Wednesday, October 29, 2014

The order of things

Never before in my life have I been so in tune with the order things go in. All thanks to The Babe. "Me first!" is the most common phrase at our house right now. Followed in popularity by "no, that's not right!". She has to be first down the stairs, first to the car, first in the car and first pretty much everywhere else. She is also fixated on who does what. "I want DADDY to drive!" and "YOU get my water cup!" have left us in a bit of a conundrum - do we stand our ground, insisting that we will not be told what to do and then face the wrath of a grown McScreamy? Or do we kowtow to a 2-year-old's demands because some days it is just not worth the fight? It is infuriating to be bossed around by a tiny tyrant but, truth be told, some days I am so in my head that I am on autopilot and just get her the water cup without hesitation. Am I feeding the beast? (Let's be clear - the bossiness is the beast, not my child). 

The dictating also comes at a very loud volume, something which has been noticed by friends, family and now preschool, much to my horror. My ominous statement to my husband about receiving teacher comments in regards to her "inside voice" have already begun to come true. She is one loud and bossy toddler who insists thing be done a certain way, and while some days it is very cute that she wants to be first in the bathroom to get on the big potty but not before she takes off her own pants, other days I know my neighbours can hear me stating "Just get in the car! It doesn't matter that you didn't get to open the garage door today! WE ARE GOING TO BE LATE!!!"

Oh, I am beginning to have an idea where she got the loudness from. 

As I sit here on the couch, relishing a quiet moment because The Babe is at preschool and Baby Macaroni has fallen asleep in the play mat (amazing I know), I wonder how many other moms are feeling this pull? I want The Babe to be strong, confident and sure of herself, so I hesitate to always tell her to be quieter, not so loud. But I also want her to stop yelling! So I tell her to "shush, use your inside voice" or "stop telling me what to do" and then either feel guilty that I am stifling her or mad because she is only quiet for two minutes before going back to yelling at me from her bedroom. Gah!

I guess the silver lining, if there is one, is Baby Macaroni will probably be a heavy sleeper and good a lot taking direction due to her sister's bellowing commands. Right?

~ H

Monday, October 20, 2014

Maternity leave melancholy

I am entering month four of my maternity leave. Let me begin this post by saying of course I am extremely grateful for the lengthy maternity leaves I am able to take by being in Canada. I realize this is not the case for everyone. 

My first maternity leave was amazing, due mostly to the fact that I was able to connect with a group of moms from my prenatal yoga class who were all due within two weeks of my due date. We went through our maternity leaves together, filling our days with walks, sushi lunches, potlucks and a lot of tears, some happy and some sad. We supported one another. Then we slowly all started returning to work and life changed differently for each of us.

Fast forward to me on maternity leave now and there is no close group of 6 moms with babies the exact same age as mine. I also now have a toddler to add to the mix who has her own schedule. So I am finding this maternity leave much more... lonely. Which is ironic because this time around more of my friends have babies. But those babies are older, on different schedules, further away, and I also am finding myself less inclined to go out. Going out for lunch now means trying to get The Babe to stay at the table instead of under it, while nursing Baby Macaroni at the same time. The Babe naps for at least two hours in the afternoon, so that often dictates when and where we go, if we go out. Also, as I have talked about in previous posts, I get anxious when contemplating car rides because Baby Macaroni wails as soon as I put her in the car seat. (This is not in my head, I know have several witnesses who can attest to it). Plus, there is just more stuff to do! More laundry to wash, more errands to run, more groceries to buy because The Babe needs lunch everyday even if I don't. A neighbour just commented to me that she thought I might be sick because I'm out so much less with this baby than the last one. Which isn't exactly true because we have a tonne of activities which The Babe goes to: StrongStart, preschool, swimming lessons, dance class, open gym time - this is all in one week. But it's definitely less social for me and I am a social butterfly so it has been harder for me this time around. 

I don't expect much to change for awhile, not until Baby Macaroni gets better in the car and friends' schedules change. Going into winter, I'm definitely going to have to make an effort to get out, be social and get active. Today, despite the monsoon outside, we got dressed and hit up the open gym time at our local rec centre. I was pleasantly surprised when The Babe's old daycare class showed up and I got to chat with the staff while The Babe horsed around with her old playmates. But next time I'll remember to wear Ugg or Hunter boots if I want to fit in with the other moms ;p

~ H