A Tale of Two Mommies

…because more seems excessive…

Monthly Archives: December 2016

Sleeping Terrors and Ground Appeal

Little Man no longer sleeps in his crib…or his big boy bed, but I’ll circle back to that last bit. A couple of months ago, maybe a tad before Thanksgiving, he decided to scale his crib walls. We were captivated by the monitor; it was an impressive feat. Considering how tall he is, I’m surprised it took so long for this effort to occur to him.

We’d been worried about this move; how many tales of horror is this event the topic? But, all things considered, the immediate change resulted in an anticipatory fizzle. My general morning routine had been to feed Warrior Queen, exercise as much as possible, and take a shower once I heard the wakeful song of my sweet boy bellowed from his contained mattress.

My son resists change, and had been struggling with halted tears when we told him he would no longer sleep in his crib. We dressed the delivery up all fancy, but he emphatically shook his head. We stopped talking about it once his voice began stuttering tears. But, the night progressed, and my husband and I decided the night time routine would be a joint effort. We discussed it as support for Little Man, but really it was to keep us both sane and calm as we predicted a hellish first night.

Mr. Man saw his big boy bed for the first time, and a huge smile that wrapped his lips around his teeth ensued. He was speechless, engaging in his excited sumo squat that doubles as a funny dance he forgets he is doing in the middle of the action. It’s perfect.

Image result for sumo

(How can anyone not melt with a smiling toddler doing this while pointing at a bed? Reuters, how did you know?)

That night our son slept without issue, so terribly excited for this milestone. I woke the next morning attempting my typical routine. I heard him scurry, and climbed the stairs to greet him, unsure of what to expect. Little Man opened his door holding the various toys we schlep upstairs before every sleeping experience, wearing nothing but his diaper. He was elated saying, “I climb out all by myself!” Apparently he got naked all by himself too…

The following month yielded mostly uneventful nap and bed times. All was well with the world until illness overcame our house. My sweet boy was very sick, and we spent several nights playing toddler goalkeeper. Every few hours he would knock on our door, which we started closing after he would enter and begin rooting through things…like the toilet. He wanted stories, songs, umpteen kisses and hugs. He was miserable. Even after he recovered, we had to sleep train for the first time since he was eight-months-old.

I’m the disciplinarian, so it took my rather abrupt intervention before we could successfully carrel him into his room…with the door open. I wasn’t about to complain with this new doorway development; he had been taking to camping outside our door all night. He wouldn’t be upset, mind you, but he insisted on choosing where he would spend the night. Often we would find him returned to his room come morning, but such a decision was random and unreliable.

Almost a month after he shirked his special brand of plague, he’s become much better at sleeping in his room. Napping is a bit more of an ordeal, but he usually takes one. The routine for both events will wind their way to a conclusion, but a good ten or fifteen minutes will be spent providing a plethora of “one more” kisses and hugs. Sometimes Little Man is not quite ready to go to sleep, but as long as he isn’t making a fuss, he can do his thing independently in his room. It’s pretty amazing to watch him in the monitor. After he has his fill of playing, my growing boy will return his play things to their designated homes, turn out the light, and greet his peaceful slumber…with the door open.

The big boy bed, however, is more for display these days. Little Man mostly stopped sleeping in it, but his stuffed friends continue to partake. My in-laws purchased a sleeping bag, per our request. It actually looks pretty cozy. My son won’t sleep in it, but often he will sprawl starfish style on top. Sometimes he will set-up camp inside a tent handed down from his cousins’ use from over a decade ago. No earthly notion of the appeal to sleeping on the floor. I imagine it’s a control thing, as is with insisting the door to his room remaining open. I can live with him sleeping on the floor, but I pretend to relinquish to an unobstructed doorway. As soon as he is down for the count, I shut that bad boy.

Advertisements

Receptacle

This isn’t my first post about post pregnancy body image. I’m still proud of my body as a reproductive entitiy. Almost daily I look at my children, especially Warrior Queen, and try to comprehend that I grew these two beings from some cells. It’s remarkable.

Enduring Gestational Diabetes with my second, I haven’t had all that much baby weight to lose, but like the poundage loss process after my son’s pregnancy, the shed is glacial.

I’ve heard just about every cliché and wife dogma when I express my frustrations with the lingering weight that won’t budge despite a focused and previously effective attack plan. Those offering such tid-bits of support should feel fortunate my reciprocating response stops at an eye roll so hard it gives me a view of my tonsils. One of the more frustrating and obnoxious comments is that carrying extra weight is minor because I’ve birthed a healthy miracle.

Image result for eye roll

(No, I’m really grateful for your input. I was just checking that my hairline was where I left it.)

The thing is, wanting to look and feel my best is not a superficial musing. I’m not sure exactly how it came to pass that mothers are not permitted to embrace their own badass MILF selves. Possessing a strong desire to look attractive and enjoy what I see in the mirror is a pursuit I’m entitled to include within my growing list of priorities. Furthermore, it is important for my children to see me embrace myself as valuable, independent of them however I choose to define it.

Another introspection that boggles is when I consider the reality of my shape compared to motherhood body misconceptions I held for most of my life. Before my son’s pregnancy, like many women I feared the inevitable carnage having a child would have on my form. It isn’t that I expect perfection or that I was ever anything close before my axis tilted. But, I was terrifyingly certain I would never look good again, and I like to look good even if I am woefully below airbrushed excellence.

For the year it took for me to lose the almost entirety of my son’s pregnancy weight, I was surprised by the process, maybe even delighted by the complexity of the experience.

That said, it bothers me to work so hard, yet have my body shed excess fat with an excruciating meander. But, the experience’s totality isn’t so bad. Even though I gained a significant amount more after my son’s pregnancy, I was struck by the difference in my appearance when I compared myself to pictures of a similar weight gain not credited with growing a human. Hovering at the same forty-five pound increase on my small frame, post Little Man, I simply did not look as heavy as I was for most of my twenties. That was interesting.

Currently, I’m about a clothing size away from my pre- pre-pregnancy size, but my body is forever changed. I used to hip ride my pants, no more. I embrace my mom jeans. And, really, if they are good enough for a president, what am I complaining about?

Image result for obama mom jeans(My tushie can totally compete with his!)

Prior to brewing Warrior Queen, my hips were wider, so were my thighs. My belly, for the most part, regained its former shape. So, while my old cut of pants yielded an uncomfortable muffin top, I could still rock a two piece bathing suit…in the event that we ever go on a vacation again. My general figure was a bit curvier with a slightly smaller waist. When I lost my first round of baby weight, I had less cellulite than I had at any other point in my life. My body, while not svelte, had significantly more definition as well. Even with seven more pounds left to shirk, my physique is all the more defined. I didn’t think that was possible. A bit more baby weight or not I look good, even if my weight number isn’t quite my ideal.

To look good has been an intense labor, but it’s one born of increasing love that was absent before experiencing the chemistry of motherhood. It feels strange to accept, or even admit that I, mostly, love my body in all of its quirky ways. It almost feels wrong to see my middle age baby body objectively surpassing the beauty of my gymnast teen years, even with spider veins aplenty. My children are at the age of expressing unconditional love as I never knew it to be, so why not bestow myself with the very regard I see on their beautiful faces when I enter a room? I’ve certainly earned it.

Doing Some-Things

I have oodles of political opinions; the election process and outcome hasn’t come close to escaping me…I’m in good company. One of the more irksome pieces is the messaging of its normalcy, hence, it’s all acceptable even if quirky. It isn’t. Not on any level. But, this isn’t a political piece per se.

I haven’t posted since Thanksgiving. I tend to deny or minimize stress even as it presses its heavy mass on my head, shrinking my already small stature. Furthermore, I berate myself for lacking gumption. I look at random indications that never truly reflect my actual accomplishments or productivity. I commit to a narrative of my inability to manage unreasonably high expectations, perpetually raising a bar to validate my personal failures. But, this isn’t a diatribe of my foibles either…per se.

I’m a SHAM for a toddler and infant. I work/volunteer part-time from home; I’m fortunate my privilege allows me to commit to a cause endlessly meaningful for me, and maybe I’ll make a difference. I’m busy. Who isn’t? I’m unhappy with what is unfolding nationally, spreading its toxin locally in retching ways. Who isn’t…certainly the majority of us who weren’t suppressed from expressing our disgust at the ballot box? But, life happens, and action seems an additional, overwhelming expectation.

However, as busy as I am. As crazed as it all always is; there are battles that my children need to witness…even if they are too small to remember. I hope to sow who they will remember me as, and form their expectations for the world around them. Like many I’m at a crossroads; to do some-things…or nothing, allowing apathy to take root until this farce of leadership becomes blasé. I choose to join the social media masses with my small efforts. Maybe my individuality won’t yield the mountain, but enough mole hills will. And, I swell with pride to own my piece of the Hill. Right now the darkness is palpable, but its depth won’t always be so cavernous. Certainly the opening act of our unfolding future is worrying, but there is power in our majority mass. So, as busy and crazy as the immediate is, I commit to my small efforts and engagement with the world.

 

%d bloggers like this: