|Sure I'm biased... but ain't he cute?|
May 6, 2012? Best. Day. Ever.
At any rate, my first year as a mom has been quite the emotional learning experience. I was reflecting on some of these things this morning while Will was napping and I thought I would share them with you here. These are in no particular order and certainly not the only things I've learned... just some I thought worth sharing.
You'll Find Creative Ways to Say "No"
As Will started to become more mobile and get into more and more things, I found myself saying the words "No, Will, please" more... and more... and more often. Right around the time this was starting to become my default statement it seemed like, I read something that while you're trying to help your child shape his world that you should come up with various new ways to redirect them to other things. So sure, I still say "No", but I've also found ways to get my point across in other ways. Words like "Please don't grab at your penis" (during diaper changes) and "Down, baby, poop is yucky" (when he's pulling up on the diaper pail) and "Move! Hot! Ouchies!" (obvious here) in firm tones have started to enter into my daily routine as well. I'm also starting to get great at saying "yes" instead of "no"; when Will's heading for something that's a "no", I'll find a "yes" then pick him up, move him over to it, and start getting excited about how great it is. ("Down, baby, poop is yucky... but look! It's a pan lid! It makes NOISE! AWESOME!")
Shopping Takes Longer
Going to the grocery store, for me, used to be a stress reliever. Seriously. I LOVE going to the grocery store. With Will, I still love going out to the stores to get errands done but I have found that it does take longer - and he's not even walking yet. I get stopped by old ladies and store clerks who want to goo-goo over my kid (I'm past the "don't touch him" phase, but I still wash his hands... still weird... I don't touch them randomly...). Random people who have kids and grandkids will ask what milestone he's at and then convey some story about their now adult children and when they did things. Sometimes a diaper change will need to take place in order to keep the Peanut happy. The reasons vary, but the truth of the matter is that I need to plan to add at least a 15-20 minute buffer any time I go out shopping now. I don't mind it, I still enjoy shopping, but it's just different now.
Dinner is an Olympic Sport
I love cooking. I love to get in the kitchen, take my time, create a meal with the ingredients in my fridge & pantry, and present the end results for consumption. These days, however, dinner needs to be planned out, paced out, and rarely has the time or space for creativity. I have a 60-90 minute window from the time that Steve gets home and we start Will's bedtime routine to get dinner on the table, feed Will (which can sometimes be an event in and of itself), get dinner off the table, and clean the kitchen. Oh, and sometimes I even get to hang out with the boys for a few minutes. I am blessed in that I have a husband who has recognized that dinner time has now become an Olympic event and has jumped into the process to help it run a bit smoother (he'll often clean up most of the kitchen while I finish feeding Will), but man oh man... Monday-Friday dinner is C-R-A-Z-Y most days.
That Kids' Song? You Have a Favorite Version...
I never realized that there was more than one version of some of the old kids' songs I sang in elementary school. Songs like "The Wheels on the Bus", "Down By the Bay", and even "The Alphabet Song". I have a Pandora account, and when I found out I was pregnant I set up a kids' station and started to shape it with various songs like the ones I just mentioned. Working full-time, I didn't pay a truckload of attention to it because really... when you're selling airplane parts it doesn't matter that when Mother Duck quacked that no little ducks came waddling back. However, now that I'm home I pay a lot more attention to the songs that come on while I sing along to them with - or I guess for at this point - Will. So yes, I am here to say that I have a favorite version of most kids' songs right now. I especially have a favorite version of "Five Little Monkeys" called "No More Monkeys" by Asheba. It's great. Seriously.
Now you can have it in your head for days! I love this version. Seriously.
Being a Parent is Seriously Like Nothing Else Ever
If you're pregnant with your first child and you're reading this, you need to know that everyone who finds out you're pregnant is going to tell you that it is the best thing that will ever happen to you. They'll stress "No, seriously, it's awesome" like you don't believe them. I can assure you that it's not that they think that you don't believe them. The reason, I've discovered, for this additional emphasis on the awesomeness of being a parent is because it's virtually impossible to put into words how awesome it really is. Sure, there are days that can be incredibly frustrating and moments when you just want to crawl and hide. What I've learned, however, is that watching as this person - who did NOT EXIST before and that YOU NURTURED INSIDE YOUR BODY - grows and becomes more and more independent, more and more autonomous, and more and more a person unto themselves is the most rewarding, unspeakably amazing experience I've ever had. Being Will's Mommy has single-handedly clouded over most other experiences I've had. Being a parent alongside Steve while we raise this little person into - eventually, and faster than I'd prefer - into a little man is the single biggest blessing we've ever received.
There really is nothing else like it in the world.
I am wrapping this up as I hear his babbles come over the monitor as he wakes up from his second nap on the day. I'm going to go get him and spend some time with him like I do every afternoon when he wakes up. These are moments to cherish... I don't want to miss any.