Thursday, January 31, 2013

Moo Cow

Cup of coffee, check. 
Oh, oops, that's not coffee!  

Just kidding. That's my wine from a few nights ago. The lovely thing about my Iphone is I can share a drink with friends without actually going out and joining them. That is usually the only option, lately. Peter is not a fan of me leaving the house without him. This is Peter:

He's even that cute without the cool Jack the Pumpkin King hat. He's my cling-on, my constant companion. He's 8 months old and the second sweetest person I've ever met, the first being my husband. I think Peter gets all his greatest qualities from his dad.
Anyway, thank goodness for my husband's family, I would never see the public sphere sans baby without them. Husband doesn't even like staying with him for too long. One of the great Daddy-inherited qualities Peter possesses is obsessiveness. I meant to say persistence. When Peter decides its been too long since he's seen me (more accurately, my boobs) he starts to whine, then cry, then he gets dramatic. He actually growls sometimes. Wouldn't know it by looking at him, would ya? So we've been practicing leaving him with various family members so that I can get out and explore my identity as more than moo cow. He does enjoy holding his own sippy cup, as long as its filled with mama milk. This requires me being hooked up to the breast pump for up to an hour a day at different times, which I HATE because I really can do very little else while I am being milked like Bessie for the morning cream.  No formula for this kid. He wants the homemade stuff. This is in direct contrast to his solid food preference. He can't stand the baby food I make, he only wants the jar kind. I can't blame him, really. My baby food making skills are not great. I choose to blame the lack of fancy, over-priced tools. So, really, we are saving money by buying the jarred stuff. HA!

The question of identity and mommy breaks is a big one in our house lately, and a big one in my circle of women. One of the wisest things I ever heard a mama-to-be say was 'I am ready for it to not be about me for awhile'. I knew, with my 7 months pregnant belly and 13 month old toddler as evident experience, that she was without doubt ready to be a mother. When you have little bitty ones, it just can't be about you. They need too much from us. It is my happy job to provide lots of kisses and fun activities in addition to fulfilling their physical needs. I am so fortunate to be a fulltime stay at home mom, part-time daycare provider for other bitty ones, because I get the most kisses and snuggles.

There are drawbacks, though.  If you don't have a job outside of the home and other (adult) people regularly interacting with you, it can start to seem like you are merely a vessel, no longer a person with personal needs, wants, interests. You are the gadget that provides the milk, the food, the toy-reacher, the diaper-changer, the gate-opener, the nose-wiper. Children, especially those under 5, do not care about your agenda or your needs. And, really and truly, they aren't SUPPOSED TO.
I have to say that again. They do NOT CARE. They do not care if you are an artist, a singer (although they like it when you sing at full volume, especially selections from Les Mis and sometimes The King and I. Maybe that's just my kids), they do not care if you are trying to start a business or if you are a writer (ha! sorry I had to laugh at myself with that one) or if you haven't had a break or sleep for 4 days. They are not supposed to care. They are supposed to grow and learn and develop and PLAY. And your job, your MOST IMPORTANT JOB is to provide that opportunity for them. You OWE THEM THAT BEST CHANCE. When they are bigger they will owe you bathroom cleaning, lawn mowing, back rubs, possibly credit in 'who's your hero?' school essays. But now, when they are little, they deserve this time to get their best start, their best chance at being their best selves.
So, if you will excuse me, I have to go play Moo Cow and hook myself  up to the breast pump so that my youngest, my Peter, my cling-on lovie, can practice with his sippy cup.


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