Tuesday, July 21, 2009

as of very early this morning

It's another happy, healthy baby girl for my stepbrother and sister-in-law.

That sister in law. The one I bonded with when she and I were both pregnant and due within a week or two of one another. The one who has an older daughter exactly the age that the twins would have been. The one I haven't seen or spoken to for over two and a half years.

Of course, I'm thrilled for them, but I just can't seem to force myself to email or call. And I can't imagine stopping by the hospital to welcome little Chloe. Tell me, o internets, what should I do?


eta: As I said in the comments, I'm pretty sure I could manage to send a gift for Chloe and her big sister, Emma. But I'm drawing a complete blank on what to send, so I'm abjectly begging for suggestions.

31 comments:

Magpie said...

Send a card, in the mail. From Cole.

niobe said...

Magpie: Now, that I could manage. In fact, while I haven't been in touch with them, I have sent a few gifts over the years for Emma, their older daughter. I'm sure I could manage one for the new baby too.

melka said...

I wish I could help. I still can't imagine contacting, let alone sending gifts, to a couple of formerly close friends whose live children happen to share dates with mine, who didn't live. Of course I'm thrilled for them, want nothing but happiness for them. I just have no idea how to tell them without it hurting so, so much.

Bluebird said...

Books? I love giving classic children's books as gifts, plus, you don't have to go to an all-babies-only-babies type store to buy them. I know one's an infant :), but I recently sent a beautifully illustrated hardback collection of Mother Goose for a new baby's bookshelf, and I think it was well received. . .

p.s. I'm sorry. I can't imagine how it must sting to have to live with this reminder.

afteriris said...

I second Bluebird's suggestion of a book, either a children's classic like Winnie the Pooh or a collection of poetry for children (I love Micahel Rosen in particular http://www.michaelrosen.co.uk/)

I often send things like wooden letters spelling out their names or their initials which seem to be well received: http://www.poshgraffiti.com/catalog/browse/-posh-graffiti.

I live on the same road a little girl who was born on the same day as my stillborn daughter. It doesn't bring out my most graceful side I must admit.

mcpolish said...

Yes - What Bluebird said in the P.S. And what she said about the books - those are always a good go-to. Shel Silverstein is my particular favorite to give.

Possibly a lovely soft blanket with her initials embroidered on it?

Two Hands said...

I'm behind everyone who suggested books. I still have the books that were given to me as a child. The blanket is a good idea too.
Books! Send books!

Lindsay said...

Looks like you've got some great ideas so I can only agree. A book with maybe some cliche' thing written in the inside cover? I know it must be painful I think any gesture would be more than enough and appreciated.
Love Lindsay

leanne said...

Books, definitely books.

And love Magpie's suggestion about a card coming from Cole.

Eva said...

I hope you can send something or call and maybe visit. :) Many people like newborns (not me personally) but it might be fun for your baby. As for what to send, my staple is Jellycat's Activity Toys, or food for the parents. A box of chocolate almonds or something!

angie said...

I agree with magpie. Anything I send would be in my children's names. I like the idea of books, what about a Children's Collection of Greek Mythology?

niobe said...

Eva: I'll definitely check out the Jellycat Activity Toys.

Though, you know, it absolutely never occurred to me, even if I were somehow able to gin up (perhaps literally) the courage to visit Stepbrother and SIL that I would bring my own baby along. In fact, the thought terrifies me.

The very last time I saw Stepbro and SIL was the night before everything started to go wrong with my pregnancy with the twins. I've somehow gotten it into my mind that if I took this baby to see them, something horrible would happen to him too.

I know. That makes no sense at all.

Heather said...

Books were my first thought too.

My favorite baby gift to give has been a growth chart. Hallmark stocks a cute one. It's something everyone likes but few people actually bother to buy. Personal, yet not too personal.

The Nanny said...

I've always loved Under the Nile for organic plush baby toys. The eggplant is a personal favorite.

http://www.underthenile.com/underthenile/categorybyTheme-NTC.htm

The Nanny said...

Oh, and as for books, all my kids (and me too, for that matter) have always loved the Sandra Boynton books.

http://www.sandraboynton.com/sboynton/index.html

Betty M said...

I agree with books or alternatively maybe a picture for her room (something from a children's book fr instance) or those coloured letters for her name to go on the door?

Rachel said...

I second Bluebird, send books.

Currently a favorite of our son is "Sheep in a Jeep" and most anything by Eric Carle.

thordora said...

Dr Suess books from Cole. :)

I'm sure they understand, and even a card would be appreciated. I'm a fan of super cute little dresses myself. :)

thirtysomething said...

I second Magpie's idea - the card from Cole. Perfect.
As far as books - Where The Wild Things Are...an absolute fav of mine for kids (not as noble as some of the other suggestions, but an all around, not serious, fun book)
Hope all is well!!

Melissia said...

The best gift my daughter ever received was a wind up Mother Goose music box made by Lennox. It still has a place of honor in her home today nearly 30 years later and she hopes one day to put in in her own nursery some day.

Kristin said...

Get Emma a big sister t-shirt and get the baby a cute onesie...nothing too big but shows you didn't forget.

three minute palaver said...

I would order a big box of those "awesomely tasty, big cookies from Frank's Big Ones Bakery" and have the card say TO EMMA+CHLOE XXX COLE. Simple, sweet, delicious, not too personal and it wouldn't matter what they already had or owned, people can always enjoy cookies.

Tash said...

Well, here's the thing: do you want this to be an arrow across the bow? Do you WANT them to pick up the phone or email or contact you back? If no, a baby gift, especially from Cole, will keep this all very (passively) third person. (This is my relationship with my BIL/niece, btw -- we send gifts to each other's children from own children.) If yes, in addition to a gift for the children, a gift for mom would be lovely. I like giving food, but that's me. Mom from Mom, and I bet you hear something in return.

Aurelia said...

I think, for second kids, never send toys or books or clothes. I guarantee they are already drowning in that. Especially if the kid is the same gender. When they are different gender kids and older, you can give clothes or toys, but babies? Who cares if a girl wears blue?

How about a grocery gift card or predone meal service, or a gift card for a babysitting service?

From Cole, or whatever.

dj said...

Baby cosmetics (shampoo, lotion, soap, bath bubbles), cosmetics for the mother (perfume, body milk, maybe a candle, if she's the type), sweets for Emma, a cigar for the step brother, all from a thrilled pair of cousins. (if Gray is OK with it)

dj said...

And, maybe, some season apropriate clothing (Emma was born in January, wasn't her?)

Dayna said...

I like the idea of the box of cookies. I wouldn't just sign it from Cole; if you don't want to do it from all of you I like the idea of signing it to Emma and Chloe from Gray and Cole.

Wordgirl said...

How about some kind of consumable for the family? Some service or something to make things easier in the early weeks -- I was impressed that when my brother's baby arrived that their friends had some high-end organic food service deliver meals for a few weeks....

I've been sending thoughtful yet slightly impersonal gifts -- in part because things have been slightly strained between us all...I send a big basket of teas and chocolates...or cute clothing that someone might feel sheepish buying because of the expense...

Amelie said...

I like the idea of a book, but they might already have it, especially since she's the second child. So maybe the cookies are better?

HD said...

For Emma this book Creature is incredible. Amazing pics.
http://www.amazon.com/Creature-Andrew-Zuckerman/dp/0811861538/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1/002-5675398-8107241?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1189271131&sr=8-1
Now available in a box of four big floor puzzles. Beautiful.
http://www.amazon.com/Creature-Floor-Puzzles-Andrew-Zuckerman/dp/0811867854
There's also an ABC book.

For Chloe a shameless plug for dh's DVDs..which, as we've learned, not only chill out babies but their parents too!
weeseeworld.com

For SIL, I agree with three minute palaver...a dozen of Frank's Big Ones would be perfect.

Once A Mother said...

I can so relate to this post. My sister is due in November and I am panicking about how to handle the birth without hurting her. I just cannot imagine being around a newborn when my only child is gone.