was the name of a store in the pathetic excuse of a mall in the town I grew up in. Nobody ever bought anything from it as it sold southwestern style wall hangings and wolf figurines. Not exactly the mall’s demographic. When we were twelve my friends and I used to walk through it for a laugh. It seemed like the kind of crap our grandparents would own, and probably did.
What brings me back to the memory of this sad little shop is my middle-of-the-night awakenings from my two lovely daughters. Except lovely isn’t the term I use at two in the morning. I won’t write what I actually say because I’d be hauled away and you’d think I was the worst mother in the world.
I no longer have the perfect baby and it really pains me to admit it. Literally pains me. I don’t know what the hell is going on with the little one (or the big one for that matter) but she’s stopped sleeping through the night, doesn’t want to eat at regular times, and can’t be soothed by anything. It’s my worst nightmare because added to that is the toddler who doesn’t know the meaning of slow down. She’s on turbo speed twenty-four seven. Plus we just moved into a new house so nothing is where it should be and it’s impossible to get anything done.
So on the off night that the baby is sleeping better, the big one will decide it’s time to scream and cry right when the hubby and I have just drifted off to dreamland. And then they take turns whining and whimpering until the sun decides to come up (or even before) and we’re forced to start the day with only three hours of chopped up sleep, hence “in cahoots.”
It’s like having not one, but two Stewies. They both want to destroy me. And will most likely succeed sooner than later at the rate we’re going. I’ve seen them give each other the look before the big one is carted off to bed. I see the glimmer in her eye that says, “Don’t worry Sissy. I’ve got the first round. You can sit back and relax for a bit…save up for your turn.”
And I’m sure this is just the beginning. They will conspire for years to come. One will always be the lookout whether it’s to get the chair positioned just right to reach the candy cupboard (yes I have a cabinet for candy, how do you think I survive each day?) or when they’re teenagers rolling the car down the driveway. Something tells me they will always have their stories straight.
We are so doomed.
Nobody will ever be good enough to date our daughter. Period.
Most parents feel this way about their children at some point, and while it’s light years away for us, I’m having this kind of anxiety about the food she eats. No banana is organic enough, no cracker unprocessed enough! I know I have to get over it. She’s just so perfect and untainted still, sue me for wanting to keep her that way.
I don’t want her eating partially hydrogenated oils or unsaturated fats, no Mcnuggets, or soda. But how will I explain that she can’t have MickeyD’s when I crave their heavily salted fries and addictive sugary ketchup? Or that I can’t seem to kick my nasty mini-Coca Cola addiction? She’ll hate my hypocritical ass!
While her father and I don’t eat as healthily as we could, I still want better for her. I finally understand that as parents, we want only the best for our kids. He says she’ll be fine if she has a little bit of that stuff, but I want to protect her from getting a taste for it in the first place. That’s what’s wrong with us. I was born with a picky palette and it’s still not as refined as it could be. And don’t even get me started on my sweet tooth. It’s a disease for sure!
Now that her doctor said to feed her bites from our own plates, I’m starting to freak out about our eating habits. I’m not going to give my baby pizza or spicy chicken chili. So does this mean we’ll have to start eating bland mush?
Sometimes I wish we lived on a farm far away from the shelves and aisles of packaged, processed foods. We’d have to prepare everything that went into our bodies. But who am I kidding? I’d miss the convenience of opening a box of Cheerios and not having to milk the cow before eating my morning bowl of cereal. Who has the time for that anyway?
Babies weave some kind of magic over people. It’s almost impossible to resist their chubby cheeks and gummy smiles. I know a few people who can, but the majority of the world can’t get enough. This is probably why I have so many blue-hairs stopping me every two feet at the grocery store, proclaiming that my daughter is the cutest baby. When it was just me I used to blend in with the fruits and vegetables, but now with my daughter it’s like there’s a neon sign over our heads saying, “Compliment this baby and you might win a brand new car.” All the attention is very sweet, and I always thank them, but when it happens so often it makes me wonder. And slightly worry. If these ladies didn’t have walkers or arthritis slowing them down, would they try to high-tail it outta there with my baby? No, I know the sight of my munchkin triggers happy memories of their own little ones, that’s all.
Before our daughter came along, my hubby was in the group that could resist the gummy smile of an infant. He didn’t think babies were cute or cuddly, and never wanted to hold one. Then our lovely bear came along and he couldn’t get enough! Suddenly he loved them all! Of course he didn’t think they were as cute as his own, but they were adorable in their own way. I admit there isn’t anything sweeter than a man getting all mushy over a tiny baby. So in conclusion, if a baby can make my hubby’s Grinch-heart grow to love them, then their voodoo must be very strong!
I’d rather walk barefoot across burning coals than be sick. Yes, I’m that melodramatic…especially when I have a cold. It’s one thing to be under the weather when all you have to do is lay around eating chicken noodle soup and watching the Kardashian sisters squabble about their oh-so-hard lives. But it’s a whole ‘nother thing if you’re sick and you have to take care of a helpless infant. Not my definition of fun at all!
I’ll be the first to admit that I’m a big baby when it comes to dealing with a cold. I moan and complain about how much I hate being sick which doesn’t help matters or make the cold go away any faster. But I never knew what it was to be sick and have to put your sickness second. All I want to do is remain immobile and have someone wait on me hand and foot. I can barely read my daughter a story and forget trying to hum her a song as she drifts off to sleep. I sound like Marge Simpson hacking up a hairball.
If there’s a silver-lining, it’s that my baby thinks it’s funny when I cough or clear my throat. As long as she’s laughing and happy, then it makes dealing with this cold not the absolute worst thing in the world. It’s the 2 am and 5am wake-ups that are killing me.
It dawned on me that I must have messed up karmically since this is my second cold in just a manner of 2 months. What did it? That spider I killed the other day? Or that I didn’t pick up my dogs’ poop on our last walk? I guess I deserved it then.
This cold has shown me that my days of being cared for are over. Now I’m lowest on the totem pole. I have to be okay with that, because as a mummy I don’t get to call in sick…ever. So I say, damn you germs (fist shaking in the air) and pop another cough drop in my mouth.
The Top 5 Things I Realize Now That I’m a Mummy
1) Boobs are Overrated. It’s not like they can cook you dinner or wish you a happy birthday, so why all the fuss? Why did I wish I’d wake up with the chest of a Victoria’s Secret model when I was a teenager? We’ll blame TV and the media. Now I realize that fun bags are just that–fun to look at for 5 minutes then they’re just…there. And now that I’ve experienced both worlds, I’d rather go back to how they used to be! (Maybe that’s #6–appreciate what your Mama gave ya!)
2) It’s Not About the Stuff. For months before I had my baby, I’d obsess about all of the things we needed to have before she arrived. The crib, the obnoxiously expensive rocking chair and baby bouncer, the clothes, blankets, beanies, and nursery decor. Who knew babies needed so much crap! But they don’t…it was me thinking I needed the crap. The baby gets here and poops and vomits on everything and you wondered why you cared so much about all the stuff.
3) Date Nights Are Crucial. Romance isn’t something that comes easily after eight years of marriage, and it was the last thing on my mind after giving birth. But now I realize that making time for just the two of us is more important than ever. Plus, it’s nice to clean the poop from under your fingernails, change into something that doesn’t smell like sour milk, and go out (even if you’re just pretending not to think about your baby every 10 seconds.)
4) Judge Lest Ye Be Judged. I used to get annoyed with screaming kids in public. Who wouldn’t, am I right? I used to hide in nearby aisles, grumbling and vowing that I would never be that mom. But I realize now that the mom of the temper-tantrum, shrieking child is going to be me one day. Luckily, my baby hasn’t made me sweat too badly yet, but I know it’s a matter of time. And I hope when that time comes, people will not be so quick to judge but will offer a knowing smile instead of a scowl.
5) Chores CAN wait: I like a clean house. I like organization and order. But I LOVE my daughter. Sometimes I panic that time is going by too quickly and why am I wasting all this time with dishes and dusting? Do I want to look back and remember having a clean house or remember the day we rolled around on the floor laughing and playing with her toys? Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want to be on Hoarders anytime ever, but I realize now that the dishes will still be there tomorrow while my daughter will be a day older.
I would be so embarrassed if the world could hear how I yell at my dogs sometimes. Between the death threats I spew at them and terrible names I call them when they’re acting out, it would seem I went from exceptional pet owner to Michael Vick…well, I wouldn’t go that far. My death threats to them are all empty threats. These animals were once my babies. I confess that I was one of those crazy pet owners who treated her animals like her kids. I didn’t go as far as pushing them around in doggie strollers that is all the rage right now, but I did dress them up in silly outfits and put them on our annual Christmas card.
People kept trying to tell me that it would change once I had actual children, but I never believed them. I used to listen, nodding in agreement while inside I vowed to remain loyal to my four-legged babies. They were our kids for seven years before our little munchkin arrived so I was sure they wouldn’t be neglected, although this was something that worried me while I was pregnant. Fast forward to the day we brought the baby home from the hospital…the animals were excited yet confused on why there was this funny little bundle permanently attached to us. The guilt was strong, yet I didn’t have time to dwell on it what with taking care of a newborn. Their sad little faces were pathetic as they tried to figure out their new pecking order…they still haven’t figured it out. There were many days when I’d have the baby and both dogs on my lap.
I still feel guilty that the dogs don’t get walked everyday and they don’t get as much cuddle time anymore. I still think of them as my kids, we call them brother and sister to our daughter after all. But I definitely understand what everyone was trying to tell me. There’s really no comparison. I love my fur babies very much but I love my daughter beyond words.
Has someone ever watched you go to the bathroom? Unless you’re a career criminal, the answer is probably no. There’s nothing quite as unsettling as a pair of peering eyes on you while you do your duty. It’s way more awkward than when you’re in a public restroom and you get stage fright and are unable to go or if the door won’t latch and someone briefly walks in on you. Mummyhood has meant goodbye to modesty in more ways than one, and this is one of those ways.
My hubby and I have never been one of those really open couples who uses the bathroom in tandem (surprising since we’ve only ever had one bathroom wherever we’ve lived). Call me old-fashioned but I like to keep some sort of mystery alive because after child-birth there really isn’t anything left to wonder about.
So when my daughter is in one of her clingy moods and Mummy needs to use the facilities, there’s no other option than to bring her along. In the few times that I’ve had to subject her to my restroom trips, she sits in her swing just as happy as can be. Only once did I have to actually wear her in the baby sling causing me to wonder if it qualified as child abuse?! To make your child sit in the bathroom while you use the toilet seems like some sort of punishment. Am I doing unnecessary trauma to her little psyche? Isn’t it better than leaving her screaming and alone in the other room making her feel abandoned? Or am I doing worse damage to where she’ll have flashbacks when she’s older to a horrifying memory of her mother sitting on the commode? Who knows. Soon she’ll learn that everyone poops (just like the book) and at one time in your life you might have an audience for it.
“Change my diaper! Bring me my binkie! Where’s my milk?” A mummy is somewhat of a 24 hour pro-bono personal assistant to her baby. And her client can be very demanding at times. Who am I kidding? More like ALL the time. Mummy is a personal assistant times a billion. P.A.s in general take a lot of abuse and are required to smile while they complete their tasks. A poo-eating grin, if you will. But the poo involved here is literal and must be wiped and cleaned off your “employer” several times a day, sometimes even out of their hair or off the TV screen after a huge blowout (Yes, this has actually happened to me). The boss also has a free pass when it comes to your body — no grounds for harassment here. I never knew I could get pinched, slapped, and scratched so much while feeding my baby. Usually it makes me laugh because she doesn’t do any real damage, but once in a while she’ll make me say ouch. I’m just thankful she’s not the Naomi Campbell of babies capable of chucking a cell phone at my head. Those days are sure to come later. Hopefully she’ll be as sweet and gentle as a lamb and nowhere close to a demanding diva.
I knew all this when I “signed up” to be a mom. Funny thing is I couldn’t wait to be responsible for all the daily needs of caring for my baby: changing diapers, feeding, bathing, burping, cuddling, etc. Yes, my services were free but I knew I’d get paid in hugs, smiles, and the sweetest coos anyone has ever heard. The rewards of being a mummy far outweigh the demanding schedule that comes along with a baby and I know when she’s capable of doing things for herself I’ll probably be right there trying to “baby” her again. The days and weeks keep flying by and she’s reaching milestones quickly so I know her independence is right around the corner ,which freaks me out a little, so I’m content with playing personal assistant for a lot longer.