I wanted to start off my return to blogging and writing with something I thought people would enjoy reading and I ended up finding out what I have been enjoying in my life. Cool. But, don’t worry cynicism, ranting and complaining can’t be too far behind.
Six Awesome Things My Infant Daughter has Done For Me
1) Smiling at my boobs.
Her huge unabashed grin at the access to what are now two huge feedbags reminds me of dating in college when “the girls” were pert and perky. I’ll even say she has a purer more loving smile than my college suitors. Who cares if my chest has grown five inches and only one cup size making them yummy meaty coke bottles? Okay, I do care a little bit; and don’t even get me started on my flying saucer nipples that seemed to land on my chest in an overnight hostile alien take over. When she was a newborn the new alien nips were too big for her little mouth. It proved that they didn’t come from the helping hand of mother-nature but clearly from some evil outer-space overlord. But, these were challenges overcome by both of us. She reminds me of that with that eye-to-nipple grin before latching on and getting what she needs.
2) Justifying my crazy schedule (or lack there of:)
I know what they used to say with an infant: schedule, schedule, schedule (in an ominous German accent as they shut the doors to the experiment room and then our oh-so-well-adjusted baby boomer parents came out.) newborns do not follow rigid schedules.
Sorry, over-achieving honor students who are the backbone of your workplaces. This is where the people that always got the gold stars start coming apart at the seams. They often can be seen in tears on the TLC channel. Why isn’t the baby sleeping and eating in correspondence with their phone apps and meetings? Maybe because humans were never meant to live that way and capitalism has forced us into these ever increasing rigid schedules to get us to be gold-star over-achieving workers who fall apart if there is no schedule, but that’s another blog.
As a woman with ADD, I finally get a chance to shine in the “chaos.” Down at 2PM and up at 2AM one day and reversing it the next day? No problem! That’s what I was doing before she came along to write my dissertation. We can watch late night Buffy The Vampire Slayer episodes (which was what I would end up doing when I was supposed to be writing my dissertation.) She was sleeping through the night but currently wants to have smiling and laughing time between 3AM-4AM. Fine by me, there’s no other distractions at night so I can hyper-focus on all her “EOOOEWS” “OOOOOHS” and “Goinks” with my ADD powers.
Of course, I’m not suggesting that people abandon all schedules, as they are a necessary part of life. We do have her on a lose sleeping schedule now and we are all happier for it. However, I think that there is a big difference between consistency and rigid scheduling. I have enjoyed going with the spontaneity a baby requires, as my spontaneity can be a strength here.
3) Giving purpose to my spazzy inane ramblings:
This is another gift of parenting with ADD. When I feel over-stimulated and my brain is mush there is no harm in reading “Good Night Moon” 3 times in a row, or maybe stopping in the middle of “Good Night Moon” to talk about my own theories of why there is a bowl of mush in the room and why the book never talks about why the old lady whispering “hush” is a rabbit; and how rabbits are rodents but somehow they are considered cute unlike other rodents. Why such rodent prejudice? Prejudice. It’s such a weird word. I can say it 20 times in a happy voice and she will laugh, or she’ll laugh at the book or my worries about rodents, or my anger over the manufactured crisis of the debt ceiling, or why I can’t stop watching Teen Wolf even though it’s putrid. Letting my ADD freak flag fly verbally will only help our bonding and enhance her verbal development.
4) Leaving modesty at the door
I think it’s a sign of moral character to be modest and gracious. However, I also think a lot of women have a difficult time accepting compliments for various reasons. My personal reasons are: It’s hard for me to believe that people are truly praising me due to both my disabilities. Due to my ADD (and maybe just being an idiot) I have made mistakes in my life. I am one of those ADD people that knows they are “intelligent” but I haven’t “lived up to my potential.” So, how can I really be proud of an achievement? Also when you have a visible disability like CP you grow up with a lot of people saying “good for you!” in a really patronizing manner (like saying it because your grocery shopping…at the liquor store...at five am)
Therefore, I don’t trust complements and I am often self-deprecating. This is where my lovely baby gave me something I didn’t even think about or expect. She is an amazing, beautiful, wonderful baby. So, of course people come up to us and say: “What an amazing, beautiful and wonderful baby!”
I then find myself doing something strange. I say “Thank you,” and I really mean it, as I trust that they are being honest and giving me a real complement. Sometimes I even go nuts and say: “Thank you. You’re right. She is an amazing, beautiful and wonderful baby.”
I mean, I’m not bragging about myself, right? It’s not about me but her, and I’m just agreeing with them and they are correct.
Sometimes when my self-depreciating demon really wants to desperately surface I say: “Thank you. Yes, she has her moments.”
But, that’s all my usually powerful demon can muster, and even then, it’s usually followed by: “She is really great. We are very happy.” What can the self-depreciating demon do? It has no justification to say anything else as self-deprecation is about the self and she is not me. She is an amazing, beautiful and wonderful baby. Even when she is no longer this baby and is a person that makes decisions, and therefore mistakes, she will not be me. She will still be my amazing, beautiful and wonderful baby and I know when someone says something complementary about her it will be real and true. Maybe then I won’t even say “thank you.” Maybe I will totally leave modesty behind and just say, “I know; she’s awesome!” Because the complement really isn’t mine to be modest about, it’s all hers.
5) Being in the moment with all the time in the world:
Okay, you know how I kinda just crapped on schedules and over-achievers before? That may be because I have always dreaded getting older and not achieving enough as time slips through my hands. Seriously, even as a kid I dreaded going to Junior High because I didn’t know if I could live up to all the new expectations. When a relationship began I would think about when and how it would end. Sometimes I cry that my dog is getting older and that his life will be ending even though he is healthy and demands half my time. I thought I would be that way with my baby. Saying: “Oh no! She has gone from size 0-3 months to size 3-6 months. She’s slipping away!”
But, the funny thing with a baby is that everything is so new and amazing to them that it all starts to become amazing and new to you too. How can I stress out about her possibly getting obsessed with Disney Princesses, or leaving for college, or her announcing that she’s poly-amorous and is secondary in all her relationships when she’s just discovered she can roll over and laugh? Until I had her I never knew how amazing laughing and rolling over was. I can talk about it and do it all day with her and think of nothing else. I look at her and see a little baby and nothing else, even though I know she will be a woman with concerns one day. All that matters now is that she is this baby mastering her world and we have so much time. It’s like being a kid in the beginning of the summer; sure it’s going to end, but who cares? It’s beginning today.
6) Looking to an ever-available possible future.
As she has given the Zen feeling of #5 I roll into the closing of #6. As she laughs and smiles (and sometimes fusses and cries) with all her beginnings anything is possible. She can be any kind of person now. Of course, that won’t always be true. As time moves on she will become the person she will be and possibilities will die off. I think I hated getting older because I felt like less and less possibilities were available to me (like a fast metabolism.) However, I find I am not mourning for her possibilities being lost as she grows. I look at her growing older as more of a celebration. She will come to whom she is and that will be wonderful, even though I will not always like the process. Her own self is for her to discover and I get to be a witness to it. I know I’m getting really California on your asses, but deal with it, it’s the way I feel when I look into her big blue eyes that could turn brown or green.
Hope you enjoyed my first post! I’m sure I’ll be working out the blog kinks and pimping it some more!