I recently taught Benton how to sign “more” and “all-done” to avoid grunting and screaming in the high chair. I haven’t gotten much further than that, but he picked up the signs in a few days and has been doing well. When he signs “more” for a game that we are playing or wrestling with dad, that is when I pretty much die.
This post wasn’t supposed to be about signing, but whenever I hear the word “more” I picture B’s little fingers touching with an expectant look on his face. And then I lose my train of thought. You know when you read the same paragraph over and over again in a book, because your mind wanders elsewhere? This is much of my day.
More. The past year has been more everything. More happiness than I could imagine. More loneliness than I could have predicted. More worry than I would have liked. More victory than I expected. I have more love to give than I thought possible. More patience than ever before. More uncertainty than I’d hoped. More laundry. More mess. More work. More reward. More tired. More play. The good days are that much better. The bad days are that much worse. Everything is exponential.
I saw someone post on a new mother’s Facebook wall that she will “loooove being a moommmmy soooo much <3<3<3!!!!” I admire her friend’s enthusiasm. I too, love being a mom. But, that wall post only tells part of the story. I keep seeing it in my mind and it has started to irk me. Will this new mom feel sad when she isn’t loving every minute of her new life? Should she feel guilty for not loving each and every aspect of motherhood? Newborns are wonderful, but also such a mystery. In the heat of frustration, I hope she doesn’t feel like a failure if she isn’t loving being a mommy right at that second.
Maybe I am over thinking this harmless comment. I guess I don’t like when motherhood is portrayed so simply. Wrapped up in a neat happy package that and handed to a woman like: ”HERE! LOoooove it!” It doesn’t work that way for most people, and it perpetuates expectations that are impossible to live up to.
Yes, I am a happy mom. But if I stop there, then I am selling myself and every other mom (or mom-to-be someday) short. I am also a ____ mom. Fill in the blank with nearly any other emotion you can think of and multiply it by a million.
The exponential aspect of being a parent continues to fascinate me. My heart is certainly in new territory from so much swelling. I feel stronger and ready for more.
Sorry about the winking emoticon. I have recently come to love it. “Doesn’t it scream, We are in this together and it’s all OK?” I like that sentiment.
Typity tap. I have nothing in mind, but I am typing. This is great news! Yet also terrible news for you readers.
And I don’t feel well, so can I lay next to you and drink sprite while you pat my hair? Thanks.
I’ve not been sick in a really long time. Right now, I am feeling increasingly sick as I type each word. I think I may have an ear infection, so I put some olive oil in my ear because that is what I learned to do from twitter. This is slightly better than medical advice from google. I also don’t really have a primary care physician because I just don’t right now.
Pre-motherhood, I wouldn’t have really mind a sick day (as long as vomit isn’t involved). I could take a PTO day and lay on the couch, watch terrible daytime television and nap. I could take care of myself properly and drink the recommended fluids without a tiny toddler arm plunging elbow-deep into my coffee table beverage. I could rest. REALLY rest. Needless to say, there are no sick days for me. I simply can’t get sick. CANNOT.
Hmmm, this is not the first post I wanted to right about SAHMdom upon my return to the blog because it sounds super whiney, and I’m generally a whine hater. But since this is already a downer, I would just like to bitch about having no PTO days in general. Can we form a union or something? Join a commune? I love taking care of this little person all day, every day. But seriously. Worker’s rights, yo.
This has nothing to do with what I just wrote, but how awesome are yards? We went to one today at our friend Erica's house in the burbs and it was lovely. Our commune would have a sweet yard. The well people would play and the sick people would rest indoors.
to just pick up in the middle of a sentence like I never stopped blogging. Right?
I have a TODDLER.
A toddler who turned ONE last Sunday.
See, look. Obligatory cake picture:
He actually wasn’t as into the cake as I had hoped, but he will learn its goodness in time. What is he into?
BALLS. Bawwls. Balls? BAlls.
Can you see his little mouth all puckered and ready to blurt out “BAHWALL!” for the 892,347th time that day? He likes to say it a lot.
In fact, he thought it would be neat to wake us up at 5:45 a.m. saying “BALllll.” He sits up in bed like he’s just heard a burglar that just must be robbing him of his balls. Alert. He is immediately aware there are balls in the house that he must have. One happened to be in proximity to the bed, so he immediately decided we should have it IN the bed. “BALL.” So he threw it at us in true toddler-dodge-ball fashion. A joy and a delight. But a bit eaarrrrly.
Our first few weeks of toddlerhood have been an explosion of NEW. He can understand what I am saying to him. He hugs me. He signs a few words that I JUST started teaching him. He squeals and runs to his DADA when he arrives home. There are so many sparks that I can see firing off in his little person mind, and it is exciting to watch.
How am I doing? In one sentence? I’m doing pretty well. Although, clearly, that could be expanded upon. More words are needed. More words, more words. I will write them here.
Back when I was growing a human in my belly, I remember hitting a few points during the pregnancy where I felt like time stood still. I just knew like I was going to be exactly that pregnant until the end of time. Then I blinked and BAM. MywaterbrokeomgBABYHERE. Time clearly didn’t freeze like I had imagined.
Now, as a parent, I will get a similar notion. I’ll have a handle on the stage that Benton is going through. I’ve figured it all out! Everything falls into place and I know what I am doing. How easy is that? He will stay in this exact stage forever. And then BAM. He is a new boy within a few weeks.
He has been cruising furniture for about a month now. And he is fast. This afternoon, it occurred to me that I bought a ridiculous ugly walker thing for him awhile back. Maybe he can use it?
I hauled it out of the closet and introduced him to it in the living room. He inspected it, realized it rolled, and tried to pull up to standing. Since it moves VERY FAST, he kind of dragged behind it. I expected as much.
So, I assisted him by slowing its speed as he walked behind it. Carefully spotting the wobbly boy. We went back and forth across the room 3 times. He furrows his brow in concentration and sticks his tongue out slightly when he is trying something new, and I adore it. As I was giving him the walker tutorial, I planned our future weeks of mama/baby walker training with this new toy. Teaching is fun! He is like…a real little human or something. I figured it would take a while for him to fully grasp this ridiculous walker contraption.
THEN I BLINKED.
He learned the ding dang thing in 10 minutes. The mind of a 10 month old is astounding. Everyone told me that babies were like sponges, but I am seeing this first hand on a daily basis.
Things are getting exciting.
We moved! We survived.
We got to sit in one of the new parks. With warm legs and bare feet.
We watched the big kids play. There are so many kids in this hood. It still seems odd to me. In a good way.
We have been exploring. We have been eating (not pictured, but much enjoyed.)
But mostly? We have been looking for spring. Have you seen her? Can you send her by my place if you have? She does wonders for my mood. These photos were taken on the rare warm days we have had. Actually, I think there have been two so far. It has been the cloudiest April on the books and one of the rainiest. Sad trombone.
I have also felt a bit disconnected from my online life since we moved. Baby mobility and home change coincided. Benton is everywhere! It is amazing and exhausting and cute and dangerous. I have to keep my eye on him at all times, so that means less time for…anything else. I love this new phase, but it also means that naptimes have been consumed by organizing and cleaning, since it is difficult to do this things when he is awake. We are just now settled enough for me to feel like I can write again while he is dreaming. So that is the plan anyway.
Apologies for being out of the loop. What did I miss?
Posted in baby, Chicago
Tagged 9 month old, Chicago, lack of warmth, lame post, mobile baby, moving, park, Seasonal depression, south loop, spring, sun
Hmm. Seems to be a baby child on the beach in March.
Yes. He has been here before, but this it his first sit in the sand.
The first time he has really touched it.
Interesting stuff. It can't really be gotten. And flows through tiny fingers.
I feel so lucky to witness these firsts. To spend the day with my buddy. To be part of his life as he takes in more and more of this world. My friend's mother who said 'the first six months he is yours. And after that? Your job is to introduce him to the world' was so right. Spring is such a fitting season for this age. One day there is nothing to see, and the next the buds are bursting. New. Wow! Look! This! That! Go! BOOM.
There is now a baby who lives with us who is closer to his first birthday than he is to his birth. He just finished his seventh month of life, and is blasting through the eighth month already.
One day, he woke up and started to look more like a toddler than a newborn.
That's right. I am going to peer into your soul. Cause I know stuff. I am big now.
See that kitty back there? I am TOTALLY OBSESSED. Kitty. Kitty. KITTY. KITTEH. Let me go see her?
Oh, yes. I love her. I wish I was mobile and could be with her always. I am working on the mobile thing, but right now, Mama is still in control.
Hey, Ma. Are you watching? Ima gunna share this bra pad that I like to play with. Because I love kitty that much.
THIS ONE. SHARING. K?
Sigh. He is working on crawling. How is this happening? How?
I smelled his head yesterday, and it has completely lost that newborn scent.
Things are not right.
Just…off. It’s weird how stuff can unravel all at once. This usually doesn’t happen, but I guess that’s how life goes sometimes. I don’t want a pity party. I just want to fix things, but much of it is out of my control.
Since I am striving to stay positive, I have taken up a new hobby in escapism. Heh. It’s called Pinterest. It’s like they invented this site with me in mind. Adore. You can see my virtual pinboards here if you feel like stalking me. Anyway. It makes me happy and inspires me when stuff is crummy.
Yesterday, I completed the most ridiculous errand I have accomplished to date. The sick mama took the sick cat along with the sick baby to the vet.
We parked on the street because that is the only option. There was 4ft of snow and no curb to speak of along the street, so I could only open the passenger doors of the car about 14 inches max. I squished in between the horrid snow bank and vehicle and stood in 3 inches of cold slush while somehow getting the baby out of his seat and into the Ergo carrier. Then I went around and sat in the driver’s seat while wearing him. Somehow I got the cat carrier out the driver side door with me, all while the buses whizzed passed us just 2 ft from my open door. I should really draw a picture. All I could think of as I crossed the street was my friend Erin. I repeated to myself:
please don’t fall, please don’t fall, please don’t fall. I pictured the cat carrier busting open in traffic and a baby covered in dirty slush as a CTA bus ran over my foot. LUCKILY THIS DIDN’T HAPPEN. We made it inside safe and sound.
I can barely lift the cat carrier while also carrying Benton because my lower back is in so much pain. I can’t bend more than 45 degrees without dying. Justin is out-of-town this week for the 3rd week within a month, so I am solo and don’t have an easy way to do a chiropractor appointment for 5 more days.
So. Luckily Benton was an angel during the whole vet appointment. He giggled as I stood smashed in between the filthy snow bank and nasty salted car while I struggled to get him free of the vehicle. He only looked vaguely concerned when a vet tech had to be called into the exam room as Porpus turned into a wolverine and needed to be handled with a blanket and leather gloves. It got loud in there. She was a raging bitch. I don’t blame her.
He is so sweet to keep smiling through his sickness. He makes me feel better when I hear that grandma isn’t doing well or kitty has to go on meds for life. I am not as lonely at night when Justin is gone because I can spoon the sweet baby. My sore throat doesn’t hurt as bad when he reaches out for me.
This morning he decided that jumping on my bladder would bring back fond memories of when he was an easy-to-care for fetus baby. Thanks for being so sweet, little B.
So like I said, I don’t need a pity party. If anything, just chime in with me. Things I am currently telling myself include: This too shall pass. It’s just a rut. People have it way worse than you. You are lucky. Things will balance out…etc..etc…