This too Shall Pass

>> Monday, June 28, 2010

My baby has stopped taking the bottle. He'll take a couple sips of water or milk from his cup, but then he refuses that too. It has been really frustrating. He has been taking a bottle since he was 3 weeks old, now all of a sudden, its boob or nothing. I've been thinking of ways to force him. Just refusing to nurse him outright. But then I think, "this too shall pass." And it will.

Today I was thinking about all of the ways that my son has progressed, without me doing much of anything at all. A mere two months ago, the boy couldn't sleep without me right there with him. I would nurse him to sleep, then I'd have to stay in the room with him for the rest of the night. I would put in a DVD once he'd drifted off, or read by the light of a book lamp, but one thing I wouldn't do was leave the room. Because his eyes would pop open immediately. He only napped on my lap or in a baby wearing device, making it pretty darn tough to use his naptimes productively. Now, I'm proud to say, I can nurse him to sleep, put him down, and walk away. He will nap for up to two hours without me during the day. He will sleep in bed alone for several hours at night. I did nothing to force it.  He's just ready.

For his whole life, really, Our Sweet Baboo wouldn't stay in his stroller for more than ten minutes. He'd fuss and  cry, and then we'd take him out and baby wear. People told us we'd ruin him, that we'd be baby-wearing until he was a toddler and end up breaking our backs, that we should just leave him in there and let him cry until he got used to it. Within the past two weeks, he has been LOVING his stroller. We put him in, and he either sits quietly or babbles happily to himself. The other day he actually fell asleep in it! Again, we did nothing to force it. If he started to cry, we'd take him out as we always have, but he just hasn't been crying. It's been great (and a wonderful relief for my poor, aching back.)

His separation anxiety was just brual. For months, we couldn't leave the room without him crying. No one except The Hubbs and I could hold him without him freaking out. So what did we do? We did what some people would consider coddling him. We wore him a lot. We took him with us from room to room so he wouldn't cry. We didn't leave him with anyone because he just wasn't comfortable. And one of us was always in his sight. And last weekend? We went to visit my mom. He let her hold him. He played with her with no regard for where The Hubbs and I were. We wanted to see what he'd do, so we got in the car. He waved bye bye to us, with a smile. We drove off. When we came back, he was playing with my mom on the porch. He didn't care that we were gone. He gave us big smiles when we got back. The separation anxiety is over. No more crying when we leave the room. No more insisting that we be the only ones to hold him.

I'm proud to say that he made these adjustments all on his own. So while he is refusing the bottle, slapping it away with a big smile, I just shake my head and remind myself "this too shall pass." And it will. Everything else has.


I'm a grad!

>> Friday, June 25, 2010

I have definitely been a blogging slacker lately. My apologies (because I'm sure you were all on the ends of your seats, haha). Things have been a tad nuts, and on top of that I've been feeling kinda "blah", so that always leads to my ambition going swiftly down hill.

First bit of news--I FINALLY graduated! Yay! It was a challenge and I will definitely recommend that Sweet Baboo finish college before he gets married and has children, but it was all worth it, because I'm done. DONNNNNNNNE!

And lately I've been thinking about all sorts of other classes I could take. Like getting my fitness instructor certification, or my doula certification, or sign language classes at the local deaf community centre. I know. I'm nuts. It's like I'm not myself unless I'm studying something. It makes sense if you think about it. I have been a student for the past twenty years, after all. But now I'm no longer a student and stay at home mom--just a stay at home mom. For some reason that's unnerving. I feel like I'm no longer doing enough or something. I know that's ridiculous, since being a Mama is a full time job, but that's how I feel.
So I've decided that this summer I am going to really throw myself into parenting, full force. There's a free program for babies starting at the community centre in July, and I'll be taking our Sweet Baboo to that once a week. I've also hooked up with a local strollercize group and will be walking every Tuesday morning, pushing my jogging stroller and stopping along the way to do lunges and junk. And I have other plans. Now that I'm a graduate, I'm going to start volunteering. I'm not quite ready to go back to work yet, but the community centre has child care for volunteers, so once a week I am going to volunteer. It'll give Baboo a chance to get used to being away from me, it'll give me a chance to pad my resume a bit, and it will also give some much-needed restoration to my sanity. I can't wait.

In other news, remember how I wrote about not having a birthday party for my Sweet Baboo? Well, scratch that. Sort of. I'm not really having a party for him, but the idea of not having anyone else help us celebrate at all made me so sad that I decided we had to do something. On his actual birthday we are still going to take a trip to the zoo, just the three of us, and its going to be glorious and intimate. But on July 3rd, we are going to have a family barbecue. My aunt is hosting it, and we are going to have cake and ice cream and balloons and sing happy birthday to our little guy.

I know my family will be late.
I know it won't be anything this spectacular, by a long shot.
But I felt like the fact that my family is imperfect should not stop me from including them in a celebration of my little guy. They are imperfect, but they are my family and I love them. Not everyone will show up. The food will be cold by the time most people get there. And we will probably have to take Our Sweet Baboo home early because he will eventually get overwhelmed in the crowded house. But that's okay. This is his family too.  He'd better get used to it.

Two weekends ago, I had a couple friends from high school come visit. It was really fun. They came on the day I finished classes, and we celebrated. We stayed up late drinking girly drinks, and the next day we did a photoshoot at the beach. In the rain. Because we're awesome like that.

Then, miraculously, I got to go see a movie. For the very first time since my son was born. I was sooo excited. Yeah, the movie didn't live up to my expectations, but it was still so nice to be out, in an air conditioned, dark theatre, with no one crawling all over me. Bliss. Too bad there wasn't nearly enough stealing from the rich and giving to the poor. WTH, Robin Hood. WTH. If I want to see a war epic, I'll rent Pearl Harbour.

After the movie, drinks and dessert. Banana splits, ice cream filled crepes, and something red, alcohol filled, and delicious. I love my besties. We have plans to go visit them in August, when The Hubbs has a couple weeks off school before the fall semester commences. He's such a smart little fast-tracker. I need to support his constant studying, because his brain keeps us in scholarships, which keeps me in the best job in the world for right now--stay at home mom.


Musings from the Mom of an Almost One-Year-Old (Part IV)

>> Saturday, June 19, 2010

A mini-series featuring my thoughts on going from the AP mom of a baby to the AP mom of a toddler.
Part I.
Part II.
Part III.

Here are just a few thoughts that don't have enough substance to deserve their own post, so I've combined them here.

Baby-wearing. We love it, he loves it. But our son is heavy, and I am petite, and I have back problems. Its getting really painful to have him in the baby-carrier for long periods of time, even though we've invested in a high quality, expensive Ergo. What's a mom to do?

We've been trying to get him used to his stroller. We have actually used his stroller since birth, but once he was two or three months old, he started to get frustrated because he was leaning back in the infant seat and couldn't see or look around.

We thought that problem would disappear once we transitioned him into the other part of the stroller. He does okay in it, but after awhile he starts to fuss and wants out. I think part of the reason may be that he can't see us. I really wish we'd invested in a stroller that with a handle that could swivel, so that the could be facing us while he push him, but we didn't have the money for that at the time and now it seems like a waste to have two strollers. Le sigh.


Our son is a speed crawler and LOVES to cruise along furniture as well. He has actually already started to fuss when we're out and about because he wants to be put down and allowed to explore. We clearly aren't going to let him crawl around on the floor at the mall or whatever, but it has made outings more of a challenge. He is a very active little guy and has been since the womb, and we know that he's eventually going to be running ALL over the place. I think we are going to end up being those parents who use the dreaded leash.

Honestly, I have never judged parents who do this. I really don't think anything of it unless the parent is physically YANKING their child around by it. I would always rather be safe than sorry, especially when it comes to my kid. Anything could happen in a public place. He could run into the road when we're out. He could get snatched by some crazy kid-napper. He could dart off in the split second that I turn around to get something out of the diaper bag and end up getting lost. I just don't think I'd be willing to take that risk.

So judge away, but I'm almost positive that unless my son undergoes a major personality change in the next couple months, when he starts to walk, he'll be wearing one of these when we're out in public.

 And I'd rather look bad to other nosey passers-by than have something happen to my kid. So sue me.


Musings from the Mom of an Almost One-Year-Old (Part III)

>> Tuesday, June 8, 2010

This is my mini-series on thoughts about going from being the AP mama of a baby to the AP mama of a toddler.
Part I is here.
Part II is here.

Part III: Baby-sitters

I have never left my baby with anyone except my mom. And even she hasn't watched him in several months, due to some health problems that make it too hard for her to care for him. So since January, he has never been away from either his father or I. And it shows. He's very attached to us. He doesn't like to be held by strangers and it takes him a good while to warm up to people.

I never meant for it to be like this. Honestly. It's just that we have no one that we can trust to leave him with.

My sister gets all bent out of shape if he slobbers on her clothes or messes up her hair. She's clearly out as a baby-sitter. She holds him like he has cooties.

I would die before I'd ever leave him alone with my father. Ever. It is just never going to happen. Even in our will and guardianship papers, we are leaving strict instructions that they are not to be alone together until Baboo is a teenager.

I have a couple of cousins with children who I would love to organize a baby-sitting swap with, but they all live at least 45 minutes to an hour away. Not convenient.

We don't really have any friends that would want to watch him.

The Hubbs family lives on the other side of the country.

Originally, I had hoped that once he reached the one month mark I'd be able to leave him at the church nursery during services and various young adult events. I'd hope that by doing that, he'd just be used to it (at one month he didn't care who was holding him, as long as someone was). It's just that he was born during the whole swine flu outbreak, and I've worked in that nursery. I KNOW some of the teachers ignore the rules about washing their hands and using sanitizer. I KNOW that they let the babies slobber all over the toys, and that they are not sanitized on a regular basis. I just wasn't going to leave my baby there when he could get really sick.

Once the outbreak was finally over, he was over 7 months old, and firmly entrenched in his desire to never be away from my husband or I. And now I don't know what to do.

The swine flu is no longer much of a concern, so do I try the church nursery? Do I just drop him off and let him cry? Because I need my marriage back. I need my son to be able to stay with a sitter so that The Hubbs and I can have some alone time together. It doesn't have to be long. It could be even just an hour for dinner or two hours for a movie. It could be 45 minutes for coffee. Just SOME semblance of normalcy. Some small indication that we are still a couple, and not just two friends who happen to be parenting a child. I wouldn't leave him in the nursery to scream for an hour and a half. I'm thinking I'd drop him off for 10 minutes the first time, then go get him if he didn't calm down. Then 20 minutes the second time. Then half an hour the third time, and so on.

I don't know. I'm really just making it up. I just want him to be able to know that when Mommy and Daddy leave, we come back. I want him to know that other people can meet his needs, and that he's okay and can have a good time without us. When is a good age to start teaching him that, now that I've clearly missed the newborn window where they really don't care WHO they're left with? Should I try now? When he turns one? Should I wait until he's closer to one and a half, two years old, and I can actually explain to him that I'm going and that I'll be back? Of course I expect that he'll still cry, but at least he'll be able to understand that we aren't just abandoning him.

Once he got used to the nursery, we'd be able to find a baby-sitter. We plan on putting ads up for Early Childhood Education students at the community college. I'm sure there's someone there who'd like to make a few extra bucks. And then my husband and I could have weekly or bi-weekly dates. I could have the baby-sitter come over a few times and pay them to just hang out with us as a family so our Sweet Baboo could get to know them. Then the first time we could go out for just half an hour, just as a trial. I just feel like our whole first year of parenthood, we've been totally immersed in our son and we need to come back up for air.

I love him more than anything, and I know my husband feels the same, but if our marriage suffers then we all suffer. And I really don't think it can be good for him to NEVER know what its like to be away from us. I don't know. What do you think?


My Sweet Baboo,

>> Saturday, June 5, 2010

My Sweet Baboo,
You are growing up soooo fast. It is crazy to me how much you're learning. You are 10 and a half months old, and you've been saying Dada for about two weeks, and Mama for about a week now. It's very exciting that your first words were your parents names. You've been doing the sign for "Milk" since about April, and you've started waving, too. When Daddy leaves the house, you pout and wave bye-bye. It's the saddest, most adorable thing ever. You're so sad to see him go. You cheer up if I take you out onto the balcony and we can watch him go and wave to him. You get really excited and you like watching the car pull away.

We think you will start walking pretty soon. You can stand for a decent amount of time, and you can take a few steps when we hold your hands. Sometimes it looks like you're thinking about walking, but then you decide against it and go to the ground and crawl.

We finally took you to your 9 month well-baby appointment last week (I know, we are slackers). You weigh 22 pounds and I think you're 72 cm tall, which puts you in both the 75th percentile for weight and height. I love it, because when you were born they were worried that you weren't growing fast enough. You sure showed them!

So, you're almost a year old now, and mommy and daddy would love it if you would start sleeping through the night. For serious. Or, if you could at least limit your night-wakings to once a night, that would be amazing. And this whole waking up at 5:30 a.m. thing should probably stop, ASAP. Rested mommy = happy baby, don't you agree? No? Well, that's because you've never actually HAD a rested mommy. Seriously. Give it a shot, you'll see what a difference it makes.

When you start sleeping through the night, you can sleep in your train bed! You love to play on it, so wouldn't it be great if you could sleep on it, allll night long? Help a mother out.

Other things you're doing: You sing along to music. It's so cute. Of course you're not singing in any particular tune, but I still think you sound great. You also sing along to The Muppets Bohemian Rhapsody. When the part comes on where Monster sings "Mama", you say it as well! I love it! You clap your hands when you're happy or when music is on, and you also dance by waving your arms around. Its great.

You are climbing all over EVERYTHING. It gives mommy and daddy gray hairs because we're afraid that you're going to fall and hurt yourself. You've learned to climb up on both couches, and you climb up there with your back facing into the room so that if you tipped back just a little you'd fall backwards. Whenever Mommy or Daddy goes into the bathroom, you immediately drop what you're doing and start speed-crawling down the hall. When you get to the closed bathroom door, you stand there and bang on the door until we come out. If we take too long, you cry.

You flat out refuse to wear your hat. You throw it on the ground immediately after its placed on your head, and it doesn't matter how many times we put it back on, it ends up on the ground again. You have also been refusing to hold your bottle for the past couple of months. You can feed yourself, you've been doing it for ages, but you just refuse to do so. You shove your bottle at mommy or daddy when you want a drink, and then sit there while we hold it. If we take our hands off, you fuss and give it to us again. It's amusing and annoying.

So you are definitely a little handful, but sooo much fun. You love playing with us, and you are full of smiles and giggles. Your separation anxiety is a little out of control, but we'll work on that as soon as we find you a trustworthy baby-sitter. We are so happy and lucky to have you in our lives. Being your mom is my favourite.


Put a Quarter in the Jar

>> Wednesday, June 2, 2010

I try my best to maintain a sense of decorum. I try to be together and in control. But sometimes it doesn't work out. And I blame my husband for that. Yes, I know, you can't blame other people for your problems, blah blah blah.

Hear me out.

Dude does NOT understand when I tell him that the conversation is over. I can tell him ten times that I cannot have this conversation anymore, that I am about to lose it, that everything he is saying is just making me angrier and angrier and he needs to back off before I become physically violent.

But he does not listen. He keeps talking. He will not stop. He won't stop making excuses, trying to dig himself out of a hole, or alternately, attempting to explain to me why this fight is really all my fault.

If I leave the room, he follows me. If I say I am too tired to do this anymore and that I need to go to bed, he follows me. If I exercise my right to remain silent, he pushes and pushes and pushes me until I say, in as controlled of a voice possible--


Should I swear at the father of my son? Probably not. But I kind of feel like he asked for it, and received fair warning. I still feel bad, because my kid was in the next room and probably heard me. And soon he'll be able to understand words and their meanings, and then he'll turn into a parrot repeating everything we say. I don't want him to be that kid--the one that no one lets their kids play with because they don't want their kid developing a potty mouth. So I need to learn to control myself better.

Even if it is really all my husband's fault for not taking me seriously when I tell him that I cannot. have this conversation. anymore.

Do you fight in front of your kid? Do you swear in front of your kid, and will they be allowed to swear? Is it acceptable to tell your husband to Eff Off? No? Even if he's been warned? What do you think?



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