It’s funny talking to other parents about their kids. I suppose I’ve done the same things, and only now that I’m a few years into this whole thing do I have a point of reference for topics of conversation.
I was chatting with a a mom at a park and she was telling me that her almost two-year-old is going through a phase where he only says, “NO!” Yep… been there. And I will not say, “just you wait.” Because that is real annoying.
“She’s a really easy baby…” about his three-week-old that really only sleeps, let’s be real.
Another mama told me her daughter was heavy so she was having trouble pulling herself up and is thinking that she’ll be slow to walk. “Don’t you think?” She had asked. Yep. You’re probably right, but I’m glad you had a light bulb moment and ain’t nobody gonna take that away from you.
“He’s almost 18 months and I think he only needs one nap.” Totally right. Read one of the million books about it… but no, I mean, you totally discovered this.
We bring up these topics to share and to validate what we are doing. We, the parents, still maintain some sort of control and by keeping up with development as if it’s the first and only time it has ever happened in the history of babies, we feel like we’re really on to something. New discoveries proven true by children or other parents make us feel frickin’ awesome.
Nobody, and I mean NOBODY told me about three-year-olds. I had heard about the terrible twos but I’m not really sure what was so terrible. Yes, they are challenging mostly because they can talk and tell you what’s up. But for the most part I think two-year-olds are funny and pretty sweet (ok except for this one kid I know… he needs a leash, so except for him).
Visiting with parents of younger children, I listen to their “discoveries” and realize I did the same thing. The first time it happens to you, you want to share it and it feels so new. These kids change so quickly it’s hard to catch up. So if you are reading this, and have a child older than three, you can say, “yep, they are assholes at three and I’m sorry nobody told you.”
My mom told me that it’s the kids who never throw a tantrum in any way are the ones we should worry about and that having a strong willed kid is a great thing! Then why don’t you come hang out with him…
It’s not all bad. This stuff out his mouth has me laughing harder that I’ve ever laughed before. I’m training him to remind me about things… we drove by a hair salon the other day and he said, “Mom, don’t forget you need a bang trim. But I really like your bangs so don’t get them too short.” Serious?
As sweet and funny as he is, it seems that everything is up for negotiation now. He won’t take a nap – in his crib – only on my chest on the couch. What a great habit to start. Bed time has become a dreaded torturous event in which Baylor genuinely believes he will be harmed if he is placed in his crib and told to lie down. End of the world. For real.
The other day he woke up from a long nap and I brought him out to the living room. I set him on the couch and he just SCREAMED and screamed. He wouldn’t let me sit near him, touch him, talk to him, nada. I lay on the floor and he slumped off of the couch and down to me. Thinking he was coming to cuddle, I reached out and that’s when he kicked me in the stomach.
Hysterical, he cried and then ran to his room and slammed the door. I tried to go in and he screamed more and backed away from me like I had a whip. I crouched to his level and told him to calm down and take a deep breath.
He looked me right in the eyes, screamed as loud as he could, and then slammed the door.
He’s had tantrums before, not huge ones, not ones where I can’t calm him down. But this one, well, you can see for yourself.
I finally went into the kitchen, turned on a little Amos Lee and unloaded the dishwasher. After ten minutes I felt a little tap on my leg and a calm baby reached out for a big hug. I scooped him up, kissed him hard, and we went about our afternoon. Later, I told him he can always talk to me and that it’s ok to scream if you really need to, but talking is better.
I started thinking about these kids. Unable to regulate their own emotions and grasping for any control they can conquer – no I will not nap; no I will not eat; no I will not sit down. He’s shy until it’s time to be the center of attention, he’s sweet as a gumdrop one minute until something unexpected happens and then it’s Meltdown City to the fullest dramatic notch. I swear this age is full of little actors. I should start an award ceremony… hmm, birthday party idea.
I’m reading books on positive discipline, and one called “your three-year-old: friend or enemy” which makes me laugh and feel comforted all at the same time.
Strong willed? For sure. Completely irrational and testing his parents at every chance he can? Yep. Will I laugh about this and give him material to brag about when he’s older? “I used to throw epic tantrums when I was little….” I think so.
I’m tired, emotionally drained and ready for tomorrow. Nobody told me about the challenge of almost-three-year-olds, but nobody told me it was going to be easy either.
It’s a deep, deep moan. The kind that comes from your diaphragm. One that I am sure actors and actresses work for years to perfect. It’s just a constant moan that ends in a high pitched squeal. Over and over about absolutely everything.
“I neeeeeeed (moan tone) millllk (high pitch squeal).” It’s his new means of communication. I think he enjoys the sound of it.
If I ever become a CIA agent and get captured and my enemy is forced to torture me for information, here is a note of what will work: Baylor’s moaning whine. I’ll give in. Whatever is requested – I’ll fold. It’s yours.
I am sitting on the toilet lid as he showers right now. It’s just moans. “mommmm, wash my haaaaiiiir. MY EYESSSSS! hhhgggggguughhhhh (moan sound).” I washed his hair. Now he’s yelling at me that I did not wash his hair and to please wash his hair. He has cried the entire shower but is refusing to get out. Just moans.
He lost his mind earlier – like, it was gone – when the ladybug he was holding flew away. “MAKE HER COME BAAAACK! HHGGGGUGHHHHHH!”
The marching band stopped practicing. “MAKE THE BAND COME BACK! WHERE ARE THEY? WHERE ARE THEY GOING? GO GET THEM!!!!!!” And then screams. So many screams. In my neighborhood.
The crow in our yard hopped up to a tree. “GET THE CROW! I WANT HIM IN MY YARD! HHHHGGGGGUGHHHHHHHHHHH!” Screams, crying, losing his mind…. again.
Does he think I’m God? Trying to explain that I cannot make the crow come back into our yard hasn’t quite made sense to him. Well maybe it has, I wouldn’t know…. all he does is moan.
Bedtime will be early tonight. It’s going to be the best thing for all of us. Really.
By Allie Wade
I feel like I’ve officially become a mother. Today. It happened. I received my very first “I hate you.”
For a kid who I have never heard use the word “hate,” he sure had a list of things that he hated.
He hated me.
He hated our car.
He hated our house.
He hated our dog. He hated his car seat.
He hated his school.
He hated his shoes.
He hated everything.
He even told me that he wanted a new mom and that he would no longer like to be my son.
This all started at our PEPS group meeting. He had to use the potty but decided that he did not like the toddler potty seat that was sitting on top of the white porcelain circle. I stood in the bathroom with him, asked him if he needed help, told him I would stay or go, offered to find him a different toddler seat, convinced him that the sink would be an absolute blast to use and then started threatening that we would have to leave if he didn’t either use the potty, or go back to our friends.
After 10 minutes of negotiating in the bathroom, I made the executive decision that we would have to leave. Our conversation was going nowhere and we were headed for tantrum-ville with a population of one. Mr. Baylor Wade.
Screaming and crying he refused to put shoes on, didn’t want to stay, didn’t want to go. I picked up all 36 pounds of thrashing toddler and hauled him to the car.
“I HATE THIS CAR! I HATE THIS PLACE! I HAAAAATE YOU! I WILL NOT BE YOUR SON! I WANT A NEW MOM! I HATE OUR DOG! I HATE THIS SEAT! I HATE THIS BUCKLE!”
The bummer with a big kid booster is that he can undo the seat belt. As he kept unbuckling himself I would re-buckle and finally got the car moving so that he would leave it in place.
SCREAMING is all that happened. After the fifth time he told me he wanted a new mom, I turned my blinker on, turned into the grocery store parking lot and calmly said, “ok, Bay, let’s find a nice lady to be your new mom. You can go climb in her car. Sound good?”
Maybe not the most conventional parenting moment, but he looked at me and calmly said, “NO. I didn’t mean it. I don’t want a new mommy. I don’t hate you.”
I explained that I knew he was upset and that I’m sure he was very mad that I made him leave before he was ready, but that words we say can hurt people and that we must remember who we are talking to, even when we get really mad. I explained what “hate” meant and he switched over to “I don’t like my seat…”
I am aware that I may have a few more “I hate yous” headed my way. I’m sure he will be so mad at me that he’ll threaten to run away or tell me how unfair I am. Even though I know it’s in a time of madness and his prefrontal cortex isn’t even connected to the rest of his brain, it still stings a little to know that the little person I would die for could say, “I hate you.” I remember the feeling it gave me when he first said “I love you” and thinking about the day the middle word would change to hate. I thought I had 10 years, at least!
So, if you see us in the grocery store parking lot shopping for a new mom one day, you’ll know why.
Kids…. always lookin’ for the next best thing, including moms.
By Allie Wade
I’m trying to channel my inner Carrie Bradshaw right now. I found this cute nook in a coffee shop with exposed brick, vintage furniture and weird inspirational art. Nevermind that my little spot is the upstairs section in this coffee shop and it is appropriately 300 degrees up here. Combine that with my lack of a shower for the last three days and a strong latte, and I’m smelling nothing like I imagine Carrie Bradshaw would. Although, the lid on my travel deodorant fell off inside of my school bag and got all over my hands when I reached in for a pen, so that’s something.
I am feeling very wreck-ish. I just unloaded on my therapist. She was the first person I saw this morning after the icing on my motherhood-this-week cake.
Baylor refused, I mean REFUSED to get out of the car at preschool this morning. Wouldn’t budge. Just “nope.” I bribed him with candy, threatened to call Santa right then and there, told him I would get him a new toy for being brave, that I would share photos with his class of the How to Train Your Dragon Live show that we went to last night… nothing worked. Finally I lied and told him I would ask the teacher if I could stay in his class for 7 minutes. Bad move.
He went inside, we showed dragon photos, and then he started crying. I booked it for the door once his teacher tried to distract and comfort him, and then he stood in the window with his face plastered to the window just screaming, watching me walk to the car.
I got a quick and nasty stomach bug on Tuesday afternoon. I was completely immobile and useless. The only place I felt ok was in my bath tub. While doubled over in pain and submersed in hot water, Baylor woke up from his nap. He SCREAMED for me to get him out of his bed (a bed he can easily get in and out of, mind you). I yelled back that I was sick and could not get him, and that I was sorry, and that he could get out by himself. For 20 minutes I listened to him yell. In so much pain, realizing his will power, and knowing he could scream all day, I got out and lifted him out of his bed. And then I cried.
Luckily, Toby came to the rescue and helped with Baylor while I was balled up on the couch.
The next morning, feeling better, I took Bay to school and was so excited about having three hours to rest while he was gone. 10:15 I got a call to pick him up because he was point five degrees away from having a temperature high enough to get sent home. And so my dreams of alone time were gone.
Our dog keeps drinking Christmas tree water and puking all over our house. Really, like, everywhere.
My laundry is insane.
I need a shower. And a haircut.
Who has time for Christmas shopping?
Oh wait, I have to read 300 pages for my master’s program this week? Sure.
And so, this morning, I was willing to do anything to get him out of my car and into my class so that I could drink this beautiful pumpkin spice latte in peace while staring at the exposed brick in front of me. I have an hour left until I pick him up… that shower is looking like a real possibility.
The trickiest part about being a parent is justifying how much lying you should do. Ok, maybe it isn’t the trickiest part, but it can make you feel a little funny, especially while in school learning about how messed up people are mostly because of their parents. Am I going to turn Baylor into a compulsive liar? God I hope not.
The first time I told Bay about Santa I felt like a real crazy person… “and then he comes through our chimney and has reindeer on our roof and elves and lives in the North Pole.”
This year Baylor asked when his birthday would come again the day after he turned three. Cake, presents, friends, and a little attention felt pretty good and he wanted more. I explained that first would be Halloween, then Thanksgiving, then Christmas.
“With Santa. And presents. Right?”
He couldn’t have cared less about the Halloween candy or pie after turkey and stuffing. He wanted to make his “list.” So, with the help of amazon.com on my phone, we started making a list of things that Baylor would ask Santa for. We started this list in October.
I don’t love the idea of kids asking for gifts, then they get them… then what? There’s no lesson in this; well, not a good one anyway. I told Baylor about the real meaning of Christmas (my mother made sure to let him know who Jesus is) and told him that it is more important to give to people, especially people who need a little help. He seemed to understand this… and then he asked if we could pull up his list.
I signed us up to volunteer at a homeless shelter in December. And I ordered the Elf on a Shelf. Baylor named his elf Peter the Pants.
For those of you without kids or who don’t know about this miracle of a parenting tool, the elf on the shelf lives in your house to watch your children. He comes with a darling book that explains how he flies to the North Pole each night to report to Santa how the day went. Naughty or nice list. Then he comes back to your house, lands in a new position (when I remember) and posts up to keep eyes on the little people causing trouble.
It started great. I’d throw in a little “and Baylor, you can’t pull Betty’s tail because it hurts her, it’s mean, AND the elf is watching.” It never hurts to have a little extra elf card up your sleeve. He’d remember the elf and give me a little look like, oh yeah, that’s right, presents, elf, Santa…
Within a few days the elf was less of a threat and more about the magic. I can remember thinking until I was at least 14 that fairies in the forest were real and that Santa existed. That small amount of wonder and the fact that nothing has proven that they don’t exist, so why not? The joy each morning on his face when he discovers the elf in a new place validates everything. Why wouldn’t the elf fly? He tells absolutely everyone who comes to our house that if you “touch the elf his magic will lose and he can’t fly.”
I told my therapist about letting Baylor believe that the elf flies at night. She said something like, “Allison, it might feel weird to mislead your child because our job is to fill them in. However, you are the protector of your son’s childhood.”
As the protector of his childhood, it is my job to make sure he knows what magic and wonder feels like. It’s my job to make sure he doesn’t grow up too quickly and that he can experience the joys of being a naive child.
I never want it to be taken away from him. I will seriously punch someone in the stomach if they let him in on any of these perfect little secrets. He’ll know the truth about way too much way too soon. These little pieces of childhood that remind me of being carefree are priceless. If only we could revisit them often and remember what it feels like to believe in fairies in the woods… or magic elves on a shelf named Peter the Pants.
I went to a concert with my sister last night. I haven’t been to a show in ages and forgot how late they are. I had a single beer before the show and by 9:15 before the headliner even came on, I was glassy eyed and yawning. And it was raining outside… so that just made it even more sleepy-ish.
Being at the show, I looked around and saw girls in their early twenties with hearts in their eyes. Yes, sing to me, sing to me about wounded hearts and how some day all of this will be better. His words are so deep – they speak to me. Yes. More. I totally relate to you. Take me onto your tour bus. I love you.
While I do love the music of Joshua Radin, I felt like I have recently graduated. Just a little. Maybe it is being in therapy again, maybe it’s because I feel like I’m learning more about myself – both the good and the bad which is liberating, or maybe it’s because I’ve started to care about what is going to happen to me.
I’m reading this book by James Hollis called “The Middle Passage: From Misery to Meaning in Midlife.” It’s a trip. This guy is incredibly pessimistic about humankind, generalizes the shit out of everything, and yet has an honesty about the way he puts things that is hard to deny. He says adolescence is from ages 12-28 and I really think it makes sense. He says we all go through major change physically, emotionally, etc every seven years. Think of the changes between 14, 21, 28 and 35. How much more we know, care, and are changed by the hurdles that we faced during each of those ages. He says that many of us just act like adults and still feel like children – if we do what the big people do, then everyone will think I am a big person too. Many of us haven’t properly experienced our passage into adulthood and hold onto many parts of childhood – assuming that with time and age they will go away. He addresses everything about the person like projection, the midlife crisis, basic needs etc, but this part about acting like a grown up really spoke to me.
Living by myself, being a mom, paying the bills and approaching 30, I think I’m a grown up, but I still toss and turn about the same things that I did when I was in high school. Relationship drama, friends who disappoint, the people I have disappointed, who I am going to marry, how many kids I will have, and what I will be when I grow up…oh and what I am going to wear tomorrow and I really can’t wait to see who wins Project Runway. Important stuff. Is it me? Am I doing something wrong since I don’t have all the answers to questions from a decade ago? I found Hollis’s explanation almost comforting, because I’m still just trying to figure it out. At least I’m not claiming to know it all and put it in a box with pretty wrapping paper and a bow. Right? Can you tell I’m in school learning about self care and therapy?! It’s really great.
As teenagers, if we knew how hard life could be, we’d stop looking forward to the rest of it. Heartache, stress, pressure, expectations, and the reality of death would stop us from trying for our fairytale. I so wanted to be a grown up, just to do things my own way… and like those girls with heart-filled eyes, I suppose I’m still just trying to figure out what that is. Life is good and it’s all perspective. To stop trying and stop searching would be sad in its own way as well. Worry and happiness keep us balanced. Searching and exploring keep us young and inquisitive. And as Hollis put it – wisdom is humbling.
I had my first school mom screw-up today.
If you’ll notice, my sweet preschooler is wearing different shoes, a backwards shirt, a red mustache, and a mohawk. This is how he went to school… on pajama day.
Newsletters are sent via email these days. No longer do you get cute orange paper with a pumpkin and a scarecrow on the front containing information about the month. When there is an early release day… or when there is no school… when it’s PJ day… you know, stuff like that.
My preschool mom friend Nancy sent me a text at the beginning of the week and asked me if Baylor was going to wear PJs for Wacky Wednesday. I sent her back a big question mark and so she told me there was something about wearing weird things on Wednesdays until Halloween.
Because Nancy did not want her son to be the only one to wear PJs to class, I told her Baylor would too in case everyone else forgot. We’d be in this PJ day together. I ran downstairs to the laundry this morning and found some semi-clean jammies and brought them to Bay to remind him of the fun day. He was not having any part of wacky Wednesday PJ day. Ok, well, we’ll just do some of the other crazy things that the newsletter said!
After Nancy’s text the other day, I pulled up the newsletter that had been lost in the sea of junkmail, and read about the Wacky Wednesdays . It read, “we will be doing wacky Wednesdays where the kids will come to school wearing PJs, weird hairstyles, and backwards clothing!” I did not happen to notice the side panel where each of the Wednesdays was assigned only ONE of those themes.
We walked into school with a red mustache, a mohawk, a backwards shirt, and mismatched shoes to a classroom full of kids in their jammies. Today, just today, was wacky Wednesday PJ Day.
“WOW! BAYLOR! COOL MUSTACHE! HOW DID YOU GET THAT ON?!” Kids were literally vibrating with excitement when they saw his ‘stache. He felt cool. It was awesome.
Um, that poor mom, she totally missed the whole point and thought the days were combined. Is what I imagine the teachers were thinking. It was not awesome.
Feeling like a loser mom, I dashed back to my car and drove the three blocks to our house. I found the jammies he had denied, and one of the shoes that would match one of the ones he was wearing. I went back to his classroom, hit a car on my quick park job and ripped off the back panel of my bumper, and explained to his teacher that he had totally declined the PJs but still wanted to be wacky, which is why he was all done up. I told her that I’d just put the PJs in his cubby in case he felt left out and wanted to change. Blame it on the kid…
I picked him at 1pm. He was in his jammies.
I haven’t been able to watch the news since Baylor was born. Too many stories about bad things happening to children and it keeps me awake at night. My boyfriend Toby recognized a local news broadcaster at an event and I had no idea who he was talking about.
At the MS walk yesterday, I watched two boys who were around 12 years old cry with frustration because their mom was yelling at them. They punched each other, clenched jaw, wiping away tears from the pain of each punch and the disappointment in their mother’s behavior. She was trying to leave them there for some reason, and you could tell they didn’t know what to say. They were just upset. I’ve got a special soft spot for kids like this and can’t stop myself from trying to help. I understand the confusion of feeling anxiety and confusion when you know something is supposed to be good. You can see everyone else around you having fun, but you are standing on the sharpest of eggshells, waiting for another one to crack because you may say the wrong thing, or there was too much traffic getting there, so everything is ruined for the rest of the day. So much stress.
I tapped one of the kids on the shoulder and asked him if he wanted to join our team for the walk. He glared at me and turned back to his brother and punched him in the arm. Ok, maybe he was just a little brat, but either way I wanted him to escape and be happy. Maybe I should have minded my own business. Probably.
I also saw a teenage boy running down the street with a six-month-old baby attached to his chest yesterday. I wanted to turn around and ask if he needed a ride, or help, or both. I kept driving. Minding my own business.
I guess my point is, when should someone step in and try to help? Or at least extend an invite or offer a hand? And when is it offensive and too much?
I know I am offended when people, especially people who are not parents, give advice or criticize me for the way I do things because it isn’t the same way that they do it. So, do I freak out when someone tries to parent me, or my son? Absolutely. My mom just told me that I should let Bay “cry it out” the other night when we were staying with her on Easter. I was exhausted and didn’t want to do anything but make him sleep, so I listened to her even though I told her it wouldn’t work. For 10 minutes I let him scream until I couldn’t take it any longer and picked him up out of his bed. I let him cuddle me on the couch and he was asleep in 30 seconds – like I had suggested doing in the first place. I felt pressure to listen! To prove I am a flexible mom who can pull a little tough love. But why? Didn’t I know what would work?
I have a friend who doesn’t have kids and every time she is around, which isn’t all that much, she insists that Baylor say “please” and “thank you.” She’s absolutely right, he always should, but my kid says “thank you” like it’s his job. After she passes him a kleenex because she saw his nose was running, she will loudly add the “WHAT DO YOU SAY, BAYLOR?” Sure, she’s just trying to help, but it makes me feel like she is judging all of us and trying to step in. My friends who are moms might be able to get away with it, mostly because they see Baylor so often and we are at their house. I know I’m being sensitive, but again, when is it someone’s place to step in? I think it’s a slippery slope. If my child-less friend were around Baylor every single day, then fine, remind him to say “thank you.” But when it’s once or twice per month – leave the Emily Post lessons to me and hang out as a visitor in our home.
Parenting is funny and everyone is a little messed up, it’s just what happens when there isn’t a guide book to follow. It’s beautiful, really, and creates individuality in our world. Maybe the baby strapped to the teenager’s chest will go to Harvard because she wrote an award winning essay on survival skills and overcoming obstacles. Maybe the two kids fighting will be WWF champs. And maybe my friend will have children who refuse to say “please” and “thank you” and she’ll have her own kids to worry about… and probably write a book about kids and manners and be loaded and I’ll still be irritated.
I haven’t had anything to write about. The end of the rainy season is upon us and for the first time, I had been feeling like I had Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). I wanted to stay in my house and watch TV every single day. The thought of getting dressed in something that would only get rained on and force me to change was becoming to much. I didn’t want to write, I haven’t had any desire to read, and I even thought about dyeing my hair black because it fit my mood.
And now it is sunny and hits 60 degrees by 5pm. I wait all fall, winter, and most of spring for these days. My face looks healthy because it is starting to tan, and my hair looks a little more blond because, well, my skin is not translucent. It’s a wonderful time of the year.
On this beautiful Sunday, we decided to join 5,000 people and walk for multiple sclerosis (MS). My mom’s first cousin has MS and has participated in the walk for years with some of her students and friends who support the cause. She doesn’t walk much and uses a scooter to get around, bringing it along in the back of her Prius. Despite not being able to walk the four miles, she cruised the whole way in her chair sporting her tie-dyed “team magik” t-shirt, coordinating with the rest of the team.
I know people who have cancer, who are battling it, and who will come out victorious. Thankfully I don’t know anyone except for my cousin who has an incurable disease which slowly gets worse. The thousands of people walking today knew someone with this same illness and were participating to create awareness and raise money for research to find a cure. Everyone wore a tag with the name of the person with MS they were walking for – sisters, brothers, grandpas and best friends – MS was part of their lives. There is something so beautiful about thousands of people coming together to do something good. It was so cool to be one of them.
As the sun peeked through the clouds and we were able to remove a layer of clothing, we talked about what an incredible, positive, funny woman our cousin is. I’ve never heard her say a negative thing about anyone – including herself or her situation. She is brave, caring, positive, and has a sense of humor. I don’t see her nearly enough, but she is an inspiration to me and a reminder of how truly wonderful and precious life is. She is also a reminder to stay positive – even on the rainiest of days.
We walked, we raised a little money, and we learned about a disease that affects thousands of people, especially in the northwest.
Thank you, Gretchen, for letting us tag along. You rock!
With such little time for regular social interaction, “mom talk” is taking over my social life.
There are different parts of this phenomenon:
Comparing notes on little ones;
Repeating the same story over and over;
Speaking in third person;
Common conversation starters;
If you are a mom, or you know one and hang out with her often, you know what I’m talking about.
I overheard two moms talking at the park the other day and 100% of their conversation was about their kids. They didn’t say a single personal thing without it involving why they were woken up early or how busy their driving schedule has become with both kids in soccer. It wasn’t a conversation, really. It was “oh, I know! I did the same thing when Sammy was that age…” It’s like a tennis match, back and forth, hitting the ball with the notes on their children. It’s no wonder many moms start in on a conversation with a monologue about their life; they have forgotten how to talk to people who don’t have kids. Their kids are their whole life, the topic of every conversation. “Oh, ya, Baylor was the same way. He used to wake up every two hours until he was a year old…” I guess nobody asked, but now they know about Baylor’s sleep schedule. Don’t worry, I’ll get their baby’s sleep schedule next. It’s just how it goes. It’s the way that we learn, and maybe feel normal.
I’m not saying that all moms are like this… because they’re not. But the ones that are have started to rub off on me and I catch myself only talking about Baylor when someone asks me how I’m doing. It’s quite simply because how I am doing really depends on my sweet baby.
I catch myself wondering if I’ve already told this story to this person. I ask, “wait, did I already tell you about this?” And when they say, “no,” I am curious as to if they are just being polite or if I really haven’t told them about it. I meet nannies, moms, friends of Toby’s, or just new people out and about and much of the “new people” conversation covers a cute story about Baylor, where I grew up, that I love my PEPS group, and that I didn’t plan on being a mom at my age but love it! Should the conversation go past that, it’s hard to remember what information I give and if I should take it to level 2 or level 3 conversation (friend details… and then a little more personal friend details) at our next encounter. I need to start taking notes.
Mom-versations always include a one-upper. It’s impossible not to. Your baby walked at a year? That’s my cue to tell you Baylor walked at ten months. She sings? Baylor knows how to count to 20 in Spanish. What else you got? Bring it! And let’s be really nice and enthusiastic (“WOW!”) the whole time we’re doing it.
Third person. I said I’d never talk to my child this way, and yet here I am. “Baylor, let Mommy do it. Mommy wants a bite too. Do you want Mommy to help?” Will he not understand if I say, “me” and refer to myself? How did this happen?
Common conversation starters are essential in the world of new mom friends. “How old is she?” “I love that jumper, where did you find that?” “Wow! He’s really tall!” “I’m the nanny of her, and the mom of him…” All common.
And then we start talking about our kids, one upping, and talking about sleep schedules. Don’t worry, if I run into you next time, I’ll probably tell you the exact same thing again because I won’t remember this conversation at all.
Moms are amazing. Sleep deprived, hungry for socialization, and hoping that the way they are raising their babies isn’t too crazy, what else would there be to talk about? These little creatures are enough conversation to last a lifetime… which is probably why we will talk about them with pride for the rest of our lives.