Friday, 21 March 2014

Despair & Wonder

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I want to go on record as saying  that my son is a pretty cool little guy.

I realize you may not get this impression based on what I write here.  I admit the trying moments are much easier to write about than the good ones.  A common problem I'm sure.

There is a lot of despair involved with parenting.  (I say, with my 10.5 months of experience. Ha!)  There is also a lot of amazement and wonder.

one of the first photos of us together, despair & wonder rolled into one

Partially at our ability to keep him alive and safe and partially at his development into his own little self.  Watching him marvel at a blade of grass, discovering the fridge magnets, or his pure joy at emptying a drawer of hats and scarves is immensely enjoyable.  Savouring & documenting first mud stains and busted lips and bruised knees seems ridiculous and necessary.

And yet, I pause so infrequently to appreciate the journey this little man is going through.  While I complain it is all about him, a lot of the time it is all about me.  He doesn't need us to stay home so he can nap in the cot, Mummy needs him to nap in the cot because he'll sleep longer and she'll get a longer break.  But the reality is a 40 minute buggy nap while mummy sits in the sun reading a magazine is actually more restorative than an hour cot nap while mummy runs around the house like a mad woman so she can rest unfettered by the guilt of household chores for all of 10 minutes.

I can barely remember what my life was before this guy.  The horrid nights of crying on the bath mat are fading as well.  I long for a time when I won't be exhausted and can be a person on my own again.  But then I realize this won't happen.  He is permanently with me.  On the few occasions I leave the house without him he is still with me.  I see other mums and give them a smile that says, 'I feel you,' and they look at me like a crazy person because they don't see my invisible son.  They don't see that I am a mum too.

Sometimes I look at him and can't believe I am his mum.  That I am the person that can soothe him when he falls, that he actually wants to be with me all the time.  Me.  The woman who would rather not have to deal with children is obsessed with a child.

I live for nap time and take it personally when he only sleeps for 40 minutes.  But the look on his face when I walk into his room...I mean.  It's like he's won the lottery.  He doesn't know I'm selfish and require an extraordinary amount of 'me time' and that 40 minutes isn't going to keep mummy from going crazy.  All he knows is that his mummy has appeared and it's like Christmas to him. If he knew what Christmas meant.

It doesn't quite make up for the exhaustion at present, but I can see a glimmer of a future in which it will all seem worth it.

...back to your originally scheduled programming of parenting despair and mishaps.

Friday, 7 March 2014

110 mummy minutes

Teething nap.  As desperately typed into an iPhone on 18th of February.

First 20 minutes: screaming and crying in the cot, trying to escape.

Next 10: screaming and crying on mummy while mummy cries and sings.

Next 20: asleep on mummy while she fumes about being stuck on an uncomfortable stool in a dark nursery. iPhone only has 13% charge. She calculates how long it's been since she last ate anything (6 hours).  Gets more annoyed. Seethes about how unfair it is that she doesn't get any break today while simultaneously kicking herself for being a selfish jerk.  Poor little guys has tiny bones ripping through his gums.

Next 20: finds a moderately more comfortable position which means legs up on the side of the cot.  Uses precious little battery life to tweet situation because misery loves company and she isn't one to suffer in silence.
Baby stirs and she instinctively holds her breath because as uncomfortable as she is, she isn't ready to deal with baby just yet.

Next 20: hugs baby a little closer despite butt going numb and back screaming.  Getting over her self-pity at not getting a break today because really, how often does she get to snuggle the little guy these days and as annoyed as she is, it is kind of nice to have an excuse to not get anything 'constructive' done.  Really, teething must be a real downer for the little guy and he deserves some relief.  Maybe she dozes a little.

Actually enjoys the quiet time although s low blood sugar headache is starting to kick in and she's getting really thirsty and a tiny bit concerned about how and when she'll get to eat.  Really needing to pee and the rainstorm white noise isn't helping.

Starting to get uncomfortable again. Comfy feelings are starting to fade as she realizes the day he finally starts napping longer she can't take advantage of the break.

Last 20: All calm and loving feelings quickly disappearing as bladder gets more uncomfortable and headache increases. Throat and lips unbearably dry now. Back is starting to scream again.  Legs going numb from being propped up on the cot for an hour and a half.

Baby wakes, bleary eyed.  Cries until he realizes it's mummy holding him.  Gives a sleepy smile and starts crying again just in case she thought it might be an easier afternoon.