Saturday, April 2, 2011

Mothering a baby is different.

I remember when it was me and John. He was a baby and he was cute. When he cried I comforted him. When he was naughty I was quick to correct him I was always with in 3 feet of him. And it was great. I had a romanticized view of motherhood from when I was a teenager. I imagined life would be like this. Everything would work and be perfect. I would clean, nurse the baby, make dinner and everything would just flow.
  For me having John was a breeze pretty much. I wasn't used to being a house wife so I was still learning how to keep house and that was difficult but generally speaking it wasn't hard at all.

Then my little infant turned one.

My world started to slowly change. Taking care of a walking talking child is sooooooo different from caring for a baby that crawls and coos or just lays there. I cloth diaper, so the poop got gross as he began to eat more solid foods, but I expected that. Then  he started to run away. We would be somewhere, say the grocery store, he would ask to be put down so he could walk. Well I'm easy to get along with. I put him down. He ran away. He just ran as fast as he could. I'd catch him and bring him back. Tell him not to run away. He's gone before I can bat an eye. I'd bring him back. After the 6th time, I put him back in the cart. He screams and cries and everyone is looking at me. I feel like a terrible mother...

Then this little sweet heart begins to dump all his toys at home. He was such a dumper, cleaning up toys took a cumulative hour out of my day. Then he wouldn't eat the food that I made for dinner. He was going to eat the food I made for dinner. I wasn't going to be one of those moms. I'm not going to be a slave to my child's appetite, right? Wrong. After trying to convince him to eat, what I have given him, he staunchly refuses. I give in. Seems silly thinking about it now.

Chaos. Utter Chaos.

You know what, I loved every second of it. Ok not every second, but just being with my little man and playing with him, being a mother was awesome. It was so different from mothering an infant. Mothering a five year old is way different too. It occurred to me last night while I was picking up toys before my husband came home from work ( my kid does clean up his own toys now but finishing touches are needed.). That taking care of a little boy, mothering a little boy is the most different thing I have ever done in my life.

Yesterday he caught a spider and was searching and searching for bugs to feed it. He painted a bed sheet out side and scrubbed the paint off the patio. He dumped water on himself. He cleaned up the chalk that he was playing with outside. He helped his baby sister play with the scrub brush. He begged me for a snack, and to eat watermelon, and if he could have a cookie. And even with the arguing, because he knows everything, the back talking, the defiance, I love it. Every minute of it is great. This is the greatest my life has ever been, but it is way harder than I ever imagined would be, and way different from anything I expected it to be. Even though is so different from the romanticized version I created for myself previous to having a little kid.

1 comment:

  1. They do change so quickly. I don't miss the only-infant days much, but sometimes wish that I could rekindle that feeling of new motherhood again. Such powerful emotions--back then, being a mother filled me with joy and love and pride and I was excited to do it. I still love being a mom, but now it presents me with new challenges each day, and is bound grow more complex. The newness has worn off, and the hard (and oftentimes unpleasant) work has really set in--it's nice to be reminded that the moments we have with them are moments to savor.