Friday, September 26, 2008

Au naturel

I remember when baby boy was about a month old. I was still pumping every feed (old habits from the NICU die hard apparently-and no one told me I could stop!). I got out of the shower one morning and caught the first head-to-toe glimpse of myself in our closet mirror. And I screamed. When my husband came running and asking all worried "what's wrong?", I shouted at him:

"I look like a nudie picture in National Geographic!"

I was shocked. I never knew they could be so big. Or hang so low.

I spent the early breastfeeding days at home without a shirt; feeding, burping, feeding, scratching, feeding, eating, feeding, cleaning, feeding, pooping, feeding, peeing, feeding...(this is me and baby boy combined/in tandem, btw). I didn't wash. I swatted flies. I felt like I was finally in my natural habitat...as nature had intended: woman with baby, breasts with milk. Hear me roar!

Now if only I could have gone to the mall without my shirt. But then I would have really felt like an exhibit at the zoo:)

The Parent Bloggers Network is teaming up with Generation Next, and their new product I know Animals, Letters & Sounds, to ask how having kids has made life more "zoo-y". Being a teacher makes me a sucker for dvd's that will keep baby boy's attention long enough for me to blog, whilst not sucking his brain power, pixel by pixel...so I had to respond. What? I like prizes! And I could use some more time blogging, so I need these dvd's!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Crazy Bus Passenger-1, Mommy-0

So I haven't been riding the bus a lot lately. Its been a great summer=lots of walking=lots of outings where if I have been bussing its been with others and so I haven't been paying attention to my surroundings (just chatting with my pals, etc). But I had to take the bus yesterday on a rainy, yucky day to take baby boy to the doctor. Nothing is really wrong, except he is growing up and doesn't need me anymore ad so I needed reassurance. Ok it was maybe a little more than that, but that's the abridged version.

Anyway...waiting for the bus, which was late, an older, grandmotherly lady approaches and starts to coo at baby boy. She is overwhelmed by his cuteness. I think at one point she said "He should be in magasines!". Yes, I think so too! But I digress-Bus finally comes and the ramp lowers for a wheelchair. Wheelchair gets on and everyone waiting for the bus says "Oh you go next!" and "after you!" so on I roll with the stroller. Ms. Bitchy-I-hate-my-job-strollers-and possibly-people-Bus Driver gives me a partonizing lecture about how ONLY wheelchairs are to use the ramp. Now, I can appreciate someone who is having a bad day. I can understand when you hate the general public and want to tell all the idiots to fuck off. I really can. I've been there. Ms. Bitchy Bus Driver could be a woman after my own heart. But I was being paid a minimum wage of 5.25 an hour at the time. I hear the Bus drivers in these parts get upwards of 30/hour. Hmmmm.

As I profusely apologize to MBBD (as I will call her here on in) so she understands that I am not "one of those idiots" and that I simply did not know the rule. What with being on wheels and all I thought the stroller was entitled to roll on the ramp, you know, since it was already down and all. (duh!), other passengers are giving me the "wow..she's grumpy, don't mind her" look. Then all hell breaks loose. Some people get through the back door and MBBD growls loudly and calls them stupid. Passengers start to take sides. Nice, grandmotherly old lady gets into a verbally abusive fisticuffs with a younger lady and an older man. The once friendly smile turns into a snarl. Now when I look at her I think of a crazy person without her meds instead of someone I'd let coo at my baby.

Granmotherly old lady tells the yound lady to "Shut up!" The older man turns around and says "You're Stupid! You Shut-up!". Another mother finally turns around and says "Please! There are babies on this bus! Keep it down!" And then Grandmotherly old lady snickers, stares her down with her beady little eyes and spits in my direction "Oh SHUUUUUUT UP! They've probably heard worse coming out of your ugly mouth!!!!!!".

Touché.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Things in my head I thought I'd never, EVER say...

I think I may want another one.

Go ahead and gather your loved ones, 5 gallons of water and food for 3 days. Lock yourself in your bomb shelter. Something bad, like hell freezing over, or pigs flying or WWIII, is about to happen.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Does anyone else...

Strap their highly mobile toddlers into baby contraptions they've long since outgrown, just so they can put on a little makeup?

What was the weight limit on that bouncy chair again? The one he is using the toy bar for chin ups on? The one he is dragging behind him as he crawls around the bathroom floor? Yeah, that one?!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Weird.

A lot has changed since I became a mom. And not just the big stuff (like I am suddenly a patient, caring human being!), but some small stuff too.

I like yogurt now.

I used to get on twice-yearly kick with yogurt. I'd say "look, self, yogurt is good for you. You SHOULD eat it. Daily. " And I'd promptly buy a crate of 24 yogurts or whatever, decidedly so I would eat one a dayfor the next month or so and start living a healthier lifestyle just like that! VoilĂ ! and love every minute of it. I'd open the first yogurt on day one and retch. I hated yogurt. Who was I kidding.

Now I'm secretly hoping baby boy won't finish his "lil ones" yogurt so I can scarf the last few spoonfuls. I even convinced a mommy friend to buy them and at dinner with them I exclaimed "they're delicious! Try them!". My husband had to pick himself up off the floor. Me and yogurt=friends? Weird.

I also like olives now...and I used to plug my nose when I went by the antipasto-esque cart (olives and pickled peppers and tapinades and the like) at the grocery store.

Self? ...What have you done to former self?

MEGA MEGA realisation

Hubby pointed something out tonight: I have more patience now that I'm a mom. What the fuck? Really?

No, really! At the moment he said that (or words that added up to saying as much) I was picking out chunks of feta from a huge bowl of Greek salad I'd made for dinner. See, I'd made the salad with the cheese even though I questioned the best before date of said cheese the entire time I was cutting it up. Hubby calmly said I probably would not enjoy the salad if I was wondering the whole time if it was going to make me hork up later. So there I was painstakingly picking out all of the cheese. He said a year ago I never would have been able to do that, and I would have just thrown out the whole damn salad. He's right.

But I think, you see, it has nothing to do with patience at all. For reals. And perhaps hubby didn't mean patience either...though for that little moment in time I revelled in that fact that (what I thought I heard) he said patience. And me. In the same sentence. I was patient! Wow! Look at me! Wonder woman! I can climb mountains! I can...ok I'll stop there. What it really is about is having a higher threshold for dirty, shit jobs now that I'm a mom.

Before baby boy I would never take out the garbage (shhhh...I could stomach it now, but I won't). I could never dump leftovers like soup down the toilet where they belong once they've festered in your fridge for 4 weeks. I could never eat leftovers, anyways. I could never clean tupperware that held yucky 4-week-old-festering leftovers (Geesh I have leftover issues!)...but now I find myself thinking "I'd better clean that tupperware cause I'm gonna need it for my homeade sweet potato puree".

Ok, I don't make homeade baby puree...but in some way for the purpose of this blog, baby boy would need the damn tupperware, got it?

I've been wiping snot mixed with vomit off my shoulders for 9 months. I've been looking CLOSELY at shit for 9 months (to see what texture/color/smell it is). I've been milking myself like you would a cow for 9 months, too. Moo. I've been suctioning noses and clipping dirty fingernails and toes (hubby's and baby's!). I'm sure it gets worse but I've blocked it out no doubt. So I clearly have just become accustomed.

Its like when you work a shit job in customer service or whatever...when you are paying your dues, as they say. You just do it! You clean the back fridge, you mop the public washroom after the local homeless have gone in, you scrub the scum from the deli meats tray...all the while you calculate your hourly wage per hour, minute and second so you can say at least I earned _____ doing that, and try to make yoursef feel better. So what just rewards awaits me at the end of this dirty job?

Oh hell...it just hit me. This job never ends.

When we're lost...

Then we are lost together (Blue Rodeo).

So I'm on a bit of a roll here. When I started this blog I really just needed a space to vent so's my poor calm/understanding/genuine/nicer-than-me hubby wouldn't walk through the door every night to see my head spinning round on my neck and fireballs spewing from my mouth. Really new mommyhood was not playing nice with my anger management skills or my patience for that matter. Oh stop your yammering-my baby boy was fine! It was mostly strangers that I loathed and wanted to kill. Anyway, I've loved ranting and roaring and do it for the love. But I've discovered I can also do it for prizes!

The Parent Bloggers Network is partnering with Yoplait. They are holding a blogging contest and asked "Tell us what you rely on to get you through each day of motherhood. Which ones could you give up? Which ones couldn’t you live without?". I hmmmed, and haaaawed. You see, in the last 9 (almost 10-jeeeeeeesus!) months the thing I can't parent without has changed and changed and changed again.

In the beginning it was THE SWING. Not just any swing...the Fisher Price Aquarium Cradle Swing. It lulled him into a coma going side to side...tiny bubbles and fishies floated above his head. The aquatic-y, nautical-y music droned out my daytime must watch tv while I did nothing but sit and let those stitches and my whole entire lower half heal.

Somewhere around the 3 months mark I would say the must haves were a carrier (since the damned lil guy never wanted to sit in the 600 dolla rolls royce we bought him!) and my ipod (to drown out his screaming when I was too damned tired to carry him, and left him in said rolls royce anyway). Of course...by this time I had started blogging and wrote about the real must haves no other mommy tells you about here and here.

Later the exersaucer filled a void left by the swing, Sophie the giraffe filled a void in his mouth and coffee continued to fill the void in my stomach when there was no time for food, but a latte was a one handed gift I could give myself.

But all those things were transient in nature. Needs changed, baby grew. Now a bib with a catch-all pocket is a great thang! In all of this change though one thing has remained constant: My husband. And I can honestly say that I couldn't do this without him.

I mean...when I don't have an answer-he definitely doesn't have an answer. Rest assured I've searched (google) and researched (parentingblogs) and asked experts (family doctor/PHN/lactation consultant/other moms, etc, etc). He's just been waiting around for me to do all of that. And what better way to feel better about yourself than know you ain't the only ignorant idiot in your house? So thanks hubby, we are in this together. You are stuck with me. And the screaming banshee we call baby boy.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Mini moment leads to mega realisation

Something big happened at my baby shower: I realized I was having a baby.

I met my mom halfway, as we live on opposite sides of the country, and we celebrated with my oldest friends, my aunties and cousins. I remember not really wanting the attention. I remember feeling fat. I remember being in complete denial.

When I was forced to don a paper plate hat and open presents I was grumpy and snarky. I said I hated baby shit, specifically Winnie the Pooh shit. Then I opened a Winnie the Pooh picture frame. Ooops. But my friends and fam, used to my dramatics, just laughed and told me I'd get over it.

At dinner later that night with the same folks at a fancy Italian Bistro my mom and her sissies got drunk as skunks on some good red wine. The mood was heady and expectant. I was expected to be glowing I suppose...glowing and happy and excited. I felt more down. This pregnancy I was supposed to be loving? Yeah...not so much. I was tired. My pelvis hurt. I'd gained over 60 lbs and felt I was living in a fat suit...a costume...someone else's body. People, strangers even, kept asking me with guffaws "is it twins in there?!" While I answered my entourage's many questions and listened to theirown tales from the delivery room: "ripped to shreds!" and "third degree tear!" and "40 hours of labor!" I was falling deeper and deeper into a doldrum. Blah. I wanted to take my fat ass back to the hotel, pull the covers over my head and get some sleep before my heartburn woke me up at 3 am.

Then a hush came over the restaurant..a celebrity was coming in! It was Verne Troyer! Mini Me! My mom started looking over her glass of wine with her pinky finger placed just so and (not really) whispering "1 million dollas!". Gales of laughter ensued. While they laughed I was silent. I couldn't stop staring. He was so little. I know I am admitting a severe degree of shallowness here: but I was scared. What if my baby was like him? What if I had the baby and something was wrong with him? He was known for being such a slime bucket (The Surreal World, anyone?). What if he were my son? It dawned on me for the first time that I was, indeed, having a baby. No more denial. He/she was coming. They were already made and there was no turning back now. A person. A little person who might look like anything...a person with a personality... a person with issues...a person with pet peeves...A mini-ME! This "baby" was just a person...another stranger coming to live in my house. What if he hated me? What if we just couldn;t get along? Could I trust myself to love this "baby" unconditionally...you know, the way you are "supposed" to love your baby?

Yes. The answer is yes. Of course. And in the process I would also learn to love myself more, too. When I re-read the posts I wrote about his first few months; his grumpiness, his moods, his constant neediness...his stubborness, I see myself. My mini-me has a mind of his own that mirrors mine in many ways. Those first few months were hard. Really hard. What I found intolerable about him I quickly learned were things I tolerated frommyself all the time. It kept me going - a woman on a mission. A mission to outlast this mini-me and show him the ropes. Yeah, he could complain a lot. Yeah he could whine a lot. Sometimes it worked. But eventually people tired of it. You wouldn't get anywhere without a sense of humour, I said. I told him daily jokes. I rolled my eyes at him. I watched him pitch a fit and he looked so cute I pitched into heaps of laughter. I picked him up when he was smiling and danced with him in my arms to show him I liked that...a lot. When he complained, I repeated his sounds back at him, only louder, and more annoying-showing him how ridiculous he sounded. I didn't immediately take him out of his carseat when he screamed. I told him "tough titties!". He liked titties and this usually brought him out of his spell-knowing he'd get them sooner than later. I wanted him to know that behind every complaint there must be a laugh. Behind every sorrow there was booby to make it all better.

My mini-me made me more aware of myself. Before I knew it I was watching my p's and q's in front on my 4 month old. Before I knew it I was enjoying situations with strangers and their bizarre quirks and needs. No, I wasn't always nice to them...I didn;t turn braindead and start being polte to cashiers and the like! But bad customer service suddenly made me laugh instead of steaming mad. Before I knew it I was having so much fun I wasn't blogging as much as I used to.

Thanks Verne.

It took a little person to show me that I was a big person with a lot to learn, and a lot to teach. And from that moment at my shower I stopped complaining (for the most part) and started preparing. Who would I be to this little person?

I'm celebrating those last moments of pregnancy and self-reflection with the gals from www.coolmompicks.com. Two of their writers are in the last throes of pregnancy, counting down to their own mini-me's, and they are throwing an online baby shower. For this shower us bloggers were asked to reflect on the early days of mommyhood. I think this is the earliest moment I can remember feeling like I was a mom for the first time. I hate baby showers as a rule...and I still hate Winnie the Pooh shit! But at least at coolmom when they throw a shower we are talking 100 dollar gift cards and organic change pads and custom-made sterling silver birth jewelry...oh my! Now who's inviting Verne Troyer? He likes the ladies, I hear.


Sunday, September 14, 2008

In the red

As far as standards go...

I just drank water from a sippy cup. What? I was thirsty!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Never say never

This morning I found myself not only pre-biting/chewing bits of my muffin to give baby boy, I was also painstakingly choosing the best parts of it for him; chunks with the biggest ratio of blueberry to cake. Where are all of my pre-baby standards and what have I done with them?

I said I'd never eat off my baby's plate. Here I am enjoying a full fat, flavored with fruit juice, organic, vitamined yogurt that baby boy didn't finish-with the rubber spoon I was feeding him with. Ummmm...why dirty another dish?

Monday, September 8, 2008

Last night during BBQ chez moi:

Me: "Honey can you grab the napkins-I seem to have forgotten them!" (Smile sweetly at guests waiting patiently to eat food in front of them).

Me: (inner monlogue) How strange! I could swear I did get the napkins. I remember soooo vividly picking them up from beside the microwave, and then....huh...I don't know? I don;t understand...well maybe it was a different time?

...Later that night...

Me: "Would anyone like another drink? Lemonade, coke (opening fridge)...napkins?!?!"

Yeah. I put them in the fridge. Tired. I. Am.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Paint me green...

And call me "Dumbi". Apparently that's what people think I am. I just look like your regular idiot who I guess got knocked up by accident and obviously has no idea how to take care of the child. Well, yeah...I am...but that's not the point :) JOKING! I totally planned to get knocked up this time!

Today I was waiting at a crosswalk with some others. I saw the approaching car slow, made eye contact with the driver, and started to push baby boy's stroller into the street. At this moment the lady next to me (actually I'm going to make an assumption here and say "girl" next to me, instead. I'd guess she was 7 or 8 years younger than me) puts her hand out in front of me and yells "WAIT, WAIT!...ok we can go now." (Car has come to a complete stop).

I wasn't aware there were crosswalk-crossing guard vigilantes out there. I've got to say that I am one of those people who shake their heads at other parents when they do stupid things in traffic. Like let their two year-old cross the street running ahead of them (don't they realize that a a driver may not see someone who is all of 3 feet tall over the hood when they make a right!?!?!). SO, it only follows that I would try my best not to be a hypocrite and practice some safe pedestrian habits. I said try. I'm not perfect. But I do always make sure I know the car is going to stop before I hurtle my baby in a flimsy aluminum vehicle into traffic. I also make sure not to jaywalk, or cross between two cars. Especially considering the stroller is out in the street about 1 metre before I would be.

So who does this girl think she is? Please people...stop feeling like you have to protect my son from me! He's alive! Proving that any reckless behavior on my part hasn't been without some forethought into his wellbeing. What you should be doing is telling the little monster to be nice to me! He is 9 months old and already throwing tantrums. His eyes get squinty, his body stiffens and his little fists shake. He makes a crescendoing groan. Which peaks at a screech. He is "paint me green and call me baby hulk". Is anyone out there worried about me? On second thought, no. Be worried about him, cause if this keeps up...hmmmmm...play-time on the yellow line?