Tuesday, January 29, 2013
Sometimes, motherhood can make you feel trapped. Need to go to the store? The baby is sleeping. Or sick. Or ornery and you cannot imagine having to get through an entire store with the whining and the fits. Or the poopy explosions keep happening over and over and over and you can't even get out of your bathrobe, much less out the door. Planning a road trip with two kids in diapers and one nursing becomes an exercise in strategic preplanning. (okay, if I get up at 4:30am and pump, he can hold his sippy cup for his morning feed, and then they should nap, and if I have to change a poopy diaper I can pull way over to the side of the road, if I need to pee and they're sleeping I will just have to hold it until I die...). Its marginally easier when Husband is going along. I remember the good old days when, if I felt like taking off for a few days, and work wasn't in the way, I would. I would drive for hours for a one day visit. Now, it has to be REALLY WORTH IT. I bring this up because my sister is moving to Korea (which is pretty weird because I have another sister who already moved to Korea and my mom is there now with first Korean resident sister) and I think I am going to drive down to Texas with the boys to spend a few days with her. But Husband can't go. Am I crazy? Probably. Bring it on.
So, the trapped feeling. It may seem counterintuitive, but if I stop trying to escape, the trapped feeling goes away. Okay, that isn't counterintuitive at all, that completely makes sense. Give in to your jailers and resign yourself to your years in the Bastille and the time is smoother, quieter, more content. I am totally kidding, I don't actually feel like I am in jail. I distracted myself with the jail metaphor.
What I mean to say is this: My best days with the boys are the days when I show up. Not when I turn on the TV, not when I hide in the corner of the kitchen with the computer, not when I carry my phone all over the house with me and obsessively check my email and Facebook (I actually deleted the app to try to stop doing this, and now I just use Safari. Damn the convenience!!). The days that I leave my phone where I can hear it but can't reach it, the days the computer stays shut while they are awake (unless its time to Gangnam Style. That's different. More on that another time) the days the TV is only on when I need 20 minutes to get a meal prepared...Those are the amazing days. This morning, Benjamin was getting into his 'blue chair' (blue hand-me-down highchair). I went to give him a hands up as usual and he yelled 'no! no hands!' It took me a moment to realize he wanted to get into the chair unassisted, thank you very much. That was the first time he's refused my help. I was very taken aback- and know we are now entering a new phase, the part where he slowly but surely starts to pull away, claiming his own body and will and life direction. I know intellectually that this started happening the moment he showed interest in something other than nursing...but it still feels like a milestone. I have looked at him more closely since that moment this morning, trying to find my baby in the little boy. We built with blocks for about an hour, and he was overjoyed at the quiet mommy-Benjamin time. I was overjoyed, too. In a quiet, content kind of way.