Wednesday, July 30, 2008


Rowan in Gingham

She must be teething. I know, I say that a lot. But really, this time I mean it. I can see 2 teeth just below the skin, she's drooling (a habit she gave up months ago), and she lights up when the Tylenol bottle or the Orajel tube are in sight. She's running a little warm--probably no more than 99, but her natural temp is like her mom's, at a cool 97.1. Her diapers have been, um, let's just call them interesting. She wants to be with me all the time, and with me means ON me, climbing over my feet (which was fine at 14 pounds, but at 22 it starts to hurt). She tries to scale my legs, and wants to be carried constantly. When I'm sitting on the couch, she wants to be, too, though would rather crawl around it, over the end table, and pull the batteries out of the remote control, chew on the computer cords, push the computer buttons and stick her fingers in the USB drives, chew on pens and pen caps, "read" mommy's library books, play with the shutter on the camera, pull kleenixes out of the box and eat them... you get the picture. All the toys in the world are boring except the stuff of ours she can destroy or hurt herself with. This is stuff she does all the time, but usually she can be distracted with toys. Not now. With brief exceptions (that Scooby Doo rubber ball was a smart buy), she is only interested in what we have that she can't. And, of course, her favorite pastime--shoving her fingers in our eyes and mouths. (I really, really hate that. Ick.)

She cries and cries and cries, unexplainedly, and then stops and laughs uproariously. Then, sweetly hugs a teddy and lies down on the carpet to rest. For about 12 seconds.

Last night, a nightmare or a pain woke her at 9:30, and despite several attempts by both mom and dad, she couldn't be consoled enough to sleep on her own. I brushed my teeth, washed my face, and picked her up, carrying her over to the guest bed in her room. Within minutes, she was asleep in my arms. An hour and a half later, she was so deeply gone she didn't even flinch when I picked her up and put her in her own crib.

I may get frustrated. I may lose my patience. I may get angry. I may eat too many brownies. But last night, she showed me the thing I needed to hold on. She needs me. Just me. Angry, frustrated, worried, irritated, patient, loving, confused me. Her mom.

I'm not perfect, not by a long shot. I am not always a good mom. Sometimes I'm cranky. Snarky. Angry. But I will keep trying. I will be proud of myself when I am kind, when I am patient. I will feel good about the good things I am doing. I will forgive myself for the not-so-good, and try again.

Because no matter what, I'm the only one she's got. And that's enough.


Patricia said...

So true. Those are feelings I recognize from when my two boys were babies - they are now 12 and 14 and posing other challenges, but that's another story! Patricia

Anonymous said...

Sounds just like a normal 1 yr old....AND a regular first time Mom. Hate to tell you that getting into stuff they are not supposed doesn't go away for a long time! ha! Sounds like a regular first time Mom too...Loved the pic of her....she looks like her daddy when he was same age...brings back memories!

Mama Bear said...

I hate the fingers in the mouth thing, too, or sharing their food after it's been in their mouth, licked by the dog, dropped on the floor, picked back up, then shared with you. Bleh!

Lauren said...

I don't comment enough (almost never, really) because I rarely get 5 uninterrupted minutes online, but anyway, I really enjoy your blog. It's a nice mix of funny and thoughtful posts. I'm trying to comment more because I feel rude not doing so, so you should hear from me again soon(ish)!
And regarding this particular post, I totally know what you mean. This is "the toughest job you'll ever love", isn't it?

DeeAnn said...

I'm experiencing these exact feelings, and going through the same situations, just with my 7 month old. It's nice to hear I'm not alone.

I feel so bad when they start wailing from what's obviously pain due to teething. It's hard not being able to take that pain away. It would be so much easier if we could wish the pain on ourselves so we could deal with it for them, wouldn't it? But then they'd never learn to handle things on their own.. blah blah blah. Yeah, I know. But I still wish it.

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