet since he can have all of Mr. Pickle Pumpkin’s hand-me-downs.  And thankfully, my sister is having a baby girl in April, so I now have an excuse to venture over to the magical land of girls’ clothes.  I suspect fulfilling my need to purchase girl clothes will make me a popular auntie.

Things I Would Like to See in the Boys’ Section:

  • Bright colors
  • Interesting fabrics and details
  • Stripes
  • Less brown
  • Less dogs
  • Less sports
  • Less “My Mom Is Hot/Tough Like Daddy!” stuff (barf)
  • Cozy and comfortable wares that aren’t sweatpants
  • Less cargo pants
  • Less camouflage (I’m not dressing my kid in camo, I’m just not)
  • Less skulls and crossbones (sheesh, these clothes are for 2 year olds)

So help me out… great boy clothes that fit the bill and fit my budget???