You are so old. You are one geezer of a baby. I have no idea how you’ve aged so quickly. One part of me is still sitting on my bum, making a playlist of music to listen to while I’m in labor — oh, ill-fated unused playlist.
Trucker, you can do so many things now. This month you took your very first steps. Mama and Mommy saw them. And even though we know that you have no idea that you took the steps because you weren’t paying attention, the steps count. They are already inked in to your baby book. I refuse to pick you up from daycare to be told that they saw your first steps. So ha! Thank you for taking them at home. Of course you are slowly realizing that you can walk. Today you were sitting on the floor, then slowly standing. Then you stood stood stood and slowly sat. You did it several times.
You’ve finally gotten yourself off of your Mommy-is-the-only-girl-for-me kick and have been giving your Mama some much-earned love. Whew. I was beginning to feel like quite the baby hog. Which doesn’t bode well for someone who claims to be writing a book for non-bio moms. Now you like to play peek-a-boo with Mama over my shoulder. You both bob back and forth using my head as a hiding place and you both end up in stitches.
Only Mama, it seems can make you go to sleep. I swear I didn’t do this on purpose. Perhaps you know I’m a sucker. We had one bad bad night during which I decided to try to put you back to sleep. You fell back to sleep three times, then awakened every time more angry than you were before. I basically got twenty minutes of sleep that day between 3 am and the next night when I went to bed. When I fed you that morning, I learned that I was not the only one to blame for your lack of sleep. You had a white sliver of tooth peeking through the pink of your gum. Your first tooth.
Have I ever mentioned your hair? It is really out of control now. In an effort to prove that I do, in fact, comb it, I took a picture right after a combing and five minutes later. During the five minutes, I did not touch your hair. At the end of the five minutes, you look like Marge Simpson without the blue. On Tuesday, you and Cakie will go to Cakie’s hairdresser and get it cut off. I know after that you will look like a boy. Your hair has always made you look more boy than baby to me, but I am fully-aware that after the professional haircut, you will be un-babied — fully boyed. Sigh.
Next week you will be eleven months old. Time to start planning your birthday party. Sigh. Again, sigh.
Apparently I have not yet freed the Marge Simpson shot from my huge camera card. But I do want to leave those of you who still bother to read my blog after so much dead air with a little treat. A full-on shot of my ten month old Trucker:
And that’s my Cakie in the background.
Love you my big boy,
I haven’t been blogging. Except for this.
Want to know what I’ve been doing?
Checking my email.
I’m waiting to hear possible news about (I’ll be vague to avoid some kind of jinx) our book. This wait could take another three weeks.
I’m also waiting to hear if Cakie got into any public Pre-K programs. That wait is actually supposed to end “the week of May 18.” Which is this week. In fact, if there is any chance I will find out before Tuesday, it needs to happen in the next hour. I don’t really feel positive about hearing from them before Tuesday or about him getting in anywhere. Which would mean he spends another year in daycare. It wouldn’t be the end of the world. But I feel as a teacher, especially, that I want him to go to a real school. We are not going to pay NYC prices for a NYC pre-school, either.
On a lighter note, Trucker has come up with the best trick ever. This is the kind of trick that attaches a mother to her son for all eternity. Trucker has decided to clap when he finishes nursing. Bravo! Go mom! Great milk! Encore. Gosh I love that kid.
I know deep in my head somewhere there is still a poem or two.
I went to grad school for poetry. I wrote some above-average poems while I was there. I thought once I got older and experienced more things, as Rilke advised, I would maybe write one or two great ones.
As it turns out, my life experiences seem to have buried the poems under layers of fat or callouses or drivel or reality tv shows or something.
I bought a copy of the Writer’s Market. Since I’ve been writing the book and enjoying the work. I think maybe I could write other things and maybe even get them published. It isn’t unheard of. When I was in grad school, I made myself feel like I had tried to become a published poet. I really only sent poems out about ten times. That’s not saying much. My proudest moment was when I received an actual hand-written rejection letter.
Spring makes the poems rise a little more to the surface. Almost to a place where I can hear them. I realize that the way poems used to come to me was usually from wandering around alone. Now? Now I never wander around alone. Pushing a stroller is not alone. No. Nope. Not even.
I guess I could wait and see if one comes.
Or I could dig in.
Sorry so quiet.
I’ve been working on my book under a ridiculous self-imposed deadline.
I haven’t had much extra writing time. My honey has the draft of the chapter in her hot hands right now, so I have a minute to blog.
Going on the blog-as-diary model, I just want to share something extremely cute Trucker did last night. I just need to write it down, lest I forget. I don’t know if you’ll think it is as cute as I do. But you don’t have to.
I’ve been feeling a little nervous about my milk supply. It is not his main source of nutrition anyway, since I’ve stopped pumping. But he has seemed hungry after several feedings this week. We followed them up with a little formula so as to not starve the guy. I was worried that I’m running out. (I had neglected to make the pre-menstrual low-milk supply connection. I’m hoping that was the problem.)
I was nursing him right before bedtime last night. I usually do it a little earlier so he doesn’t fall asleep in my arms and lose his ability to fall asleep in the crib. (Sucky, right? I know.) But there I was nursing him. Sleepy little guy. And he started to fall asleep on the b00b. I didn’t stop him, thinking that this might be one of the last times he does it. Then he opened his eyes and burst into laughter. Immediately, he fell asleep with a huge smile on his face.
About two minutes later, he woke himself up again, in a perfectly happy, content mood. Smiling and laughing. It was as if he had said, “No worries, Mom. Your milk is still good here.”
We have come into the practice of sitting in a folding chair outside of Cakie’s door as he falls asleep. To some of you this may seem extreme or unnecessary. (My mom keeps asking me if we still do it.) To us it is a giant leap from when we had to sit in his room right next to his bed in the dark doing Kegels or meditating or anything else that can be done in the dark without moving or making noise, before we ever-so-carfeully tippy-toed out of there to freedom. The folding chair in the hallway is nothing.
I have a point, I swear.
Part of the point being that now I can grab a book from the hall bookself and read it while I wait for the Cake-meister to go to dreamland. Last night I was reading Bird-by-Bird by Anne Lamott. It is a silly little book about writing that has a few tasty kernels of truth and wisdom. I’d bought it when I was in grad school for poetry. I’m pretty sure when it came out, people didn’t have email so much. The chapter I was reading was about “calling around.” Essentially, Lamott was suggesting that when an author is bored and/or lonely, he or she should call people who might have information that would be of use to them for their book. Here’s my point. Did you see it coming?
I need some information from you, my dear dear readers. I’m waiting for some interviews to come back. In the meantime, I’m trying to draft a chapter about the range of emotions a non-gestational co-mom experiences during her partner’s pregnancy.
Can any of you share? With permission to quote you in the book? I want to know what kinds of unexpected or expected, even, emotions came up for you while your partner was pregnant. How did you feel, or what did you think when you first got the test results? How did you respond to the ways other people treated you or your partner? What made you relieved, worried, crazy?
PS you don’t need to leave it in a comment. Email me!
This a little follow-up to a post written by firsttimesecondtime, the link is in my last post.
I’m thinking about baby hogging. While I was reading ftst’s post about how she’s a little afraid her personality might cause her to become that very same type of gestational parent baby hog she often dislikes in other relationships, it made me think about personalities. There are at least three personalities in a two-parent lesbian home. Yours, your partner’s and the baby’s. Much like ftst, I find myself grateful that my partner gave birth first, becuase I’m more emotionally needy that my honey. My baby, surprise surprise, is a little needy, too. At least at this moment. Trucker is going through his stranger anxiety phase. When Cakie went through this phase, a stranger was anyone but me or my honey. For Trucker, a stanger is anyone but me — me or Ms. Gigi at daycare. If the roles had been reversed, I probably would have been crushed by the baby’s preference for his gestational parent. I would have known intellectually that it is just a phase, but I would have taken it harder. It may also be easier because Trucker is our second child, but my honey’s personality fits into this scenario quite well. I give her the baby, he turns to me in distress, and she just looks at him and says, “Listen, I pay half the bills, change half the diapers, and put you to bed half the time. So you’re going to hang out with Mama now and you’re going to like it.”
I just feel lucky that our personaities match our roles right now.
That said, I’m not a baby hog in a I-want-the-baby-all-the-time way. I am perfectly happy to leave Truck with A and take Cakie to the food coop for some less-urgent grocery shopping. I like getting away from him both for time alone with Cakie or my honey and for some occasional time to myself. It is only those times when he’s crying for me that I just want to take him away from whomever has him at the moment and hug him and make him feel safe. Which is natural, I guess. I also notice that if we are out as a family, I spend more time holding Trucker and A spends more time with Cakie. This is probably partly because it is easier for both adults. But I guess we should make a point to mix it up more often.
Does anyone else who has taken turns have any more insight into this baby hogging business?
I am getting back to the book.
I just had to stop to share with you all that I think it is a little magic how writing to you beautiful strangers about writing or not writing the book makes me write the book. First, I wanted to write the book. So I thought I’d just blog about writing it. The next thing I knew, I was writing the book. Then, after giving birth, I wasn’t writing it. So I blogged about not writing it. That was just what I needed to get back to work.
I really am getting back to work. Which is why though I really really want to respond to the lovely and flattering post the grrrls over at firsttimesecondtime wrote, I am not going to do so right at this very moment.
I did just want to take a little break to tell you how funny this is. I went back into my emails on my blog email to try to make sense of the work I’ve already done and to better organize my interviews. I found SO MANY emails and interviews I was doing on the day before and of my birth. In one of them, I actually said, “I’ll try to get you those questions today (if I don’t give birth.)” And I did. My water broke three hours after I sent that email. And I never did send that woman the questions. Not until today. Just nine little months later. Maybe I needed another full gestation period to make room for the book. Even though who, Adrienne Rich or somebody, says, “A book is not a baby is not a book.”
I need to get back to my interview organizing and apologizing to folks for dropping off the face of the earth. But I do want to invite any and/or all of you to be interviewed. My process is slightly lame (by my own standards.) I do email interviews. I found trying to get a mom of a toddler on the phone for an hour, when I am also the mom of a toddler, is nearly impossible. So I started sending the questions via email. It really doesn’t take much time and can be done at your leisure. Let me know! I promise not to give birth in the middle of any more interviews. Ever.