Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Beautiful Boy

I'm really not as much of an asshole as this post makes me out to be, and reason number 8,842 that I adore my mother

The sad truth is, I find babies incredibly boring. Including my own. I love Josie. I do. But I've got three weeks of maternity leave left, and I seriously cannot wait to get back to work.

Some people have likened being on maternity leave for 8 weeks to being on vacation.

Um, no.

If I were on vacation, I'd get more sleep and have time to myself. And right now, I really have no time to myself, and the sleep? Not so much.

It's not that Josie is difficult. She's actually a very easy baby. She's not fussy, and she never really cries unless she's hungry or trying to poop (which is difficult for her tiny little system, poor thing) or wanting to be held. But she would rather be held than hang out in the bouncy seat or the swing, so if I put her down to try to do dishes or do a workout video, she starts to squawk after about 10 minutes, so I'll pick her up and she passes out on my shoulder almost immediately, so I'll put her in the crib, but then she wakes up again when she realizes she's in a bed rather than on me, and starts to squawk, and so it goes.

And the weather is crappy, so I can't just stick her in the stroller and take her for a walk, and the flu season in Colorado is beyond horrible, so I can't really take her to a museum or anyplace where people congregate because she hasn't been vaccinated yet, and I'm just bored out of my fucking mind.

I was thinking the other day about my feelings towards my children and how they evolve as they get older. Because while I love Josie, and I think she's cute and all that, I'm not in love with her the way I am with Zeke. I couldn't be -- I don't know her yet. I'm protective towards her and I take care of her and I would defend her to the death against any attacker, but her personality hasn't revealed itself to me yet. I don't have the capacity for blind love for someone without knowing them at all, I guess.

Bad mommy.

When I think about Zeke, I can think about how when I was giving him a bath last night, I was making him totally crack up -- one of those deep, uncontrollable belly laughs -- by picking up a handful of bubbles and blowing them all over the tub while making silly faces. Or how unbelievably happy he was at his birthday party the other night when I brought out the cake and everyone started singing the birthday song to him. He seemed ready to burst with joy.

Or how when we walk to the park, he tells me about everything he sees with such enthusiasm. "Moon! Moon, Mama! There it is!" "Leaves!" "Big tree!" Or our little routine, when he says, "Hi, Mama! How are you?" And I'll say, "I'm great, Zekey, how are you?" "I'm fine." "I'm so glad." "Love you, Mama." "Love you too, Zekey."

I don't have any of those associations yet with Josie. I know they will come, as they did with Zeke, but right now my days are kind of mind-numbing.

And even with Zeke, spending all day every day with him would drive me crazy. I just need more intellectual stimulation, and more quiet time, than days with a 2-year-old will allow. I don't know how the day care teachers do it.

I was talking to my mom this morning while trying to get Zeke dressed and fed and trying to feed Josie and figure out why my phone isn't working properly. I was a bit frazzled.
"Jesus, I'm so tired of being on maternity leave."

"Can you go back early?"

"No. I can't put Josie in daycare until she's 8 weeks old and she's had her shots. I feel like such a jerk for feeling this way, but I really think I'm a better mother for not spending all day every day with my children."

"Oh, honey, I know. I had babies too. And they're cute and I like to hold them, but they are kind of boring."

"I know!! They don't do anything."

"And I worked, but I still think I was a good mother."

"You were and are a great mother!"

"Because I worked."

So, so true.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

On one hand, he can be so sweet. On the other, he's such a guy...

Last night I was having an Episode that comes from being on maternity leave and taking care of two small children who have no concept of anyone's needs but their own and the house is in shambles and every time I turn around there's a sink full of dirty dishes to be washed and my hair is disgusting because I can't remember the last time I took a shower and the baby needs a bottle and Zeke is crying because I won't let him play in the cupboard where we keep the cleaning supplies and I feel fat and disgusting and ugly and washed up.

And truthfully, I love my daughter (and my son, for that matter) to pieces, but I find taking care of a newborn, and being home all day with children with little adult interaction (particularly during a wicked flu season -- seriously, there are entire school districts in my area that are closed because over half the student body has flu -- so I'm housebound for health reasons), to be kind of soul-crushingly tedious. Particularly when I'm getting little to no sleep because Josie is still so little that she can't eat very much at a time, so she's up every couple of hours to eat, and then maybe she doesn't feel like going back to sleep right away. And of course Zeke decides to wake up and wants to basically lie on top of me in my bed, because the more real estate on my body he occupies, the less that's available for The Little Pink Monster. So I end up yelling at everyone to go to sleep, which causes one party to start crying, which causes another party to start crying, and then I start crying because I'm so fucking exhausted because the thought of being able to sleep for more than two hours at a time is so tempting that at that point, I would sell both of my children to the first bidder to achieve it.


So last night, I'm sitting at the kitchen table, all weepy, and Jason says, "I've got something for you."

And he goes out to the car and ladies, he went to Jared! (And seriously, how cheesy am I for breaking out the slogan? Jared, call me. I can make you a deal).

At first I'm just looking at the pretty bag with the pretty box and I can't even stop crying enough to open it, because I'm so touched.

I finally open it, and it's a pretty gold locket, and I cry even harder because it's so sweet. And my sweet husband gives me a big hug, and my sweet son gives me another hug ("Luboo ["love you"], mama!"), and I feel loved and appreciated and all is right with the world again.

I spend the rest of the evening picking out pictures to put inside the locket and cutting them into little heart shapes. And I feel fine.

This morning, everyone is all happy and loving and sweet. Jason lets me sleep in a little while, and I get up and start to fix myself some oatmeal. It's the steel cut kind that takes approximately 7 hours to cook.

At one point, Jason says, "is your porridge OK?" because it's been cooking for awhile.

I explain that it's special oatmeal and that it takes a long time to cook because it hasn't been processed.

"But it's got alot of fiber as a result," I say.

"So does that mean you're trying to shit yourself? Is that the goal here?"


Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Baby steps

Hi, everyone! I've missed you. Been kinda busy, you know how it is.

The Joey says "hi." She may look small, but she consumes an enormous amount of my time and attention.

Things have been good. Zeke is adjusting pretty well to having a baby in the house. I'm adjusting to having Jason back at work and taking care of two small children by myself during the week.

I've discovered that a second child is akin to looking at real estate - it's a "location, location, location" thing. Meaning I spend alot of time figuring out when and where I can stash the baby while attending to Zeke. Can I time Zeke's bath to coincide with Josie's need for a bottle, so I can sit and feed her while watching Zeke in the tub at the same time? Is her diaper changed and she's settling down in time for me to put her somewhere while I get Zeke up and dressed?

Turns out she's not a big fan of the swing, but seems to like the car seat OK. She used to like the bassinet, but lately not so much.

Sleeping in the carseat while Mama blogs.

Mostly she likes to sleep on me. Even at night. So I sit up in bed with her sleeping on my shoulder, and I catch a nap here and there when I can.

I'm kinda tired.

But that doesn't mean I'm not determined to get back to living life like a grown-up, non-pregnant person.

When my mom was here, among the many wonderful things she did to make my life easier -- other than the laundry, the dishes, take Zeke to the park, take Josie for a night or two so I could sleep, and generally just be great company -- was to give Jason and me a night of babysitting so we could go out on a date. So a week and a half after giving birth, I squeezed my ass into a pair of jeans and put on a nice jacket and my favorite pair of high-heeled boots and some lipstick, and we went out on the town. Dinner and a play at a local theater. Fun.

But I think I need some practice in the "going out and acting like a grownup at a place that doesn't serve kids' meals" department.

Because I googled the wrong address (I typed in 17th "Street" instead of "Avenue"), so instead of having a block and a half to walk in my high heels from the restaurant to the theater, it was 8 blocks, including up a big hill. And it's been a long time since I wore heels, and the boots were tighter than I remembered, so by the time I hobbled my way up the hill to the theater, my feet were in agony and I was sweating.

And the play was really funny and we had a great time, but it was really hot in the theater and of course the lightest thing I had on was a turtleneck, because that was one of the few shirts I owned that fit loosely enough for me to not look like I was stuffing my still poofy abdomen into a sausage casing.

And then walking back to the car was so painful that I finally stopped on a street corner in the middle of downtown Denver and made Jason help me take off my boots, because I was too stuffed into my jeans to bend over comfortably to get them off myself.

And then I walked the remaining 4 blocks to the parking deck in my socks. We passed a bunch of police chiefs in town for a big convention, and I just told myself that while I may look like a dork walking around the streets of Denver in my stocking feet, at least I'm not walking around wearing my convention badge/nametag outside of the convention itself. Losers.

And then when we got to the parking deck, we needed our ticket to even get access to the elevator after hours, but my purse is such a mess that I ended up sitting on the sidewalk, in my socks, with the contents of my purse dumped out on the ground, to try to find the ticket.

And once I found it, Jason needed to help me up because my jeans were so tight that I couldn't do it on my own.

Basically, I looked and acted like a drunken idiot, without the fun of actually being drunk. Meaning that next time, I either need to drink more to justify my ridiculous behavior, or I need to relearn how to go out in public and be cool.

I'll work on the latter, but don't hold your breath.