Me: Angus, what was your favourite part of school today?
Angus: Ummm. Ummm. Lunchtime.
Me: Great, was it being with the other kids and eating your lunch or playing on the playground?
Angus: No, just eating lunch.
Me: Yeah that’s a highlight of my day too.
Angus: Oh, there were two favourite things at school today.
Me: What was the other?
Angus: Eating recess snack.
I had a couple days last week of feeling *really down*. Wow, if this is what Post-Partum Depression is like it really sucks. I couldn’t let go of anything, everything was bugging me, doing much of anything felt like too much. There’s been a lot going on. Angus has started school and when I watch him print his name, I think – oh my god we should have been practicing more of this. I suck as a parent. And I try to remind myself that he’s starting Primary and not writing his LSATs but last week I was feeling too low for it to make much difference.
And then Leo’s newborn schedule just wears on me. Most days I’m doing everything every two hours and by dinnertime its getting seriously old. It’s physically exhausting crouching over the crib shushing him for what feels like hours. By the end of the day I think if I have to put this kid to sleep one more time I’ll rip my eyes out.
Sometimes I put him in the truck and go do a short errand because he goes to sleep great in anything with wheels and it’s one less time I have to do it. And then I think how can I complain? He’s such a good baby. (Although I hate that term, what’s the alternative - Bad Babies?? Do they wear black eyeliner and leather and crawl around committing acts of vandalism?) But then I feel shitty that I’m feeling shitty and so I have to stop trying to talk myself out of it. I can only remind myself, he’s a random newborn, this is how he rolls, you’ll figure it out. But the two days last week, that didn’t really help.
Nancy on Weeds actually had a “I suck as a mother” moment towards the end of the last season and she does absolutely suck as a mother. I think that’s one of the reasons I like the show, there is no Perfect Mother Mythology operating there. The only other time she showed any regret was when she was ordering a gift basket for Silas’ 18th birthday as she was leaving town and said the card should read “thanks for raising yourself”. But she’s just recently had a baby on the show, so it turns out the moments of doubt happen to everyone, even TV characters. I’m loving that show and can’t wait to find out what will happen with Tijuana mayor boyfriend, or Gangster Baby Daddy as Alannis Morrisette’s character calls him. And hasn’t she been great? I thought she was pretty new to acting and to be pulling off those sex scenes is pretty gutsy.
But anyhoo, HoneyBunny reminds me when I”m catatrophizing that that’s not really like me. He says, “don’t get all PPD on me!” He’s just terrified of being responsible for two kids while his partner wanders around like a freaked out zombie. And who can blame him.
It still feels weird to say kids plural, how did this happen exactly? And it’s funny how quick your sense of things change. We dropped Angus off at a sleepover recently and stopped to have dinner and Leo slept through it. At one point we were having way too much fun enjoying our relaxed pizza and beer and I said, “isn’t it weird how when you have two kids, having only one kid with you is like having no kids?”. And HB somehow knew what I meant and agreed.
Another thing that changes is your perspective on gas. Before parenting a baby you don’t want to know about anyone’s gas preferably not even your own. But when you have a baby and he has an unhappy belly and you hear him fart you’re like – yaye! a fart!! Who knew you could get so excited about gas? I want a tshirt that says “I heart baby farts”.
But I am getting more into the swing of things. I’ve now placed blankets for laying Leo down in strategic places around the house – on a kitchen counter corner for making caffeinated drinks and meals. On the table where we eat meals and where I drink said caffeinated drinks while I try to remember what day it is. Also on the computer desk for checking weather, email and writing this blog post.
He will also lay on the big bathroom bathmat while I shower or wash my face. He loves it there. And I don’t need to understand it, I just know to take advantage of it. I think he associates it with taking his own bath which he loves. He will lie on the bathroom mat for some time cooing at the garbage can and practicing his kicking and punching. The kid has an awesome right hook at 2 1/2 months, who knew.
So now Angus is going to school tear-free and is being taught to print his name by seasoned professionals. I’m reminding myself that I have 18 or so years to figure out what makes Leo tick and in the meantime I promise to try to have better posture while I shush him to sleep. And I’ll be grateful I don’t have PPD for more than 2 days at a time.