Saturday 11 September 2010

time to think

My transition from non parent to parent is still a bit clunky. After almost eleven months of sliding along the scale of Not Really Worrying At All to Complete Obsession and 200% attachment to Getting Things Right, I am feeling a bit fried.

My pal and parenting mentor Hanna told me that parenting really underscores your personal failings and your personal  abilities.  Hooo Haaa. Very right. My failings are really in bold these days.

I can spend many many hours paying attention, and playing and encouraging and keeping the boy from ovens, sockets, fireplaces, corners, toilets,  pointy things. I distract while swiftly changing a nappy on a standing, crawling and squirming boy. I even assist on  *some* of the poopy ones. (One of the many reasons I love Mark. ) I can read and cuddle and soothe and tickle. I plan the meals he will eat. And those that his parents may even enjoy too. I marvel over his chewing and drinking and feeding his small self many food items while not losing my shit that so much of it is being thrown overboard the high chair tray or at me. I nurse. I prepare the many items needed for our outings to music class, swimming, a walk in the park or a lunch date. I restock. I launder. I go up and down the stairs. I walk the hills. I monitor mood shift and eye rubbing for the near imperceptible but imperative signs that a nap is needed ... within the next 10 minutes or Never. I coo and stroke and hum and mmmmm and head rub to sleep. Sometimes up to 45 minutes. Three times a day.

It is no great surprise that on the Saturdays that I have declared "mine" I have a hard time relinquishing control of all of the above.  Mark knows how and what to do yet I watch and listen to myself snarkily reminding of naps, what happens "now" and interpreting all situations like he isn't here every day. (um, he is. He knows.)  I cringe when I hear myself. It is like those people who won't call in sick to work when they are sick because they are "too needed". Phooey.  The boy will be more than fine with his pop. He will enjoy the different style of parenting his company.

It is a bit of a racket, this motherhood trap we can get in. I want to be more than a mom/ I AM more than a mom. And yet I find it so easy to gets sucked into the very minutae of the routine of caring for a baby. It literally does my head in.

And it is also no great shakes that here on my day off, I am a bit unsure what to do with myself. Part of me cries to go OUT. On my OWN. See movies! Drink coffee in public quietly and READ!  Window shop! Paint my toes! See Friends!  Exercise! Explore! Get a hobby! SLEEP! All the things I crave when I am in full motherhood mode and my attention and psychic energies are all used up. Yet when the day gets here, I Just. Want. To. Stop. Doing. Ahhhhh. Commence staring into space and emptying head of all attention to anyone anything.

What I am learning is that I need perspective. Over and Over. I need to loosen the white knuckle grip. I need to relax. Much More. I need to practice being a different kind of parent ... the laid back kind. I need to be a mother and so much more.  I need to work on the much more part.  I need to give myself permission to get it wrong sometimes. I need to be less grumpy and more grateful. I need to trust my co-parent. I need to find a new balance between Caring and Attentive Mother and Crazy and Controlling Meanie.

And I need time to think.

Friday 3 September 2010

pause: 10 months, 2 weeks

  • 8 teeth!
  • says mama, and I "know" he means me!
  • crawls very fast without using knees (all hands and feet)
  • stands all the time, but must hold onto something
  • refuses to lie down for nappy changing. (see stands all the time)
  • points at Every. Thing. And grunts crazily until you give him the object of his pointing
  • starting to use a baby fork, even if only to stab blindly and wildly at the highchair and then fling it at a parent
  • loves blueberries, cheese, cherries and whole plums (minus the pits, naturally) and natural yogurt
  • wants to drink out of Your Cup, no matter what you have
  • made friends with the exercise ball
  • now scared of the salad spinner
  • knows not his physical boundries and climbs atop of other babies when mingling. Not all the babies love this. 
  • loves being chased around the house
  • can put round peg in round hole but all other shapes make him mad
  • pushes upturned laundry basket around the house as his "high tech" walker
  • likes to take muslins and "clean"
  • naps are a crap shoot and can last 1.5 hours or be refused entirely
  • has fallen asleep at the dinner table in his high chair. twice.
  • washing machine is the best show in town
  • claps at most things
  • waves bye bye, but about 3 minutes after you actually leave and are down the road
  • Mark claims he has said monkey and woof woof, but one time only and never to be repeated
  • facinated with cupboards, doors, lights
  • starting to be a b-o-y not a baby!