Posts tagged with baby:
I just scheduled our first "official" family photography session next month in honor of my daughter's first birthday, and now I'm at a loss on what to wear. I want us to all coordinate, but I don't know where to start. I know my husband will want to be fairly casual, and I want to look effortlessly cute, but I still have a bit of that soft tummy. My daughter will be adorable, but I prefer she isn't in pink princess attire. And I need to be able to pick it all up in one or two stores. Any ideas?
Isobel now calls me Mommy more than she calls me Mama. It’s adorable and it fascinates me because I never refer to myself as Mommy. (Ever—not for any particular reason, I just don’t.) Where did she pick this up? Goddamn, they’re sponges at this age. Speaking of which:
I need to watch the cursing in front of Child Sponge. This is fucking difficult for me because I am an asshole and can’t seem to fucking stop but I am doing much fucking better.
Curse Watch 2014 reminds me of when Isobel started naming body parts last year. Brandon came to me one day and was like, “Did you teach Isobel to call me an ass?” I laughed because WHO WOULDN’T, but he was dead serious. “I’m serious. She pointed at me and said ‘ass.’” I was laughing so hard that even I would have suspected myself at that point but I reassured him that no, I did not hold photos of him in front of Isobel and repeat: “That’s an ass,” or whatever he thought I was doing. Later that day he was changing her diaper and I was in the room and she pointed at his face and said, “ASS!” He looked at me with round eye horror and righteous indignation. “SEE! I TOLD YOU!” But he was wrong. She was saying “eyes” (badly). He still didn’t believe me until I pointed to my eyes and asked her what they were. ASS!
Isobel’s public tantrums are epic. She growls like a wild animal and in that moment—where I see the gleam in her eyes and the scream starting to build in her throat—I hear (in my head) a combination of madly clanging alarm bells and the opening music of Game of Thrones. WHAT HAST THOU BROUGHT INTO THIS WORLD, WOMAN? WHAT IS THIS CREATURE, FOR THIS CANNOT BE YOUR SWEET BABE WHO LAID UPON YOUR BREAST AND WOULD NEVER HAVE THOUGHT TO KICK YOU IN THE STOMACH
The things I love most about Isobel—her curiosity, her fearlessness, her strong-willed nature—are the things that make her an absolute terror when she sets her mind to it. I did an experiment recently while my mom and I were with her at Target. She was screaming to get out of the shopping cart (DAMN CHARIOT OF TRAPPED-NESS, LET ME LOOSE) so I said to my mom, “Okay, let’s see what she does. I’ll follow behind her.” I wanted to see if she would wander away, realize I wasn’t right behind her and return out of a normal human instinct for comfort and shelter. I set her on the ground and she speeds off like a bat out of hell, headed straight for god-knows-where, with me hot on her heels but staying just far enough back that I could observe without interfering with the natural process of…of what? OF MY KID NOT CARING WHERE I AM IN THE SLIGHTEST? Basically, yes. She did not stop or turn around once to check where I was. She said hi to two strangers (JFC) who looked at me with amusement and pity (JFC) and went along her merry way, inspecting the Target aisles, enjoying her freedom with zero concern for her personal safety. After trapping her using a combination of snacks, books and various other bribes, I realized that this is a child I will never stop watching. I will be the helicopter mom with stealth helicopter technology, always hovering nearby—quietly, carefully—because she is a willful and seemingly cunning kid. A kid who thinks she can outsmart and outrun me. I know this kid, because I was that kid too. So I will watch. I AM ALWAYS WATCHING.
- If you make a raptor sound (a la the Jurassic Park raptors), she will say IT’S A DINOSAUR!
- If you howl, she will say IT’S A WOOF (wolf, close enough)
- If you say WAPAPAPAPAPAPOW, she will say IT’S A FOX!
- If you tell her to “say you’re sorry” after she’s disobeyed, she says, “I’m sorry. It’s okay. It’s okay.”
- If you show her a picture of me and her after she’s just been born she says, “It’s Mommy. It’s Isobel.”
My kid turned 2 a month ago. About a week ago I weighed myself—something I don’t do very often—and I crossed the 70 lbs lost since pregnant threshold. I didn’t feel proud and I didn’t feel excited and I didn’t feel any of the things that I assumed I’d feel when I saw a number on the scale that I haven’t seen since I was probably 20.
I felt pretty sad actually. Because when I was pregnant I bought into the breastfeeding helps you lose weight stuff. (It’s not really true.) And I thought that I was relatively fit (relatively) and it would come off relatively fast and I’d relatively deal with it. (It didn’t.) I thought that once Isobel turned one that the passage of time—365 days worth!—meant I’d be back into my “old” clothes with ease. (That was not the case.)
The fucker of the whole thing is that I’ve really, REALLY had to kick my own lazy ass to make this happen and that sucks. It sucks because it’s not what most people say you’ll have to do and it’s certainly not what I expected, given that every publication at the grocery checkout talks about this-or-that celebrity dropping 50 pounds a week after giving birth. I was naive and kept assuming that my time was coming. A month postpartum. THIS is when I’ll drop the weight. Two months. THIS is when my belly button will look normal again. A year. WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH ME.
I gained more weight than average while I was pregnant, yeah, and I enjoyed every last second of it. If I ever had another baby, I wouldn’t change a thing from the first go-around. I was (relatively) active and I didn’t overeat (relatively), but despite how hard it was for me after the fact, I can’t explain how freeing it was to wear whatever I wanted and not care how my stomach looked. Not having to suck in your stomach after a lifetime of sucking in your stomach? Hip-fucking-hooray, seriously. Seriously. Eating a meal and not having to loosen your pants because goddamn, I’m wearing maternity pants, HELLO. Pregnancy was great because I felt free of a lot of the stupid body image things that peppered my daily life in different ways—some consciously, some subconsciously. I enjoyed it so much (until the end, but that doesn’t count) that I forgot the peppered neuroticism would return.
I guess the point of this is really to say that it took two years (two years!) and a lot of early mornings to get back to square one. And not even really square one: Because this stomach will never look the way it did before and these stretch marks are most definitely here to stay. But for those of you a few months out, even a year out: I’m with you. I’m extending a hand and saying girl, wait a little longer. I know you don’t want to, I know two years sounds like an eternity when you’re up all night, every night, but those two years will go by fast. Too fast. I’m one of those stupid cliches wanting to turn back the clock because I miss spooning my little baby in bed, listening to her breathing, looking at the fine hair that MIGHT turn into eyebrows at any time. I remember one time we were laying in bed like that and I turned away and over onto my back because I couldn’t stand feeling the weight of the extra skin on my stomach sliding downward. What an idiot.
Time is a gift and a curse but mostly a gift. I should have known it then but I feel it acutely now. Two years is a long time to obsess about a number on the scale. I know there are some things I missed in those two years while I tried to button 10 different pairs of pants or while I cried for an embarrassingly long time after getting out of the shower. Of all the things I missed out on, the biggest was learning to accept myself regardless of personal or cultural pressures to conform to what a postpartum body should look like. It took me a year to conclude I’d have to teach myself acceptance by working hard and it took me two years to realize that working hard and achieving a goal isn’t necessarily acceptance either. This is a lesson I needed to learn and it’s something that I need to value, cherish and protect for the future. I have a daughter, after all.