When I did this video about volunteering to serve lunch at Vivien’s school I was treated very differently.
I thought it signaled the start of my children’s disinterest in me and concentration on their friends. But, now that Rex is in kindergarten I’m trying it again. This time I’m getting the love that had eluded me. Between putting on the plastic gloves, tying up my hair and running to replenish the pizza and orange slices Rex will appear for a moment “Hi, Mommy!” Give me a hug and run off. Then between asking kids if they want two helpings of vegetables or one of vegis and one of fruit, there is a lull where I gaze lovingly at he and his new buddies playing on the grass.
On the 3rd hour of this shift as I sweep the debris left under the tables, Rex long ago back in his class, I think. Don’t I see this kid every night? There must be an easier way to see him.
I’m not the best mom. Yes, sometimes in order to get stuff down or end a tantrum I park my child in front of a TV. But, at some point I think enough with this 2 d world. Whether it is what I want to do or not I have to get this kid away from the boob tube. This was one of those days. I’ve been getting this revamped site loaded and needed the free baby sitter, aka TV, to mind him while I did so.
Now, it was time to venture onward. Surely he would be happy with the exciting choices I lay before him. Park, library, play space, back yard? Hello?
I didn’t know I was about to be ambushed like a foreign journalist reporting in Libya.
Rex has a few words now. “Bye-bye”, not at every departure, but sometimes. “Uh-oh:” his first words. And “momma.” Before you say “awww” here’s the rub. He says “momma” to me, to Dolly our babysitter/nanny/my wife, to Mark, and a little to Vivien. I get it. Saying “momma” is easier than “caregiver” or “bigger person upon whm my very survival depends on in this moment.” Really, maybe when he is 16 months, but not at 13 months.
If I had had this issue when Vivien was little it would have cracked me. I probably would have stopped working, dialed back Dolly’s hours and been real snitty if Mark took any parental control.
Oh wait. I did do that.
In Viv’s first year I didn’t work. I had a less help, and I did grab Vivien out of Mark’s hand sometimes in a “I can do it” way.
So, that’s why when Rex says “momma” to someone else I resist pulling down my pants and showing him my c-section scar and my droopy boobs. I take a breath know this is the trade off of getting to walk out the door and make some money or go out to dinner with a friend. And for him bonding with his dad.
“Da-da, da-da:” That’s me in the morning pointing to Mark. So far, it’s not working.
It’s the small things that can make up a good life. Just being with your baby while they do their thing and you do yours. How a baby is perfectly content to play and explore as long as mom, or dad, is nearby. If mommy isn’t there, they cry and race to find you.
I love this time with Rex. We play for a bit and then I jump on the phone or the computer for a little bit and he is fine. My house looks like a small bomb went off, but that’s ok. As long as we are together.
Today mac and cheese, a boston bibb salad with green goddess dressing, and cupcakes will be served at lunch time at home to celebrate my son’s first year. Hooray Rex! I am so grateful for your presence in our lives and that you are healthy. Your smile lights up my heart.
And he says his most clear word to date: “Uh-oh!” He is 21 and half pounds of sweet love.
Mark took the overnight shift, and I was able to go home and crawl into my own bed with Vivien next me. In the middle of the night she said, “Momma, I’m glad you came home.” Woke up early, but had the best sleep in many nights. I got up twice to pump, but I wasn’t the sentry for the night; and I didn’t have an overweight, sullen nursing assistant barging in several times a night with a nose ring snorting, “I gotta take his vitals.” And who says we can pronounce the death of charm? I perhaps.
Yesterday, we would find out the results of all the cultures. My mother-in-law arrived so I could either spell Mark or take our boy home. Just when I was getting ready to go Mark called and said, “They diagnosed him…” I held my breath. “…as a cutie, patootie.” It was funny, but I could have hit him. “Is he okay?”
Yes, he was, and we could take him home. I was sure he would pass out when we got to our own environs, and he did. But he isn’t himself. He is cranky and sensitive, which he wasn’t before. If he loses his latch instead of allowing me to reattach him calmly per usual, he flips out and starts crying. A cry that sounds like to me, “Oh, forget it lady, just forget it; you f–ed up and I’m not interested anymore.” And it takes a while to calm him.
The one thing that is better about him is he developed a puffy redness under his eyes while in the hospital. I assume from the stress and crying. So that looks better. Maybe the entire trauma has taken its toll, or maybe the antibiotics they gave him bother his tummy, ’cause I have had more spit up than usual. I dunno.
So grateful to be home and back to small problems. I glimpsed some kids in there that could break your heart.
Here you come again!! My milk has come in, and I feel like Dolly Parton.
Hi! First blog since I got home. First time I have left my bedroom. Boy, do I need makeup.. or more like a makeover.
Rex is such a good baby.. so far. Doing fine with getting up at 1 and 4. I wake myself up before he does. It’s more work to keep Vivien happy and included. She is an eager big sister, but I have to put her to bed, or she freaks.
Note the clean floors. I hired a person who came today to do it. No new mother should mop!!