Tuesday, July 28, 2009

I turned it on!

Today, I did something really mean.

My son is semi-afraid of the vacuum cleaner. He is curiously cautious of it and will get close to inspect it if it's running, but run away if I move it towards him.

In any event, the vacuum cleaner has been sitting in the corner of my bedroom for two weeks. No, it doesn't belong there. No, it hasn't been used. Don't judge me.

Madi, now that it's not on and running, enjoys pressing the buttons, swinging the plug around, pulling the cord all the way to the living room, and tipping it over and riding it like a horse.

All things I tell him not to do. Repeatedly.

So, today, I decided that I would show him better than I could tell him. And although I know that this is a heinously horrible thing to do and I am FOREVER out of the "Number One Mommy" contest, I just couldn't help myself. As he was sitting on the vaccum cleaner, riding it like a horsey...

I turned it on! 

Saturday, July 18, 2009

To Someone Else...

I am literally SOBBING my way through this episode of “16 and Pregnant.”

The show is about, well, you guessed it, 16 year olds who get pregnant and their experiences through the pregnancy and after. For the final episode, MTV showed a young couple who decided to give their daughter to another couple through adoption. (Read their interview here.)

Most of the episodes have been pretty typical, at least for me. The mom struggles through the pregnancy and afterward, and has the same fights with the dad that I had with my husband (It’s YOUR turn to change the diaper). But all of this was tainted with the funk of immaturity. I was terrified about being able to care for another human being. I still am. They were drunk with excitement. It was interesting to watch them sober up.

But these kids are so brave. And so selfless. Part of the reason they decided to give the baby up was because of the instability in their lives. Both came from homes with ex-felon parents, or had jumped from relative to relative because of their parent’s inability to care for them. They wanted something better for their daughter and wanted it in the face of opposition from the same parents who had made their lives so unstable.

“There’s plenty of love to take care of that baby. You just gotta make it happen,” one of the parents said (the ex-convict). The boy replied, “Love is why I have to give her a better life. And get her away from this hell hole.”

I wish all 16-year olds were as smart as them. Granted, they weren’t very smart getting pregnant at that age. But hell, my pregnancy wasn't planned and I was six years older! I watched one episode of a girl living on her grandmother’s couch with her mom who was also pregnant and wondered why she didn’t get it.

Honestly, I would not be brave or selfless enough to carry a baby for nine months and then give it to someone else. I’m too selfish. I would sooner get an abortion.

I guess that’s why this couple affected me as it did. Because they are able to do something that so many people NEED to do, but are too selfish to do. Give something so personal and precious to someone else.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Bad Mommy Day...

Every mom has those days when they feel like they are officially out of the running for mommy of the year.

I am having one of those days.

My granny, who watches Madi while we’re at work, called me this afternoon. She rarely ever calls me so I knew that it was something really good or something bad. Since he just had his potty phenomenon, I figured it might’ve been something bad.

Turns out that in my haste this morning to get him ready, I put his shoe on with his toes curled under. I noticed that it was a little difficult to get his shoe on, but I thought it was the angle or something – honestly, I didn’t really pay much attention to WHY it was hard, I just put it on and kept going.

So, at my granny’s he took a step and fell over crying. She noticed him limping and took his shoe off and saw that his toes were curled under. His big toe was a bit swollen and the bottom of his toenail was bleeding a little. I was at work then, but when I got home I cried and kissed him and told him I was sorry.

I know, I know. It’s not that big of a deal, it’s just his toe.

But you don’t understand. There is this immense pressure to… I don’t know… not fuck it up. Like, I don’t want to mess up this kid. So, for me, it wasn’t about a big toe. For me it was like, jeez, you can’t even put the boy’s shoe on right, how are you going to handle the big stuff?

I’ve had these days before. When he was three days old I accidentally dropped a lotion bottle on his head. It only grazed it, but I immediately started bawling. Madi kept doing what most babies his age do – nothing.

When he was about six months I was carrying too much stuff to the car, dropped something and put his car seat on top of my husband’s car while I bent over to pick up the lost item. Predictably, his car seat slid off and I barely grabbed a hold of it before the bottom hit the ground. He cried for a few seconds.

I cried for an hour.

I guess the point is this: There are going to be some mistakes (duh). And even though us moms know that, it doesn’t make the mistakes (no matter how big or small) hurt any less. It’s just part of having a bad mommy day.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Updated: I *really* love that kid...

Madi peed on the potty for the first time today!!!

Jeez, I love that kid.


Madi continued using the potty for the rest of the day! And when he came home he used the potty there, too! He did pee a little on the floor, but at least he got some in the potty, too!

He is only a little over 14 months old. I am so proud of him. And thank God for my grandmother. She is absolutely awesome. I'm a little nervous about continuing here at home. I hope I can do as well as she did.

I *really* love that kid.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

A Lesson I Carry Every Day...

We spent the weekend in Dallas with my hubby's grandfather. He is over 80 and loves Madi so that was nice. It was the second Father's Day I've spent away from my Dad, so that was a little tough. I also felt a bit conflicted because on the way back from Dallas we stopped at my father's house. It just felt strange to spend Father's Day with him and not see the man who acted like my father for most of my life.

I guess I should do a little explaining. When I refer to my "Dad," I am usually talking about my stepfather. He and my mother have been together for nearly 20 years. I'm not much older than that. Let's just say he was at my kindergarten graduation. He has always treated me like his biological daughter even when I was a complete teenage asshole. I have always loved and appreciated him because he loved me and he didn't have to. I think that's pretty special.

On the other hand, my "father" and I have a tumultuous relationship. I would rather not spend much time talking about that, I will simply say that efforts to reconcile were always thwarted by some random and unpredictable outburst or lashing out on his part. As a result, I have made a logical decision to stop seeking a "father-daughter" relationship with him.

When I got pregnant, we were not on speaking terms. But as I got closer to my delivery date, I thought about my son being afforded an opportunity to have a relationship with his biological grandfather. Family is important to me, and although my stepfather is great, I would like for my son to know ALL of where he comes from. The fact that I tried so many times to build a relationship with my father is evidence of how important I think he is. And although that relationship may never be salvaged, I do not want to stop him from being a great grandfather if that's who he wants to be. 

It made me very emotional. I didn't want him to hurt my son the way that he hurt me. I was also forced to confront the notion that I couldn't protect my son from everything even if I wanted to. So, I really struggled with this - the idea of making he and my son's relationship work even though ours didn't. Fortunately, hubby came to the rescue and met with him before our son was born and serve(d/s) as a sort of liaison. When we visit I go too, but he's become "Grandpa Alan," instead of "Dad." That works for me.

In any event, I didn't mean to make this post about my poor relationship with my father. I think the lesson my father taught me is to ensure that I pick a good father for my children so they never have to go through the things that I did. The past two father's day, and every day since I first discovered I was pregnant I am so thankful (and sometimes jealous) that my son has such a great father. Father's are invaluable. They have such an impact on esteem, something that I didn't realize until I was a bit older. I thank my father for teaching me that - a lesson I carry every day.

Jumped In!

This week we started parent/child swim class at our local YMCA. It is an eight-session class - 30 minute classes Monday - Thursday for two weeks. We just finished our first week and we are having a blast!

During Madi's first two months he would scream through bath time. We bathed him on one of
those bath slings and I think he didn't really like being exposed in the air. We took baths together and he seemed to tolerate those. As he got older, bath time became more and more fun for him, which was great.

Before swim class Madi had only been swimming a few times. He was three or four months then and seemed to innately know how to paddle and kick. That was so amazing. Recently, we took him swimming at a pool with graduated depth. He LOVED that, so much that I had to keep him from walking in too deep!

Things were a bit different in swim class. The first night, Madi clung to me and didn't want to play or splash at all. I was really worried that the next two weeks would be miserable - for him AND me. 

The next day, Madi had something in store for me! He was surprisingly much more comfortable, kicking, splashing, dipping his face in the water (and drinking it, too), and laughing! He even jumped in!