A friend of mine is having her second baby on Tuesday through a scheduled C-section and it’s bringing back so many emotional memories of my last days just with Hannah before my scheduled C with Luke. First, before I get to the emotional part, let me just talk for a second about how weird it was for me to have a “scheduled” C-section. I mean, “scheduling” when you are going to have a baby is just so unnatural. No build up, no “Honey, it’s time!”, no, “Oh shit, I think my water broke”, etc. I don’t even know what a contraction feels like! I feel like I didn’t really “pay my dues” for entering mommie-hood. Not that a C-section is a walk in the park but without my labor “war story” it’s just not the same. I remember telling people on April 22 that I’d be having my baby “tomorrow” and getting some weird looks like, “How do you know you’ll have your baby tomorrow?” It’s hard to explain to some people that I scheduled the birth of my child. I actually don’t refer to having gone through labor, I say I had a “removal” of my child.
Monthly Archives: June 2009
For those of you who know me, you know that I never complain about my age. I have always said that you’re only as old as you act and as long as you continue to do the things you love and keep yourself in the condition you’ve always been in… age shouldn’t matter. I guess it helps that for most of my life people have always thought I was much younger than I am. I remember trying on dresses for my bridesmaids to wear for my wedding and the sales people in the store thought I was buying a prom dress. And for a very long time I was always carded at bars. In work situations, I used to make a point of telling people how old I was so that they’d take me seriously. Having them think I was 10 years younger than I was was not a good thing when I was making a presentation. Sadly, however, this has not happened in a very long time. And there is no longer a look of surprise in a person’s eye when I tell them my age. I still hope when I tell people that I have 2 kids they’ll say, “YOU have 2 kids? You look way too young to have 2 kids”! I guess my drab complexion, exhausted bags under my eyes and lack of sparkle in my eye on most days give away my true identity as tired mother of two.
Tuesday was Hannah’s last “free” day at home with me (no school, no activities, she can stay in her pajamas until noon for all I care!) before she starts camp. Tomorrow is her last day of school and then she’s off to camp 5 days a week until August. I realized tonight, as I put that bundle of energy to bed, that I’m actually emotional about this. It’s not like she’s going off with a packed trunk to sleep away camp- she’s only going to 4 weeks of 9-4 day camp! I asked her today if she’s excited about going off to camp and she said, “I’m a little nervous but, yes mommy, I’m excited”. I almost felt like she added that she was excited as an afterthought, for my benefit. I asked her what she’s nervous about and she simply said, “just the kids”. How simple and honest you can be when you’re 4. I tried to ease her mind by saying she shouldn’t worry, that she’ll make some great new friends and she quietly nodded – I knew she wanted to believe me. So badly I wanted to know what that little brain was thinking. Do 4 year olds worry that they’ll talk too much or too little? Do they worry about what they are going to say on that first day? That she’s wearing the right thing? She’s experienced so little in her life as far as group dynamics having been with the same kids since 6 months old at her school, that I wonder what part of meeting the new kids she fears. She’s so innocent, assumes the best from everyone, likes everyone, expects everyone will like her and becomes almost heartbroken when they don’t. These times when she comes home so sad and leans into me, waiting for my arms to wrap around her so she can feel safe, and protected like mommies are always able to do, and my eyes well up for her wishing for her hurt to go away. How big the world must look through her little eyes especially when trying something so totally new. I can only hope that I’ve given her the tools she needs to go out on this new adventure. I can only hope that the other little 4 year olds will see (and Hannah will be able to show) the loving, passionate, magnetic, fun, silly, caring, dramatic, girl that I see each day. I can only hope that everyone at camp will appreciate her because I sure am going to miss her.
Yesterday, when I was at the grocery store there was a woman who literally was having an entire conversation out loud with herself. I looked to be sure there was no child hidden under the groceries in her cart or that she had a bluetooth headset behind her ear and there was not. She was simply, talking to herself. I think we moms may do this more than we realize. Just like I find myself pushing my cart back and forth, back and forth when I’m alone and standing still as if I’m lulling Luke to sleep in his stroller, we also mutter to ourselves since we’re so used to always “discussing” things with our kids. This woman made me wonder what comes out of my mouth when I’m alone. So, for the past day, I tried really hard to take note of my thoughts throughout the day to see what it is I think about if not say, when no one is around. I won’t bore you with all the details but here were the trends:
Ever feel when you speak all that’s heard is, “meep, meep, meep”? Like your words somehow didn’t make it past your lips to the recipients ears and there’s like a brick wall in front of you that your words hit and bounce back into your mouth? No? Hm. It happens to me at times and usually in situations where honestly, I’d really LIKE to be heard. Tim makes fun of me often for this little Problem I have. It happens most often a) when I’m trying to order a drink at a bar. My “excuse me” to get the bartender’s attention is just NEVER heard. ”YO” sometimes works better but not always. b). When I’m meeting new people. This is the worst because I usually have tried to chime in with something witty and something is lost when I have to repeat that witty little comment. And then I have this second Problem where I turn a bright shade of red when I’m embarrassed that no one has heard me and my comment is no longer timed quite right to be funny or really wasn’t so funny in the first place.
Tim and I disagreed for the first time yesterday. HA! Not really, but honestly it was our first parenting discussion that I feel we are seriously at a crossroads, where neither one of us will budge and I’m not sure how it is going to work itself out. Here’s the issue… Tim feels that we should let our kids do whatever the hell they want to do even if it means putting them in harms way. OK – that might be slightly overstating the fact, and a little bit of a dramatic way of saying what I want to say (I just think I’ll win more of my readers over if I put it like that). The example that we discussed was sports. Basically, I DO NOT want Luke to play football (the American football that is for my European and Australian readers). Jewish boys do not play football (except for Tim). Just like Jewish boys aren’t cops and don’t join the marines… they just don’t play football. We Jewish moms just aren’t wired to deal with the constant worry. His religion is really not the only reason I don’t want him to play though. It’s just not a wise sport to choose (unless of course you’re 6’6 and 300 pounds and everyone who looks at you states, “I sure hope you play football.”). Tim played football through high school and college and is PAYING for it still today. He’d be the first to admit he’s a 38 year old in a 50 year old’s body because of football. His back is a mess – because of football. Tim thinks we should let Luke choose what he wants to do and be supportive of it. I think we should encourage him to play other sports from an early age (like now at age 1) so that football doesn’t look as appealing. Just like I won’t encourage sky diving or bungee jumping, I don’t see why we can’t discourage a sport that requires men ramming full speed into one another and piling on top of each other. (I’ll also admit I’m not even a fan of WATCHING the sport but would have no problem if Luke enjoys viewing the silliness from the couch). Tim is worried that I’ll be one of “those moms” that prohibits their children from doing something that their friends are doing and then require Luke to admit, “my mommy won’t let me”. Well, I just might be, and if it is for my kid’s safety and benefit… I’ll be ok with that (see I AM a good mother). Tim retorted at one point during this discussion that gymnastics is very dangerous for girls and I’m not discouraging Hannah from that, and I told him, if he felt strongly about it, then I’d have her stop (although I had my fingers crossed behind my back). That shut him up… but didn’t get him to change his mind on football. I don’t think any guys read my blog but my question is, is it most dad’s desire to see their boy play football? Is there nothing that would make a dad prouder? Am I going to be up against Tim and Luke’s “manhood” if I press this subject as he gets older? If so, I’m ready for that fight. Can you ask your husband’s for their take on this? I grew up in a house where neither my dad nor my brother had any interest in football so I already know their opinion. My dad would most likely recommend a much safer subdued sport like golf or even baseball where only a helmut and penis protector is required. One thing I do have to say though, is if Luke continues as he is with his speech development (everything under the sun, and my roof, is a “buh”) then maybe the sport of meatheads will be appropriate. But for now, I’m going to secretly be sitting Luke in front of Major League Soccer or baseball games, placing a lacrosse stick in his hand and quietly whispering in his ears each night, “football is for wussies, football is for wussies”.
With all the jibber jabber these days about it being in-vogue to be a bad mother, I thought my daughter’s comment this morning was topical. ”You’re Being a Bad Mommy” she said to me through her tears. It was like she whopped me in the stomach. Because even as cool as it might be these days to be a bad mom… I actually still pride myself in being a good one. I know her perspective on the topic is a little different than the rest of the blogosphere’s and her rationale for this outburst was that I wouldn’t let her watch TV at 5:30 this morning and I raised my voice (ok, I screamed) at her for thrashing about in my bed whining she was “uncomformatable”, pounding on the bed, and pushing my face with her feet. I’m not sure what a “good mommy” would have done in this situation. I actually think that there is a big difference between a “good mommy” and a “good mother”. I believe the first is from the child’s perspective and the latter from the parent’s. My problem is that I’m not sure which I want to be. The issue in my world is that ever since the words “it’s a girl” were uttered from the doctor’s mouth all I wanted was to be my new little girl’s friend. And I’ve been a really good friend to her. We have real conversations, we share real thoughts, she sits on my lap through pedicures, she shops with me, gardens with me, dances with me…she’s my little buddy. And luckily, for most of her life she’s been easy to have as a friend. But recently, I’ve started to feel a little walked on and have realized that this girl may need more of a mother figure who sets stricter guidelines and doesn’t give 2nd, third, and forth chances before getting reprimanded for her behavior. I know it’s parenting 101 type stuff but honestly, it’s just not easy for me. This is why I wasn’t a very good camp counselor. I just wanted to be the campers’ friend – couldn’t be their “boss”. But where does this leave me now? How do I all of a sudden change my ways and start being so stern with her, not letting her do things she is so accustomed to doing and being a totally different figure to her? Ok, don’t answer that… I know the answer. And I started this morning. She is actually in her room now, which is where she will be spending the entire day after her horrendous behavior this morning. I’m not sure how much she’s grasping the fact that this is a punishment since she’s never been punished like this before and she brought dozens of her toys with her to her room to keep herself busy. I actually peaked in on her and she was wearing a princess dress and crown, had put 6 or 7 babydolls to sleep in various spots in her room and was practicing drawing butterflies in her notebook. Didn’t look too much like she was “learning a lesson” but I had to start somewhere. So today, I am a bad mommy, but hopefully one step closer to being a good mother. And hopefully she can still be my friend.
I know this will come as no surprise to most of you but I’ve been realizing lately how there truly is a circle of life or a true life cycle or whatever the saying is… my point is that there are a scary amount of similarities between my 95 yo Nana and my 4 yo daughter. Just something I’ve noticed and thought I’d jot them down. Note: I am in no way making fun of my wonderfully sweet, compassionate, loving Nana. She’d be the first to laugh at all I’m writing below and am being very selective as to what I’m choosing to list. Things that she’d find hurtful, I’m not including… you can fill them in in your own mind…
I grew up thinking I was ok. Okay in the average sense of the word not the “A-Ok” sense. Pretty good at a whole lot of things but not great at any of them. I’m not sure why I felt so mediocre but somewhere along the line this is the feeling that was instilled in me. I had an older brother who I felt could do no wrong. I was the younger sister that would enter her new class in elementary school and the teacher would say, “so you’re Lee Rudy’s little sister” and I would have this expectation to live up to and never quite did… I’m sure Lee has his side of the story where his little sister was the one with all the friends (or maybe he didn’t care) but this is MY blog so I’ll stick to my side. My parents were wonderful – supportive, loving, fun, passionate and encouraging. But they were NOT the parents that bragged about their kids, touted our accomplishments to their friends or acquaintances or raved on and on about us. I often would hear my friend’s parents saying how GREAT they were doing at this or that, how many goals they scored, how perfect their boyfriend/girlfriend was, etc. and I would hear my mom exclaiming how great it was for them. I remember asking her why she didn’t do that about me and she’d simply say that it made her uncomfortable to boast about me. It made sense at the time (I remember thinking it was obnoxious of her friends to talk so much about their kids without asking much about us) but I wonder now how it affected me in the long run.
I Heart Target. No seriously, I love that place and if I were to get a nanny for a few hours a week (still working on that one with Tim), most likely I would end up filling up my red cart there every day. My problem with Target is that I cannot leave the store without spending at least $200 (isn’t their slogan something about being “for less”?) and I NEVER get home with what I had gone there to buy. I just get so swept up in the unbelievable “deals” for too cute stuff for hannah and the fact that I get some truly chic stuff for myself there (Tim thinks I must be white trash to buy my clothes there but seriously, I got a “by Alexander McQueen” tank there that is oh so cool!). I have realized in my relatively new stay-at-home-mom status where I’m not really contributing to the piggy bank and I’m trying to pinch a few pennies that SOME things are worth spending a bit more. Of course there are the products where you really can buy the generic and never know the difference (am I the only one who has mistakenly come home with “Wal-tussin instead of Robitussin? Cough went away just the same). Compare the ingredients of half the products on the shelves at Target and you’ll see they are all the same. Some with fancier bottles and more advertising but in the end, same juice. I mean my pharmacist doesn’t even give me a choice in most instances… just hands me the generic.