1. my life can be summed up by the metaphor of purses.
i was trying to explain to krispin how i felt so exhausted the other day trying to find my lip balm. the thing is, my lip balm could be in any of the various bags and purses strewn throughout the apartment, and i just didn’t have the energy to go rummaging through them all.
i have the diaper bag, of course, which is my purse most days but is also the walking fun-bag for the ramona baby (and i mean that in 2 ways, both toy and formula related). we could live out of that bag for a week in the wilderness. we are just that prepared.
i have my school backpack (yes i am the teacher now and i still lug a backpack around. i am really trying to upgrade this one but have yet to find anything functional yet) which is crammed with so many dry erase markers and random short-vowel sound flash cards it makes my head hurt
i have my community english class tote, which is filled with crumpled pages, random esl books, and several very slobbered upon toys. also keys.
and then, for the precious times when i go out sans baby/class to teach i carry a . . . . nothing. i just stick a couple of things (debit card, id, cash [yeah right, who carries cash anymore] cell phone) in the pocket of whatever pants/sweatshirt/jacket i happen to be wearing. i should probably get some sort of small purse for these occasions, but i love the illusion of being unencumbered.
so, when i need my lip gloss (or keys or phone or driver’s license or or or) i have to run through a checklist of what i did last and where i am going next and this just reminds me of the one hundred other checklists that all need to be completed at some point before the next thing happens (diapers? wipes? lesson plan? worksheets printed? breath mints? water bottle? sun hat? dark chocolate? current episodes of Fresh Air on my ipod?). which part of my life am i living right now? which bag do i need.
see, it’s all a metaphor. but also, i really do have a bunch of different bags with a bunch of different crap in them. and it makes me feel tired sometimes.
2. i HATE developmental surveys.
the drs. office called yesterday and said we needed to fill out a 10 month questionnaire before ramona’s appointment today. i could feel my heart sinking as i read over the questions and mentally checked 90% of the boxes as “not yet” (they should have been marked NO, NO MY BABY DOES NOT DO THAT–insert normal behavior here–SO SOMETHING IS REALLY WRONG, RIGHT? that was what i was getting).
and again, i know that she is not THAT behind, but it still is aggravating to be rudely poked out of the bubble that we have built for ourselves. that there is some catching up to do.
3. there is nothing that makes my feel more accomplished than multi-tasking. because usually i am crap at it (just try asking anyone who has tried to have a conversation with me while i am reading).
me and krispin have been trying to get more in shape for the past several months, and i was always slightly resentful to spend precious nap-time minutes on sweating it up.
so, i stole my mom’s jogging stroller and ramona and i have been hitting the town! i am extremely excited to
a. get out in the sunshine (which is a double yay, since there has actually been some to be out in recently!)
b. keep the ramona baby somewhat happy during waking hours
c. PHYSICAL FITNESS!
so, we pretty much feel awesome.
and there are my random thoughts for the week. now, we are off to the drs. to hopefully not get traumatized but rather encouraged. and then multnomah falls! let’s bring on the summer.
So I get these e-mails from babycenter, and it has always been rather annoying (no matter what I do, I can’t get the e-mails for her adjusted age, and so I always feel despondent when I read about what Ramona “should” be doing–and yet I still read them). And the other day it was all about how 8 month old babies should be crawling and getting bruises and blah blah blah and I am sitting there thinking “the Ramona baby can’t even sit up yet”. And then I click the link about When I should start to be concerned and this pops up:
|7 to 9 months|
So yeah, it’s a warning sign. Now, Ramona officially turned 8 months old 3 days ago, and her adjusted age is really somewhere around the 6 month mark, so I was going to give myself a good week or two before I let my brain go to the place of “something is wrong with my baby”. And then this happened today:
In other news, we have made it 8 months. I feel like I deserve some sort of award, or certificate or a donut named after me for this accomplishment.
for awhile there i thought the whole preemie business was going to be a piece of cake.
when i was in the hospital, sick as a dog, i dreamed about the day we could take ramona home–far away from the fluorescent lights and iv’s and nurses doing everything i wanted to do for my baby. i knew the first couple of weeks would consist of us sitting around the apartment together, doing kangaroo care and watching daytime tv. this sounded absolutely heavenly, and for two weeks this is what kept us going through the hospital time.
and it really was great. exhausting, but great. even when she didn’t wake up, we had to make sure ramona was eating every 3 hours. and she had her days and nights mixed up (in the NICU the lights were on all the time and it was pretty noisy, which didn’t help the transition at all) but all she did was sleep, eat, and poop.
now, for the past couple of weeks, she has really started to wake up and make her personality known. she seems so alert and so opinionated at such an early age that it was hard for me to think about her as being her “adjusted age”, or the age she would be had she been born on her due date. i also signed up for this e-mail that tells you about all the milestones babies tend to hit on a week to week basis. this was probably not the best idea ever, as i now know what “normal” 10 week old babies are like, as opposed to how my baby really is.
i took her in to the pediatricians on wednesday and she asked me a series of question based on ramona being 2 months old. i felt a growing sense of despondency as i answered no again and again: no, she hasn’t smiled, no she doesn’t babble, no she doesn’t hold her head up for extended periods of time . . . the pediatrician frowned and looked at me. i told her i wasn’t worried about it, seeing as she really is only a 2 1/2 week old based on her adjusted age. the doctor looked at me and then said well then i’m not worried about it either. i’m sure by the 4 month check up she will have caught up.
all of the sudden i was worried. and i continued to be anxious for the rest of the day, searching desperately for any hint of a smile or a coo from ramona. but she just furrowed her brow and was silent (or crying) and i just knew there was something developmentally wrong with her.
i think this is a fear that all mother’s go through: the fear that there is something wrong with their baby.
i know for a fact we really dodged a bullet with ramona’s birth, as there are a myriad of things that could have gone wrong with her being so early. but she has been perfect in every way, and when you take into account her adjusted age, she is flying with colors (is this a real expression or did i just make that up?). in retrospect i am a little peeved that her doctor chose to judge ramona based off what is “normal” developement instead of observing where she is at for her circumstances.
i choose to look at it the latter lens.
just today, for instance, ramona started babbling away to my mom (grammi). i have been too intense and anxious to really interact in a playful way with ramona for the past several days, staring intently into her round little face for signs of developmental milestones that i wanted to will into existence. my mom, on the other hand, sees it as her goal to play and interact with her at all moments–to which ramona responds with exercising her attempts at talking!
i think grandparents have a lot to teach us on being relaxed parents.
i have a feeling the whole milestone thing isn’t going to go away overnight, but i really hope that i can continue to learn and enjoy my baby for every stage that she is in.