Tuesday, June 12, 2012

How Do You Do?

Have you ever been cruising along, feeling that everything is hunky dory, when BAM!  You feel that you've been looking at the world through a funhouse mirror and things suddenly look odd and you're disoriented from the view?  I had a funhouse-realization moment today.  It hit me when another woman at work, one who was allowed to move from full-time to part-time after having her baby, was visited by her 5-month old for at least the third time since returning from maternity leave.  I would love to say that I'm a completely supportive sister mother, one who is nothing but encouraging to other mothers, particularly new ones.  But at that moment I wasn't.  I was jealous that she was allowed to cut back at work and I wasn't.  I was jealous that she got to see her baby in the middle of the day while I wrote e-mails, placed orders, and fixed spreadsheets.  I was jealous that she got to show off her love child and that no one at work has seen Connor for months (yes, I like to show my kid off.  What of it?).  I was just plain jealous, and that emotion tainted my view for the rest of the day.

That is, until we picked up 'Rad, got in some good kissy, walky, lovey, eaty, playtime, and he did this:

Look ma, no hands!

I froze half of a mini-bagel to help with teething and Connor dug it.  He gnawed up half of it before it became a toy and was sacrified to the dog/floor/his clothes.  When it comes to babies it really is the simple things that keep them entertained - empty containers, a mayonnaise jar with a few grains of rice (found that one out today), and frozen mini-bagels (found that out today, too).  I have a tendency to make things complicated.  Maybe 'Rad will help me simplify.

Connor thinks the bagel is yummy, I think the Connor is yummy

I asked my sister what you do with a 9-month old to keep them entertained (we had a very eventful weekend and when we finally settled in at home on a very hot Sunday afternoon, we found ourselves bored and out of ideas).  She said that we don't need to entertain him every minute -  he should learn to entertain himself, too.  That idea came as a stroke of genius to me.  Ever since he's become so active and been crawling, I've wanted to be in his face all of the time, getting him to crawl here or there, having him play with this or that.  But I haven't given him much time to just be a baby doing baby stuff unprompted by my cheerleading and encouraging.  Not that those things are bad, but he does need his time alone (while I secretly observe).

It's a bit ridiculous that I completely forgot about giving him his own time, but now I'm working on getting it back in his schedule.  The hard part is that now that he can crawl, he will make his way back to me even after I set him in the living room surrounded by toys, protected electrical outlets, and a table with at least three remote controls on it.  As I work on giving Connor his "alone" time, I'm also working on giving myself a bit of "alone" time as well.  If he's anything like me, we'll both be very happy for this exercise in chronological independence.

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