Thursday, February 23, 2012

Rollercoaster of Love (Say What?)

I’ve read that around this age, ‘Rad should be flirting with separation anxiety.  But that’s not the case at all.  In fact, he’s all too ready to ditch me and turn to Amy or Z for entertainment and adoration.  Does it matter that I wake up well before 6 to get myself around and his food ready?  Does it matter that when Z is at school, I bounce that little baby until his heart’s content and my arms feel like they’re going to shrivel up and fall off like his umbilical cord stump?  Does it matter that my mind is constantly consumed with thoughts of his squishy little face, chubby thighs, and squinty smile?  Meh, he’s a baby – he knows nothing of these things.  He also has no idea how I’m dreading the impending period of parental preference, when I go out of style and Z becomes the man of the hour.  I may likely also dread those days, weeks, months, or years when he may want me and only me and no one else will do.  Everything’s a stage though, right?  Here today, gone tomorrow or somewhere down the road.

After talking to a few mothers, I’ve learned this is something that everyone goes through and they are years into being the favored or forgotten parent.  And for the latter group, it still hurts.  And most everyone tries to justify why they’re in the position they’re in, and I’m currently brewing up my excuses for why ‘Rad’s getting tired of my routine.  “Z is so much more animated than me and has a very expressive face.”  “Z’s voice is just so much more attention-getting.”  “Connor doesn’t get to see Z as often as he sees me.”  And on and on and on.  But is there really a reason?  Babies are such instinctual, biologically-driven creatures, they haven’t learned the politics and reasoning shrouding human relationships so they might just like one thing because they like it and not be so hot on the other just ‘cause.  Maybe I’ve asked ‘Rad if he’s checking the chunky chicken too many times that it’s lost its appeal.  Maybe he's so over alliteration.

There’s so much talk about the hormonal rollercoaster that is being pregnant, that is just having given birth, that is weaning off of breastfeeding.  But what about the hormonal rollercoaster that is being a mom and a parent?  The rollercoaster that will probably never go away?  Is it just a matter of getting comfortable with the ups and downs that you no longer feel them?  Or does the rollercoaster transform from one with twists, turns, and deep plunges to more of a carousel, where there may be so ups and downs but for the most part the motion is predictable?  The only thing that feels predictable in my day is the inevitable longing to just go home and be with my family – with the ‘Rad-a-dude, his furry brother, the big man, and with my family in MI and IL and around the world.

These are the looks I got yesterday

In the world of ‘Rad, peaches are on the no fly list.  Those babies aren’t airplaning into his little mouth anymore after he spit up down the front of my shirt (and into the crevasses of my bra) after having had them for lunch yesterday.  Other than that, he’s eating voraciously and the question of whether he is teething still remains a mystery.  I'm actually, really, honestly, weaning myself off of pumping – we’re down to one session a day.  And I’m starting to be ok with it.  I enjoy the freedom, and I know that Connor is thriving so that takes some of the pressure off.  I did what I swore I wouldn’t do and I read some message board posts about women struggling with the guilt of not b-feeding and it helped.  There’s a lot of support out there, and it was nice not to read a single post about someone trying to twist the knife into some already tender hearts about it.  C-Rad likes his food, his drink, and his hand shoved squarely in his mouth between the two.

Regardless of all the struggles and questions, everyone is doing well.  Another day survived!

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