Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Motherhood is a Moving Target

Let me just get something out on the table right now: I hate change and I suck at accepting it. Just to be clear, I don't mean that I struggle with the uncertainty change brings. Let me give you an example: I switched multivitamins once and didn't take them for 2 weeks because I just couldn't handle it. What does this have to do with being a mama? If you have any children, you know the answer to that: everything, duh.

Motherhood is a real moving target. Especially as infants, children develop and grow rapidly - we're talking a new skill set every week or so for the first year of life. Go back and read that again, y'all. I mean, holy shitballs, that is ridiculous. Imagine if you learned a new, life-changingly complex skill every week. I could be Superman by now. Just to put that into perspective for you. If you learned and grew as fast as a baby, there would be comic books about you. Also, you'd be fucking huuuge, but that's beside the point.

Also, you'd have to eat really often to sustain that kind of growth. I'd make it my personal mission to avenge the deaths of my people during the Irish potato famine by dedicating each meal to one of the fallen many. With great power comes great responsibility, people.

Moving on. So, what worked with Carrie last week might not necessarily work this week. And it's not just her place on the developmental spectrum that's dictating this. Everything from what she's looking at to whether or not she's feeling well impact her ability to cope with the crazy shit I'm throwing at her. We'll get into a routine that I can really get behind and a couple of weeks later, everything goes to absolute shit right before my eyes and the end of the night finds me on the bathroom floor with a bag of chocolates and twitch around the eyes.

I like to think that this is great practice, and I'm getting better at dealing with change. But then something happens, like my mom gets us a play yard, and I'm thrown back into this spiral of frustration and self-doubt. It's really challenging, but I really do feel like I'm learning to cope with this kind of emotional upheaval. Then again, I'm staring at this pack and play with hate in my eyes, so I'm probably not there yet.

Monday, December 20, 2010

I don't want a lot for Christmas...just some milk, actually.

So, my munchkin's first Christmas has come and gone I'm pondering what a huge deal we made over it. She'll never remember it. Hell, I'll probably never remember it except for the photos. And, yet, there's that excitement of baby's first Christmas which is inextricably linked with the consumerist perspective that drives the holiday season. I didn't do anything for her this year. I figured we'd take lots of photos of her surrounded by presents, etc and move on. I mean, she won't even care about Christmas until she's about 4. And then my mother went nutso bananas for Carrie's first Christmas:

- monogrammed needlepoint stocking
- enough toys to last until next Christmas
- boutique baby clothes
- books, books, and more books (ok, this one I'm actually totally cool with)

My parents even bought her presents for me to wrap and address from "Santa," because I hadn't gotten her anything. Whoa. She got a new Christmas dress (ok with this one, too, since it was for portraits) and a new Christmas outfit. We spent hours celebrating, eating and opening presents. And, in the midst of it all, what really mattered fell by the wayside.

I didn't get to take her to Christmas Eve service at church. She got way off her routine and didn't eat a whole meal for three days (don't worry, I ate plenty for both of us). She wasn't sleeping well at night or napping much during the day. Basically, it was a nightmare. And now I'm afraid that this is how I'll remember her first Christmas: as the pounding ache in my head on Christmas morning as she screamed in my face out of sheer frustration. Gross.