Friday, September 17, 2010

The Mommy Files

I went into motherhood knowing next to nothing. I still don't know much about kids, but I think I'm becoming an expert on this kid. I'm going to keep a running tab on all the delightful motherhood discoveries. I wonder how many of them are universal and how many are unique to my child.

This little piggy went "we"
Even though I've been married a while, I'm very independent and accustomed to a lot of alone time thanks to Steve's work schedule. Little Rob has been part of my life for nearly a year now, counting from the moment I discovered I was pregnant. Since that time, Rob and I have gone everywhere together. But, back when we shared a blood supply (and I thought "he" was going to be a "she") "I" was still "I". Now that he's living in the outside world, I find myself having to backspace in my text messages and instead of saying "I'll be there in a few minutes" changing it to "We'll be there in a few minutes", "We're at home", "We'd love to hang out with you this afternoon." Robinson isn't aware of his surroundings and he's unable to exercise free will, but taking a page from Jeff Spicoli's School of Reasoning: "If I'm here, and you're here, doesn't that make it our time?"
I try to respect him as his own person and include him in the conversation. "We" are having a lovely day, by the way. Thanks for asking!

A tiny drunk person
Caring for Baby Rob is like caring for a tiny drunk person. My mom will think this is a crude comparison (which is why I don't share my blog with her), but hear me out: he drinks mass quantities and passes out. When he comes to, all he does is babble nonsense, burp, toot, pee his pants and scream for food. He's so uncoordinated. He has no business driving a car. And when he's had too much to drink he throws up on himself. Sounds like Bluto to me.

Blue is his color
I don't really like to dress Robinson in pastels or red. I say that "those aren't his colors". The truth is, they're not my colors, either. Or Steve's. Are Steve and I just projecting our own personal tastes onto Rob, or do I have this deep, profound understanding as to what fashions best suit my baby's sensibilities?

Our little Rubik's cube
Rob's not a tough nut to crack. When he cries, it's not just for the sake of least not yet. He cries for the three B's: Bottle, Burp, Binkie. It could be for any combination of the B's, and in any order. Figuring out which one he wants and in what order he wants it is what Steve calls "solving the Rubik's cube. The world's simplest Rubik's cube.

Stop framing your face!
If my son's going to emulate The Material Girl, I'd rather him do it this way--by Vogue-ing--than by wearing a cone bra. Here's Robinson "Vogue-ing"

My little boy sleep-Vogues. Loves it!
"You remind me of a fetus I know"
I always viewed fetuses, safely hidden in their mommies' tummies and only visible by grainy ultrasound photos, as these abstract pre-baby creatures with no discernable personality traits who resemble sea monkeys; then aliens. As my own "pre-baby" grew, I got to know him and feel as though I was getting a sense of the person he would become. I asked a mom I know, "When you were pregnant, did your baby seem to have a personality, and was that the personality he had after he was born?" She looked at me like I just asked her if her dog speaks English. Apparently, my instincts about carrying a laid-back, mellow baby are all in my crazy pregnant head.

Wait, what's this a picture of? Oh, it's my "zen baby". He's just quietly meditating in his carseat, as per his ritual. "Namaste."

It turns out that I was right, and his demeanor is just as I expected. This was absolutely a pleasant surprise...yet not at all surprising. If that makes any sense.

Karma Chameleon
I'm not a boastful person, but I feel as though I can brag on Robinson because I take no responsibility for his actions or appearance. He's a cute kid and he's sweet and easy to care for--none of which I have any control over. He was just born this way. To pat myself on the back for having a kid who doesn't stay up crying all night would be to imply that the mothers of babies who do cry all night somehow brought this on themselves. I don't think that's true, obviously. Now, if four year old Rob acts like an unruly brat, that's on me for sure, but right now I can't take credit for how wonderful he is. I'm just lucky. I believe in karma--sort of. I don't actually possess a deep understanding of this Hindu principle, but I use the word "karma" to express an idea--what you get out of this world is equal to what you give to this world, so treat others the way you want to be treated, don't boast because it's presumptuous and don't judge others too harshly because you're just asking for it to come back to bite you in the ass.

I'm afraid all my good karma went into this one kid and if I have another kid she'll be an absolute terror. I think I'm a good person, but I don't think I'm a good enough person to win the lottery twice. And having Robinson feels like winning the Powerball.
Babies will be babies
Of course, the best way to meet the perfect guy is to give birth to him, but even the happiest of babies are entitled to the occasional meltdown. Sometimes Rob just isn't feeling like himself, and when that happens, his alter ego takes over, and that alter ego has a name...
Well, it is a funny name.
Mommy wuvs her wittle man
I cannot abide the baby talk and speaking in the third person. I always thought it was really strange, and not beneficial to the child. Babies learn language and verbal skills from good ol' mom, and if mom refers to herself in the third person and babbles nonsense, what can she expect her little nugget to do? I catch myself slipping from time to time (speaking clear and proper English to a newborn all the time is harder than I thought!) but I quickly correct myself.

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