We celebrated Brigid’s 13th birthday last week in Gearhart. Due to my anti-vacation-computer rule, her birthday blog has had to wait.
I was induced with Brigid because things hadn’t gone that well with Annie. The worst part of Brigid’s delivery day was getting the pitocin into my system. I kept telling the nurse that I have bad veins, they’re not good, BAAAADDD veins, they roll, not good veins, please stop hurting me, please call a phlebotomist you stupid cow!!! After the 4th stab at me, they called a phlebotomist (wish I had thought of that) and got the IV in. Cranked on the pitocin for 8 hours and I got to almost 1 centimeter. I don’t know nuthin’ ’bout birthin’ babies! So Bridgie was an unscheduled C-section as opposed to an emergency.
When she was out and Mitch got to tell me if the baby was a boy or a girl and it was a girl, I was so excited. I already have a girl! I know girls! I love girls! Annie will love her pretty little baby sister! I’m great with girls!
Brigid was not pretty and she was not nice. She was not a lovely little girl.
When Annie was a baby I would look disappointingly at other babies and parents because those babies screamed or pouted. Those babies clearly had bad parents. I was doing everything right because if you look over here at my sweet baby Annie, she doesn’t cry. She is smiley and happy.
Then I had Brigid. Brigid was a crazy baby who screamed for 18 months and had a Hitler-like forelock of hair that always fell down in her little face while she screamed. She screamed so much that my father couldn’t even judge me for being a bad parent, he just pitied me. My mother laughed at me and said, “I told you Annie wasn’t normal.”
One of my favorite Brigid stories happened the summer of 2003, just before she turned 4. Brigid took a ballet class that spring, didn’t like it (she had some “separation anxiety” issues and I had some “get the hell off me” issues), and quit when she found out the class was dancing in a performance for Portland’s Rose Festival. Sometime in June of that year, Annie was at school and Brig and I were talking.
Brigid: Mommy, when is that dance show for ballet?
Me: Brig, that already happened. Remember, you didn’t want to do ballet anymore?
Brigid (leaning against my bed): <Pause> Oh, Fuck.
Oh sheesh. Our eyes locked and I stared at her because I knew if I twitched even a smidge, I would fall apart laughing. Then her big eyes started to water and I said, “Honey, I’m not mad but you can’t say that word. That’s not a good word and I don’t want you to say it ever again.”
OK. I tell Mitch about it when he gets home and of course, blame him. “How do you know it’s me?!” I told him, “If it were me, she would have said ‘goddammit’”.
A couple of weeks later, Brigid is writing Annie’s birthday card and asks me how to spell something which she has already spelled incorrectly. I tell her the correct spelling. She is writing on the card on the window seat of my bedroom. Looks at the card, looks at me, looks back at the card: “oh fuck”.
HAHAHAHA. “Brigid, I told you NOT to say that word.”
I grabbed a fresh bar of Irish Spring, unwrapped it, told her to hold it in her mouth and I timed it for 1 minute. She stood with her arms crossed and stared at me for the minute. I took the soap out and said, “That’s what’s going to happen every time you say a bad word.” She stared at me and asked in a measured tone, “Can I go brush my TEETH?”
My little Brigid stopped crying before she was 2 and has been a colorful source of entertainment ever since. She is wonderfully brainy and witty, an accomplished dancer, a tough nut and a mini-me, God help both of us!
Belated Happy Birthday Bridgie Doo!