Monthly Archives: August 2016
One thing that surprised me about motherhood is how it often feels like a competition. It’s so strange though, sometimes I am not sure if I have signed up for the competition and am in it or if it is happening to me.
I find myself totally in it when I don’t expect it. A while ago a friend was over and her son (a month younger than Gus) and Gus were playing and we were chatting. I don’t remember how this came up but she said something about how another kid was not smart like “our boys”. I caught Lesley’s eye and we both gave a little eye roll. Whoops. That’s totally involved in the competition, eh? It’s not that her kid isn’t smart, I’m sure he is – but I have never seen him do anything extraordinary. He’s also a toddler so, you know, who am I to judge his smarts as I am no toddler expert.
Yesterday Lesley posted some pictures of Gus and someone commented that he is so happy. A friend with a 10 month old commented that her kid is like that too. No tantrums at all. HA. Ten months. Tantrums aren’t a thing for you yet, love. I commented something about how I could have said the same thing about Gus at that age. But really, do I need to say anything? Why burst her sweet naive bubble? Is it to show her that sure, sometimes she sees Gus lose it but she should know it is coming for her? I have no idea.
These are examples where I feel myself playing into it but I often walk away and wonder “Are we competing and I don’t know it?” It’s weird – it’s often right there under the surface and I am not sure if it is real or just me.
I really hate it when people compare their kids to Gus. I think a lot of it is, because try as I might, I think he is special flower and your kid is not him. On some level I think when people compare their kids to him it minimizes his specialness.
I am the parent I have always hated.
If you are a stay at home parent you already know this because you are there, doing it, all the time. But I am not. I am not home everyday and I am exhausted every monday morning. Today is day 9 of our 10 day vacation.
We have done so much. We camped three nights, then an AirBnB on an island, then an AirBnB in a big city. We are in the big city now and head home tomorrow. We have kept busy and maintained but whoa, it has been hard. We are on vacation with our best friend, Gus’ Auntie Kathleen (or Auntie Calf-a-leen as he calls her), which is really a saving grace. When we just can’t do it anymore she is there. She calls places to find out their hours. She arranged a private tour at an alpaca farm. She loves Gus and bought him books. It’s been great.
She also did something that means a lot to me – she confirmed that my toddler is a lot. Now I know all toddlers are a lot but I don’t know that people who have what I consider “normal” toddlers understand. Gus is nonstop from wake up until he falls asleep. He sings to himself all day. He kicks his feet until the second he falls asleep. I think people can see him at an hour long play date and say “Yeah, my kid is like that” but it is nice to have someone who sees him nonstop for at least 8 whole days to agree he is a bit much.
Overall Gus did a great job on our trip. We camped the first three nights and he did great. The houses were harder – we struggle to be home with him because he really needs to be outside or somewhere more appropriate for his energy. When we were on the island friend I had never met, someone I met on our sperm bank’s forum when I was trying to get pregnant, came and stayed a night. That was nice as Gus had some other kid energy but he kiddo is 13 months so there was still a bit of a gap. It was great to meet her and I am already excited to see her and her sweet sweet kiddo again.
While our trip was mostly good there was also some hard stuff. Gus has gotten super vocal about what he wants and does not want. This means I hear a lot of “Go away, mommy.” “Stop talking.” and things that are similar. I’m not going to lie, I am a bit hurt. I know he is a toddler and being hurt is unreasonable. He also has started saying I love you (mainly as a response to someone telling them they love him) but won’t say it to me. Again, I know he is a toddler but man, I sometimes need a little love buddy.
He does many other wonderful things, too. He asks to hold hands. He has started to ask to be picked up (full on arms up with “pick up mommy”) He sings loudly and waves at everyone he sees. He knows his name and by his name I mean when asked what it is he responds “Gussy.” When someone is upset he rubs their back. Last night when I put him to bed he wanted me to lay in his makeshift bed on the floor with him. (The night before he wanted to lay on “the big bed” and Lesley told him there was not enough room. Right before he fell asleep he pointed at the bed and said, “Enough room for everybody!”)
He is a great kid and it was a good trip. It was long for everyone. Gus misses his friends and school (talks about both all the time) and will be excited to get back. He’s been asking to go to Beau Doggie’s (our dog’s) house which has been surprising. I think he’ll get back into the swing of things quickly – we all will – but as tiring as this trip has been it is going to be a bit hard for me to go back to work and not spend every day with him. He’s my sweet buddy and even if he is constantly sassing me I love him so much.