Monday, March 2, 2015

New flash: He's TWO.

I'm ever befuddled by people who come into my home repeatedly, yet act truly astonished when my little whirlwind of a miniature human runs about, leaving disruption and chaos in his wake. He's a toddler. It's pretty much his unofficial job. I thought this was news to no one regarding toddlers? Yet, I feel like I keep introducing folks to the idea. Consider the forthcoming my brief rant on this topic.

New flash: he is two. He was two the past time you came by and he's still two today. He's a toddler who's exploring his world with an enthusiasm and energy an adult can barely fathom. This includes grabbing, pulling, pushing, yanking, knocking, jumping onto, swatting, kicking, dragging, chewing, kissing and something licking anything to which he has access and interest. 

It's not done with mean-spiritedness, but rather with a sense of adventure to examine all in his realm. His arms, hands, legs, feet, mouth and whole body are his tools of exploration at the ready, and he uses them liberally. If you want to keep what you came with in an unbroken state, keep it away. Please assume that if it's within his reach, he will reach it. I'm clear about that when you enter, and I provide many reminders throughout your visit. There's zero room for misstep....if only you'd just listen.

So, when he pulls down the coffee you brought over that you left within stubby little arm's reach on the edge of the kitchen table, which not only stains his shirt, my tablecloth and seat cushion (luckily, not a hot enough beverage to cause him any harm), and though I've begged you repeatedly not to have an open beverage on the table to ward against this very happening, please don't have the first thing out of your mouth  be: "I just didn't think your kid would do that." 

Um, why would you ever think he would do anything else BUT THAT? I warned you multiple times, you see he grabs at everything and you are aware of his whirlwind-like presence at almost every moment. Likewise, you're here often enough to have muscle memory of it all. To suggest you imagined any other outcome is simply baffling. 

So, I'll continue with my incessant warnings, my toddler will go along with his energetic adventuring, and the cycle will no doubt repeat. It's just good to air it out, so I can have a smile on my face for the next visit. Thank you for listening. 

Saturday, February 28, 2015

The (Magical) Power Nap

One of many new phenomena that have occurred since I've entered mommyhood is the advent of the ever magical power nap. I'd never before believed that a power nap was anything but a myth, but I am here to gladly report that it is very much a legitimate, wonderful and wondrous thing. 

I rarely nap, unless I am ill~ and even then, it's only if I force myself or am too weak to fight it.  Don't get me wrong; I do love the idea of napping like I enjoy the romantic nature of several ideas: sipping freshly-brewed coffee (the scent alone doesn't agree with me), awaking at 5am to have time to myself (my body is at sharp refusal with this objective), or gardening (it looks lovely, and I know I'll do it one day, but it's not for me just yet). It's just not something in which I readily partake.

It's not some judgemental righteous stance that keeps me from napping, either. I'm not one to think a person's day is ruined by midday slumber. In fact, I think it's as pleasing a way as one could possibly spend an afternoon.  It's that I simply cannot turn myself off long enough to do it. It's hard for me to fall asleep at night as it is.

On days where I feel tremendously exhausted (you know, versus the incessant body-aching tired that is the daily norm of mommyhood), if my little guy has fallen asleep on me (for some reason, it only happens if he's snoozing on me) my eyelids will flutter and eventually fall. It's during this time that I seem to engage in many a pleasant swirl of peaceful dreamlike images. 

At some point, I'll groggily open my eyes, assuming I've slumbered the day away, only to find it's been anywhere as little as 5-10 minutes. It will always have felt like an hour. So, there I am having captured only 10 or so minutes of Zzzzs and feeling reinvigorated. (Well, enough to just make it through the day, I should clarify. Not to like run around the block or anything.) Pure magic!

Every bit of bonus energy I can gain during those dragging days of mommyhood, I'll gratefully and gladly take! The magical power nap imbues me with newfound energy as if I've slept several hours. It's one of the most bizarre and refreshing rewards of mommy hood, and I don't dare question it. I'll just keep closing my eyes and hoping it'll find me again and again. 

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Not Every Day is a Winner

I can only speak for myself, but as a Mommy who's full-time gig is being with my little guy, I get really down on myself on those days when I'm not feeling 100%, my energy level is dragging and the day is more of a slouch than a hero. 

As the CEO of the home and the organizer of my little guy's world, when I'm not feeling energetic, it affects the day. Whether I'm sick and can't fight it or I'm able to caffeinate my way through it, the day is still impacted. Usually, the result is that I feel the day hasn't been as productive or fulfilling for either one of us, especially my toddler. That makes me feel guilty and, quite frankly, like a Mommyfailure. 

Now, from a logical standpoint, I am aware that a singular day of a little more TV and a little less hands-on learning activities with Mommy isn't going to make or break anything. In fact, it's more than likely that Mommy's low energy days rate among my little guy's favorites: I'm not asking much of him, I let a lot slide and we're together more. As the dishes from two meals pile up in the sink until I feel up to doing them before dinner, he's thrilled that I'm spending more time with him, rather than hunched over the sink doing dishes three times a day. It's only me who's bothered by knowing that those dishes~ and other chores~ sit undone, reminding me of how I'm falling down on the job in a variety of ways.

I know that I'm extra tough on myself because someone else is involved and affected by my not being at my best~ and it's my most precious person, no less. If I had a low productivity day in any of my former corporate positions, I certainly wasn't lamenting the lost day too hard. I knew I'd always make it up tomorrow, or the rest of the week. With a little human being involved, though, it changes everything. The stakes feel heightened and weighty.

It's my impression that mommies who are with their child/children the majority of the time feel a certain pressure that every day must be everything at all times. I definitely do. Love, learning, laughter, etc., should abound nonstop. But, that just can't be every day's reality as a Mommy. What do I know, though? Perhaps it is for some, and to those mommies I heartily applaud. My reality just isn't that glowingly winning every single day.

The love part I have covered, but some days the rest must take a back seat to simply make it through the day. It's already ok with my little guy, so I'll have to work on the part where it's ok with me, too. 

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