Babymama

November 27, 2015

Dear Baby,

Today was a pretty special day for you. I packed you up and you got to come along for the very first time with me and my mom to the One of a Kind Show. My mom (your grandmother) and I have been going to the show together ever since I was a little girl. We go twice a year and have only ever missed going together once.

This tradition has lasted with us through turbulent teen years, unruly university years and into adulthood. We laugh at the same jokes, enjoy the same booths and eat the same food year after year and I look forward to our day together for months up to the event.

When I found out I was having a girl, I had visions of you and I one day creating and sharing traditions of our own. Having special days that only we know and the ways in which you would become my best friend- the way I look at my mom would be the way you look at me.

I’ll be honest, today was a bit more chaotic then I had imagined it to be in my mind but that is basically the status quo for my expectations vs. realities these days so there you go. I mostly wished I didn’t have your stroller to push around and wanted to punch the faces of everyone who gave me dirty looks for all the walking real estate I was taking up with it. But I digress, Baby because this is not about the logistics of bringing you out or how fucking rude people can be- it is about the bond between mother and daughter which I hope will be as important to you one day as it is to me.

One of the things that have really made me emotional is thinking about myself as a child, teenager and adult and the ways in which I have interacted with my mom. I have always really loved and admired my mom but I can’t say that I also haven’t been a total piece of shit to her directly and indirectly. It is the unfortunate part about teenage girls, they are just total assholes as they stumble through puberty and beyond.

Baby, I cringe to my core thinking about the crap I pulled growing up. The stupid things I did and said and how many of those same things you will do and say. But most of all, I think back on all the time that I have rejected my mom. Being “too cool” to hold her hand, rolling my eyes when she wanted to hug, pushing her away when she wanted to cuddle and being SO annoyed when she would be affectionate or basically come within 5 feet of me.

I die inside thinking that one day you will feel that way- and you probably will. That the face I kiss a million times a day will be one that is now off limits to me. The cuddles that made you smile will make you recoil and I will just have to grin and bear it.

The flip side that will make it better will be the hope that we have the kind of relationship I have had and have with my mom that is best represented by our bi-annual crafts how tradition. Every time we go, I know that she knows that she is still my safety blanket, my best friend and my mommy.

Today was the first day of a brand new tradition- 3 generations of us going out together and I hope to create many more with you that will stand the test of time and will continue to bond us long after it is appropriate to nibble your toes and kiss those yummy cheeks at will.

xo

Mom

P.S. It wouldn’t kill you to hold my hand in public again when you are a grown up. Grown up people like holding hands too.

 

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Babymama

CryBaby

November 25, 2015

Dear Baby,

I am sitting here in front of the TV sobbing like a baby from a surprisingly touching Audi commercial. An old man is ready to have his family for the holidays until a terrible snowstorm is announced. He stares out the window at the snow and then slowly packs up the table he has set in anticipation of a lively dinner. The power goes out in his home and instead of the amazing company he thought he would have, he begins to open a lonely can of soup- for one. Suddenly, his whole family bursts through the door- the snow hasn’t stopped them- they have an Audi.

I. just.lost.it.

Is this a particularly sad commercial? Well, yes- old people being lonely always tugs at my heart strings but let’s be honest- my hormones are on fire. This is not the first commercial I have cried about. Commercials, dropping a lettuce leaf from my salad, a sad thought, a happy thought, someone saying the right thing, someone saying the wrong thing… all of it has the potential to make me cry instantly.

One morning I spilled some breast milk in the sink and literally CRIED OVER SPILLED MILK.

Having crazy hormones is like being on drugs except it’s not fun and you can’t decide when to bring on the high. But it is uncontrollable and all consuming. It is unpredictable and very very alive.

I think that something you should know Baby, is that just like new baby, mom cries a lot. I don’t have any real memories of the nights when my mom would inevitably cry out of sheer exhaustion and frustration and it is one of those many things that NO ONE TALKS ABOUT OR TELLS YOU BEFORE YOU HAVE A BABY (WHY!!??)

The first few times I melted down I thought I was legit going crazy. It felt overwhelming and ridiculous at the same time and I couldn’t understand how I would get equally upset over a TV show and the notion that I am a total failure at breastfeeding. I was all like, “what is wrong with me?”

Baby, know this- it is OK to cry. In fact, a good cry has gotten me over many a hurdle both in mom land and otherwise. There is no reason to be a hero all the time and it is great (and terrifying) to be in touch with your feelings in such an intense way.

So Baby, when you have the need, go on and let it our. Mom will be to wipe away your tears for now and one day, you will be strong enough to wipe your own.

Stay emo.

xo

Mom

P.S. Baby, please note that crying sometimes or feeling overly emotional and hormonal is NORMAL. Being sad all the time is NOT- if you are feeling really sad and can’t shake it, please talk to someone. Postpartum depression is real and you can get help.

 

CryBaby

Baby Brain

November 23, 2015

Dear Baby,

I’m sitting upstairs with you this early morning while you keep in my arms and I can overhear your dad downstairs talking to his work colleague. I’m thinking about how much he has to say to her- the mundane day-to-day work stuff that they chat about every day and how much he has of it to say.

Like, one hour conversations go on daily and that is just the tip of the iceberg for him.

Me, I am in a bit of a different place. My brain is baby brain. People always refer to baby brains as your forgetful and clumsy brain that can’t focus because you are sleep deprived and hormonal from your baby. Agreed but baby brain is also the inability to think about anything other than your baby.

Baby, ask me about my day and I will tell a story about something you did. Talk to me about any topic under the sun and I will bring it back to you and things you do or babies in general or occasionally parenting in general. I went from being a relatively interesting person to someone who can’t seem to shut up about her baby.

The truth is Baby, that I don’t do many things without you. My days and nights revolve around you and even my “off” time is spent reading books about babies, talking to friends about baby rearing strategies and googling things that assure me that I am doing a good job with you. Have I read the news in 2 months? Not a once by I can tell you the most popular baby names of 2015 if you care- you don’t? Oh. Of course not because that is super fucking BORING.

And the worst part about it Baby, is that any time someone engages me in conversation about anything else- including topics that would have otherwise captured me completely- I can’t wait until it seems appropriate to bring up babies again. I usually do it way before it is appropriate.

Them: “have you seen the very serious and informative article on an important global crisis?”

Me: “oh totally, what a world to bring babies into- and speaking of babies, isn’t it just awesome how they start to drool months before they start teething?”

Is that interesting at all?????

And it is not for lack of trying, Baby. I try almost every day to read something about anything other than babies. But try as I may, I am inevitably chased down by geotargetted online marketing and mid- way through any given article I can no longer resist the urge to click on the sidebar from some baby website promising groundbreaking information (never) or a sale on some ridiculous outfit that I know you don’t need but have to have.

Baby, even this blog is a testament to my new baby brain. In my former life I blogged about my daily adventures. I had an array of topics to rant about (see ramblingjaneplantain.blogger.com.)
When I decided to restart my blog, I couldn’t think of a single thing to talk about other than you so I figured it better to talk to you- thus these letters.

All this being said, you know what Baby? I wouldn’t have it any other way. Sure I may bore people around me who don’t want to talk about you/ babies. I self admittedly bore me but you are the fucking best thing ever and you deserve all the hours I spend thinking about you and then some.

One day too soon I will return to a more normal life- you will be at school and have your own independent world, I will be back working and having totally adult days and I won’t be spending countless hours contemplating your ability to make eye contact or move your head. I will graduate back to just regular “brain.”

For now, I love my baby brain and I plan to bore the fuck out of myself and those around me for as long as possible. Hopefully when I come back to normal, I will still have friends. Just kidding. Kind of.

Xo
Mom.

Baby Brain

Baby it’s Cold Outside

November 23, 2015

Dear Baby,

This morning when I woke up to you making your noises in the bassinet beside me I was shocked to see that it was 6am. You slept right through the night and I got a whooping 6 hour sleep- the best I have had so far.

So we went back to bed a few hours later and when I woke up, I was even more shocked to see it was 10am- we had missed the whole morning in bed cuddling together.

Baby, since I have been ok to go out, I have gone out a lot. Our days are filled with walks, activities, friends and errands and it is super rare for us to just be lazy. I don’t watch TV or veg out a lot and any “spare time” I have in a day I spend doing work or admin stuff (like your thank you cards which I am still working on.)

This morning we had already missed a Baby and Mom Workout class and the weather was frosty so I decided to stay home with you and enjoy a lazy day. Note to self- lazy days are awesome.

We did nothing. We hung out, we played, we danced, we sang. I read you books, we took some naps. I wore you in your carrier and got some cleaning and laundry done and then I sat in your room while you dozed and just hung out enjoying time with you.

Being busy together is great, I love taking you out and showing you the world. I love when you meet new friends and I love when we get fresh air and exercise but mostly, I love spending time with you. You are already my best friend and in all the activity we do together, I sometimes forget how fun it can be to just be with you.

Baby, time is flying by and although it is inevitable, I don’t want to feel like I didn’t take enough time to enjoy your every little move. I want to make sure we get a lot of these days, especially over the winter, to cuddle up and be together- pretty soon you won’t want to cuddle with your mom (which makes me so sad) so now is the time to really savour these precious moments.

So, my lesson today Baby, is take the time to enjoy the things you love. Especially on these cold days when it is so nice to stay warm and inside, have quiet days. Have days that are spent in bed, days that are spent in pyjamas and days without plans or any obligations.

You will never regret those times- the business can wait for another day.

Thanks for a wonderful day, Baby.

xo

Mom

 

Baby it’s Cold Outside

Love = Baby

November 19, 2015

Dear Baby,

 Before you even became a thought there was just your dad and I and 4 years ago today, we got married. I have spent a lot of time today thinking about how much I love your dad and how that love has changed over the past 4 years and more recently since you joined our family.

Since you came along, we have never fought more. Your dad gets the wrath of me every single time he fucks up (aka. I haven’t slept and just lose it) and he is a hands-on parent so between you and I Baby, he spends a lot of time getting yelled at.

I don’t know that I tell him enough how actually great he is so on this day where we are spending it celebrating our love story I want to let you know what a great guy he is.

Your dad is, first and foremost, totally in love with you. He marvels at your every move and for a guy who “hated holding babies,” he can’t seem to get enough of you. Baby, you are so lucky to get cuddles from him every morning and every night.

One of the most annoying things he does is tell me all these things he “discovers” to do with you. “Try  holding her in this position when she cries,” he will say entering the room with a shit-eating grin on his face after soothing you from a hysterical spell. AS IF I NEVER THOUGHT OF IT- AS IF I HAVENT HAD 5 HYSTERICAL FITS JUST LIKE THIS ONE ALL DAY LONG. I half expect that he thinks he is the parent of the fucking century in these moments and I seethe every time.

The flip side to this Baby, is that he cares so much about you and takes so much pride in caring for you. He gets so much joy from making you happy and telling me all about the little tidbits of his successes with you are his way of sharing this parent experience with me.

Another really annoying thing he does is rant about how hard this is all is for him. It drives me crazy. Like, how hard is it for you really? Do you have to do every single thing all day lone with a person attached to you? Are your nipples bleeding? No? Did your body just go through extreme shock? Do you spend 50 percent of your day with either poo, pee of barf on you? No? Then I would assert that no, this is no as hard for you.

The flip side to this Baby, is that it is hard for him and I am wrong to say that it isn’t. Your dad is super hands-on with you. When I am up in the middle of the night, he is up to check on us. He takes care of the dog that I have neglected, he takes care of dinner, he takes care of our home, and he takes care of our admin. He does all this after a full day of work. When we get ready for bed he brings me up a plate of snacks in case I get hungry in the middle of the night while feeding you. On many occasions, he has taken over soothing you back to sleep when I am frustrated and on many nights, he watches you so I can take a nap or get some work/ writing done.

So, the truth is, Baby, your dad is the bomb. You should know that. You are a lucky baby to be growing up with such a great male figure in your world and I hope you guys always have a special and positive relationship.

One day you too will find love in your life and you and I will commiserate on how annoying our partners can be- but love is always finding the yin and yang to everything so for all the irritating things that your dad does, he does amazing exceptional things to balance it out.

So to your dad, I love you very much and I know that Baby is the luckiest to have you. Sorry for yelling at your at 3am (a few times) and thank you for 4 wonderful years of marriage and helping make and raise our little peanut.

Now Baby, go give your dad a hug.

xo

Mom

 

 

Love = Baby

2 Months, Baby!

November 18, 2015

Dear Baby,

Baby, we made it! Never has 2 months felt longer or shorter. I can’t believe you have been around for 2 months and I can’t remember life without you.

2 months in and nothing is easier, everything is easier and the theme that I have been riding since the day you came home of everything being all and nothing at the same time still stands.

I can say this for our milestone today, I truly see you changing and growing. I watch you learn and absorb things every day and my heart could literally burst when I watch you watching the world. I am so glad that you seem to be pretty happy with your surroundings.

I just bit your dad’s head off and I haven’t had a moment to myself all day so this will be a short letter just to tell you that 2 months in, I am OBSESSED with you. You are the absolute best thing I have ever had or made and I am so proud to be your mama.

Happy 2 months baby, can’t wait to see what comes next…

xo

Mom

2 Months, Baby!

Baby Beluga

November 17, 2015

Dear Baby,

When you have a tiny newborn baby, don’t let people tell you that it is stupid to take your baby out to do big activities.

Yesterday I took you to the Aquarium with a friend and her baby to walk around and check out the fish and sea creatures. At least 3 people asked me why I would take you there being that you would have no idea where we were, it’s a pretty far drive downtown, you would never remember it and can’t ever make out the fish anyways.

Well Baby, I think differently.

First of all, in terms of you enjoying the experience- did you? Who knows. You ate, you shat, you cried, you looked around and you slept all in a dark aquarium lit by images of waves. You were serenaded with sounds of the ocean and a man’s voice reciting facts about various species of under water life. What could be bad about that?

I have this mini fish tank toy thing that attaches to your crib and basically has these plastic floaty fish in fake water moving around and playing soft music and water noises- is the real thing not a million times better?

Did you know there were fish around you? No. I doubt it. I doubt you could make out anything but I am 100 percent sure that the lights and colors and sounds and movements were super stimulating to your tiny and growing senses and Baby, that is good enough for me. Well worth the price of admission.

Will you remember this experience? No. Will I? Probably not. What I will remember is how I went out and did a bunch of stuff with you right away and didn’t stay home slowly going crazy. If you are the type of mama who can happily stay at home, all the power to you. I am jealous because I have this overwhelming urge never to take off my pyjamas which really doesn’t work with my need to be in public spaces all day everyday.

But if you, like me, need to be out and about then DO IT. Nothing makes you more scared to try than waiting and postponing it. Did a weird old man and his grandchildren see my nipples while I fed you in a corner? Yes. Did the couple behind us give me dagger eyes when you cried for 5 minutes? Sure. I give zero fucks. Zero.

That’s the ultimate point here, Baby. That is what naysayers are missing. This was for you, in a sense but it was more for me and for us. I need to get out and have these experiences to feel like a normal functioning human being and in kind, to be a good patient and not-crazy mom to you. In terms of it being for you, well you need to see more than the inside of Yorkdale mall.

Baby, whatever you need to do to be the best you that you can be during this weird and crazy time, go for it. That’s how we stay (semi) sane and keep going.

xo

Mom

 

 

Baby Beluga