April 30, 2010

We Are Complete

This morning at 1:30 am we gave birth to our newest bundle, a little 8 lb 2 oz baby boy.

I'm currently recovering from the unplanned c-section but everything is otherwise well.

Thrilled to no longer be pregnant and thrilled at our new addition. More to come.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

April 27, 2010


PJ_redshirt I can remember walking into my boss’s office, only months into a new job, to tell him I had screwed up royally on a funding proposal, which would leave us many tens of thousands of dollars short on a project. I remember he sat there staring at his computer screen for nearly a half an hour while I sat opposite him, before he said a word. I was terrified.

I can also remember standing in front of a podium about to address an audience of a few hundred people, to ask them for large sums of money in support of a worthwhile cause, knowing that the cause relied heavily on the success of this event. My heart beat in my throat with unnerving pressure.

I remember the same feeling as I stepped in front of a raging drunk man at a party, as he was about to swing a punch at my good friend who he had mistakenly identified as a swarthy letch who had hit on his girlfriend. Apparently this man had no qualms about hitting a girl and was right prepared to do so to get to my friend.

I had to put my cat down last year after 15 years together. I had to tell a friend of my extreme disappointment in how she had let me down in a big way. I’ve ended relationships.

I gave birth. I’m doing it again. The pain is tremendous and the unknowns weigh heavily. This, and all these situations above, all took courage. Guts. Knowing the consequences (or how they could be), required me to be brave. Many people have been much more brave in situations far more dire. I’ve been lucky, I suppose.

But far and above the one thing that has taken the most courage, and that leaves me shaky and full of breath-holding fear every day, has been becoming a parent. Not the labour, messy newborn stuff where I have to deal with pain or circumstantial crying, fatigue, etc. No, not that at all. That’s nothing. The commitment to this little living thing, and the heart-breaking LOVE I have for my child leaves me absolutely panic-stricken.

I covet my child. I absolutely love her with all of my being. I am not ashamed to say it is more so now than it was when she came out of me, clawing at my insides to make her way into the world. This love has grown strong over time, as I begin to see her personality and we become invested in each other. Now, it’s scary love. The kind of love with an edge that I’ve only come close to in the throes of passion with the man I married. I know he understands this and that it doesn’t mean I love him any less – our love continues to grow and mature in ways that are tremendous, but I’m talking about something that can only develop with a little person you’ve had a hand in creating from your own flesh and blood.

Yes, it is exhilarating. I would stop the world for her, do anything. The feedback I get and the love that is returned is otherworldly. But my god is it frightening to think of *anything* happening to her. Frightening is not the word…. absolutely petrifying, it makes me feel nauseous. If I lost her, I can’t imagine ever coming back. I can’t imagine being able to live. That takes more courage than I’ve ever known, going into every day and night knowing how much I stand to lose, and consciously agreeing to put ones self in that position for basically the rest of your life. I don’t think it gets any easier, I think you fear as much for the loss of your child through your maturity as you do early on.

Of course, I try not to think in these terms and I know I could not have known the extent of this emotion before I had my child. But now I sit, in the wee hours of morning because I can’t sleep due to my man-cold, and my discomfort and my anticipation of the pending birth of Version 2.0, and I can’t help but wonder how there is possibly room in my heart to both hold the love for another child, and to find the courage to become doubly as vulnerable… in a few days’ time. I know it’s the most precious gift and I should remind myself of that daily. I do. I really, really do. In no way do I reflect on this and think “what have I done??” but it sure makes your other moments of back-patting courage seem measly when taken into perspective.

As we anxiously await the arrival of our second little gift, I wonder if I am alone in this neuroses, overanalyzing this state. Is it easier to just not go there or does anyone else feel as … exposed and vulnerable from something they wouldn’t trade for the world?

April 18, 2010

Carrot Sticks

IMG_0177 So, I’m sitting here totally frigging miserable, partially because I have less than two weeks (hold me) before I give birth to Version 2.0 (but really could be any day now… hyperventilating… paper bag…) but mostly because I realize how long I have left my blog without a post. This reaffirms for me why I’m doing this – for me, for releasing something periodically, and for exercising my writing muscle in the creative arena. That makes me satisfied, but also irritated, because I once again let all of life’s urgencies fill up my time and I left that part that benefits from taking a few minutes to muse to fill up and flow over again, like an untended garden. Interesting, for sure.

So, on to more topical topics.

Ladies and gentlemen, against all odds and with a little fanfare, we have a potty trained child. We hadn’t tried hard, and hadn’t put in much concerted effort but one day Hubby decided that we were not going into another birth with two kids in diapers. Personally, I was blasé on the subject as I didn’t mind diapers that much and Version 1.0 showed no interest whatsoever in her potty. Correction: she was interested in the potty as a special place to store knick-knacks or toy cars or sit her dolls and sometimes the cat. But try to get her to sit for even 30 seconds, and she was out of there like a shot. Way too busy, way too impatient and I wasn’t much interested in forcing the issue. After all, she’s only just turned two and we have lots of time during which we can reasonably expect her to start.

However, Hubby sat her down one day for three hours straight, during which she did a little trickle. Much fanfare ensued, and they went downstairs to celebrate, during which she promptly peed all over the floor. Hubby was so frustrated, and I figure she knows that, and for the rest of the day started trying in earnest. By the end of the night, she was peeing like a rock star and running around the house clothed like one (no bottoms). The next day, he tried pants. One or two wet spots and then we had the pants licked. The next few days (and to some extent, still now) she struggled with #2, getting much anxiety over the thought of having to do it. She tends to hold it in rather than have an accident, which I suppose is more convenient for us, but damn, that girl is stubborn, and will hold for a day or two before she can hold no more. Poor thing gets all shaky and cries when asked to sit and release. But then, out of the blue, will sit down and perform with no problem. So, we’re getting there but it’s to the point where we can take her out without diapers and she will confidently ask to visit the washroom at whatever frequency is required. We’ve been using diapers at night only, and on the occasion of a longer car ride to the city. She’s normally dry when she wakes up or at the end of a diaper day. We’re proud, needless to say.

What has emerged, though, from my observation, is a newfound change in attitude (or shall I say Attitude) from this young one, whereby her skills of ignoring (and I shall not say ignorance) rival only that of her father in deep concentration. She can easily and without guilt tune out Mommy and Daddy when necessary and/or convenient. These spells of inattention are maddening and I have noted a pattern in myself of trying to break through them. In particular, we have a problem at dinner time, but it is no different than any time of trying to motivate this child to do anything other than what fancies her in the moment.

I will waffle between carrots and sticks. Sometimes I negotiate baking cookies in return for peaceful naptime. Other times I will threaten no movie (“moo-bee”) treat later if we don’t get dressed for preschool. We’re back and forth in a perpetual carrot-stick-carrot-stick holding pattern and it makes me crazy. I’m running out of things I can threaten/tempt with and my threats and temptations are becoming increasingly ineffective. I don’t like to raise my voice and have caught myself more often than not reverting to a strong tone these days (blame it partially on being huge and uncomfortable and partially on my inability to find alternatives), which does get results but won’t continue to do so if overused. I am not opposed to speaking firmly to my child (let’s clarify, this does not mean abusively or disrespectfully), and I feel strongly that parents these days are too prone to the fear of not being their child’s best friend vs. demonstrating boundaries, which I feel are sorely needed at this age. So many kids run amuck and are completely out of control because there is a movement to try and use logic and distraction all the time, when a more firm tactic is required. But, I digress. Our child has seen the firm side of our tone on more than one occasion. Sometimes it is appropriate, sometimes it is perhaps more the result of my own fatigue and impatience, but I never professed to be perfect and will continue to waver, but try to make sure the end result is where I need it to be.

So, I’m looking for tactics, suggestions, camaraderie. Is this typical behavioural development for my two-year-old? With Daddy and Mommy, she pushes her boundaries. With teachers, instructors, playgroup leaders, friends and family, she’s a perfect, alluring, engaging little angel. I don’t think this is anything new. I need some new tools though, to be one step ahead and anticipate how to get her sitting down for dinner without needing to be naked and reading a book, or whatever other litany of ridiculous conditions are set upon us for compliance.

Your stories, experiences, gentle nudges in the right direction are appreciate.

And holy heck, y’all … I’m about to do it again!

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