Saturday, July 3, 2010
What is so hard?
It doesn't get any easier, it just gets different.
I can't remember how many times I heard this from parents of older children. [It doesn't get any easier, it just gets different.] I think they're right to some degree but I also think they forget how freaking hard it really was. Perhaps the degree of difficulty isn't as high -- brand new babies don't really do a whole lot besides cry, poop, sleep on you, and then cry some more-- but for a new parent, it's the hardest thing they've ever done. There's the constant worry of, 'am I really doing this right?', 'are you sure I'm equipped to raise this thing?'. Babies don't give you a whole lot of positive reinforcement, simply demands. Always demanding. 'No, I will not lay here quietly and look at this stupid bee toy while you fold laundry. Instead I will scream like a banshee until you pick me up again and rock me and even then I may decide to continue screaming.'
Trying to maintain some sense of normalcy in your world-turned-upside-down, such as cleaning, exercising, blow drying your hair, etc. is near impossible these days because your darling child will refuse to sleep, eat, play anywhere that is not in your arms. In fact, up until a couple months, they don't even know how to play! Where is the life of a parent? Totally wrapped around the life of this tiny, demanding, completely helpless but absolutely amazing being.
(Thurston bug at 3 weeks)
Now...does it get any easier at 14 months? Maybe, I'm not really even sure if there's a comparison. But does it get better. A HUNDRED TIMES OVER YES IT DOES. The best thing about this little one-year-old is his big ball of personality. The hardest thing about this little one-year-old is his personality. I may retract everything I just said here the next time I go to the cafe down the street for an iced coffee and he starts screaming his head off because I won't let him run to the door and bang on the windows.
However, now I also get opportunities to lead my own life. I am pursuing my career, I play violin in a band that I love being a part of, I can take Thurston on runs as I train for the Portland Marathon, I knit when he sleeps, I can read books now, oh and sometimes he 'helps' me clean my house! Even better: I get more and more opportunities to take Thurston out and watch him absorb the world-- pluck up strands of grass and poke them to his face (or eat them), rearrange blocks or rocks or whatever suits his fancy, make loud and obnoxious noises, tackle other babies, pull entire shelves of books onto the floor, eat bugs, etc.
But you know what's great? Sometimes he lets me just hold him. He doesn't wriggle, he doesn't squirm, he just lays his head against my chest and I am completely and positively sure, this is the best place to be in the world. Oh and I can't get enough of his little curly-q's!
Posted by Maureen at 9:13 AM