Mat Leave Musings

I’ve had so many blog titles bopping around my brain for the past few weeks and no time to do anything about them. So on this fortunate night when my 8-month old daughter took all of TWO minutes BY HERSELF to pass out in her crib, I think this post will be an amalgamation of the various working titles I’ve had flying around my head lately. Here they are:

“Am I Addicted To My Daughter? (Is that a thing? If it is, I’m pretty sure I am)”

“Are These My Tits Or Did Someone Replace Them With Pancake Batter?”

“What Do I Want To Be When I Grow Up?” a.k.a. “Fuck: Mat Leave Is Almost Over”

and lastly “OMG I Wanna Cry, She’s Almost A Year Old”

Let’s start with that last one. Prior to becoming a mother, I used to Hate when women said ‘Oh, little so and so is just growing up so fast. Oh little so and so, please stop growing. Sob.’ It drove me nuts because I was like, well why on earth did you have children then?! The alternative to not growing up and getting older is Death. Are you wishing death upon your children?? So let me be clear, I still think that statement is stupid, and I will not wish ever that Sadie stops growing. However- I do get the sentiment. Now that I’m a mother myself, I really, really do.

As of this Friday, Sadie has become her own person, independent of my womb for 8 months now. I have had eight months of watching her grow out of her newborn clothes and into all sorts of mischief and wobbly-legged attempts at bipedalism. Since she’s become more ambulatory, she now wiggles out of my desperate grasp more often than not, and 100% of the time that I have her on the diaper change table.

I chose to make a baby in the hopes that it would become its own independent person, and that experiment is all coming along quite nicely. But I’m realizing now that there are Way more months on the side of the maternity clock that has already passed by, and that our side only has four more months left on it. With the strides she’s making now, I know that those remaining four months will feel more like four hours. I have an acute feeling now that Every Moment with her matters, and that these days of just the two of us spending every minute of it together are numbered.

Hence why I lied to my friends the other weekend, and then spent the following week questioning if I was addicted to my child. If you’re one of the friends I lied to and you’re reading this- I apologize in advance.

There was a Christmas party. One of my babeliest friends was hosting it and it was going to be a blast. Three other amazingly hilarious, energetic, fun-times friends that I love were going to be there too. Only problem was- it was on a Sunday night, from 6-10 pm, and Ryan was away on business. We’re very limited for babysitters, so I didn’t think I could make it. But at 4 pm on Sunday, my friend got back to me and said ‘Sure, bring Sadie by. We can take her no problem.’

By that point, Sades and I were just leaving Superstore in Airdrie and I had already envisioned a romantic night ahead of us snuggling together on the couch, eating popcorn and watching House. So I lied.

I said that I couldn’t find a sitter and told the girls to have a great time and to send me pictures of what I missed. When I took Sadie out of the car seat after our drive home, I removed her little woolly pink winter hat, pulled her into a giant squeeze on the staircase and just inhaled her little baby scent. I drank all of her in and I thought “Yes! This is worth staying home for!”

In the coming days, I began to wonder if these events meant that I had an unhealthy fixation with my child. So I ran this story by a few of my Mom friends (one of whom was at the party and I had lied to), and the consensus (at least from those friends) was No. One said “They’re your child forever, but only your baby for a little while.” And the friend I had lied to said “I actually think it’s so beautiful that you lied to us so that you could spend more time with your child.” So I took their words for it, but if you want to tell me there’s something wrong with me, I’m all ears!

The last two working titles, floppy tits and returning to work, I’ll have to leave for another time, as 11:00 pm now feels like 3:00 am and I can barely keep my eyes open.

XO, Em

Suck Muppet & The New Tooth

My sweet little Sadie has annoyed me for the past two days.

She is cutting her first little baby tooth and being incredibly dramatic about it.

I joked to Ryan the other day that when she cuts her molars I’m going to become a full blown alcoholic, if this is how she treats a little bottom front tooth.

So because I’m never in this space, the space where my child annoys me, I want to write about it and explore it.

Sadie, so far, has been a friggin dream. She is alert, inquisitive, warm, people-oriented, sweet and independent.

She toodles around the living room and kitchen, selects her own toys and busies herself with them. I get to do most household things in the same space as her without having to lord over her every move.

Well, at 3 months she started standing, by 4 months she only wanted to stand at all times (that includes diaper changes), by 5 months she was starting to crawl, and now at 6 months she is starting to pull herself up on anything that looks like fair game (the oven bottom drawer, the bottom of a foot stool, the footrest on our ikea chairs, a bag of flour that is taller than her).

So now I am trying to slice things, bake things, grate things, and deal with hot food things, while simultaneously making sure my tiny human doesn’t smash her giant bobble head on my very unforgiving tile kitchen floor (again).

Cooking has become a deathly sport, for her and I. While I watch her and chop cucumbers, will I lose the tip of my pinky first, or will she lose her balance and smash her head on the corner of the drawer (again)?

Anyhow, until two days ago, the ‘who might perish in the kitchen’ game was manageable. But then- The Tooth.

For the past 48 hours, my previously very amenable and self-satisfied little creature has become what Ryan and I have come to call ‘Suck Muppet’.

Suck Muppet is IN LOVE with Mommy.

Suck Muppet will Wail at the top of her lungs if Mommy appears to be moving away from her.

Suck Muppet forgets to Breathe she cries so hard when Mommy does in fact, step away from her for a mere moment.

Suck Muppet will not sleep in her own crib anymore. Only in Mommy’s armpit.

Suck Muppet does not play with her toys if Mommy is not Right There beside her.

If Mommy is on the couch watching her like she used to, Suck Muppet will just crawl over to Mommy, stretch her arms up and cry for Mommy to hold her.

Suck Muppet is a monster.

Typically all I need is 5 minutes away from my baby before I crave her and miss her again, but with Ryan away at work during the week as often as he is, I don’t have that 5 minute break to reset my Mom clock.

So last night I decided I would finally allow myself a shower. One act, all day, for my own benefit.

I dragged Suck Muppet’s exersaucer into the bathroom. Put it right outside the frosted glass doors. Stepped into the shower. Exhaled.

Then the screaming began.

It didn’t matter that I had brought her in Right Beside Me. That she was within her required 5 feet of comfort. That I was singing and talking to her from inside the shower and periodically poking my head out to wave and say hello.

I finished the shower.

I scooped her up in my arms.

I put her in her jammies and brought her to bed with me.

I let her fall asleep in my armpit.

I told myself tomorrow was another day, and we fell asleep.

And in fact, today was much better.

She’s still clingy, but not as bad, and I took myself out of the house and had a great catch-up with a friend at the mall, and got more things done around the house than I did yesterday and I found myself enjoying her again.

I told a Mom-friend about this today and she died laughing at me. She said she loves it when Moms like me who always say our babies are perfect finally hit a breaking point and admit that from time to time our babies suck.

So I guess that’s what I’m here to say.

99% of the time, Sadie is awesome and I have a blast being her Mama.

And the other 1% of the time- there is Suck Muppet.

For a peek into my future- here’s a chart of baby’s tooth development that makes me shiver in my Mom booties.

XO, Em