When I was pregnant with M, he was this super-active baby. Jab. Jab-jab. Jib. Jab. Flip. Flip. Flip.
I would just stare at my giant belly in awe...and pain, watching the shape of an entire foot protrude from just below my ribs. Hi-ya! And all that flipping and poking and jabbing was apparently tangling him tighter and tighter in his cord, until he was suspended in an umbilical net and unable to descend all the way into the canal without bringing the placenta with him. It was a dramatic birth, complete with an emergency race across town on Thanksgiving morning in the back of the midwife's car trying not to push.
And then there were three of us. On the most meaningful Thanksgiving day I've ever known.
Drama-filled and not how we'd planned, but...wow. Immediately, our lives were in orbit around this tiny person, who was promptly and thoroughly pissed off. And needy. And cranky...And delicious.
First pictures of him as a baby make me laugh, because he's wearing JUST the same expression he has now when he's peeved with everyone.
Five years later, I have to think that his gestation and birth were pretty prescient. There are a million times a week (a day!) I find myself thinking I'm the worst parent ever...or (much worse) that he's the worst kid. I make so many mistakes. Mistakes of giving too much: too much stuff, too many distracting things, too much giving IN and being subsequently inconsistent; and more mistakes giving too little: time, energy, direction, baths...
How do you all do it? How do you cope when you've had the fifteenth stupid argument about whether or not the store you drove to could POSSIBLY have the SAME noodles the OTHER store, the one 20 minutes from where you are, has!?!?! How he CANNOT wear new underpants today because he LOVES the ones with SKULLS ON THEM - the ones in the hamper!!! Give him skull underpants or he will not! Will not! Will NOT! GET!! DRESSED!!! Is he a dictator and I'm the slavedog lackey? Sometimes. Would it kill me to drive to another neighborhood to buy noodles? No...but I don't always WANT to. Am I sometimes barely treading water? Ohhhh...yes.
Jab. Jib. Poke poke. Flip. Flip....flip.
I'd love to be one of those moms who is so serene she can offer advice, and little bon mots about the beauty of raising your kids and how precious and special and magical it is. How it burns away the layers of pretention and leaves you purer. Is that me? Oh...I don't know. I'm tired. I'm cranky. I love my kids and sometimes I wonder how people get through these years of figuring out how to go with the flow when the flow thinks you are too stupid to navigate your own pants, let alone how to be a good enough parent...
Some days I just want to get through it with all of us loving each other and forgiving each other on the other side of their childhoods. Am I aiming too high???