Some Things Just Aren’t The Same

I love books.  There’s something utterly relaxing about curling up with your favorite  and a cup of tea.  An excellent afternoon is spending a few hours browsing the local bookstore, usually with a hot chocolate, letting the titles grab me and draw me into another world.

Since I became a mother, those afternoons are now few and far between.  The closest I come now is lounging on my couch, downloading free samples on my kindle, hoping my son stays asleep long enough for me to find something I like.

Last night, I had that bookstore itch.  I had to go.  I decided that as soon as my husband got home from work, I was going to escape for the evening.

So, naturally, my husband called me in the middle of the afternoon and told me he would be working late into the evening.  Despondently, I picked up my kindle.

My son, who had been engrossed in a toy, made a beeline for me. He pulled himself up to the couch, shuffled crab-like over to me, and stared me down.

I patted him on the head, made googly eyes at him, then went back to my kindle.  This was clearly not enough involvement for him.  Children seem to have an uncanny ability to grab for things you couldn’t possibly think they could reach.   Boom!  Smack went the hand, and off went my kindle, somersaulting in the air and onto the floor.  Olympic judges would have given it a 5.6.  Then my sweet little angel gave me the most devilish grin.

It was clear to me that I wasn’t going to read anything.  But I’m stubborn. I refused to be defeated.  I was going to the bookstore.  It was getting on for my son’s bedtime, so I figured if I carried him in a baby carrier, there was a chance he’d doze while I  enjoyed the bookstore.  He was going to be restrained, how hard could it be?

At Barnes & Noble, I found the section of books I was looking for and started thumbing through them, with my son comfortably snuggled in his Ergo carrier.  But, as demonstrated earlier, my son has go-go-gadget arms.  And he likes to eat paper.

He squeezed his arms out of the confines of the Ergo and started batting them around maniacally.  Since he was strapped to me, my only course of action was to hold the book high above his head.  And above my head.

His arms flailed.  His lips smacked.  His head and body contorted trying to grab the book.  As determined as he was to get the book, I was just as determined to read it.  I’m not really sure why, at this point, I was just getting snippets of sentences.

I started swaying back and forth, hoping the gentle rocking would make him sleepy.  When that didn’t work, I started bouncing around a little bit.  Then I started whipping myself about, forward and backward, all the while bouncing.  And, then I started humming.

People started to stare.  Nobody dared walk down my aisle.  I must have been a sight; a book held high above my head, my eyes locked fast on it, all the while doing some kind of crazy, have-to-pee dance.

Gloria Estefan was right; eventually the rhythm is going to get you.

Realizing how strange I looked, I quickly put the book back on the shelf.  I kept my head low, eyes locked to the ground, and hurried out of the store before someone sent security for the possessed lady lurking in the horror section.

Clearly, things are no longer the same as they used to be.

Copyright 2011 Novice Mama All Rights Reserved.

Mommy Brain

A funny thing happens when you become pregnant.  There are the normal things; the fatigue, the nausea, the swelling, the waddle.  But, there was also the stupidity.  The sudden inability to do things that you used to be able to do without a second thought.  Unfortunately, it doesn’t go away after you pop that child out.  It’s something I affectionately call, “Mommy Brain.”

Mommy Brain can easily turn the most intelligent woman into a quivering mess.  You’ve fought a battle of wits against your own brain, and lost.  I have two theories for why your brain attacks you.  Either, the post-baby brain has developed narcolepsy, and falls asleep at the most inopportune times, or, while you were busy growing a mini-human in your uterus, your brain was busy growing a mini brain.  An evil mini brain set on this earth to smite you.  There is no protection from the evil mini brain, no armor will penetrate its defenses.  Your only course of action is to arm yourself with your angelic bundle of joy and use them as a scape goat.

To demonstrate Mommy brain, here is a list of the top 5 stupid things I’ve done, in no particular order.

One

I forgot what I was saying mid-sentence.  I didn’t just stumble on a word.  I didn’t just lose my train of thought (which also happens a lot).  I forgot I was in the middle of telling a story.  I had no idea why people were looking at me funny.

Two

I make coffee every morning, it’s a survival tool.  365 days a year I follow the same 5-step routine.

  1. Put water in coffee maker.
  2. Put basket in coffee maker.
  3. Put in a filter.
  4. Add coffee to filter.
  5. Push start.

Then, listen to the blissful gurgling as the coffee is made, and inhale the sweet, sweet aroma.  It’s a simple process, but it doesn’t work so well when Mommy Brain makes you bypass a step.  Like step #2.   Oh sure, the coffee maker will still brew the coffee, but I don’t recommend the final result.  It’s a lot harder to get the coffee into your cup.

Three

Since I’ve become a regular ole’ housewife, I do a lot more cooking, and I don’t mean opening a box of mac n’ cheese.  I’ve become quite an adept chef. I’ve been using my new-found culinary skills to whip up a variety of delicious meals I’m proud of.  But, just when my I start to see myself winning the award for ‘Best Chef Ever!’, Mommy Brain strikes with a vengeance. I boiled a pot of noodles last night, turned to the kitchen sink to drain the water into the strainer, and forgot the strainer.  Defeated, I made rice instead.

Four

You learn a lot in kindergarten and elementary school.  You might say that you learn the majority of all things you come to ‘just know’ at that time.  For example, you learn that metal conducts heat.  So, it’s not a surprise that when you add hot steamed rice to a metal bowl, the bowl gets hot.  Unless you have Mommy Brain.  If you have Mommy Brain, you pick up that bowl with your bare hands and walk away.  I’m proud to say I made it a good few steps before I shrieked and threw the bowl in the air.

Some days I think you’re just supposed to order a pizza.

Five

I like routines.  I have many.  They make me happy.  It should be no surprise then, that I have a routine when I’m in the shower.  Sorry, I guess we’re getting personal now. The basis of the shower routine is 4 simple steps.

  1. Lather shampoo in hair & rinse.
  2. Lather conditioner in hair and let it sit.
  3. Wash body sparkly clean with soap.
  4. Rinse conditioner.

It rarely varies.  I like my showers.  I like to let my mind wander and relax.  Mommy Brain joined me today in the shower.  One minute I am putting shampoo into my hair, and the next I’m rinsing, but I had no recollection of time.  Was I still on step #1?  Or was I on step #4?  I knew I had two choices – go through routine again to be safe (and potentially SUPER clean) which I didn’t really want to do, or check to see if the soap had been used.  I saw fresh, happy bubbles on the soap.

I was excited to be clean, but not so excited that Mommy Brain robbed me of my memory.

With further consideration, I think the only possible explanation for Mommy brain is option #2, evil mini brain.

Copyright 2011 Novice Mama All Rights Reserved.

The Dream of Sleep

When I found out I was pregnant, I knew that I was about to kiss those solid eight hours of sleep goodbye for a while.  I knew that I’d be waking up to a crying, hungry baby.

So, it was no surprise when, nine months later, I found myself sleep deprived and the only way I could tell if it was morning or evening was by looking outside.

What I didn’t realize at the time was just how long this sleep deprivation would last.  My beautiful baby boy is now eight months old and I’m still waiting for the night of no interruptions.

My mornings are now broken down into two categories.  The mornings where I’ve had limited interruptions and I feel refreshed and alive –

And the others.

I’d like to say that my husband experiences the bad nights alongside me, but his timing is remarkably uncanny.  I’m beginning to think it’s a conspiracy.

After deciding that it’s not worth the effort to wake my snoring hubby, especially since I’m not going back to sleep with all the noise he’s making, I stumble bleary-eyed over to my son’s crib.

My son recently learned to stand. He’s super smart; he can flip over, pull himself up and grab onto the crib railing in his sleep.  The downside is that it usually wakes him up, and then he’s confused.

He’s upset and now we’re both up, we might as well fix something tangible.  Like a wet diaper.

Changing a diaper of an eight-month old is no easy feat. A successful daytime diaper change is like wrestling a bear cub with ADHD.  But, at night, that bear cub has claws.  And growls.  And, for added protection, has armed himself with a fire hose.

It’s usually about this time, that I regret the decision for not waking up the slumbering giant in my bed.  I look down at my son, who is now quiet, happy, clean and dry and ready to be lulled back to sleep. I would love to go clean myself up, but one thing I’ve learned is that you don’t mess with the serenity that befalls a bear cub in the middle of the night.  So, I creep softly back to bed, feeling icky, to nurse him back to sleep.

Within seconds of the little one drifting back off to dream land, I join him. Frolicking merrily around in the land of deep sleep until…

This time, I’m not going to fall for the wet diaper trick again.  No, sir.  Little mister is coming to bed with me, for snuggles and nursing.  This way I only have to be half-conscious and can continue to stay in the warmth of my bed.

Apparently, staying in the bed doesn’t mean I’m going to be able to relax in it.  My baby has turned into the Tasmanian Devil and at 3 a.m., I am definitely not as quick-witted as Bugs Bunny.  I eventually have to reel the little devil in with the promise of warm milk and it works like a charm.  For a split second, looking at the sleeping beauty next to me, I forget all the crazy stuff.  But’s it’s 3 a.m. and it’s a quick second as I’m asleep again.

For most of the world, 6 a.m. is a perfectly respectable time to be up.  I have never agreed with this theory, especially when my alarm was beeping at me.   Now, as a stay-at-home mom, I feel that it is completely inappropriate to be up before the sun is.  My darling boy has not figured this out yet.  His toys are a’calling and he must answer.

My solution is now to bring the toys to him.  The quiet toys.  Mama is NOT getting up yet.

When my husband’s alarm goes off a few minutes later, he turns to me sweetly and says, “Did he wake up much last night?”

Definitely a coffee morning.

Copyright 2011 Novice Mama All Rights Reserved.