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Archive for August, 2011

My baby is growing up

This seems to happen mostly when I haven’t been with the baby for a lot of the day. Once she’s asleep in my arms and it’s time to put her down, I can’t do it. I look at her peaceful sleeping face and hold her quiet body and I just want to hug her tight to me and never let go.

I never thought I’d be like this. Until I was pregnant I didn’t even think about babies; whenever I pictured having kids they were always old enough to hold interesting conversations. But now that I’ve had a baby of my own, I can’t deal with her getting older. It’s a lot of things coming together into this: my difficulty separating her and me, my love for her as a baby, not knowing what she’ll be like as a child, knowing her as a baby but not a child, not wanting to deal with the difficulties I know are coming. She’s always been an easy baby; I’m not looking forward to being angry or frustrated with her when she requires me to do things over and over and over again in order to learn what she may or may not do. And I’m afraid I won’t be able to do it.

Plus, and I guess this is a big one, I like things the way they are, dammit. All this change is coming too fast. In less than a year she’s gone from helpless newborn to a miniature person with a will of her own and the means to achieve much of what she wants. Her cries are completely different now. She expresses a wide range of emotions and a lot of them involve her unwillingness to be out of eyesight of me.

So I have a conflict. It’s difficult to reconcile the two. On the one hand, I love the closeness we’ve always had; on the other, I need my damned space. When she was happiest in my arms, doing almost nothing, I still felt like i had my space because I could, within reason, do what I wanted. I spent hours online or playing games while she napped. When she fussed, I rearranged us a bit and found a new way to play or surf the net. Now, her demands interfere with my ability to do what I want. I might be able to play a game, but only for as long as she’s happy playing on the floor. And she doesn’t like being on the other side of the baby fence from me, though I can’t put my computer on the same side or she’ll get into the cords. If I try to do something on my iPad, she wants to touch and grab it. I put on Uzu for her and she gets frustrated and angry because she can’t grasp the lights. If I pick her up, I have to move around with her or she gets bored and squirms. So I put her down, and she cries. If I leave the room she is angry, betrayed.

But if I take time for myself, forcing C to look after her, then when she’s finally asleep for the day in my arms and I can set her down and have some much-needed time for myself…I can’t do it. All I want is to hold her for just a little longer, okay a little more, okay just another minute, okay fuck it i’ll just have to sit back down because I’m not going to set her down for a bit yet. I don’t know how to fix this problem. And don’t even get me started on how I should just go to bed instead of playing a game or messing around on reddit or writing a blog entry or…

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Should’ve gone out today, tired or no, too hot or no, showered and unwilling to get sweaty on a run or no. It’s one of those days when you don’t feel like being a parent. I would have napped the whole afternoon if I could have. And though all I want is to have some uninterrupted time to play Civ, I have made a deal with myself: scrub the soap scum off the tub after the baby is asleep…or go to bed myself. Now that I’m nursing he to sleep (I hope), though, I think I’ll probably say fuck it and stay up. Just for a little while, which I say every night. I keep doing this to myself and I really need to sleep.

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