Today? I went out! To lunch! With a friend! And the baby!!! Do you have any idea how huge this is? No? Well, let me just mention that Mia will be 14 weeks old tomorrow and that was the first time I have gone out since she was born. Well obviously, I have gone out, but only to run quick errands and a couple of family gatherings and one very fast dinner with Chris, but in the last 14 weeks this is the first time I have taken the baby to a restaurant and the first time I have sat down with a friend and talked and just been regular old me, but with a baby.
I think I know why I have been going a little nutso.
See, at first, it just seemed almost impossible to take Mia anywhere. I was a very skittish new mom (I'm getting better) and was so worried that she would be hungry or tired or would cry or poop in her hair and I wouldn't be able to cope. She's been more predicable lately, but still sometimes wants to eat 30 minutes after I feed her and she refuses to take a bottle (and please don't give me a bunch of advice about that) and I was a little uncomfortable breastfeeding in public, but I think doing it at rest stops on our beach trip cured me of that.
So anyway, I was nervous about taking her out today, but I just did it. She was wonderful - didn't make a peep the entire time and even allowed my friend to hold her. And I? Well, I realized that maybe I really can live this life, maybe I can even have a life. I gave up more than I expected to when I gave up my job, and as much as I love being the mommy, it was good for an hour to be a little less mommy and a little more just plain old Beth with a baby on my lap.
It is sort of illustrative of how things usually go for me that when I accidentally set off the house alarm taking the trash out and forget which button to push to indicate it is a false alarm (it should really be labeled "I'm an idiot") and then don't answer the phone when the alarm company calls because I forgot that they do that and think if is a junk call and then the cops come and one of them is really, really cute, well of course I am still in my pajamas with baby puke in my hair. Oh, and am also married. He totally thought I was hot anyway though, I could tell. He was just trying to maintain his professionalism.
(Do you think if I push the "fire" button they will send me some firemen? I could use a little cheering up, and I think that would do it.)
You are three months old today, and I think it makes sense to start by talking about the things you have stopped doing rather than the things you have started doing. You have stopped crying. Not entirely, of course, but you have stopped having the crying jags where we would have to walk you around for hours bouncing and singing and trying anything we could think of to comfort you. Now when you cry it is only for a few minutes and always because you are either tired or hungry or just want your mommy. You almost always stop immediately when I pick you up or rescue you from whatever non-mommy person I have dared to allow to hold you. You have, for the most part, stopped screaming when your father holds you. I can still comfort you faster than he can, but he can usually calm you down pretty quickly. The exception to this non-crying thing was last week when I cruelly left you with your grandmothers for 20 minutes while I tried to get a few chores done. You screamed the entire time like they were taking turns sticking you with pins. We are going to start working on getting you more comfortable with other people, but I have to admit it doesn't hurt my feelings a bit that you love your mama.
The other thing you have stopped doing is sleeping through the night. I was so proud and cocky and am paying for my arrogance. You prefer now to sleep in two hour stretches and then get up to eat. We aren't sure why this is happening, but I suspect it is because you are very close to learning how to suck your thumb and you wake yourself up because you want very badly to get your thumb into your mouth but you just can't do it yet. You hate the pacifier we tried to give you, and when I give it to you you look at me like I just poured dirt into your mouth.
You still hate to be on your tummy and I have to trick you by putting you on your tummy on my tummy. From there, you like to lift your head to look at me and chew on my boobs and especially like to roll off my tummy and land on the bed on your back. (I hold you very carefully when we do this.) You like me to turn you upside down and lift you over my head like you are flying. Your father keeps warning me that one of these days you are going to spit up in my face and you and I have made an agreement that you will only do it when he is at work and we will never tell.
You are a very happy baby, provided you are well fed and rested. The first thing you do every morning is throw your arms over your head to stretch and then give me a huge, wet smile. You are smiling spontaneously now, not just when we smile at you. (You will also stick your tongue out at us. I taught you that, and I am so proud.) I love your smiles, the way your whole face lights up and you look so totally delighted. When you smile it is like it completes something in me that I didn't even know was missing.
You love to lie on your back and kick and wiggle. Your father does a one man band routine with your rattles when you are cranky and it always makes you smile and squirm. You are starting to grab things - your clothes, your blankets, my hair, which you are very good at pulling. You like it when I run the tips of my hair across your face and also when I put a piece over your lip to see what you would look like with a moustache. You love to take baths, but hate to get out. I keep thinking you are about three seconds away from discovering your hands, but so far they are still just things that occasionally wander into your mouth or yank on your bib or your diaper.
You are starting to like your swing and your bouncy seat, but not as much as you like the ceiling fan in our bedroom. I am often able to eat dinner without nursing you at the same time, and am sometimes even able to eat with you sitting next to me rather than in my lap or over my shoulder.
Today, you napped in your crib for the very first time. You outgrew your bassinet but we were not ready to move you into your own room, so we just got you a bigger bassinet for our room. You slept in your crib only so we could move our bedroom furniture around to get your bed into a better place. I had a hard time getting you to sleep in your crib, because you kept just peeking your eyes open, spotting Eeyore, and waking up to gaze at him with love and admiration.
I haven't told anyone this and I didn't plan to, but I decided to tell you now because I think it is important. I had been worried that I wasn't bonding with you the way I should be. I loved you and would do anything I could to care for and protect you, but for quite a while I didn't have that feeling that everyone said I would, that huge, intense, overwhelming thing that everyone described to me. I have it now. Mia, I love you more than my own life. We were meant to be, we three.
I just officially quit my job. I'm unemployed. Un. Em. Ployed.
I want this so much. I am so fortunate we are able to do this.
I think I might pass out.
Mia is twelve weeks old today and has decided that now that she is so grown up she no longer needs to sleep. Ever. I strongly disagree.
Wednesday was my last day of maternity leave and I was due back at work yesterday. I didn't go. I didn't just not show up, of course, they have known for weeks I wouldn't be there yesterday.
I am hugely fortunate to be able to stay home with Mia for a while. It means making a lot of sacrifices, such as having to clean my own house, but I think it is worth it. In the scheme of things, the sacrifices are so very small. I thank my lucky stars every day that we are in a position to make this choice, but I also know that we have worked very hard to get here and Chris continues to work very hard to allow me to spend every day kissing Mia's toes.
It has been hard for me to adjust to the idea that I won't work. That I won't make any money. That I will live entirely off of Chris's efforts. It means giving up a job that I don't love but that I am very good at and for which I have earned a good reputation and a lot of respect, as well as a salary that it will take years to get close to when I go back to work. As hard as that adjustment is though, it is nowhere near as hard as it would have been to hand Mia off to someone else yesterday and go to work. I don't know if I would have had the strength to do it.
Twelve weeks is not enough. Twelve weeks of unpaid leave is disgraceful. I know many women who have wanted to return to work right away, but I have known many more who do not and there should be a better option for them. Surely some of the money we waste on political pork could be better used for a more rational national maternity policy (among a great many other things).
In the meantime, I am a stay at home mom. I expect this will be very different than other jobs I have had - I won't be winning awards or raises or even much recognition or praise. But I think it may be the first job I have ever loved.
I fired my cleaning lady today.
Yes, I know you all feel so sorry for me and I appreciate your support during this difficult time. I've known this was coming, of course, but was planning to wait a couple more weeks to do it. I went ahead and did it today because I realized that I would rather clean my own house than have Mia's nap interrupted.
Um. Who am I, and what have I done with Beth?
I am actually using a crock pot. Dinner will be promptly at 6:00.
The only difference between me and June Effing Cleaver is that rather than greeting Chris at the door when he returns from work and handing him his slippers and a martini, I will be handing him the baby and a bottle of breastmilk as I head out for the gym.
Now, where the heck are my pearls?
This morning, we sat in our bed and tickled our daughter's toes until she laughed.
One year ago today, we ate at Becco in New York City - the restaurant we fell in love with on our honeymoon when we walked in off the street and lucked into a table and fabulous pasta.
Two years ago today, we were at Blue Point, eating crab cakes until we thought we might pop.
Three years ago today, we were at, um, Nora's? Recently returned from France, so no October vacation that year.
Four years ago today, we were at Blue Point in Duck for our first exposure to their fantastic crab cakes.
Five years ago today, we were at Carolina Blue on our first trip to the Outer Banks.
Six years ago today, actually six years ago right this very minute, we were getting married.
Happy Anniversary, honey. Marrying you was the best decision I ever made.
We can cure disease, live in space, clone animals and watch television on our cell phones, so could someone please explain to me why we can't invent a diaper that actually contains the poop?
The diaper commercials make it all look so innocent. They talk about leaks and demonstrate with their little cups of blue water, and it makes you think "oh dear, a small amount of baby pee may at some point escape this excellent diaper. How mildly irksome." I think we should have truth in advertising: "Buy our diaper and we promise you will have to clean 20% less poop out of your child's hair."
The glamour is killing me.
If you decide to make spaghetti sauce while the baby is napping and decide to go ahead and throw in a cute little green pepper that you find in the fridge and if as you are chopping the cute little green pepper decide to go ahead and taste a little piece to see how it is, you must first ask yourself a very important question.
Is your husband from Texas?
Since I am too busy trying to extinguish the flames shooting off my tongue I will leave you with one the reasons my daughter is going to hate me when she's a teenager:
So yeah, I've decided not to say anything to the blogger who dumped me. My reasons for this are threefold:
One - As many of you pointed out, this is only the internet and also it is her loss and additionally it is no skin off my nose. Only that last bit is a lie because everything, everything, is skin off my nose. Potentially I should work on that. Anyway, bah, whatever, I am sad about it but will move on and instead focus on you nice, pretty, very smart people who still like me. Your hair looks really great today, by the way.
Two - I am prideful and hateful and spiteful and therefore do not want to give her the satisfaction of knowing that I care. I guess I've blown it already though if she ever reads my last post, but I still have a (pitiful, granted) form of deniability this way. "You? Ha-ha, you? Oh no, I was talking about one of the other people who suddenly began to despise me for no reason. Why, I barely even noticed when you dropped me like a virulently scum-encrusted hot potato. Did I mention ha-ha? See how I find the humor?"
Three - I tend to be a bit clueless when it comes to all that, you know, interpersonal crap, so it is entirely possible that I did do something awful for which I can never be forgiven and since I am so selfish and all I would rather just feel that I have been deeply wronged. Oh poor me, don't you all feel so sorry for me now and want to send me candy?
Hmmmm.... I think I am not coming across so well in this post, but I promise that other than the bitchiness and the spite and the grudge-holding (oh yeah, and the passive-aggressive stuff) I really am a lovely person. I will offer an example as proof. Yesterday, as a surprise for my husband, I finally got the TiVo we have had for two years hooked up so that it would work the way it was supposed to where you could record something and watch something else, rather than the way we had it hooked up where you could record something and watch, um, what you were recording. And I only made him wander around the house trying to figure out what the surprise was for a couple of hours before I gave in and told him. See? Perfectly lovely of me.
Also, in the interest of rambling on because the baby is actually sleeping and I feel like the world is one great big party just for me, on Tuesday I not only made dinner (by following the very astute advice of you lovely people) I also went to the gym and worked out for nearly 20 minutes! Baby steps, you know. I also braved the scale and found that I only weigh 5 pounds more than I told my OB I weighed before I got pregnant, which means I only weigh 8 pounds more than I really weighed before I got pregnant, which I think means I should have some more ice cream.
About six months ago, I was dumped by another blogger. It took me a while to figure out that I had been actively and purposefully dumped, but I am quite sure that is what happened. I'm sure there was some reason for it, but I'll be damned if I have any idea what it is. It has been bothering me since I clued in to what was going on - yes, I have been obsessing about this for six months. I hold a mean grudge too. Imagine how long I hold a grudge if you actually do something bad to me? (The answer to that is: forever.) Anyway, I have finally decided to get over it, but first I have a dilemma. Should I say something to the blogger that dumped me?
If this was "real life" I would definitely say something - would have months ago. My goal would not be to rekindle the friendship (I am thankfully somewhat above begging people to be friends with me) and not to be hateful or start any drama, but just to acknowledge that I have been dumped and to possibly, for my own peace of mind, to find out why.
So here's my question. Should I say something? Is it too late, even if it would have been a good idea months ago? Is it too pitiful or needy or drama queen to want to know why? If I'm over it, which I truly am, is there any point in any of this or should I just let it slip away unmentioned?
Tell me, internets. What would you do?
I was just on the phone with customer service for my cell phone company, and I thought the friendly customer service representative had put me on hold. Not so much, which led to the following conversation:
Me: (To Mia) Are you having a big poop?
Customer Service Lady: Um, no.
Me: Just checking.
Hey, I was probably her best call of the day.