Monday, October 25, 2010
Subtitle: This Sounds Like a Vaguely Tragic But Terrible Nicholas C*age Movie But Isn't - Yet.
Sub-subtitle: Yes, Just Like You Feared, It's Another Navel-Gazing Mommy Post
I've waxed on endlessly here & with you Twitter dolls about what remains of the Miss Type A formerly known as Pretty - that is to say, very little, thanks to Master P. For his first few months, this new inability to plan ahead, to tackle my seemingly important to-do list, to make an appointment or lunch date with any certainty of being able to make it, was crazy making. I may be a very happily retired lawyer, but an attorney still lurks within that doesn't quite feel satisfied with a day in which I don't check off at least one overachiever box.
I won't say I've grown comfortable with this new life overnight, or am even close to fully there yet, but the dawning realization that my life at the moment has one simple priority which, despite appearances, isn't actually boring everyone to tears with my "Mad Men" conspiracy theories. Rather, it's keeping this magnificent little man alive & thriving, and happening upon that realization has helped me turn a mental corner.
Lest the cheerfully child-free amongst you think I'm saying that my child is more important than anything else, anywhere, that isn't my argument at all, truly. Delusional as I may be, I recognize that he's merely more important than most other checklist-y things *I* might be worried about, and this realization has given me license to relax a bit. The bills will get paid & my closets organized eventually - maybe - if someone else comes over and does it for me - but I'll only get one chance to see Master P roll over for the first time (and I did, and it was fantastic & further evidence of his obvious Gifted & Talented, Oxford-bound future).
Though this may seem obvious to you, like many of my parenting discoveries, I had to slog through & get to this point of clarity myself. So the dishes are piling up and my once-semi-stylish wardrobe is hopelessly out of date (the few pieces that still fit, that is), but for the first time possibly ever, I'm pretty much ok with that. This perennial over-analyzer actually enjoys the simplicity of knowing the rolling-over watching is more important. Life is slower - and better.
(No pithy ending in me today, folks. My snark is on temporary strike due to sufficient levels of sleep & caffeine for today, but as any of you who've parented a 4-month-old know well, this situation is unlikely to repeat itself. Thank you for understanding.)
Thursday, October 14, 2010
Sub-Subtitle: "Yes, Stealing Song Titles is the Lazy Woman's Way to a Post Title, What of It?"
Sub--Sub-Subtitle: "Help" (The Beatles references cannot be stopped today. My apologies.)
Sub-Sub-Sub-Subtitle: "So Much for My Posting More than Once per Month" (no song reference, hurrah!)
People - you know, those vague "People" like your Great-Aunt Myrtle who are self-appointed global experts about everything - told me that when Master P reached 3 months of age, life would get easier. He'd sleep more, cry less, and generally get to the business of being a reliably adorable infant Gerber baby style.
Much as I loathe giving People credit, I admit that they might be on to something. Just like there was a sea change for Master P at 6 weeks of age, so did 12 weeks bring with it a halcyon time of longer sleep at night and more predicable nap and feeding times during the day. Suddenly he could support his own head much better, which makes holding him a less fraught-with-peril-ohmigod proposition. By 3 months I could leave the house largely without the dread of Hurricane Newborn and his backup band, the Violent Mystery Tantrums, making an appearance.
Oh, the fun we've had this month - rolling around on the floor, admiring ourselves (ie, him) (ok, ok, the both of us) (except not really, since the "Nursing 10" is lingering, and not on him) in the mirror, staring into space, at our hands, at one another. The babbling has really picked up, interspersed with fierce blowing raspberry bouts. He's proudly doing his baby pushups for a longer time before devolving into the inevitable Tummy Time tears. And watching your spouse frantically belt out "RUBBER DUCKIE, YOU'RE THE ONE!" to your fussy babe is indeed, as those omnipresent commercials might say, priceless.
I can't tell you exactly how the month has sped by so quickly, or what exactly makes up our days - though I can't tell you how much I enjoy the sweetly condescending "But what do you *do* all day?" questions - but sped by it has. I fully expect to wake up tomorrow and be packing him up for college.
This isn't to say we have things all sorted, of course. For example, just yesterday I had a now typical scheduling dilemma. I was tearing my hair out (what's left of it, that is - going practically bald being the unlovely flip side of losing that thick pregnancy mane) trying to figure out how to arrive at a 11 am playgroup when the baby would almost certainly be napping or eating at that time. The inevitable mom questioning began - do I wake the baby early? Or try to sneak him into the car seat asleep with the wildly unrealistic hope I make it to my destination before he awakens? Or let him sleep & eat as he sees fit & arrive late, again?
To the uninitiated, playgroup scheduling must look like the worst sort of first world problem, and it is, to a certain extent. Staying at home with Master P so that I can do things like fret about our social events is indisputably a luxury, one for which I'm hugely grateful.
Though it's a blessing to be able to worry about such things, socializing feels like a mental lifeline at this point. Once again, wise blogfriend Privilege saved my day by suggesting I surround myself with a group of like-minded new moms. And so, with the ruthlessness usually seen only on the sidelines of a junior high dance, I set to find such a playgroup.
After a few false starts - those women with the comic sans, ahem, inspirational kitchen signs spring to mind - and logistical logjams that come with trying to get a 3-month-old out of the house, I think I've found my group, and lo, it truly has been a Martha-style Good Thing. It turns out by "infant playgroup" People - there they go again! - mean "women who need intelligent adult conversation* at least once per week in addition to their wee baby bundles of delight."
*Assuming speculation about the "Real Housewives of Beverly Hills" counts as intelligent adult conversation.
This was only part of the realization that I needed to occasionally venture outside of Pretty HQ for my own sake. Enter: babysitter. Enter: guilt at wanting to leave my precious babe, if only for a few hours. How ungrateful was I to have the family I've always wanted, only to want to escape it all for that most selfish and elusive of concepts, "me time"?
Thankfully, enter: friends, who gave me the mental slap I needed & reminded me that this mothering business isn't one to be entered into alone. That not only did I need time alone, but my marriage needs time for just me & the AH. With a little help from my Twitter friends, I found a sitter online, interviewed her, wasted a few more hours feeling needlessly guilty, and - voila, I now have a few hours to myself & for a much-needed date night each week.
At the risk of invoking our now Secretary of State, it really does take a group of people to get this almost-4-month old on track