As you know, I’ve been a mama for about eight and a half months now. Your granddaughter is beautiful and perfect, except it does appear that personality-wise, she leans a little more in my direction rather than Jay’s. Karma, haha. (Do they joke about karma in Heaven?)
Anyway, there are just a few things I’d like to level with you about. I’m sure you know that I rolled my eyes a lot when you talked about your frustrations as a wife and mother. I thought you were exaggerating and being a bit ridiculous. I would officially like to take a few things back.
1. You used to say we didn’t have time in our schedule for certain things. You would call them “all-day events.” I saw the two hours actually spent at the event. You saw the hour preparation beforehand, the twenty minutes to get there and get everyone settled, the actual two hours of the event, the thirty minutes of visiting afterwards, the fifteen minute drive home, and the hour of settling back in. Getting ready, getting there and getting over everything takes longer than the even itself! Good grief. I get it now.
2. “Life is so daily.” I thought I understood this concept when I sat at the same desk every day, listening to the same instructors, wearing the same clothes, practicing the same pieces, etc. Now I understand what you meant a little better. The baby wakes, feed the baby. Try to eat something before the baby steals it from you. Play with the baby so she’ll develop mentally and so I won’t feel guilty for putting her in front of a 30-minute program instead of doing my part in her mental and social development. (It’s okay, she isn’t the least bit interested in television anyway. A horrible discovery made on a day when all I wanted was five minutes to myself to make a cup of coffee and drink it before it went lukewarm.) Baby down for nap, scramble around to pick up toys, clean up dishes from last night, do laundry, exercise, take shower (hah!). Baby wakes! Feed baby, feed self (again, hah!), play with baby, try to get out in the fresh air, even if that means a walk down to the laundromat to put the clothes in the dryer, read to baby, baby down for nap. Pick house up again after Hurricane Adelaide blew through, get dinner ready, relax for a half hour or so, baby wakes! Feed baby, husband home, feed husband. Hang out with family (bliss), baby down for the night. Mama down for the night. Every once in a while we spice up the daily days with a little trip to the grocery or the pediatrician’s office, Bible study, or the park. It’s so frustrating because, even as I look at it written down, it doesn’t seem like it should be exhausting, but I am exhausted after every day! Not horrible exhaustion, but enough that on my nights off, I really don’t even want to put the effort into dragging myself out into society.
3. You used to talk about high-pitched sounds hurting your teeth. I thought you were crazy until I got my first migraine. Then I just figured that I felt hurting in my head and somehow you felt migraine pain in your jaw and it hurt your teeth. Well, Adelaide has developed this screech that I can feel literally reverberating in my molars. It’s forgivable because usually it’s a happy sound. But not always. And of course when it’s an angry sound, it makes more than just my molars hurt, let me tell you.
4. Laundry. Once you told me that one of the most defeating feelings was doing laundry all day long, only to find a sock at the bottom of the hamper when you went to bed at night. “Good grief, woman,” I thought. “It’s a sock, for heaven’s sake. Just wash it the next time you do laundry.” Ohhhhh Mama. I’m so so so so sorry. Laundry is an all-day event for us, mostly because I put it off until all three of us have zero clean clothes left and we have yet to move to a community where public nudity is generally accepted. After a day of dragging detergent, coins, keys, and baskets of overflowing laundry down to our laundromat, the sight of Adelaide’s dirty clothes at the end of the day sitting in her almost-empty hamper sometimes makes me want to pull my hair out. I started this motherhood thing out thinking I would always have my baby in cute, clean outfits. Now, a mere eight and a half months in, if it doesn’t smell (and sometimes if it does), I just leave it on her.
5. “Unnecessary noise.” This one is probably the phrase that evoked the most annoyance in my when I was younger. You couldn’t handle unnecessary noise, whether it be the ticking of your blinker in the car, the tapping of my pencil while I tried to solve a math problem, the clicking of my metronome when I practiced, the tapping of my toes as I washed dishes, the jingling of coins in a pocket while standing still in conversation, etc. It was so easy for me to tune those things out, why couldn’t you? I realize now that there are some noises that refuse to be tuned out. Adelaide has this bouncer that in many ways is a lifesaver. I can put her in it and know she’s not going to roll/crawl over to something that could pose a threat to her health, well-being or happiness. However, it has the most aggravating tune that plays over and over and over and over and over and irritates the crap out of me! And even if I turn the sound off (which I don’t usually do, because she loves the music), there’s the rattles in the bouncer that, well, rattle. Incessantly. Sometimes (brace yourself, you’re not going to believe this one), when I’m in the car by myself, I turn the radio off and drive in silence, enjoying the silence. I KNOW! I’m as shocked as you are. Never thought I’d see the day.
6. “Brain like a sieve.” That’s how you referred to your memory issues. Others call it “mommy brain” and blame it on our children sucking our brains out, much like zombies. Whatever you want to call it, it’s real. It’s so hard to figure things out in my head now, like simple math, or recalling words, or heaven forbid trying to gather enough focus to read an entire article, let alone a book. Remember what the article said? No, I don’t. Sorry. Read it for yourself. I feel so dumb sometimes. It’s a good thing Daddy bought that nice frame for my Cal diploma, otherwise I wouldn’t believe I was actually once intellectually capable of attending such a fine university. Probably the most telling part of having a mommy brain lie a sieve: I couldn’t even remember that I wanted to include this in my note to you. I knew I had thought of something else I wanted to write about, but for the life of me, I couldn’t remember what it was. And of course I hadn’t taken the time to write it down. When I finally did remember... Oh, the irony wasn’t lost on me. No ma’am.
I’m sure there are many more things that I will want to recant now that I’m a mama. I’ll end with two things I know I’ll never take back:
1. “You’ll never know how much I love you until you have your own baby.” I said this to Adelaide without even thinking, and instantly remembered you saying it to me a million times. And you’re right. It’s not a love that can be explained, only experienced. And you loved me so much.
2. You were the best Mommie. Ever. And I will never, ever take that back.
I love you forever.
-Your Bluebird of Happiness