When we first found out that I was pregnant, David and I quickly agreed on one thing that puzzled many, especially my mother. We would wait until the baby was born to find out whether he was a he or she was a she. During my very uneventful pregnancy I really had no idea, although the baby’s sex was a major topic for discussion at home and work. “Do you have heartburn?” “Are you carrying high or low?” “What are you craving?” All sorts of kooky questions that promised to tell me something I would eventually find out.
We worked it out with my OB that David would be the one to tell me who arrived, and although most of Isabel’s birthday is hazy I specifically remember hearing him say, “She’s a girl!” and seeing him tearing up. In that second, he was wrapped around her little finger.
David was the ultimate proud papa. I’ll admit he was better at wrapping her up in the burrito wrap and beat me for the title of Best Diaper Changer.
When I was pregnant the second time, many men would ask David if he was hoping for a boy. He would answer honestly that another healthy baby is all he wanted. But neither of us were surprised or the least bit disappointed when Magnolia Louise arrived 26 months after her sister. The house was already filled with pink clothes and accessories, and, hey, this will be easier the second time around, right?
Miss Maggie Lou still has a stronger personality than her mild-mannered older sister, and, yes, raising the second is easier than the trail-blazing first. Some nights, I watch as they fall asleep together, cuddled near each other, like newborn puppies, even though they are 6 and 8 and will be embarrassed when they read this. Some nights, I am ready to start drinking heavily because of all the bickering.
Having two girls lets me indulge in their pastimes, such as episodes of “Project Runway,” shoe shopping for three, and getting our nails done together. A favorite memory involved watching “Project Runway” with a kindergarten-age Isabel as designers created outfits for drag queens. Glittery, sparkly fabrics with boas and faux fur trim filled the screen. Izzy was a bit confused. “Mama, what’s a drag queen?” she asked.
“Well, honey,” I explained, “You know how girls and ladies get to wear fancy clothing with sparkles and feathers and fun colors? Well, some men want to get to wear them, too.” At the next commercial she ran into her room, and reappeared several minutes later, wearing two feather boas, many jewels and a pair of my heels. “Look, mama, I’m a drag queen!”
“You go, girl!” was all I could say.
Two Saturdays ago, I surprised the girls with a trip to Fashion Island to see “Project Runway” host Tim Gunn host a fashion show. The girls dressed for the event and we were able to wiggle ourselves up to the front row. The fashions were fine, and Gunn made the event a real treat. Ever the student (or future buyer or fashion critic), Izzy brought a notebook and rated her favorite outfits on a scale of 10 to 1,000,000. Several received top score.
Afterwards, we headed to Bloomingdale’s for an exchange up on the third floor. Fortuitously, we needed a restroom break on the second floor and happened on a dress-for-prom event. Waiters were passing out virgin piňa coladas and mini-cupcakes, while manicurists were offering their services free. We found nirvana.
As our nails were drying and we were making our way to the third floor, we discovered that the children’s department was hosting a craft and animal show of native species (snake, toad, opossum, red-tailed hawk, etc). Bloomingdale’s gave us a fabulous day, like the best birthday party, and we didn’t even need to bring a gift!
So thank you universe for giving me (us) two perfect healthy girls with whom I can indulge my girlie fantasies.
Happy Mother’s Day to all!
Rebecca Meekma is that friend who always knows something fun to do and the Calendar Editor for Parenting OC. Follow her blog at www.ParentingOC.com.