Dear Warming Weather…

Please don’t go away.

I thoroughly enjoy turning the heat off during the day. However, the only way that can happen is if you remain for a while. Yes, I understand it’s only February. But look, March, which is considered to be nearing Spring, is only a few days away. I am sure that Mother Nature wouldn’t mind you coming a bit early and playing house.

Do I need to mention global warming? Because as bad as it is, we should at least be able to get SOMETHING out of it. For me that something should be the ability to save on my electricity bill for the next couple of months.

If you could just help me out a little with that, I would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks bunches,

The Woman who has never in her life looked more forward to spring than she does now

P.S. I don’t want to be picky, but could you just stay around the way you are and not get too warm. I want to turn my heat off, but certainly do not want to turn my air conditioner on. Thanks again.

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Bliss

There are moments in the day when the little tambourine will sit on my lap, rest his head against my chest, and relax for just a bit. These moments happen rarely, as the little one is 9 months old with more energy than I’ve ever had in my entire life. He is in constant motion. His curiosity outweighs any desire to remain in my lap longer than is absolutely necessary to catch his breath. However, in those minutes, when we both are calm with nothing surrounding us but peace and quiet, it is in those moments that all the hardships of the day fade away and I experience pure bliss. The bliss of motherhood, the bliss of unconditional love, is very empowering. It’s these moments that give me the strength to continue with my day.

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We’ve been having problems with the little tambourine’s sleeping. Again. I’ve said this before, and I will most likely say it again, but the most frustrating and infuriating part of parenthood is an infant’s sleeping habits.

I will one day write an entire post about his sleeping issues prior to 6 months. For now, let’s keep it at “he didn’t sleep, ever.” After 6 months he started sleeping quite well. 11 hours at night, two naps during the day.  We never did have a problem getting him to sleep. It was mainly keeping him asleep that was the issue.

In the past two weeks, culminating in last week’s doctor’s appointment, it has been a nightmare trying to get him to fall asleep. It used to be bath, pj’s, story, cuddle, asleep. But he decided he wasn’t happy with that situation and has required me to rock him for hours upon hours at a time before putting him down. If I dare put him down before he is completely in the throws of slumber, he will awaken and scream his discontent. It’s gotten to the point that I dread bedtime. The time that used to be one of my favorites, is now my least favorite, and that makes me truly hurt inside. Instead of leaving his room at night feeling calm and happy, I leave exhausted, and already dreading the following night.

Something needs to be done. I understand that it is the parent’s job to parent their babies to sleep, and I am truly not averse to rocking him. However, he is at the age when I certainly should not be required to rock him all the way to sleep in order for him to stay that way. It used to not be like this. He used to be able to go down drowsy but awake (the perfect way to go down according to most books) after only a little rocking. Not recently.

I also understand that he is 9 months and is going through a lot of changes. He learned how to pull himself to a stand last week, he’s been crawling now for about a month, and he’s entering the separation anxiety phase. I know that when he doesn’t want me to leave it’s because he’s starting to understand that I still exist even after he can’t see me, and thus does not want me to be away from him. I know this should be flattering, but I also know that he’s going to get used to me rocking him all the way to sleep, and that, my friends, can never be a good thing. The only ending to that scenario is an exhausted mother and an upset little boy.

I thought that after the 6 month mark things would be better. I figured there’d be some set backs, but I always thought it would be with his night waking, not the initial bedtime.

Motherhood: the hardest and most rewarding job in the world.

What happens when…

I know all mothers go through this, but what happens when the little one starts standing up in his crib in the middle of the night? He started pulling to a stand about 4 days ago, and I knew it was only a matter of time before he figured out how to find the bars in the middle of the night and practice his new skill. In any other circumstance, practicing his new skill would be fine by me. However, he refuses to lay back down. Ever. I went into his room lovingly cooing that he needs to lay back down and go back to sleep. He didn’t listen.

This is just a phase, correct? Eventually he’ll figure it out and then he won’t need to practice at 3 in the morning, correct?

As soon as you think things are going smoothly, someone (and by someone I mean the little one’s) throws a wrench into the whole thing.

Life in Slow Motion

My rant:

Why does everything in this town have to take three times as long as it does anywhere else in the world? Why does every local here think it’s ok to talk to the cashier/pharmacist/bank teller for 20 minutes, when there is a line a mile long, and you are trying to get back to the apartment before your son needs to be fed? Why is every car on the road occupied by a Sunday Driver?

There are days during which I strongly dislike living in such a small town. Everyone knows each other. They all talk to each other in their slow southern drawls about the most mundane subject matter, during the most inappropriate times, such as in line at the post office, in line at the grocery store, in line at the pharmacy. Are you noticing a theme?

I went out this morning while the little tambourine was playing with Mr. Tambourine, and what should have only taken about 30 minutes ended up taking an hour longer. Unbelievable. By the fourth line I was very close to saying something, although, I didn’t, because I do not like conflict.

I think one thing that bothers me so much about the whole situation is that all the locals expect the same conversational behavior from me. They expect me to chat up the cashiers while checking out. There have been times when I’ve been sucked into their warped little world, but today was just not one of those days. I could feel the eyes in the back of my skull as I made my way out of the grocery store/post office/pharmacy/bank, and their judgmental thoughts rang quite loudly: She thinks she’s too good to talk to us.

Well, NO, not on a regular basis, I don’t think I’m too good to talk to you. However, if I did think that it certainly would not be too far from the truth. The only people of intelligence who live in this town are the law students. All the smart people leave town after they graduate from highschool, and never look back. What’s left is a population of barely highschool graduates who have no concept of the outside world. They all live in this closed off community, choosing not to leave or experience anything outside of the town limits.

I’d like to think that I’m an open minded person, but on days like today, when I feel like I’m being judged because I’m an “outsider”, I look at these people and I want nothing more than to tell them how truly ignorant and close minded they truly are.

But that’s just me.

Maternal Instinct

It always amazes me how my body reacts to the little tambourine’s cry.

It’s the middle of the night, and I’m in a deep slumber. One whimper sounds from the adjoining room and in an instant my eyes are open, my heart is racing, and my entire body is tense. It’s as if I’ve reached into the animalistic “fight or flight” part of my brain and pulled out what can only be described as… well… a maternal instinct I suppose. Every mother has had this feeling at one point or another. The feeling that something is wrong with your offspring. You don’t think. You simply respond. I would imagine this is what it’s like for a mother bear when a human comes between herself and her cub.

It’s a hard feeling to forget.

This happens about three times a night with the little tambourine and myself. He wakes up, makes noise for varying periods of time, and then will usually fall back to sleep. The entire time he is awake I am tense, my heart is racing, and my eyes are wide open staring at his door. It always takes me a while to fall back to sleep after one of these episodes. What do I think is wrong? I know he’s safe.

I think it’s a learned response from the days when he was waking every 2 hours, the wretched post- newborn/pre-Ferber days. Those were the days when I dreaded putting him to bed because I knew he would be up again in two hours. Those were the days when he would wake up, and I would lay in bed hoping with all the power in my being that he would make a little bit of noise and then fall back to sleep on his own. This never happened. He was conditioned to fall asleep only after he’d spent some time with Mami. I had made him this way. Those nights my eyes would open, my heart would race, and my entire body would tense up.

Things are much different now. Much better, really. And yet, I still respond the way I did when sleeping was not a happy time. I sometimes wonder how long it will last. I wonder when he is 3, will I still awaken with an increased heart-rate? Will I ever forget what it was like those first 6 months of his life? I have a feeling that as soon as I forget, that will be when I truly need to respond in this way. For that reason I’m ok with being tense for a few minutes if it means that I am ready if he ever truly needs me.