Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Happy Birthday, Mollusc!

This one's apt to get a bit sappy and sentimental, so you might want to step away now while you have the chance.

11 years ago today my first child was born into this world. She had the grace to wait until 4:30 am to wake me, and was born at 10:54 am - my 7 lb 5 oz initiation into the world of motherhood. Although I'd been a part-time stepmom for about 7 years and had been preparing for this for well over 9 months, holding my own real baby in my arms rocked me out of ideas of following other people's prescribed notions of "perfect parenting" and into the new and sometimes frightening concept of mothering by heart.

The first night at home - Mollusc's second 24 hours - was enough to make me think that anyone who bothered with a crib was insane and, quite possibly, sado-masochistic. Who decided that after having your baby inside of you for over 9 months, her transition to the outside was grounds for keeping her as far as possible from your arms? Babies aren't used to that kind of separation. Nor, frankly, are mothers. It's hard to fly in the face of accepted parenting practices, but, fortunately, it's even harder to fight the inborn sense of what's right where one's offspring is concerned. All notions of the possibility of "excessive holding" were promptly chucked out the window. Nursing ensured that I was forced to sit a lot during recovery from birth, thus helping to prevent "overdoing" anything, and the hormones released during nursing also promoted bonding and feelings of general happiness. Great design, I say. Family Bed? I had scoffed at the very thought, but that changed on that first night home when I found myself in a nest on the floor of Mollusc's room, nursing her and trying to sleep.

"The hell with this!" I thought. "I might as well be in bed!" Fearing repercussions from John, I crept timidly into bed bearing the sweet, pink terry-onesie-clad baby with me. To my great relief, he gave a happy sigh and snuggled us both most gratifyingly. He had missed us. :-)

This first success with bucking mainstream parenting ideas made me heady and I threw caution to the winds, embracing the idea of logical and heartfelt parenting to the utmost. Sometime after Mollusc was born, I was lucky enough to find Amity's and to discover that I was not alone in my parenting ideas. I could (and someday finally will) go on to write an entire article about this, but for now I'll leave it at that.

Mollusc has grown into a startlingly bright child with new talents making their debut as she continues to bloom. As she matures, I find myself amazed at -- among other things -- her sophisticated sense of humour (she's a big fan of the H2G2 books and has the same DA kind of wit) her writing talent and her drawing abilities. She shows an amazing compassion for her younger sibs that never fails to touch my heart. I am so blessed to have her in my life. I can't imagine it without her.

Happy Birthday, Mollusc!!!


Ashira said...

Thanks! I really like this post ^_^

haaaappy biiiiiirthdaaaay toooooo meeeeee...



tshsmom said...

Beautiful post!
We raise our kids "outside the box" too. Whatever works! We've been ridiculed for being too family oriented. Deal with it folks! That's why God gave us these precious people to raise to adulthood.

Toby said...

Good for you. Great post. Happy Birthday Mollusc.

Egan said...

Happy Birthday Arthropod! We love you!

Egan said...

By the way, I'm also a Taurus. Stay tuned.

kitkat said...

What a lovely post! However you've raised your kids, you've obviously done an amazing job of it! I think sometimes you just get lucky, but to have multiple little ones who seem to have all come out great--you're doing something right. This post makes me hopeful since if I got pregnant now I would have NO idea how to do things. Just goes to show we all have instincts to tell us.

Trundling Grunt said...

Happy Birthday M

GuTTer MuNKi said...

Happy Bday Mollusc!

How on earth could I *not* want to snuggle my Wench that had just birthed our baby and that baby?

If I had had any other reaction, I would have simply been a hecker ped!

Faltenin said...

Happy Birthday to the Gryffin!

Jaichan said...

Happy Birthday, Mollusc!
Sweet post. My parents raised us out of the box, too. Having three girls and no boys made my parents realize that gender-specific roles and toys didn't necessarily have to apply to my sisters and I. Beulah had the biggest toy car collection on the block, my mom had the best pitching arm, my dad had a sewing machine my mother didn't know how to use , my father taught me how to make slides for the microscope he gave me for my ninth birthday (along with the set of science encyclopedias), etc, etc, etc.
We also had the Barbie campers and dolls, but let me tell you... when I studied Sociology in university, I was definitely a case study.
Here's to Mollusc being a case study! Cheers!

Slade said...

this is so sweet and makes my baby fever worse! I want to know details behind the name Mollusc. Is this her real name or nickname and what does it mean?

Seeleah said...


Anyway, I THINK it's still your birthday...somewhere...Pitcairn Island, maybe??


Candace said...

Thanks so much everyone, for your kind comments. :-) Mollusc is tickled pink over all the birthday wishes. There are a lot more "out-of-the-boxers" in the world than I ever would have imagined before I had kids!

Slade, Mollusc's real name is Molly and Mollusc just became a natural extension, LOL! But if you want the full story behind all their nicknames, you can find it here. :-)

Jenna Howard said...

Happy Birthday, Mollusc!

11...wow...the 'tween years.

Elizabeth said...

Happy Birthday to youuuuu, Marmalade im Schuh! Aprikose in der Hose, Happy Birthday to you!

tshsmom said...

LOL, my dh calls me wench too!

Candace said...

Jenna, sometimes it's hard to believe she's already 11, and other times it's hard to believe she isn't older, LOL!

Elizabeth - LOL! We've been inging that all day thanks to you! Love it!!

TSmom - that's funny! It's been my "name" for years. My user acct on the laptop is even Wench.