Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Remind me

Should J and I ever decide to do this baby thing again, I want you to remind me about today. And by you, I really mean me. Now me needs to talk to future me to remember today.

Today is good. I got out of bed at the not-early hour of 9 and while Eleanor finished sleeping I made a tutu. Well, 95% of a tutu, because I think it needs just a little more fluffing and maybe a ribbon bow before I'm ready to call it totally done, but still. I cut up 50 yards of tulle and tied it around an elastic band, which is making a tutu. I also watched some Aaron Sorkin while I did it, and 25 episodes in, I'm ready to say that I'm just not in love with Sports Night. It's not because it's about sports, which I care nothing about, because A) it's not about sports, it's about relationships and 2) I don't give a squat about politics and I loved The West Wing. It's because I don't really care about any of the characters. I can't put my finger on why. I also ate breakfast while making a tutu and watching Sports Night. This is a morning full of win.

After Eleanor woke up for the day--which I can now tell when she's waking up to eat and when she's up for the day by how she wakes up. Tangent interrupting that sentence and I'm not going to fix it, so just hold on. When she's waking up to eat, she fusses, eats, and then goes right back to sleep. When she's waking up for the day, she wakes up happy. It's wonderful. She sings to herself and plays with whatever she can get her hands on and she smiles at me. So, right, after Eleanor woke up, I got her dressed in a cute orange and pink gingham dress with matching bloomers and accessorized with a pink headband. Then she played by herself in the Jumperoo for 30 minutes while I cleaned the kitchen. And I don't just mean emptied & reloaded the dishwasher, which is usually what I mean when I say I cleaned the kitchen. No, I mean I cleaned counter tops. And the stove. And the MICROWAVE. I was productive.

Then Eleanor was done playing by herself so I played with her. We sat on the floor and she chewed her toys, which is what counts as playing for us at this point. Puca came to sniff her and she grabbed his fur. He is incredibly patient and gentle with her and I'm pretty ridiculously excited to see how much she loves watching him play. I know that most moms think they got the best baby ever (and I totally did) but hands down I got the best dog in the whole wide world--barking at everything that touches our sidewalk not withstanding.

When it was time for her nap, I recognized it by her demeanor, not the clock. That may sound simple and like a giant no-brainer but that's a really big deal for me. She doesn't have a schedule and her routine has always been fairly unpredictable, or at least that's how it feels at the time, but looking back she really does have patterns and I can recognize them now. That makes me feel really good at my job. I sometimes understand my baby. On this day, I saw that her fussiness was because she was tired and I put her down for her nap. In her own bed. Well, I nursed her to sleep in our bed then transfered her to her own bed, but she's taking her naps in her bed. This is an accomplishment for me. Just 2 weeks ago she was still taking her naps on our bed surrounded by a bumper of pillows. She had been taking naps in her cradle, but even with the bumper (breathable, of course) she was getting her hands and feet caught in the bars but couldn't get them un-stuck, so back to the bed. Now she naps in her bed. In our room. It's progress.

If tomorrow doesn't go this well, I want to remember that today was good. I'm pretty bad at remembering the good days as it turns out. I dwell on the bad days and kill myself with comparison. Comparison is the thief of joy. Someone wise and probably more famous than me said that and it's true. Except when it's not. I mean, I don't think I'll ever be able to stop comparing myself to others. I know I should focus on just being the best me I can be because only I am me and I'm not anyone else. When I focus on being grateful for how good I have it--and I do have it good, objectively good, not just subjectively--it's in comparison to others. I am grateful that I have a car and a house with functioning temperature control and almost enough room to store the oodles and oodles of stuff we accumulate and enough disposable income to have hobbies instead of a career. I get to stay home with my adorable baby and I'm lucky to have all of that because there are lots of others who don't. But that's comparison too, and when I do that it's just too easy to flip over to the other side of the "but I don't have" lists. I've never been on a cruise and my baby doesn't sleep through the night and she's still in our room and not sleep trained to sleep in her own room in a crib all night long without us.

For crying out loud! That's what I have to complain about? I've never been on a cruise?! So what! I honeymooned in Ireland and I don't really like bathing-suit beaches anyway. Which is why I'd love to do an Alaskan cruise, or the Holy Land cruise that my aunt & folks are taking in November, or to take a boat down the Rhine river, or the Danube, or... See, there's always something to dream about. And fine, great, dream! I like dreaming. It's good to have "bucket list" items and things to plan and hope for. They should bring joy though, not depression because I haven't done it yet.

And Eleanor's not even 6 months old yet. (And you guys, wait until you see the pictures I have for her 6 month update. You're gonna die from the cute. I'm just saying... This one is gonna be good.) Sure there are plenty of babies younger than her sleeping longer stretches in their own room. But I LIKE having her in our room. I like having her near to me. She will move to her own room in her own time. This works for us, for our family. She gets time to herself to explore and play and entertain herself, soothe herself, and be her own tiny human. She's not spoiled or coddled--she's a baby! What's more, she's my baby, not anyone else's baby. If I have to be nice to me for being just me not anyone else, then the same rules apply to my mini-me. And I'm not saying this because anyone has said anything hateful or hurtful or judgmental disguised-as-advice to me. This is me saying out loud what I need to remember because my own brain wants to sabotage me. My brain wants to paint a bleak picture of reality and it's just not true.

Today is good. I'm wearing real clothes, clothes I could comfortably leave the house in. I've had nutritious food and even slept in a bit. I've made crafts and taken care of my house. I trimmed Eleanor's nails. It's not a perfect day, but it's good. Eleanor face-planted on the hardwood-laminate floors and I was terrified she'd get a big ugly bruise. Not because I worried about her health or well being. Well, I did, but honestly it was a secondary concern. No, my first worry was that she'd be all banged up for the pictures that I want to have taken tomorrow so I can give 6 mo portraits to the family that's coming in for my granddad's memorial on Friday. Isn't that some Murphy-type rule of babies in pictures? They'll mar their tiny faces just in time to capture it for posterity? (See also, why I trimmed her nails) She's got an ear infection because she's been congested for going on 3 weeks now and she's taking her antibiotic like a champ and she's only had a few bits of inconsolable screaming and she is still generally my happy, sweet, easy-going, social baby, but man! Do I ever beat myself up about it when she gets fussy when we're out with other friends' babies. Like why do *I* have the fussy baby? Why does other babies fussing sound so mild-mannered and when E does it I feel like my ears should fall off? Because those aren't my babies. I just have to cut myself some freaking slack. Hear that, self? Chill. You got a good one. I mean, look at her!
Eleanor being very lady-like at the doctor's office

Also, today is good and it's only noon. I've been productive. I'm presentable for the general public. Eleanor is clean, fed, and happy. (Well, asleep at the moment, but that counts as happy in my book.) Today is good and I want to remember it for later. (Even if later is later today in case things go completely off the rails.)


Erin said...

I felt the same way about Sports Night. I love the actors, except Felicity Huffman (I don't dislike her, but she does nothing for me), but I didn't really care about the characters they played. Which was sad, because I wanted to like it as much as Studio 60 and West Wing, but I just couldn't. I had the same problem with Newsroom.

Lynnette said...

That there is a perfect baby. And I am an EXPERT in perfect babies. Also, NINE. GASP. You must be doing things right.

Elsha said...

I'm a fan of days like that.

Jessica said...

Yay for a good day!

I've liked Sports Night so far (only 3 episodes in) because I love The Good Wife and especially Josh Charles. I've only seen him in the two things now, but I'm gonna go ahead and say I'd watch him in anything.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...