Thursday, January 26, 2012

Life As I Know It

A typical day starts out for me between 7 and 7:30am, whenever my little rugrat decides to wake me up with his babbles. Looking over at the monitor, I’ll see he has moved about 90 degrees from where he fell asleep. His legs are either sticking out of the bars on his crib, or are straight up in the air as he wiggles his toes to the camera. "Di-dah! Da-da! Mmmmmmaaaah! Titttthhhhh!", he babbles. I roll over. He’s not crying, so I’ll give myself an extra five minutes of sleep.


Alright, alright I get it. I’m up.

I shuffle into his room and as soon he sees me a wide smile appears on his little face and his arms and legs jerk all around in a horizontal happy dance.No amount of grogginess can prevent me from reciprocating that infectious smile of his.

He then nurses for half a second and then its time for what I like to call Diaper Change Wrestling. Seriously, it should be made into an Olympic sport because of its difficulty and the amount of strength and energy that must be put forth into changing his diaper. Omar’s always been a wiggly worm, and the more mobile he gets, the harder it is to get him to lay still long enough to change his diaper. He’s rolling around in both directions, sometimes ending up on his belly in a crawling position, trying to grab at anything that’s near him (toys, changing mat, tissue, my hair…) all while I’m trying to wipe his poopy bottom down and trying to prevent him from kicking his feet into his own poop (I’m not always successful). In theory, it should take two people to do this successfully and prevent any accidents. However, since I’m usually alone, I’ve somehow got to manage it with two arms and two elbows (yes, elbows need come in play at times). Sometimes I wish I could sprout hands like one of those Hindu gods. Oh the things I could do while holding the baby! Sigh…

After my morning workout via Diaper Change Wrestling, its playtime in his swing while Mama chugs coffee and checks emails (and Facebook and Twitter of course). I really do need to chug my coffee because if I take my time sipping on it, chances are its going to go cold before I get a chance to finish it. Omar tends to have the attention span of a goldfish (especially if he’s tied down in his swing) and will start to complain for a change of scenery after about oh, three minutes. I move him down to the rug where his toys are still scattered about from last night. He picks up where he left off and I go to make his rice cereal. If we manage to go through the meal without him getting cereal in his hair or eyebrows, it’s a successful breakfast.

A little more playing time and then Omar starts rubbing his eyes. Ah, its time for his morning nap. Now, most people have this image of babies falling asleep: being cradled by mommy, eyes slowing closing, laying peacefully still while being rocked to Hush Little Baby.

Not my child.

I do cradle and rock him before putting him in his crib, and Hush Little Baby is playing in the background, but the peacefully falling asleep thing is only an image in a long lost dream of mine. No, my child prefers to pinch my neck, face, stick his fingers in my mouth, pull my hair, do a can-can dance with his legs, turn over in my arms, all while his eyes are closing and he’s drifting off into sleep. Once he’s so close to being asleep, I put him in his crib. And sometimes he does drift off into deep sleep on his own. But most of the time, some mysterious electric charge hits him as soon as he hits the mattress and he’s kicking and flailing his arms about, eyes wide open as if sleep wasn’t even near him two seconds ago. He’s not crying, just awake. I give him a hug and kiss and leave the room. Watching on the baby monitor, he’s rolling around back and forth, kicking his legs up, trying to suck his big toe, all while babbling. Since he’s been crawling, he likes to practice in his crib when he’s supposed to be sleeping. He’ll roll over onto all fours and lunge his body forward while forgetting to move his arms and legs. Upon realizing that he hasn’t gone anywhere, he bursts into tears. He’s perfectly capable of rolling back onto his back himself, but just remains there, on all fours, crying for “MMMMAAAAAHHHH” to come rescue him from this predicament. I’m quite convinced now that he does this on purpose just to get me back into the room. It’s so pathetic it actually works. After going back in his room about 4 or 5 times rolling him back over, he finally falls asleep.

In the 30 minutes that I have while he’s sleeping, I eat breakfast and try to get some laundry done. I feel like I never finish laundry, so it is really part of my everyday life.  Some days we go to the mall in the morning, in which case I’m eating breakfast while getting dressed so that we can make it on time before the driver leaves.

The rest of the day is usually spent in some variation of all the above: playing, eating, sleeping. Sometimes he’ll treat me to an hour or hour and a half nap where I can do a number of things, maybe even take a nap! But that doesn’t happen often. People that tell you to sleep when the baby sleeps must be blessed with a good sleeping baby.  Its rare that Omar is sleeping long enough for me to get some shut-eye, and even so, there are about 546 things I need to be doing that are hard to do while he’s awake. Such as eating, or studying, or simply taking a few minutes to restore my sanity by staring blankly at the TV. If my husband’s in town, when he comes home from work he does take Omar off my hands, but that time for me means I’m in the kitchen making dinner. Between all of that and trying to have somewhat of a social life and taking Omar to Gymboree classes and trying to keep the house a live-able place, I feel like I just don’t stop until I faceplant on the bed at night (which is sometimes as early as 9:30pm).

I’ve been leaving Omar with some oh-so-kind neighbors every once in a while for an hour or so just so I can get some “me” time, or sleep. Since most of my attention is focused so much on my son, and whatever is left goes to my poor husband (who also deserves more!), I have been completely neglecting myself. I noticed this when I got on the scale a few weeks ago and realized that I weighed less than I did when I got pregnant. SCARY. I’ve lost all my pregnancy weight and more, and if you know me, you know that’s not a good thing. I looked sick, had zero self-confidence and energy, and more baggage than Heathrow airport under my eyes.  I became depressed. That’s when I decided to start leaving Omar with my neighbors so I could use that time to take care of myself. I’ve been working out which has tremendously helped my energy, confidence, and overall mood. And my body of course. I’ve been more conscious of my eating, and making sure I’m eating enough to make up for all the energy I lose taking care of and nursing Omar.

Bottom line, my life is crazy. Some people think being a stay-at-home mom and wife is all play and no work. SO not the case. Or it isn’t with me at least. Of course, I love it and there’s nothing else I’d rather be doing right now. I applaud you mommies out there who are working full time and taking care of your babies and husbands. ‘Motherhood is not easy’ is the understatement of the century, no matter how you go about it. But the blessings make it worth it, and one day I know I’ll look back at that day that I got puked on right after I had changed from getting peed on, and laugh. I'm always exhausted, but I’m getting better at it every day. I’ve learned to somehow function on 4 hours of sleep. I’ve learned to accept that my child fights sleep like the plague and he may never go through an entire night without waking up…or ever get teeth. I may very well have to deal with his teething and sleep-hatred for the rest of my life. But then I look at Omar smiling and squealing while we’re dancing to Party Rock Anthem and realize these good moments will pass with the bad ones, so I count my many blessings and enjoy it. 


This smile is what keeps me going! Allah ye7mi :)

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