The Waiting is Over

Posted: February 8th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Daddio, Firsts, Little Rhody, Milestones, Miss Kate, Paigey Waigey Wiggle Pop, Parenting, Preg-o, Sisters, Travel, Walking | 1 Comment »

My mother hated when my sisters referred to me as their “little” sister.

It was one of a number of random terms she dramatically voiced her opposition to. Like how she hated the word ‘condo.’ I always suspected her condo issue had to do with the word’s affinity to the word ‘condom’—that it was terrifyingly close to sounding like something that had to do with penises.

But I never really knew for sure.

Anyway, she’d mutter “She’s not little, she’s an adult for God’s sake. She’s your ‘younger sister.’”

But growing up in a small town, the youngest (by far) of four girls—”the Bruno girls” as we were known—my mother was fighting a battle she was bound to lose. If my siblings weren’t calling me their little—or kid—sister, everyone else in town had me pegged as “the baby.”

Frrrrrrred!” old women would screech, lunging toward my father and I in the aisle of Almacs grocery store. “How aaaarrrrre you?” Then turning to me. “And this? NO! This isn’t your BABY is it?!”

As a teen, being in public with my dad caused me no end of aggravation. A big personality still living in the small town he was born in, he knew absolutely everyone. And they all seemed to want a piece of him.

We’d walk ten steps, then stop to hear about someone’s gall bladder operation. Another 15 paces and Dad’d be doling out legal advice about a property lien. We were never anonymous, never just able to run in somewhere quickly.

And brutal as it may sound, the people who rotated in Dad’s orbit registered no social value to me. Many were older and smelled of talcum. They unloaded their legal woes, or talked about recently-operated-upon people I didn’t know. Worst of all, they never had cute teen-aged boys with them.

In my self-centered adolescent universe, waiting through my dad’s conversations with these people was some form of heinous torture that seemed custom-made to heighten my teen-aged malaise.

But Dad was—is—a world-class extrovert. He’ll talk to anyone. And he’s always proud to show us girls off. Decades later, nothing has changed. “Yes, that’s her,” he’ll still say, putting his hands on my shoulders. “The baby.”

I have to admit. At age 42, there’s something nice about there being a place where I’m still considered a baby.

MY baby, the delectable Miss Paigey Waigey Wiggle Pop (that’s her champion dog name), turned two a week ago. TWO fingers old! What a big big girl.

The night before her birthday I got all nostalgic with Mark. “It was two years ago tonight that I sat on the couch sobbing that I thought the baby may never be born.”

Paige was—how should I say it?—resistant to emerging from the womb. She got the process underway 12 endless days after she was supposed to. Then, after more than four hours of eye-popping pushing, she still refused to budge. Finally a group of medical professionals went in after her.

The expression on her face when she finally emerged was one of abject dismay. It’d make me really sad if it wasn’t so damn funny and cute. (“My God, I’ve given birth to Ed Asner!”)


Anyway, it’s too bad some sort of Ghost of Christmas Yet to Be didn’t visit me during those agonizing post-due-date days, to whisper in my ear that Paige would so totally be worth the wait.

And it turns out our waiting didn’t end then. After waiting for her to be born, we waited for her baby acne and scaly eczema to subside. We waited for her to sit up on her own. Some time after that, we waited for her to walk. And waited. And waited. And eventually, blessedly, all the things we’d been waiting for finally happened.

Her birthday party last weekend was like a kind of a coming out party. At least to this proud Mama. She walks! She talks! She does everything every other two-year-old does, damn it! And she does it dazzlingly.

You’ve come a long way, Paigey. And I know you’ve only just gotten started.

I am so madly in love with that girl. I’m already fretting about how quickly she (and her sister) will grow up and will no longer be little barnacles attached to my legs.

At what point will it be creepy for me to still be chomping on Paigey’s thighs and doing raspberries on her tummy? And is it so wrong to want to bunk with her in her dorm room when she goes away to college? The really pathetic thing is, I’ve spent so much time mercilessly mocking people who wait forever to cut their kids’ hair because they can’t bear to lop off the baby curls. But now, now I understand their plight. I too am weak, like them. May Paigey’s hair never be cut! (There. I’ve said it.)

Next week I’m heading home to Rhode Island for a visit. My dad is turning a youthful 81, and he has a new dog we’re overdue to meet. Us Californians are hoping to score some snowy weather to frolic in. And I plan to spend a lot of time parading the girls around Stop & Shop, and hoping I bump into some people I know.

1 Comment »

One Comment on “The Waiting is Over”

  1. 1 Brooke said at 8:45 pm on February 9th, 2010:

    Sweet! they really do go from 2 to 20 in a wink!

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