Mommy knows best…

I write this as my baby lies beside me on a Baby Einstein jungle gym kicking her legs wildly and causing rattles to shake. She is happily cooing and smiling as she stares at a faraway spot on the wall because the dangling toys and numerous singing, shaking and colorful items hanging from her jungle gym are just not as interesting as that one spot on the wall. Half the time we don’t know what she is staring at but she seems quite content with simple things. I sometimes wish we were the same…

She sucks on her pacifier and makes a loud noise which is why my husband and I jokingly call her Maggie Simpson. Our baby girl is often impressed with our many facial gestures and lip smacking sounds. She will tolerate a few kisses from me but then start to whine and threaten to cry if I overdo it. She has a personality already and seems to know what she likes and what she doesn’t. She is also very expressive and her pout melts my heart and makes me want to do ANYTHING on earth and heaven to make her happy and not pout anymore.

I write this blog with a few issues in mind.

1) I am becoming so in tune with my baby that I just know what she wants all the time. My husband will look at me and ask “What’s wrong with her?” and I am able to respond “She is tired” or “She is hungry” or “She wants to poopoo”. I think the special mommy data chip that was inherently placed by God in mothers has been activated and now I know best… So when she looks at me now, I can read her mind and her cries. There is nothing more spectacular than guessing it right. It is such a rush when she sleeps because I knew she wanted to or eat because I called it. I feel like an age old line of communication has just been opened and I am privy to every thought and fleeting emotion. It’s a gift and I am both humbled and grateful for it.

2) A secondary, yet equally important, issue concerns the marriage or relationship between the father and mother. I find that there are endless and often senseless arguments that ensue soon after bringing the baby home. I am NOT complaining about my husband but after talking with other new parents, I found a common trend. We are so tired all the time that we start getting on each other’s nerves. There is also the inability to be intimate as well as the added stress of caring for a dependant human being that adds stress to a marriage/relationship. The truth is, I adore my husband and I think I am in love with him now more than ever! However, we find ourselves arguing about the silliest things like how to wash the baby bottles or why the television was too loud and when should the baby sleep in the crib. Wow… apparently we each think we know what is best for the baby and sometimes we disagree on methodologies and ideologies. I am almost afraid of what the future holds when she is two or three or… fourteen! She is not even two months yet and we are being challenged by the very essence of parenting options. So what should we do?

Here is what worked for us- self-awareness. We know when we are lashing out at the other person because we are exhausted and mentally fatigued. We are so aware of it that we state “I am tired right now so please forgive my short temper”. We are both overwhelmed with the task of caring for a newborn baby full-time with little or no time to ourselves. We are also missing the days where we actually spent time with one another and slept in on holidays. So now that we know all this, we communicate regularly, apologize repeatedly and vent frequently. We remind each other that she is a gift and that we are so fortunate to be parents. Then we try and remember to say “I love you” to one another because that was the basis and reason for our daughter’s existence in the first place.

3) Each baby is different and unique. I know this now for certain because three of my best friends have babies and we are all just a few months apart. Truth is, there is no hard set rule and no regimented timeline to when each baby will perform a certain function. So as I fret as to why my baby is not smiling yet, another baby has yet to learn holding their own bottle and while my baby can coo, another baby can only cry. So I learned to respect and love my baby for everything she can do and everything she is yet to learn. Though I must admit, it is very hard to read her a book when she won’t even look where I want her to look but she has her own mind and I need to respect that. I guess she just loves that spot on the wall that is just left of my right ear.

I am also beginning to see humour in the little things in life because that is what she taught me. I really think farting is funny now. She smiles every time and makes me smile too. Her smiles also come after a really loud burp and I have to admit, she sounds a bit like a drunken sailor when she belches. She also finds the quietest and often times, busiest places to share her wondrous bodily functions of gas expulsions. She likes to let the really loud ones rip at church when there is that moment of silence after a prayer or at the grocery store when we are in line. She also loves to cry just as we enter the doctor’s office or friend’s gathering. My husband and I have also noticed a pattern in her behaviour. She is an angel when people are around but at night when everyone is gone and it’s just us three- she turns… Mrs. Hyde comes out at almost midnight and the screaming, playing, alertness and constant need for attention begins. Funny that this is exactly when she used to be up and kicking me while I was pregnant. She is going to be a night owl and we are in for it!

So now she is sleeping and before I sign off to go shower, shampoo, snack and sleep- I would like to share one more thing I wrote in my head as I was feeding her last night at 3 am…

Typical thoughts of a newborn baby (If only we can hear them out loud)

I am hungry, oh what’s this- are those my fingers- whoa, I am starving I need to eat NOW! Where is everyone- oh there is someone holding me, I need to cry louder- what’s this, where is my bottle?? Hello, don’t you know I’m starving- oh did I already mention- I AM HUNGRY, I need to eat something now, oh, what’s this? My fingers again, nope, no milk coming out of this hand, I will try the other one if I can find it now… oh there it is. Someone is talking to me and I have no idea what they are saying but I know that they are not listening- HELLO. STARVING HERE… oh what will I do… it is so hard being hungry, my stomach is tight and I need to eat now… oh…oh… there we go… I feel so pleased now even though it took forever… oh wait a minute why did you take the bottle out of my mouth… BBBBUUURRRRPPPPP… oh that felt good but now I am starving, where oh where is my bottle… ok, here we go… I think I am full so I will spit out the last 10 milliliters I drank just to prove that I am done with this. Oh, I think I did something in my diaper, I need a change, Hello?? Change me!! I need a change NOW!! It is wet and sticky but I am so sleepy. Closing my eyes and drifting- OH MY GOODNESS where the heck is that draft coming from? Oh, I am getting a new diaper… wow, so nice not to feel wet anymore but I am now unhappy because I was sleepy and you zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz…

Hope you enjoyed the trip into what I think is my baby’s mind… feel free to share your babies’ thoughts. It is actually a fun exercise!

Until next time…

SMartignani

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