Friday, March 07, 2008

Design Flaws

We went to visit Baby Kathryn on Wednesday after our girlsitting duties were over. I sat in Jon and Ruth's house, looking at all the new-baby accessories, watching them take perfect and loving care of Kathryn and was reminded of what it felt like after Johnny was born.

Then I wanted to send Jon and Ruth to a hotel for two weeks after hugging them both VERY HARD. It is cruel that after waiting for so long to meet the tiny human being you created and carried in your womb you are the only one(s) not able to enjoy it. There is fear, worry and fatigue consuming you, hormones that make you rage and cry, and a nagging little voice in your head asking you why the hell you thought this was such a good idea, again? I told Ruth that in the beginning, I would get increasingly anxious as the day faded. With twilight came THE DOOOOOOOOOMS. Once the night got underway, I was able to soldier on- but that terrible feeling around 5 or 6 o'clock is one I'll never forget. She cried and told me it was like that for her too. I really want her to believe me that it passes but I never believed anyone who said that to me, so there you go.

It is funny, but while it gets so much better and so much easier I don't think the uncertainty will ever go away for me. I don't think the sudden crash into whatthehell land after spending so much time in heywe'vegotthislicked will ever stop shocking me. My buddy and I are really struggling lately. He has big ideas, big opinions and big emotions. There are many tears and much whining. Yesterday at playgroup he spent almost the whole time screaming, kicking and hitting me, jumping on furniture, throwing toys and just being a general nutjob. I should have packed us up and left, but I didn't- I kept engaging in a battle of wills. With my two and a half year old. Because I am wise and mature like that, apparently. We walked home after he kicked me in the gut during his 57th time out in less than two hours screaming and crying the whole way. While he napped, I picked up the chairs I had kicked over, and put the diaper bag back together because I had thrown it across the room. He didn't see me do those things. Cold comfort. Then I sat on the couch and cried my eyes out. For being so angry and so stubborn. For wanting to sit on my butt and talk to my friends instead of giving him the attention he clearly needed. For not trying hard enough to distract him. Oh, for a million things. Next time, we will leave if we struggle for too long. We'll make sure there is a tiny bit of grace in our exit. DUH.

So the challenges of parenting continue. Long past the first days, weeks, months, years. I know my mom and my aunts and uncles will tell me that decades don't diminish them, either. All I do know is that the dooms are gone. I love my kid, and nobody is grading me his upbringing. (Thank Christ).

It is better, it is easier. It is more than my pitiful vocabulary can convey. Wonderful comes to mind. Worth it.

Oh, a million things.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

And if anybody is grading,WHO CARES!

10:47 PM  
Blogger Nancy said...

When I first became a parent one of my (many million)misconceptions was that I'd be kindof "done" parenting in 18 years or so. Hah! As you say, the challenges change over the decades. And sure, some are a lot harder. But the joys increase exponentially. Unbelievably so. Reading your so-well-written post put me in mind of Jonathan at your Johnny's age. When I would despair at his behavior (and secretly despair at my reaction to it, because I wasn't brave like you and admit to being pissed) and say how awful Jon's temper seemed to be, my mother would laugh and say "steel is no good unless it's temptered!" It's true. And your Johnny (like mine) is so smart and sweet. He is a great kid. Keep doing what you're doing. And p.s.-the only people who grade either have no kids or a full-time nanny.

5:21 AM  
Blogger Nancy said...

Steel is no good unlesss it's TEMPERED and someday I'll learn to type.

12:58 PM  
Blogger Lynne said...

Kel- I so dearly wish I lived near you. You are so wise and so giving. And dreadfully honest. I feel a need to match your honesty. And, I have to admit, I continue to have battle of wills with B. Big big big battles. And yesterday, C told me that, if it were not for his father, he'd be leaving. B has actually (recently) walked away. Down the street. At night. With no shoes. And when I follow him, he walks faster.
Parenting is so so hard. And then there are moments, like this morning. Colin and I were hugging (shhh- don't tell his friends) and he was admiring my ability to take care of family, home and job. What a kid! I am so blessed. And so tired, but not as tired as you, and definitely not as tired as Ruth and Jon.

10:55 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

At least you didn't tell him not to knock you over with his big fat ass! Y'all are great moms. Well, I am fastering. Love, Mom

9:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

At least you didn't tell him not to knock you over with his big fat ass! Y'all are great moms. Well, I am fastering. Love, Mom

9:52 PM  

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