Two years ago today you were born. You were an only child, which doesn’t happen very often. I remember seeing your picture for the first time, you wore an orange ribbon around your neck.
Almost nine weeks later to the day I came to get you. It was a long flight, from D.C. to Phoenix. I got to the airport at 5 in the morning with a departing flight of 7. The plan was to meet you in the airport and then turn around and get on a plane back to D.C.
My morning flight was delayed over two hours. The man at the gate wouldn’t let me change my flight from Phoenix because it wasn’t a connecting flight, it was a return flight. I called him a dick. He deserved it.
I frantically called Daddy, panicking that you wouldn’t get the news of my delay and think I wasn’t showing. He assured me he would make the call and re-arrange the time. I continued to panic.
When I finally got on the plane my anxiety got the better of me. I shifted and fidgeted and I think I cried a little. I was nervous. I constantly checked my one piece of carry-on luggage, an empty pet carrier bag that contained a blanket, baby wipes, your collar, a collapsible bowl and baby treats. It was the largest size pet bag they make and I was still worried you might not fit. I was also worried that you wouldn’t actually fit under the seat in front of me for take off and some douchey flight attendant would tell me you couldn’t stay. I was gonna have to fight a bitch. Luckily it never came to that.
I eventually did make it to Phoenix and ran off the plane with my empty bag and headed towards the baggage claim: our designated meeting place. I spotted you right away.
You were in a crate and timid. I cooed and shook and wanted to grab you. We took you outside to pee, but you wouldn’t go. I put on your new collar, grabbed all 19 pounds of you and headed to the ticket counter to find us a flight home. We still didn’t have one.
I was able to get us back on a non-stop flight, into Reagan. I called Daddy and gave him the info, and headed towards security. When it was our turn to walk through I pulled you out of your bag, and you squirmed in my arms. 19 pounds is pretty big! Your bag scanned through without problem and you protested on the other side when it was time for you to go back in. The security man helped me. Your cuteness, it was a hit with everyone.
We got to the gate with a good hour long wait. I worried about your little bladder. I took out the blanket and laid it on the floor in an open space. I took you out of your bag and let you walk around a little. Being as neurotic and paranoid as I am, you never got very far. When you laid down on the blanket I took a picture with my phone and texted it to Daddy. He just replied: oh my god.
People oo-ed and ahh-ed because you were just so damn cute. When it was finally time to board we got to go on first. As luck would have it, we had a row all to ourselves.
As soon as we were up in the air I picked your bag up off the floor and put it on the seat next to me. You were so quiet and good. You slept the entire flight. Well, except for when I started freaking out like OMG YOU’RE NOT MAKING NOISE ARE YOU DEAD and I would unzip the top and put my hand in, getting you all excited and trying to climb out. Then I’d feel bad as I squished you back inside and encouraged you to go back to sleep. Then we’d do the same thing a couple hours later.
I realized at one point that it was well past six in the evening and also that I hadn’t eaten or drank anything all day. I realized this because I suddenly had the worst headache of my life. You can’t even imagine how miserable I was for the remainder of the flight. I alternated between crying and just shaking and tried talking myself through it.
When we landed it occurred to me that I was utterly exhausted. It was 11 at night.
Always needing something to be anxious about I started worrying about your poor baby kidneys since you hadn’t been to the bathroom in at least six hours. We got out to the curb and I put you on the sidewalk where you let out the tiniest little tinkle of wee. I praised you like you had just won a spelling bee.
I picked you up and we waited for Daddy.
Mommy began tearing up again. The exhaustion was becoming too much.
We finally saw the white truck pulling up and I started running toward it with you in my arms and the once again empty bag over my shoulder. We got in and you met Daddy and Junior for the first time.
Junior wasn’t impressed.
By the time we got back to the house I thought I would collapse. I placed you on the floor and started guiding you towards the backyard to show you your new toilet. Instead you peed on the rug. And then a huge poop. We laughed and I ran to get paper towels to clean up while Daddy tried again to coerce you outside. Instead you decided to poop again on the rug. I guess you had it built up.
We cleaned up and headed up stairs to show you the bedroom. Your new bed was on the floor next to my side of the bed (Junior has always slept on Daddy’s side.) We laid down at about 1 am and within a few minutes I turned to Daddy and asked, “is she peeing?”
I jumped up to find your pee on the rug (the bathroom floor was right there! Tile! Easy to clean!) We cleaned up and laid back down. At 2 am you were puking. I was up again and cleaned up. We went back to bed but you were restless. I don’t blame you, it was a new place. I know you were scared. I slept on the floor with you.
I feel a little sad today because I want to remember that first year but, it wasn’t a great year. We don’t have the family we had before. It’s not the way it was supposed to be. It’s hard to talk about.
But there are so many cute things that I do want to remember from those first few weeks. At first you never wanted to lay in the same room with us, you liked the kitchen behind your food bowl. For as long as you would fit you liked to lay under me, and by under me I mean under the sofa I was sitting on or under my side of the bed. You liked feeling caved in.
Now you are the opposite. You want to be near me all the time. Yesterday when I took you to dog park I waited for you to run off and play and then I quietly moved to the other side of the park. Within a moment I watched you look up towards where I had been standing and then scan the park to find me. When you did you came bounding towards me. I didn’t even call you. You love the Mama.
I love you too, Bean. Happy birthday.