Tuesday, March 30, 2010

I'm Never Going to Forget This...Until I Do.

Shortly after I had Anna, I took her into work to meet my coworkers. A girl I worked with had a daughter about a year and a half old at that time and she marveled over how she couldn't remember her daughter being so tiny. I remember thinking to myself that I would never forget Anna at that size or any size for that matter. I would remember her in every way always. And then real life came back into play and time moved on and I forgot.

I forgot how tiny newborn feet are. I forgot how even a sneeze out of a week old baby seems completely amazing. I got caught up in the every day routine and sure enough when I went to visit a friend of mine and her new baby boy last week, it occurred to me that I don't remember holding Anna when she was an 8 pound little bundle.

This scares me. As a kid growing up there were several occasions that I promised myself "I'm never going to forget this when I have kids" or "when my kids are my age I'll remember how I'm feeling right now and I won't make it hard on them." That's not to say my parents made anything hard on me. I'm talking about crushes on boys who didn't know I existed, or worse, considered me to be their best friend. Or when I got my first period and my mom told all her friends at work (I'm sure out of new parental territory/advice seeking motivation!), who in turn congratulated me the next time I was there. Or how awful I could feel just from waking up in the morning from a bad dream and nobody quite understood what I was talking about.

If I can so easily forget what it feels like to hold a new born baby, how beautiful her little yawns were and that aching tired feeling of new parenthood, then how on earth will I remember the other important things I'm supposed to remember in order to make sure Anna knows I understand what she's going through?

I think the answer is that I'm not supposed to remember. She and I are supposed to have "That Fight." You know the one where she yells that I have no idea what it's like to be a teenager and then slams the door in my face? That fight. If all parents always remembered their "I'm always going to remember" moments, the universe would be thrown off its keel and we'd be walking around in a world where toddlers always say please and teenagers never slam doors in their mothers' faces.

And you know what? I just can't be responsible for that kind of global upheaval. I'm going to go ahead and live in the moment and enjoy her just like this for as long as she'll be like this and then I'll take the next stage as it comes.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Dealing with Change

I was told this week that I'm good at handling change (at my job). I actually laughed at the person who said it. Then I apologized because he had no idea why his complement had elicited such a sarcastic scoff from me. I am horrible at dealing with change. It stresses me out. I've never been capable of handling transitions gracefully. The only change I like is hiding under my couch cushions.

Since I was Anna's age, the mere mention that we would have to leave the park led to a meltdown. I've gotten better about little changes like that, but the big life changes (graduating from college and joining the real world, having a baby, going back to work after said baby) send me into, well, sometimes they send me into depression.

Thankfully, my stress over dealing with the recent change in Hubby's job, and therefore our entire homelife schedule, has not sent me into depression. Instead, it's sent me into McDonald's. And the candy aisle at the grocery store. And into the freezer for second helpings of ice cream.

Anna, on the other hand, seems to be coping pretty well with the upset in her routine. She was a little (ha, ok, A LOT) cranky for the first week or two (we had taken to calling her "she-beasty"), but she seems to have settled into the new schedule now. She would come home on nights that Hubby was working late and wander around the house calling "Daddy, Way Ah Yoo?" But thankfully she seems to have inherited his "go with the flow" personality and has accepted that some nights she just gets mama time.

I'm still adjusting. I imagine it will take a few more weeks before I stop feeling overwhelmed. I'm trying. Really, really hard. But I'm just not that quick to adapt. My almost-two-year-old seems to be developing faster in that area than me. And I'm ok with that!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

The Mama Bear Instinct

"I wasn't even going to tell you, because it's really not a big deal," was how my conversation with Hubby started tonight. He told me that someone broke into our cars early Tuesday morning and tried unsuccessfully to get into our garage. He hadn't told me because he didn't want me to freak out. They hadn't taken anything and thanks to our frustratingly difficult to work (thankfully so!) garage door openers, they hadn't gotten into the garage. He reported it to the police, and found out from the neighbors tonight that they found a purse with contents strewn about behind our garage on Tuesday morning and also called the police.

I'm not freaking out (especially since I verified that the 7th Harry Potter book on CD is still in my glove compartment - THANK GOODNESS!!), but my mind is wandering to "what would I have done if they had gotten into the house?"

Since the day I gave birth to Anna, I've known without a doubt that I could and would do ANYTHING to protect this little girl. And if that anything included defending her with my life, then I have no doubt that I'd put up an amazing fight. I try not to think about these kinds of scenarios often, because I can actually give myself an adrenaline rush just by thinking about "what if there was a fire, how would I get out of my bedroom and into hers?" or "what if some creep came into our home and Hubby wasn't nearby, what exactly would I do?" I have no doubt that I would surprise even myself with the lengths I would go to to protect my daughter.

That mama bear instinct is powerful. God help the burglar that tries to come into our house...he may find the goods he's looking for but he's also going to find one seriously ticked off and riled up woman, ready to do anything to keep her kid safe.

*Just a note - All sorts of circumstances here were EXTREMELY lucky. For some reason both of our cars were unlocked that night so no windows were broken. Neither of our garage door openers seemed to work and both doors to our house were locked. For a "break in" it really wasn't such a horrible thing. A blessing.

**A second note - to the burglar - thank you for leaving my Harry Potter book on CD in the glove compartment. You have no idea how that would have ruined my week had you taken it.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Fun with Words

Anna's vocabulary has boomed, seemingly overnight. As a result, her capacity to entertain has also drastically expanded.

Exhibit A:
Yesterday as she, Hubby and I were playing together on the living room floor, Anna began waving her arms around wildly, hitting herself several times in the face. Obviously faking, she looked at me, whimpering and begged "Pack? Pack?" I responded (because I'm such a caring and compassionate mom), "Did you just hurt yourself on purpose so you could have an ice pack?" To which she responded, "Yeah." and stopped whimpering.

Exhibit B:
This morning I asked Anna if we could brush her hair before we left for daycare. As I brought out her hairbrush (something I have to hide or it elicits immediate protesting from my young friend), Anna began running through the kitchen, clutching her hair, screaming, "NOOOOOO!!! MYYYYYYYYY!!!!!" Apparently her hair belongs to her and I'm not allowed to make her look presentable. To be fair, her reaction may have something to do with my attempt to give her pigtails this weekend. She was not a fan (but I was!!!).

Exhibit C:
When we got in the car this morning I asked, "Are you ready to go to grandma's house?" To which Anna responded, "Biddy? Biddy Way Ah Yooo?!" This is Anna-speak for "Billie! Billie, where are you?"

Exhibit D:
I learned this from Andy's mom, who is clever, so clever that we shall call her Clever with a capital "c"! Whenever she needs to change Anna's diaper (which is a chore these days), whether there are other kids at her house at the time or not, she announces, "Who wants to be first for diaper change?" And without fail, Anna will respond, "Me me me me!" and run to wherever she's supposed to go. Ladies and gentlemen, this works at home too! It's crazy. Last night I announced, "Who wants to be first to brush teeth tonight?" and Anna responded "Me me me me!" and ran into the bathroom doing her excited dance. It's hilarious, and it's handy!

Exhibit E:
Over the weekend Anna and I had this conversation SEVERAL times:
Me: "Anna do you want Milk or Water?"
Anna: "Zeus"
Me: "No juice, milk or water?"
Anna (tone and facial expression unchanging): "Zeus"
Me: "Milk or water?"
Anna: "Zeus"
and on and on...

Exhibit F:
If you ask Anna to say napkin, she immediately and always responds, "Money." It's really funny.

I love hearing her talk and sing and listening to her start to put sentences together. When she gets really excited, she'll chant "daddy mama daddy mama daddy mama!" I'm sure we'll get more of the "no"s and "MYYYY"s before long, but hopefully I can continue to be proud of her developing understanding of the world and not focus on the fact that she is growing up way too fast right in front of me.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Somebody's Getting Married!

Six years ago today, I woke up my best friend Jen with this song:

I then proceeded to call my siblings and my parents who were staying in the same hotel as Jen and I were to sing that song to them. That "somebody" was me!

I wasn't your traditional "don't see the groom before the wedding" kind of bride. Actually, we spent pretty much the whole day leading up to the ceremony together with our friends and families. I had just as much fun BEFORE our wedding as I did during!

Did I mention that it was midterms week our last semester of college? What the heck was I thinking?!?

Anyway, today we celebrate six years of our life together. I can honestly say, I couldn't have chosen a better person as my husband and I'm looking forward to our future together!