Monday, February 18, 2008

Life Lessons: Eating my words

Yesterday I was forced to examine my new life as a mother after I found myself channeling my grandfather.
John and I were trying to figure out directions to a bridal shower, but Mapquest was failing us. I didn't have the invitation with me, so I called a friend and asked if she could consult with the directions that were tucked into the invitation. The phone rang and rang and rang until I heard her voicemail. I left a message and checked the clock in the kitchen as G squealed away while banging on his exersaucer.
"It's 9:45 in the morning," I said to John. "Who's not awake at 9:45 in the morning on a Sunday?"
I paused and almost had to smack myself. My memory flashed back to the days when I would spend the night at my grandparent's house and my grandpa would greet me in the kitchen after I rolled out of bed at 10 a.m. by saying that half of the day was almost over.
"Who sleeps until 10 in the morning?" he would ask.
Irritated, I would wipe the sleep out of my eyes, continue to pour milk over my cereal and mumble something along the lines of "Who in his right mind would wake up at 5 in the morning on a non-work day?"
So back to that question I had just idiotically asked John.
Who's not awake at 9:45 in the morning on a Sunday?
Well, me, about a year ago to this day, for one. But that's the old me, of course. I find myself doing and saying quite a bit of things the younger, cooler me wouldn't have done or said.
Here's my top-five list:

5. Coo adoringly in a language that makes no sense to anyone except the Gabe when he's gibbering lovingly to me -- I swore up and down that I would always speak to my kids like they were little adults. Now the words gaaaay, goooo, oooogg and ugggg are part of my daily vocabulary. If only my English and journalism professors could see me now!

4. Talk about poop like it's latest and greatest water-cooler gossip -- John and I have had full-blown discussions about poop. We talk about the color ("It looks like he ate a Christmas tree!"), the quantity ("There's so much he pooped out the back of his diaper!")and the consistency ("Was it like mustard or runny?"). We loudly declare when it's a big poop or a weird poop or if the baby has not pooped but we thought he did. It's odd, and I don't know why we do it. But I can honestly tell you neither of us would have ever thought it would be such a prevalent subject in our household.

3. Trade in my beloved emo, indie and rock music for songs that Elmo and the gang on Sesame Street sing -- Sure, we still listen to Jimmy Eat World (mostly because G adores that band), but I can tell you most of my CDs haven't gotten much lovin' from me since G came along. With the exception of Jimmy Eat World, he much prefers to hear songs about barnyard animals. I spend much of the day singing about the little ducks who went out to play, the monkeys who jump on the bed and ants who march one by one. I also spend quite a bit of time perfecting the sounds that those little creatures make.

2. Go out in a sweatshirt and track pants at least three times a week -- I'm lucky to find the time to shower everyday, let alone get all dolled up by applying makeup and wearing real clothes. While I was pregnant, I remember confidently declaring to my friends who already had babies that I would definitely still do my make up and hair every day because I didn't feel right walking out of the house without having done both. They didn't laugh at me out loud that day, but they should have. I'm just thankful some days to get out of the house period.

1.5. Check on the baby to see if he's still breathing -- The old me scoffed at parents who would admit that they frequently went into baby's room while he was sleeping to make sure baby was still breathing. The new me sends John into the the baby's room about every 15 minutes to check on G after we put him to bed. When John reports back and declares that all is well in babyland, the new me asks John if G was breathing. John always assures me that all is normal on the breathing front. The new me asks John whether he actually put his hands of the baby and checked to see if G was breathing. John stares at me. The new me sends John back into the room to physically check whether the baby is breathing. The new me looks back at the old me and thinks about how bad of a mother the old me would have been.

1. Happily rise with the sun. G doesn't have a snooze button, unfortunately, so I often see the dark sky give way to the light. I've gotta say that I have come to love the mornings with G because it's when he's at his happiest. We coo at each other, exclaim about poop, sing some songs about our barn-yard friends and get excited to shower and put on jeans before we leave the house.

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