1+1=2, right? Ha.
Since my last post (years ago), I have learned quite a bit about mathematics. I’m no mathematician, but I believe my findings would confound even Einstein.
First lesson: the addition of a second child does not equal twice the time/effort/frustration/love/(and joy) of two children.
When I discovered that I was pregnant with my second little boy (shortly after our lake vacation – last post), I was overwhelmed but excited and confident. I thought “Hey, I’ve got this whole mothering thing down. I can easily handle another little rug rat.” I believed my “vast” parenting knowledge would translate into a stress-free infancy. I knew each baby was different and an individual. But really, how hard could it be… Well, 1+1=10 times the time/effort/frustration/love/(and, yes, joy) not to mention the chaos. It is this chaos, I believe, that plays a vital role in my next lesson.
Second lesson: Time is not linear.
You know how your parents/grandparents always say “time flies”. Well, I have lost an entire year of my life. For months I believed and even told friends that I’m 30, just to discover last week that I am in fact about to turn 32… Could it be that I’ve been overwhelmed with child-rearing/birthing and the chaos that entails or that I’ve blown off my birthdays as inconsequential (barely celebrating them) or maybe my IQ has dropped so dramatically that I can no longer count above 30? Not sure what the answer is.
All I can say is that time flies and 1+1(does NOT)=2
Merriam-Webster defines vacation as:
- a respite or a time of respite from something
- a: a scheduled period during which activity is suspended b: a period of exemption from work granted to an employee
- a period spent away from home or business in travel or recreation
I recently went on a family vacation to a lovely lake house in New Hampshire. It was perfect. The pefect house; perfect weather; great food; good friends. Perfect. It wasn’t until I arrived home that I realized what was missing: the VACATION.
As a full-time mom, my job is pretty much being a slave to my eight month old little boy. He’s hungry; I feed him. He’s tired; I rock him to sleep. He poops; I wipe his hiney. Over my week long vacation, I prepared 22 baby meals. Since I’m making my own baby food – this requires more than popping open a jar of Gerber. I put the baby down for 15 naps (my husband would have helped but unfortunately his nipples run dry). And changed 35 diapers (I’ll give my husband 15 or so). And this isn’t including the 8 (normally 5) hour drive with an eight month old – not exactly the same as say a 90 minute massage. So, my “vacation” wasn’t really a respite, at all.
Is there really such a thing as a family vacation? Or is it a misnomer? Maybe it should just be called a brief change of location.
**Don’t get me wrong. I had a wonderful time. It’s just amazing how different things are when you have a 20 pound ball of love and energy.
As my 30th birthday looms on the horizon, I’m beginning to feel like I am no longer a child. It’s funny – this feeling is NOT stemming from this birthday milestone, or the fact that I am now a parent, or even that the idea of a good night includes a glass of wine at home and being in bed by 10 PM. This feeling stems from a recent debilitating episode of getting dressed one morning.
As I was pulling on my pants something in my back snapped. “Awch. Oh god, I can’t stand up. Is that the baby waking up?” As I massaged my lower back and hobbled into the baby’s room, I felt like an adult. When I called my husband, 6 hours later in tears because I could no longer stand up and hold the baby, I felt like an adult. Two weeks later as I made my 7th appointment at the chiropractor, I felt like an adult.
I’ve never before had back problems. Sure it was sore towards the end of my pregnancy – but that was to be expected – I had a HUGE belly in front of me. But this time my back was so strained I was forced to crawl on the floor. As an indication of my debilitated state I actually called my mother and begged her to be on the next flight to Connecticut to help me (those of you who know me understand that this is a big deal because I HATE asking for help).
When it all boils down – I realize that I’m not old (but I’m not young anymore either) and that my back problems stemmed from stupidity and not fraility. The day before my incident I carried my 20 pound son in a baby bjorn, a 20 pound bag of cat food, 3 gallons of milk, 5 pounds of chicken, and 5 pounds of walnuts (gotta love Costco) up the stairs from the garage and into my apartment all at the same time.
So, my back went snap; my spirit went crackle; and the bubble of youth went pop.
Tomorrow is the big day. I’m going to feed my little 17 pounder his first tastes of food. I’ve had all these grandious ideas about what his first solid food experience should be. I’m thinking pureed organic sweet potatoes cut with the freshest of mom’s milk or maybe it should be sweet peas or there’s always applesauce. But, after much talk and consideration, I have decided to go down the heavily trodden path of rice cereal. I know it taste like cardboard and could constipate him – but my pediatrician recommended it (as did all family members). In my defense, I did spring the extra dollar for the organic whole grain rice cereal… poor little guy. It will only be for a few days and then we’ll be on to bigger and much better things.
Tomorrow is a momentous day for so many reasons. First, my little boy is growing up. Second and even more emotional, this is the first step towards weaning. Even the mention of the W word makes me choke up. Also, this is HIS first experience with eating, something that is near and dear to me. And finally, it’s going to be so damn cute.
Wish us luck!
Filed under baby, food, mom
This is a call to all mothers** who have sacrificed their careers, resumes, paychecks, and a tiny bit of their soul. The next time you are asked to list your occupation mark “other” and write in Super Hero*.
Frankly, I’m tired of feeling judged because I have chosen to stay at home and raise my children. When I say judged, it varies from “Oh, poor un-liberated woman” to “Is there any other way to properly raise your children?” We each make the decision that is right for us and our family. Period.
But, I must admit that when donating money to Barak Obama last week, I hesitated when asked about my occupation. Was I a “housewife” or a “homemaker”? Are those really my options? GAG. I’m a full time mom**, right now. And it’s the toughest job I’ve ever had. If you’ve never tried it, you have no idea how all consuming and absolutely exhausting it is. I love “Pop goes the weasel” as much as anyone, but seriously 27 times in a row… And I’ve only been a mom for 5.5 months. So, when filling out Obama’s form I decided to declare myself a “Super Hero”. And it felt pretty darn good.
To all you stay-at-home mothers** out there, let’s start a revolution. We ARE Super Heroes!
It’s a small step for mothers**, one giant leap for mother**-kind.
*I must give credit to my husband who truly started this revolution with our taxes this year. According to the IRS my occupation is Super Hero. Who would dare to audit a super hero?
**I should say PARENTS
All mother’s want what is best for their child(ren). It is one of the most basic tenets of motherhood (hopefully). However, sometimes this desire is overshadowed by the need to do what’s best for me (the mother). While this might seem paradoxical, mother’s are also very adept at rationalizing. So, for a baby to be happy and healthy, he NEEDS a happy and healthy mother. This translates into “What’s best for the baby is for mommy to watch 6 hours of Desperate Housewives which requires succumbing to the temptation of buying yet another large brightly colored plastic thingy to entertain you while I do this.”
After reading an article that claimed exer-saucers (aka activity saucers) hindered motor skill development (something about babies not being able to see their own legs), his father and I decided that we would NOT be purchasing one of these large plastic circus-like things.
Oh, how quickly resolve falters…
At a play date two weeks ago, my little guy was introduced to the exer-saucer. He LOVED it. Squeals of delight, cooing, and best of all a mother with two free hands. SOLD. I didn’t care that I was about to spend yet another $100 (yes, it appears that everything baby related costs at least $100) and turn my back on a “scientific study” (after all, can’t you find a study to support any/everything these days?). So literally the next day we went to Buy Buy Baby and purchased the Baby Einstein Discover and Play Activity Center by Graco. It’s even named to make parents feel better about abandoning their children to a plastic babysitter. It makes you think, “He’s discovering new things all on his own. And it has Einstein in the name. We must be creating a little genius by purchasing this toy”. And just that quickly, another acre of our former life was resettled by brightly colored plastic.
A lot of parents today swear that Pampers are the best brand of diapers. For those of you in doubt, please read on.
After a long day tending to my recently immunized grumpy little boy, I decided that I needed some amusement. Since my husband was working from home, I decided that he would have to suffice. In a fun game I like to call “Guess what I’m holding under your nose”, I decided to have a little fun with my hubby.
As I put my little guy down to sleep I noticed a poopy diaper sitting out (I know I should have thrown it out immediately – but it was a tough day and the diaper was sitting next to the changing table). I immediately thought, “This is the perfect object to trick my hubby into smelling.” I approached him and tauntingly asked him to close his eyes and guess what he was smelling. In a show of true trust, he obliged. As he began to sniff, it was nearly impossible to not chuckle. With a quizzical brow, he said “Wait, wait. I know this smell.” I thought, “You sure do.” He continued sniffing in delight for close to 30 seconds. He guessed, “Cookie dough. No. Cake. No. Frosting. No. A CUPCAKE!!!!” It was a priceless moment. My husband confused the smell of a poopy diaper for a cupcake. Thanks, Pampers.