I'm Goin' In!
My silly, desperate move to stay in the good graces of my firstborn.
by Ashli Keyser — wife, mama, writer and movie quote enthusiast
Time to pull out all the stops, Keyser. If you ever want your sweet little boy to love you again, you need to act. Fast.
Colin doesn’t want you to give him a bath, like you’ve done every day since the day he was born (Ok, maybe not every day....every week? 😬). He wants you out of the bathroom immediately. He looks at you like, “Mama, you see Dada in here? He’s the only one who takes care of me now. He gives me my baths. You should go take care of that baby in the other room who’s bound to start crying any moment.”
Because that’s what she does. We love her. She’s adorable. But she cries. A lot. Baby Colin never cried, and we aren’t quite sure how to handle this new little person. Colin feels it, too. He sees our exhausted faces. The tears. The helplessness and confusion, and he has chosen “Dada,” the more sane one, to help him navigate this new life.
I knew that my relationship with Colin would change after the introduction of another baby into the mix, and I had prepared myself for it. But in that moment, standing in the bathroom, watching Kyle carry on with our son like nothing had changed, was just too much. I needed to do something. I was jealous of Kyle. I was sad. I was desperate.
And I was goin’ in....
Yes, I realize jumping into a bathtub fully clothed won’t get me considered for my own variety show anytime soon, but my audience was a 2-year-old boy who, at the time, thought Caillou was comedy gold. My bathtub flop had to work. It just had to.
At first, Colin just stared at me like, “Ohhhkay, this lady formally known as ‘Mama’ has officially lost it.”
And then.... the laughter. The sweetest laugher I had ever heard.
If only for a moment, I had my boy back. He loved me. My needy, broken heart was whole again. I got out, put on dry clothes and happily fed my sweet baby girl.
We were gonna be ok.
P.S. The answer to your question is yes. One of my socks is gray and the other is white. The “one to two child” transition is no joke. I STRUGGLED!
But if you’re there now, or about to be there, you’ll get through it and your brain will start to function (somewhat) normally again. And, if you ever feel like you’re losing your connection to your firstborn, just jump into a tub full of water, fully clothed. Worked for me.
Stay strong, Mamas! And don't be scared to reach out for support! You're doing great.