Wednesday, February 17, 2010
Every time we think we've got this parenting thing dialed in, something changes. I'm becoming convinced that a baby is nothing more than the universe's way of keeping you on your toes. I smell a developmental milestone coming up - after a couple weeks of good sleeping, including consistent, lengthy naps, as of Monday night he's back to waking up every two or three hours. He's outgrown almost all of his pjs - each time we put them on it seems like the last time they'll fit. Tonight I think he officially outgrew a favorite pair after wearing them for just a few hours.
In his 11th week, Zephyr has begun gnawing invisible chewing gum. His chin and anything it touches is sopping wet. Teething is right around the corner. Out of the frying pan, into the fire, I guess. And as you can see from this photo, his eye color is coming in. A big set of puppy dog browns like his old man, I'd hazard. I'm still holding out hope that the burnt umber stays around the pupil only, and the rest of his iris is bluish gray, that his eyes might continue to resemble a sky in solar eclipse.
Yesterday he had another first - he cried for more than 30 seconds. Was it because he was baking a turd all day (a day of no pooping at all in 24 hours - another first) and had a tummyache? Because he had crappy naps and was a Crabby McGrumperson? Who knows. It took two squirts of gripe water, his vibrating papasan chair set to stun and a squirt of Liquid Nap to calm him down enough to sleep.
Last Thursday I had an appointment to get a massage at Zenana. On Tuesdays and Thursdays they have child care available, so I thought I'd take them up on it and get some work done on the fucked-up IT band that's been causing me a lot of knee, hip and leg pain since the delivery. Zephyr was asleep in his carrier, and I felt leery of leaving him in a room with three raging toddlers and a very pregnant child care provider. But I really wanted this massage, and I was just going to be in the next room if anything happened, right? Wrong. I never made it into the massage room before I broke down in tears at the thought of leaving my baby. I ended up bringing him into the room with me, where he slept quietly for most of my massage. When he woke up, I said hello to him, told him I loved him, and let the nice massage therapist take him to the child care room for the rest of my massage. The following Sunday, Scott and I left Zeph with his grandpa Jack for a couple hours while we had a Valentine's date.
Speaking of Zenana, I've been taking a few classes there that I really like. The Mamalates class is over now, but it felt good to start taking steps toward regaining some semblage of my pre-pregnancy figure (the one I had before the holidays that preceded my pregnancy, that is). I've been back to my pre-pregnancy shape since about two or three weeks postpartum, but I'd still like to drop a few of the saggy tummy pounds that were present in the form of winter girlchub a year ago.
The infant massage class is fun, too, and a nice way to connect with Zeph, but sometimes I really think the other moms Drank the Koolaid. They are really into their babies. When the teacher asked a question like, "What is something that you're proud of this week?" The moms all say shit like, "Peyton smiled at me when she pooped! Blessed be!" or "little Henry rolled over by himself!" I'm the only one who answers, "my food blog got linked on Saveur.com!" Maybe I'm being selfish or unrealistic that I still want to be Heather some of the time, and not just Mommy. But I'm pretty sure autonomy in motherhood is healthy. We're setting a good example for our kids when we make time to take care of ourselves and indulge our outside interests.
That said, though, I had my first bout of complete insomnia the other night, related to the prospect of going back to work. I still have six weeks of maternity leave, and boy do I need them. Being a mom is hard, especially in these post-women's lib times. Our aunts and mothers worked so hard for us to be able to go back to our hard-won careers, and I mean them no disrespect, but I just don't think anyone can do everything. Sure, we can try to juggle working inside and outside the home, and our relationships with our partner, family and friends, and then maybe take a millisecond to look after ourselves, but what kind of life is that? Why do anything at all if we can't do it with the attention, time and care that it deserves? Don't get me wrong - we can have it all, we just needn't have it all right now.
For now, all I want is to have is my time with my growing son. All I need is to be there to celebrate this remarkable little changeling and love him every day. I guess maybe I've gotten into a little of that Koolaid myself.