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Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Mood Swings are a Symptom of Motherhood

Dear Son is at an interesting stage. He is walking. And walking. And walking. The novelty of this new skill is enough to drive him nonstop. And me nonstop. I used to get very little time to spend on anything that had to do with my needs or my wants (including taking a shower—which qualifies as a need AND a want). Even then, I knew to enjoy my very little time while it lasted because there would come a time when very little time for myself was a luxury that would be replaced by zero time for myself. That time is here.

In addition to walking, the current stage of Son’s little life also includes curiosity and fascination for everything. This explains the current state of my house. The toilet paper rolls are constantly being unrolled, the contents of any and every drawer and cupboard are pulled out and examined, and left in the middle of the floor. Random objects that he finds intriguing make their way into his chubby little hands and are carried about the house and left in even more random places. Right now there is a spoon lying on the floor next to the toilet, an earplug lying in the middle of the living room floor, the handle to the cordless vac lying in the middle of the kitchen floor, and at least a hundred other objects in my home are displaced. I spent an entire day last weekend cleaning the house and returning hundreds of objects to their rightful homes. Today it looks like that day never happened.

Son is also teething. His first one year molar arrived just in time for its counterpart to begin emerging. I attribute Son’s clinginess and irritability to this occurrence. Unfortunately, my own irritability can be blamed on nothing more than what I have already described. Lately Son needs to be held almost constantly. It’s both nice and frustrating sometimes. On one hand I know he will outgrow wanting to be held and cuddled way too soon and then these days will be gone forever. On the other hand, I’ve already given up all my time. It would be nice if I could at least have ownership of my hands and arms to get something accomplished. And I can’t even think about parking my big ol’ caboose on the couch while I hold him. As soon as I reach a mid-squat, he is fussing and complaining. No…I gotta be standing up and moving with him. It is reminiscent of those infant days when standing a swaying or moving while holding him was a basic requirement. Fortunately I still have the sling and can still wrap him on my hip, which allows me to get a few things accomplished each day, though carrying 25 pounds while completing these tasks gets exhausting. On the flip side, I think it is having a positive influence on my continued weight loss. I’m actually getting back into my pre-preg clothes finally.

Midway through the day (after already having a late morning nap), Son apparently decided he was ready for another nap and headed up the stairs. After snuggling and rocking and reading several stories, he wanted down from my lap. I assumed he decided he didn’t want a nap after all as he wandered out in the hall and looked around and said, “Mama!” as if asking me for something. Then he wandered back into his room where I was still sitting in the rocking chair and reached up toward the top of his dresser/changing pad where his favorite stuffed animal was left. I said, “Oh! You want Puddles Duck?” and he grinned and giggled to let me know I finally understood. He took Puddles under his arm and walked over to his crib where he reached up to let me know he was ready for a nap. I scooped him up and covered him in kisses and laid him in his crib where he tucked Puddles under his arm and took his thumb in his mouth. I didn’t hear another peep as I left his room and shut his door. It’s amazing how a five minute interaction like this can effortlessly erase my irritability and replace it with warm fuzzies. It’s even more amazing how such an interaction can leave me feeling like the whole day was worth it…just for that last five minutes. Parenting is like that sometimes.

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