Mother’s Day

May 14, 2017

Dear Baby,

This is my second Mother’s Day as your mom or a mom and it’s awesome to be able to celebrate one of the greatest accomplishments I have in life. I don’t know when I decided it but somewhere in my early 20s I got the idea that I could live MY life (and I stress MY life because this post is not to pass judgement on anyone’s choices or lives) without kids. My boyfriend before I met your dad was pretty ambivalent about kids and I was just in a super selfish and stubborn place in my life where the idea of giving up my time and freedom seemed fucking crazy.
I figured that a life without kids would mean infinite possibility and would allow me the time and space to be me so I figured if the person I married didn’t want kids, that was cool. Well, for a million reasons, thank the stars that I didn’t marry my ex boyfriend who didn’t give a shit about kids and did marry your dad for whom having kids was non-negotiable. We agreed early on that kids would be a definite part of our life together and never had the conversation again. Just as fine as I thought I would be with not having kids was as fine as I was with knowing we would eventually have them.
When the time came, we kept pushing back on the day we would start trying. I remember that we had an upcoming trip booked for Jamaica and my priority at the time was smoke some weed and chill. The idea of even trying to make a baby seemed like way too much responsibility to me.
That the process of making you ended up taking 2 years, a lot of money and a huge chunk of my emotional capacity was a sort of ironic twist to wanting to wait. Not that a month more would have made the difference between an IVF pregnancy or not, but it seemed so silly that we did wait when by the ed, I would have given up any vacation to grow you. But hindsight is always 20/20 and there was no reason at the time that I didn’t think that I would get pregnant immediately upon wishing it so. Whoops.
Anyways, the 2 years of “trying” did a lot of good in assuring me without any questions or concerns that I was ready and wanted to be a mom. Sure, there was the dog we bought in that time that made the notion of responsibility and parenting a more real thing in our home but it was more than that. It was this deep longing for you that grew both from time and circumstance. It was feral and it was real and it needed to be satiated.
And you, my sweet sweet baby, did it.
The day you were born and the day I became a mom was the day that everything in the world felt as though it was just as it should be. There is no role I have ever wanted more or enjoyed better and there is literally nothing about being a mom that I would trade for a day of “freedom.” A day with a double ear infection, crying and clingy baby who won’t do anything I say and then smacks me in the face so hard I see stars is still more worth it to me than a trip around the world. Sounds corny – is corny – also true.
This Mother’s Day I spent mostly indoors with you while you went in and out of being in bad moods due to still being sick. You were MUCH better than on Saturday but still sick enough to forfeit another day of activity in favour of resting and getting you healthy. What could be more “Mother-y” than that? Brunch and manis? NOT mom stuff (ok, sometimes mom stuff), breakfast in bed? Really. really. Lavish gifts? I mean, I’ll take them but that’s not really what being a mom is all about.
Being a mom is about carrying your 25 pound toddler up a steep hill because they don’t want to walk anymore even when you are 8 months pregnant and DYING. Being a mom is tantrums and boogers and poo and having your kid delight in wiping dirt on your pants even when you try hard to look presentable so that you can make some friends at the neighbourhood park. Mom is the one who sits and asks (for the bagillionth time) if you will please eat your peas.
But it’s not all bad. Mom is the one who gets cuddles when you feel shy or scared or just loving. Mom is the one you call for bedtime kisses and books. Mom has so many inside jokes with you and laughs at least 50% of every day because of how much fun she gets to have with you. Mom gets to delight in firsts, relish in growth milestones and watch in sheer amazement when you conquer something totally mundane. Mom is the one who cried tears of happiness when you got into a program she liked and for whom the best part of any day is recapping the funny things you did and said.
Being a mom is being a lot of things so when one of them is your nurse, caregiver, kisser of boo-boos and giver of hugs when you feel rotten, that’s a pretty real way to sum up being a mom on Mother’s Day.
That being said, next year, I’ll take flowers and no fever.
Thank you, Baby for being my daughter and making me a mom. There are no words for my gratitude,  love and total joy in the role I was given.
xo
Mom
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Mother’s Day

105 degrees of sickness

May 13, 2017

Dear Baby,

This morning you woke up WAY earlier than normal with a fever and your dad and I were, to be honest, bummed because we had this really fun day full of seeing friends planned out that was to begin with an awesome birthday party. All morning we kept going back and forth about whether to take you in spite of your looking sick and remains flushed and hot but by the time we were putting on our coats to leave, you looked much too sick to take anywhere. We aborted the mission and you ended up taking your nap WAY earlier than normal.

That was a good thing because you woke from your nap (WAY earlier than normal), you had a raging fever. RAGING. You were 105 degrees of human and your dad and I were – to say the least – freaked. We gave you medicine, ran you to the walk in and of course, in true kid form, by the time the very nice doctor (who you called Doctor Ear) saw you, your temperature had subsided and you were back to your normal self.

You were diagnosed with a virus and contrary to the doctor we had seen the day before, she did not seem to think you had an ear infection which, side note: is super fucking annoying because I don’t know why that doctor we saw originally would just put you on antibiotics willy nilly. Like, maybe I don’t want my kid to just take medicine at your whim and maybe I fucking trust you as a medical professional to not just rush to prescribe my kid so that you can bill your time out and get to the next patient lickety split. Maybe I have a huge fucking issue with that. But nonetheless…

Anyways, we had a repeat performance of the fever at bedtime which was a horrible mess of tears and then your dad and I basically couldn’t even talk all the remaining night because we were both so emotionally and otherwise drained from having such a sick and delicious little girl to deal with. Good news: you’re fine. Bad news: I know this is just going to happen again and again. Not like we never get sick after being a baby – amiright?

Good news: Your dad and I managed to stay normal, not fight and support each other through supporting you. Bad news: the party we had to miss on account of you being sick sounded like the kids event of the decade. I hate to tell you this but you missed a bubble magician.

Moral: being sick fucking blows but no matter how sick you are (which I hope you’re not) and no matter how much I hate being around sick people (which I do) and even when pregnant (which I am), I will ALWAYS be there for you to wipe your nose (aka pick your boogers) or just give you a hug when you need it. Also, in case you have kids who get crazy fevers – kids get crazy fevers and really gross weird illnesses. Don’t do nothing but don’t freak out. It’s usually ok and manageable and like everything bad and gross and shitty, it will pass.

xo

Mom

105 degrees of sickness

Happy

May 12, 2017

Dear Baby,

So your dad and I have been really into Netflix and we have specifically been into these documentaries. Like, you can basically watch a documentary on any subject imaginable on this thing. I obviously chose to most recently watch one about baby mental health and happiness. The baby mental health one was super cool and really talks about the kinds of conditions optimal for giving a person he best chances at strong mental health coping abilities in their life (which is a huge topic of interest to me) but the happiness one really has stuck with me.

It basically examines the science of being happy and what we need and how we achieve happiness. What I took from it is that there are 2 key ingredients in happy people.

  1. Family, friendship and strong relationships
  2. Activity

The happiest people around seemed to surround themselves with like happy people and spend quality time enjoying the company of others. This is something that I REALLY hope we can instil in you as your dad and I both place a lot of value and meaning into having meaningful relationships. We both love family and we both love being with friends. I  fact, the thing we agree that we love least about spending time with people is when you spend time but in a hectic way and you end up literally just seeing the people but not having the opportunity to actually talk and share.

There will likely be a time in your life as there was for us where seeing and being seen will be really important to you. That’s cool. But then as your time becomes more precious and scarce, you will also likely look to spend it in ways that satisfy your soul. Like, I don’t need to physically see people, I need to connect. To catch up and to share some thoughts and feelings. These are the exchanges that bring me happiness and it seems that I’m not alone, by a long shot.

Because I want you to be ever-happy, I want you to also surround yourself with great people. Your family (and especially amazing mom, just saying) and then people who feel like family. Have the time to share and talk and go deep with people. Have the time to laugh with friends about nothing. Or everything.

The other factor in happiness, the activity component, was also pretty interesting. Here’s a fact. I hate working out. HATE IT. I have been doing it in various forms and intensity for about 6 years and I have never learned to really love it. I guess because of my innate need to be social, I’ve always seen working out as a lonely activity and there is not one time I have done it that I wouldn’t rather be sharing a cookie and latte with a friend and just talking.

But after watching this doc, I realized that I really have to shift my thinking because being active (and NOT for the reasons of weight loss or body image shit – that is literally the opposite of what they were trying to convey) is super important to your happiness and the production of dopamine. I’m all over keeping those dopamine levels as high as possible for my entire life.

So it’s activity for the enjoyment of activity. Like taking a walk or a swim. There’s nothing wrong with working out, per say but it’s more the pursuit of activity for activity sake versus the pursuit of a 6 pack body that makes people happy.

I like that. I can get behind that. I can try and reframe my working out into something like that. You should too.

I want you to always be active, get outside, move your body but I never want you o do it because you feel fat or lesser than. I want you to move because moving feels good and jump because  jumping is fun. I’d say run but running is so bad for your body so unless you really need to run, maybe stick to something more sustainable. Do yoga, surf, whatever. Just enjoy movement and using your body and never get hung up on how may calories a movement will burn. NOT WORTH IT.

Overall, I just want you to be happy. Always.

As happy as I am because of you.

xo

Mom

 

Happy

Happy Day Day

May 11, 2017

Dear Baby,

Right now I’m watching you sleep on your monitor and calming down from a video I watched about babies being born. Don’t tell your dad but I would have 4 more of you if I wasn’t getting old as fuck. There is nothing in the world I love more.

And you my baby? You are the cream of the crop. I think I’ve told you how your words have been literally exploding. We are at the point where I can’t even keep up with what you say although I can thankfully understand you (most of the time.) To the point, my favourite song has had a remake because you can’t seem to slow down your words. For the past few months – I think since our dogs birthday mid March, you have been obsessed with singing “happy birthday.” But of course, in your hilarious way, it was never actually “happy birthday” but instead was “happy day day.”

HAPPY DAY DAY

Be cuter.

But then yesterday in the blink of an eye, the song got a facelift and turned into a very clear “Happy Birthday.” This made me really proud and then also really emotional (really? imagine that) because it means that you are growing up and absorbing and learning more. All I can tell you is the day that “Boo-day-day” becomes plain old “blueberry” or “beam” becomes “cream,” I am going to fucking lose it.

xo

Mom

Happy Day Day

Time is Ticking

May 9, 2017

Dear Baby,

I’ve been pretty hesitant to write a lot about my second pregnancy. Mostly because I’m nervous about it on basically every level possible. But nerves or not, the timing of it all is coming to an end in a few weeks now and that fact is undeniable. There is a chair in the babies room and those little onesies that I can’t believe ever fit you are being unloaded into the drawers of the new closet that was built in the room as well.

But of course, being so all consumed with you, the thing I think about the most of all things is how this will work for us – us being you and I.

Our nanny joined us for 4 days a week starting this week and working through the summer to help me with managing you having a good summer fun of fun and a new baby and this morning, I dropped you guys off at a class I had signed us up for at a school in the neighbourhood. I had intended for you and I to take this class but logistics and scheduling made it such that she will now be taking you (I have bi-weekly OBGYN appointments at the hospital for the remainder of the pregnancy).

I dropped you off and watched you guys walk into the building together without me and I saw a future. I saw a summer of watching you guys leave together for camp and comping hoe with memories that I don’t know about. I saw all the things I am going to miss – all the words and toys and friends, I saw dropping you off for your first day of preschool without me.

I know that this is a part of you growing up and mostly something that I will have to deal with but I don’t fucking like it. In fact, it makes me sick to think about.

I know that all moms love their kids but I can’t believe that any mom has ever loved a kid as much as I love you.

And I know that I’m going to love the next baby just as much and I know that you and I will always love each other and that love will grow and change but here and now, the vision of your little legs walking up the steps to your class without me there breaks my heart into a million pieces and makes me wish that time would slow the fuck down so that I can smother you with a bajillion more kisses.

xo

Mom

Time is Ticking

No No No No No No

May 7, 2017

Dear Baby,

People often talk about the “terrible twos” which seems to me to be a bit of a cop out name for “your kid is now developing language and thoughts and will have moments of opposition or frustration as a result.” I think a better name for this stage would be “getting older and developing a sense of self and independence,” but what the fuck do I know?

Well, I know this. You, my Baby, are officially running in the races of this next stage. By running I mean awkwardly stumbling as your skill set does not include gracefulness at this point but boy oh boy are you stumbling right in. Baby, your language is ridiculous. There is nothing you don’t say at this point and you speak so much and with so much enthusiasm that it’s pretty hard to not understand you. It has been one of the most amazing parts of watching you grow – our ability to actually communicate together.

You remember things that we do and talk about them, you can ask for what you want and you can overall express yourself which, I hope, is going to make you asserting yourself a little more tolerable for us as your parents. I think a big part of the terrible twos stems from kids wanting to speak but not yet having all the words and then feeling frustrated in not being understood.

Rest assured Baby, we understand everything you say. You couldn’t be more clear. Seriously.

But one thing to address is this newfound (or is it even newfound – who knows…) love of the word “NO.” Baby, want to come downstairs? NO. Baby, want to eat? NO. Baby, want to go play outside? NO. no no no no no. I hear that word 4 zillion times a day.

So a normal person might ask why I give you the option to even answer. Like, just don’t ask the questions and then you can’t hear no. I don’t like that. I think you deserve the right to have some autonomy over what you do and how you do it (for the most part) and I think you also deserve to see consequences. Like this am, you woke up and didn’t want to come downstairs when I asked so I walked down the stairs (I can still see you upstairs – I’m not just leaving you alone unsupervised) and played with the dog and turned on music. You saw the fun you were missing and of course, as expected, came hurrying down the stairs to join in. Consequences and reactions in full effect.

And I hesitate to tell you to say yes to everything too. No one likes a yes-woman and you have more than your rights to say no. In fact, it’s great to learn how to say no to things that you don’t want to do. Saying yes to shit you don’t want is a nasty habit I picked up somewhere in my own childhood and now I a in the very long process of learning how to just say NO instead of secretly hating doing things that I should have just not said yes to in the first place. Asserting you wishes is a good thing and setting personal boundaries is a great thing.

I guess the thing I would encourage you when you think about yes and no is to have an open mind and heart. That doesn’t mean saying yes always but it means being open to the idea of yes if it makes you happy or suits your needs. Allowing the possibilities of “yes and…” to lead you to new and exciting places and discoveries and being someone who is amicable and easy going without being a doormat.

It’s funny because I started this whole post off to say how much I dislike your no’s but as I conclude I feel the opposite. I respect your no. I respect your right to say no and I hope that you always feel like you can. The same goes for yes, as mentioned above but I think I will try to be a bit more open-ended to the no moving forward.

See, I don’t always teach you shit, sometimes you teach me something too!

xo

Mom

No No No No No No