Tuesday, April 05, 2005

It was the best of times...it was the worst of times.

This blog will record the best and worst part, each day, about being the mother of a two year old little girl. It will not be advice on motherhood or mothering. I don't have any. In fact, I usually expect the "Mommy Police" to sweep down and revoke my mommy license at least twice a day. Mothering isn't really a natural thing for me. Sometimes I hate it. Of course, sometimes I love it. Thus--the blog. I want to try and be honest about this, well, experience, and acknowledge both the good stuff, and the bad stuff. My favorite quote about early motherhood is from Ann Lamott in "Operating Instructions" (READ IT if your expecting, or have kids, or are currently taking in oxygen. It's the REAL story of mothering. Not some sacherine account of play dates and whole wheat and not letting them watch TV). She says something like, "Babies are so time consuming. I really thought this would be more like having a cat." I still have a hard time wrapping my brain around the fact that everyone has a mom; and that a huge chunk of the population has gone through what I'm going through now. Maybe I'm incredibly self-centered, but I still feel like Sophie's day to day ups and downs are big news--and that the amazing amount of time and energy she sucks from my life each day is somehow more than what happens with other children and other mothers.

So I chose a bad time to start this one, because we are in to about hour 40 of a nasty flu. We started out on Sunday with Sophie puking all over grandma, and have now gone through 2 sleepless nights of changing vomited on blankets and trying to make the sick and willful 2 year old keep some Tylenol down.

Sick babies kick mothering into high gear. It really emphasizes the sort of choicelessness of it all. No one says, "Would you mind staying up all night and cleaning up vomit?". You just do it. You have to. Even if you don't want to. On the other hand, as sad for your baby as you feel, holding a little feeverish body at night, feeling that hot little cheek pressed against your neck, and getting an unsought for "I love you mommy" brings out that intense mommy love that just sweeps everything else away. Until, that is, your sweet little bug ralphs all over in your hair, and you have to clench your teeth, wake up the sleeping daddy--again--and try not to just walk out the door and never come back.

Today's best thing about being a mom:
I hate to start out this sappy, but here goes--Feeling unconditional love for another human being. I mean, loving someone who has kept you up for two nights and has just puked all over your hair is a pretty big deal.

Today's worst thing about being a mom:
As I said, sometimes, I just can't stand the fact that I don't have a choice. 2 year olds can't give themselves medicine, can't change vomitty sheets, can't take themselves to the doctor. Mom's can't say--"yea, I really don't want to do that just now. Sorry."

1 comment:

NME said...

I enjoyed your blog. I hope you keep up with it. Sometimes it's hard to find the time and energy. I'll have to check back in with you periodically.

I too find it hard to believe that others have gone through, are going through and will go through experiences similar to mine with Noah. I look at my mom and I think "Surely she didn't feel JUST like this..."

The unconditional love is absolutely the best thing going. And there is no high comparable to when my son looks at me as if I was the center of the universe. Of course I too would love a break every once in a while. Just like a
"Calgon, take me away" moment.

I hope Sophie gets well soon.