Thursday, August 27, 2009

I want my baby back, baby back, baby back

Part of me misses my old film camera. It was just so simple. You take pictures, then (eventually, perhaps years later) you take them in and have them developed. Then you have film and pictures. How simple! How tactile!

Now I have this (lovely) digital camera. And it's so strange. In the same way that Mp3s and even CDs are weird and scary to me because really, how to they get sound onto that and how do they get it out, and how many ways are there to break it? I'm a little leery of the camera's memory card. So when we got home from our vacation, I immediately thought, "I must transfer all those photos to the computer." You know, so that I can forget to order prints and spend the next several hours messing with Picasa to get them just so.

And this is the first photo that shows up on the memory card:

That's Matilda, who will be 18 months old on September 3rd. There are 62 photos still in the camera from that day and the next, the day she was born, the first time her daddy held her, the first time she met her brothers, the first time she saw her grandpa. And I can't seem to get rid of them. They're in the computer (probably in several places) and backed up on another memory card, just in case. And somewhere I have prints. But there's something about deleting them from the memory card in the camera that I can't handle. Is it that if I delete the pictures, that time is gone for good? Is it that if anything happened to the pictures, I'm afraid I would lose that precious memory? I had no such problems with the film when the boys were born. I developed the pictures, then stuck the film in a drawer.

This is the picture that I actually wanted to show you:

While we were on vacation, Ezra got really into pooping on the potty. This is a pretty big deal, since, though he's been pretty good--if not reliable--about peeing in the potty, poop has been harder to come by. And at the same time, Matilda has decided she must spend all day, every day putting on clothes. So it logically follows that as soon as we got home from our camping trip, Ezra had to pull out his coveted shark underpants and prove that he is big enough to wear them, by spending all his time on the potty. (Which is way easier now that going potty doesn't involve pulling three kids in the wagon half a mile to the bathrooms.) And Matilda took that opportunity to swipe and put on the shark underpants. They're both so very proud of their accomplishments!

Zachary goes to first grade in a week and a half. Ezra is now officially too big for me to carry up the stairs. Sometimes I wonder if I really do let Matilda get away with more than I let the boys do at her age; my husband insists that it's true. And if so, is it because she's a girl and there's some secret sexist in me who can't stop her? Is it, as I sometimes think, because of the way she came to be with us? She was a surprise, one of those "Oh my god, what are we going to do now?" surprises. And I don't ever, ever want her to feel like she is anything less than the perfect completion of our family. Or is it just that I can feel these years, these baby years, slipping away, and I can't stand to let go just yet? How is it possible that the waxy, cranky little thing I see in that picture has already turned into this person who wants to dress herself all day and prefers one cup over another?

Maybe I'll hold onto the pictures a little longer, since I clearly can't keep the babies.


Sarah said...

My youngest plays me like a fiddle, and he knows it. They both know it! He and his sister usually send him in to ask the really big questions, knowing he's usually able to garner a more positive response than he is. Which makes me feel like an idiot... but dangit... he's my baby! No solid reason for it.

I just wonder how and if it will change if I ever get another baby. Will I suddenly turn all hardcore on him?

Just thinking of the thousands of pictures I have stored on my computer makes me want to hurl. I have to ignore the whole situation, or I'll flip out from the horror of losing them all if I screw up, just once.

I'm sure that was *really* helpful for you to hear!

Kendra said...

I don't know if it changes when you have another one. Zachary has always been so laid back, and Ezra has been 2 years old since the day he was born. So I always had to have different approaches with them. Zachary's had maybe 5 time outs ever, and with Ezra they're pretty much daily. But Matilda, she's a whole different ball game for some reason.

I think I need to get all my photos onto a series of CDs. Then at least I don't have to worry about what will happen if our geriatric computer finally gives up the ghost!

Aunt Becky said...

I'd hold onto it for sure. You're talking to the person who cannot bring herself to even GO THROUGH the old baby clothes.

I'm more sentimental than I'd thought.