I haven’t done well “just showing up” over the past couple of days. My work persona runs on autopilot and numerous opportunities to be present and open and truthful are glossed over by a goddamned can-do work attitude. Working at work isn’t bad, it’s just sometimes not all that needs to be done. I’ve bemoaned my multiple personas before. When I try to think of which is the most honest and accurate, I think it’s me with Z. Me with my parents still carries that childish burden of wanting to impress them and make them proud. Me with my sisters strives to be cool, can be overly testy, and still plays the part of the little sister trying to make her way to the big kids’ table. But me with Z can curse without feeling self-conscious, can get mad without worrying about hurt feelings, and can cry and complain and be emotional without feeling the need to explain. I spend a lot of time justifying my feelings to myself because my gut and I have trust issues and emotions just seem to emotional to be trusted. Every day is a new one, though. Today I’ll try again to show up, to be a thoughtful but non-pushovery mother, and to be a good person to myself and the world.
Lucky little Connor, unburdened with any thoughts other than those of Lightning McQueen, what cartoon he wants to watch, and if he can have another piece if “square” (American) cheese. His twos haven’t quite turned terrible, but they continue to be exhausting and exhilarating at turns. Tonight, when he knew he would have to stop watching “Cars” because of bedtime, he put his head on Z’s lap, said “I love you, Dad,” and then followed it up with “Not going to turn it [the movie] off!” Z looked at me and asked “Did he just try to butter me up so he could keep watching?” I nodded my head dejectedly; kids are damn manipulative and at such a young age. I don’t know if he picked this up from me, but he’s started doing this new thing where he’ll get very sweet by laying his head on my belly or putting my hand on his face then say, “Mooshi, mooshi, mooshi,” which I interpret at “Smooshy, smooshy, smooshy” or “Smoochy, smoochy, smoochy,” all things that I could imagine myself saying. I love that crazy kid.
Little Pea (not to rub it in your faces, but we have a name that we’re not telling yet. How’s that for dangling a bone?) is doing well. At my next appointment I’ll be 35 (insert “Home Alone” hands on cheeks face here) weeks along and thismuch closer to seeing if my calm at the prospect of having two kids can hold up to the hype. We have done no work to the nursery and have done minimal prep for the actual arrival of a new being. I know where the bassinet, my breast milk storage supplies, burpy cloths, and baby clothes are so I feel that – at least for the first few weeks – we’ll be a-ok. I started reading about baby sleep schedules, though, and realize how little I remember from Connor’s infant days. How did we navigate that maze of integrating a new life into your own and vice versa? We just did, and we just will do again.
As many questions and uncertainties that exist in my life, my role as a mother is the one that I’m most confident in. That’s saying a lot considering how much you have all read of the doubts I throw to the wind on just about every topic including child-rearing. I feel in control as Mom because I know what I say goes. In every other facet of my life I feel that what I say is just a suggestion, not a power statement to be followed because damnit I’m right and even if I’m not I’m not backing down now because you don’t know I’m not right. I put myself in the child position in every other relationship in my life. I’m doing it to myself. I don’t have to back down to everyone, I just do. It is my decision. It’s always been my decision. I’m going to have to chew on that for a while.