Morning Of the Toddler

7/31/17, 7:04am

Ok buddy, let’s get dressed. What would you like to wear today? (I pull out a blue striped shirt from his dresser as BB watches from his changing table, unimpressed.) Here’s a blue shirt you haven’t worn in a while, look no tag (he’s refusing to wear shirts with tags). You like blue — No, no blue.

You sure? It’s really nice. No blue.

Ooh, how about your bunny shirt? No bunny. But the bunny is blue! No blue.

Ok, how about your monster shirt? (I fake growl and he whimpers.) No monster!

Ok then, how about your red shirt? It’s red like a fire truck. Fire truck? Yes, fire truck. Fire truck? (BB physically inspects the t-shirt looking for a fire truck.)

Yes, wait – no, no. It’s red like a fire truck, not an actual fire truck. (BB stares blankly at me.) There’s no truck. He starts to sing: Hew-wo fire truck, fire truck hew-wo.

Whatever – yes, hello fire truck! So you want the red shirt? Yeah!

Ok, great! (I put the shirt on him, temporarily basking in the mild waves of accomplishment falling over me before I realize…) Wow… That shirt doesn’t match your cool football shorts whatsoever now (they were already picked out). Whatever, looking good bud!

(I stand him up on his changing table. BB bends over, picks up the the first blue shirt I suggested and holds it up to his legs, then looks at me.) Buddy that’s a shirt, you can’t wear it as pants. I want it.

No, I’m sorry buddy. You can’t wear two shirts, you can only wear one shirt. (I think of a time long, long ago in the early thousands when we did, in fact, wear two shirts at the same time. It was college, and it was a strange period in my life.) But I want it. (BB tries to put shirt on his head.)

Honey that’s not a hat, that’s a shirt. (BB stares blankly.) Do you want to wear the blue shirt? Yeah!

(I exhale a heavy sigh as he struggles to escape from the confines of the red, truckless shirt, and eagerly slip on the first fucking shirt he said no to ten minutes ago.)

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Family vacation day 3

We rushed out of the apartment like a whirlwind by 6:30am after several unsuccessful attempts to get BB back to sleep; he woke us up at 5:15am by jumping as high and hard as he could inside his rented pack ‘n play, throwing his stuffed buddies and shouting demands of a bottle, despite falling asleep a little later than usual last night.  RB and I came to the conclusion that at home that probably happens too but he’s easier to ignore in his room and he eventually gives up and falls back asleep.  Here, he snoozes at the foot of our bed in the second bedroom of the apartment my parents rent for the winter in Seminole, Florida.  The walls are thin and my parents are no longer used to waking up early or life with an energetic, screaming toddler.  (Granny tries to impress the concept of an “inside voice” on BB; he usually looks at her and screeches louder.) 

Found a hip breakfast place.  Enjoyed eggs Benedict served on crepes until BB began to choke on his French toast.  Caught most of the puke in my hands, RB assisted with napkins and cleanup.  I was impressed by our calm demeanors and minimal spillage on BB’s clothes/floor, but I think the waitress was too flustered by another table with young business types who requested 5 separate checks.  RB was polite and threw out the mess for her.  I still finished my breakfast and coffee before we left.  

#parentingwin 

This Week, Today

RB and I finally fell into exhausted sleep around 1:30am fully engaged in what Dr. Google refers to as “18 month old sleep regression”.  I was up with BB the first two days of our long weekend so RB could try to catch up on sleep, and it was only fair we flip flopped, encouraged by the fact we were woken by critical and demanding shouts of DA DAAAAAA, DA DAAAAAA! over the baby monitor.   (That is often the response I receive when I open the door to my little cherub’s room to get him ready for daycare most mornings.  The response to any question is often a bold DA DAAA and an accusing look as if I’m hiding him somewhere.) 

 So RB got up first to take care of the Prince and here I sit, blowing the one opportunity I have this week to sleep in.  But here have been so many things happening so quickly, and I know there are many sweet, subtle moments already lost forever because I couldn’t find the time to just stop and take a minute…  So for my own records, here are a few that I’d like to turn into individual blog posts (someday) if possible: 

  • BB’s 18 month old sleep regression started around 1/10/17 and it’s getting desperate
  • BB asked Daddy the “why” for the first time on Saturday 1/14/17.  Dancing up the stairs I heard daddy’s first “Because I said so!”, my first obvious reaction being Fuck
  • I need help being able to tell if BB is teething or just being defiant, or a butt. 
  • The term “terrible twos” and how I can get people to shut the hell up about it… He’s a toddler, not an evil genius.
  • On second thought yes he is.  After a time out for hitting the cat with a wooden spoon on Saturday he responded by using biological warfare.  I’m really hoping he’ll turn out to be one of the good guys but I’m not sure sometimes. 
  • The first time RB and I used a phone to keep BB quiet in public happened about two weeks ago.  I am still deeply ashamed by it.  
  • We’re going on our first family vacation next weekend to Florida, and we have no clue what we’re going to do.
  • BB has developed a quick, unwavering love for Elmo, and it’s terrible (but could be worse)
  • This past week I had meetings or appointments most nights after work, and this week is going to be just as bad.  RB took BB to his parents’ house on Tuesday, where BB proceeded to turn, wave to my mother in law, and say “Bye Gramma”.  Of course that has not been able to be replicated in my presence but RB swears it happened. 
  • More “discussions” (not fights, discussions…) about the second shift happened this week.  More than I want a video camera to prove I do more shit around the house, just fucking do stuff already. Seriously. 

Mom life is hard.  

New Year’s Baby

Today was a wasted day after a fun New Year’s Eve celebrated with neighbors, friends, and vodka.  BB made what we thought would be a brief appearance, and in hindsight it was a terrible idea.  Much to the delight of our guests we (okay, I) brought him downstairs to join us in ringing in the New Year since he woke up, as customary, at about quarter to 12.  

Rookie mistake.

The problem was that BB didn’t want to go back to bed until almost 2am.  We assumed he’d sleep in, since he got a full two hours less sleep than normal; second mistake.  My little cherub first woke up at 6:15am, which, of course, woke me up as well.  

Despite BB and Mommy getting a kick ass nap today (him 3 hours, me an honorable mention at 2.5 hours) I was dead to the world.  I’m going to insist that I had a pretty killer sinus headache and it had absolutely nothing to do with the aforementioned vodka I consumed.  My temper was short, and it didn’t help that BB chose today to leap head first into his hitting phase – yay!  Most of the ideas I had in my head as far as resolutions (one of my goals is to post a list at some point) remained unfulfilled, at least for today, since I fell asleep at 8pm.  Tomorrow’s another day, we all have 364 days to try harder.  

Space 

In the last two months I celebrated my son’s first birthday, stopped nursing and pumping, watched BB experience many fun firsts and keep getting sick (“It could be a stomach bug or it could be the start of hand foot and mouth”… Twice. Plus an ear infection), took care of BB by myself for a full week while hubs was at our union conference in Las Vegas, buried my Grandma on my second wedding anniversary, started smoking again (like a dumbass)…  

And I might be pregnant again. 

My pants have been snugger than normal and I actually signed up for an 8 week gym challenge.  Exciting, right?  With hubs and another couple.  Cool!  Personal accountability!  I’m gonna get that self esteem back up and learn how to eat better!  We’re gonna have so much more energy to keep up with the baby (who is RUNNING).  Weigh in is on Sunday. 

Then my mom sent me a text this morning saying my dad had a dream I had two boys!  Hahahahaha.

Then I did the math.  Oh shit, I am later than I thought, by like a week.  The nausea when I stayed home with a sick BB last week?  Huh.  If it’s true I’d be due within days of my Grandma’s birthday which is almost too freaky to second guess. 

Hubs was at a baseball game tonight, so I took a test (it’s old but the expiration date was 2017, score!) while BB napped.  And it wasn’t super clear because the second line wasn’t dark, but it was there.  And it could all be a big fluke, but the math is right and the line was there.  

Fuck. 

The Last Waltz

Every journey begins with a tiny, cautious step and certain ideas or expectations; breastfeeding is no different.  The concept of nursing itself was painfully abstract when my husband and I first discussed and decided to try it, just like the mystery creature slowly growing inside of me, occasionally knocking around to make its’ presence known.  We knew it was a baby, but we had no idea how he would so dramatically change everything in our lives, forever.  Even after meeting with the lactation consultants, taking the classes and buying the breast pump itself (my brave, sometimes uncomfortable husband with me every step of the way) we still didn’t really know what to expect. 

BB was a natural eater (thank goodness) and despite many bumps and unexpected setbacks our journey with nursing has been overall very positive.  I truly enjoy the quiet time with him early in the morning, gently pressed against me (unless he’s flailing and trying to rip out my nose ring, which has happened twice) and the closeness we shared when I came home from work.  But fifty five weeks later, my body (and big, healthy toddler) seem to be telling me that nursing may have ran its course. 

Six months ago I felt anxious about my body’s dwindling milk production, discouraged and sad when the shakes and growls of my frustrated baby resulted in me giving him a bottle of formula after trying to nurse him.  I monitored my water and protein I and increased whenever possible.  I pumped myself full of I don’t even know how many different types of herbs and supplements and products that may (or may not) have extended our time together, growing even more frustrated when they did not work (and only one product offered a money back guarantee, that I quickly spent on something else that didn’t help). 

Now, after not nursing for eight, ten or even twelve hours my breasts are soft.  We only nurse in the morning (we ended our after work sessions so I could try to pump enough to meet my often unobtainable goal of six ounces a day) and my little love has stopped short the last several days, impatiently twisting his chubby limbs around me, pushing away and letting himself drop to the floor off of my lap, the pat pat pat of his bare feet echoing off his bedroom’s hardwood floor as he cautiously wanders off to play with toys or find his Da. 

I know it’s probably time, but I can’t bear the thought of stopping, even though it is staring me in the face.  This is just the first of a million times he wont need me anymore, and my heart is breaking just thinking about it. 

My little cherub turned one year old today.

I am beyond grateful for the love he has shown me that I am capable of having; it’s beyond any measure I could have imagined.  Every breath he takes is magic, his face flush with excitement and pride in his newfound abilities. 

I am also grateful that he doesn’t know what the hell is going, and with his birthday party tomorrow (which we are beyond not prepared for), this is probably the first and only time I can get away with this:

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Happy birthday, baby love.

He was up at five this morning, a little before the birds began to wake up the world with their obnoxious sweet hymns.  The world was dark and quiet still except for him, grunting and struggling to get comfortable over the baby monitor.  I had fallen into restless sleep just a few short hours before, after I deliberately picked a fight with my husband.  It had been late and I was still very tired.

One two, I stared at my sleeping husband and thought, “Fuck you.”  He snored loudly in response. 

Three four, my bare feet hit the floor. 

The noises on the monitor stopped and I held my breath.  As his groans began again I breathed out slowly and grabbed a rubber band, disregarded without energy only four odd hours before, and my hair was carelessly whisked into a ponytail.

Five six, I heard the click click click of the baby running his hand along the bars of his crib as my feet drew me closer to his room. 

I opened the door and low lights poured into his crib as he let out a low wail.  He sat up, rubbing his eyes and blubbering incoherent baby speak about whatever upset him, and he lifted his chubby arms up, squinting at me.  His face was covered in thick tears, which ran from his almond shaped eyes down the huge hills of his cheeks and dripped off under his chin.  I closed the door and pulled him towards me, wrapping him in a long hug as I responded back to him in equally unintelligible sleep deprived Mommy speak.  Somehow we both understood each other and he pressed his face into my right arm as I began to gently bounce him back to sleep. 

Seven eight, it will never be too late for you.

The Quiet Time

Two hours and eleven minutes.  That’s how long it took for BB to finally close his eyes and allow the sweet, relaxing tide of sleep to wash over him.  It took both RB and I alternating shifts, several twenty minute sessions of his lullaby bear, three nursing sessions with a bottle in the middle and my nipples being chomped on about five times really hard before it came to this.  If we didn’t know our neighbors I may have expected a knock on the door from CPS; his painful howling (a mix of I don’t want to nap why do you keep trying to make me? and Ow I’m teething again but don’t want to chew on anything other than your nipple) could easily be heard from the backyard the whole ten minutes I was back there measuring the length of fence that blew down a couple months ago that needs to be replaced. What a perfect symphony to enjoy on the second day we’ve actually been able to open the windows!

But now his little snores and the cars passing by outside, coupled with the sounds of lawnmowers being run somewhere in the neighborhood and a steady dripping from the hippo shaped humidifier sitting six inches to my immediate right, create a soft backdrop for this long deserved quiet time. I rub his soft head gently with my thumb.

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According to my phone it’s seventy three degrees outside and bursting with sunshine, but you’d never know in his room.  Despite BB’s sitter arriving in less than an hour for the first date RB and I are going on in months (just got the confirmation text, woohoo!), and so the living room, dining room, kitchen and bathroom need to be picked up, laundry switched over so I’ll actually have ill fitting but clean clothes to wear, and my hair and makeup needing to be done, I will continue to rock with this beautiful little cherub dozing on my lap, because the minute I try to move him to bed he will wake up. 

It took two hours and eleven minutes for this to happen, he deserves to enjoy it a little more.

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