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.
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.