Monday, July 7, 2014

Late Night Reflections

I finished my library book in record time at about 10:45.  I reached up, turned off my bedside lamp, and snuggled into my cozy, comfortable bed and fluffy pillows and the fan on to create a gentle breeze on my skin.  On good nights, I drift off to sleep within the half hour, thoughts and imagination softly soothing me to sleep.  On nights like tonight, my thoughts and imagination are less a lullaby and more of a mosh pit at a punk  rock concert.

Starting out, peaceful memories creep into my mind, like that one time when Grace was itty bitty and I ran an errand to Staples to buy some supplies and shred paper, and I had her strapped to my front and I had my backpack on and I was so rocking the mom thing.  The cashier even commented how awesome I was, and I was all like, "Hell yeah, I'm awesome."  Then my Debbie Downer mind is quick to remind me of that one time I was trying to get to a restaurant in Colorado Springs and I ran across a street to make sure I made the signal, all with G strapped to my front and my backpack bringing up the rear, but I didn't close the backpack securely and all my diaper bag paraphernalia dumped out in the middle of the crosswalk.

I don't know about you, but my memories often produce a visceral, physical reaction.  There, in my peaceful sleeping place, my stomach clenched at the memory.  Then my mind started pinging all over the place:  Man, that was stupid.  I was so stressed.  Why did I run?  Who cares if you are a few minutes late with an infant in tow?  Why do I think of these things when I'm going to bed?   I bet it was that beer I had a few hours ago.  This happened last night, and I had a beer last night too.  I bet it's the alcohol.  Maybe I should go downstairs and Google "Can alcohol affect sleep?*"  I really wish I didn't run out of melatonin.  Gosh, this position is uncomfortable.  My hair is still wet from my shower.  I wonder when it'll dry?  I bet Dave is silently cursing me for moving so much.  And having my light on so late.  Pffft, he watches TV when I'm trying to sleep, so we're even I guess.

And on and on.  So I come downstairs, putter around on the computer, upload some pics of G's birthday party, and suck down some lukewarm milk.  I contemplate doing a dewrinkle cycle on some clothes.  Maybe I should.

You know what's weird?  A year ago, you couldn't keep me up past 8:30.  And it isn't as if I have the energy to do anything truly significant throughout the day.  By 2 p.m., I'm dying for a nap.  But today, I didn't take a nap.  No, I got shit done!  Ran errands!  Did stuff!  Got a book from the library and couldn't put it down.

Oh yes, that's right.  This is my point, my motivation for writing this post in the first place.  It isn't so much about the insomnia, but rather to unload some mommy guilt here.

Confession #1: I spent the afternoon reading.  My daughter played, and I read.  She watched TV, and I read.  She and daddy played, and I read.  She took a bath, and I read.  I even sometimes got annoyed with her asking me for things, because I wanted to read.

Confession #2: I get pissed at her for the stupidest reasons.  She had a Popsicle after dinner, one of those blue freezie thingies.  She was down to pure vibrant blue liquid.  I was reading (duh) and she was watching Peppa Pig from my lap.  And she dumped it all over my lap and couch.  And I got ticked off.  I reflect on that moment where I should have reacted differently, but for some dumb ass reason I was frustrated that  my kid didn't know not to dump blue freezie stuff on me.

She's freakin' 3.  And it isn't like she did it on purpose.  So instead of using this as a learning opportunity, I got all pissy and acted like a spoiled rotten 10 year old.  (Also?  Put the frickin' book down, Lor.  It's a book.  You can pick it up anytime to read.  G is only 3 once.  Insurgent will be in your possession for 3 weeks.  Get a grip.)

I cleaned things up like a sourpuss, but returned to my place on the couch and had her snuggle with me again.  Took her up to her bath.  Read as she bathed.

Then it was bed time.  Time for mea culpa.  So I dried her off and helped her dress for bed.

"Snuggle?"  She asked.
"Of course," I replied.  And she brought her blanket and tiger and bunny and towel onto the over-sized chair I was seated in and she set up for snuggle time.  First, blanket down.  Second, towel down.  Third, check for bunny.  Check!  Fourth, check for tiger.  Check!  Last, check for binky.  Check!

And she settled in.  I hugged her tight and played a little bit with her damp hair.

I told her that I'm sorry.  That I don't understand why I get so upset about silly things.  That I'll try harder in the future to just chill out.  That I loved her.  That she's my most favorite person in the world.

She wasn't listening.  She was watching the clock to see how many snuggle minutes we have left.  She gets all excited when the numbers change, calling out the new number when it turns over.

Hopefully by the time she's old enough to truly retain the memory of her mother behaving like a royal bitch, I won't be behaving in that fashion too often.  For now, she likely remains oblivious to what happened.  The mea culpa was more for me, I suppose.  I have to forgive myself and just always always ALWAYS try to be better tomorrow.

My most favorite person in the world deserves that, doesn't she?  Yes, I believe she does.

*Yep.  Apparently, having a beer near bedtime can prevent sleep.  Damn.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Grace Turning 3

 She is a living, breathing being that didn't exist 4 years ago.  Sometime in 2010, she started growing in my belly, everything about her already written in her DNA and just waiting to be expressed.  The color of her eyes.  The little dimple above the right side of her lips when she grins.  The bizarrely macho way she struts around, belying the femininity of the dresses I sometimes put her in.  The deepness in her voice when she congratulates herself, "Yay, Grace!"  
 She talks about her Pappy the Firefighter that she never met in this life, of the mountains that for some reason remind of her Nonnie and Papa, or Gram who she loves to look at pictures with.  She talks about babies in bellies, thanks to Auntie Amanda who has a little girl coming soon.  She shyly talks about her new cousins Will and Mason and when she looks at their pictures (or any pictures really) she says, "Aw, so cute!"    She speaks seriously about strangers and bad guys and the bears that scare her, and she carries around a spray bottle that contains a magical potion that scares the bad things away.  She knows her numbers.  She sings songs to herself.  She can dress herself.  She snuggles and laughs fiercely, with her whole being.  
 She still cries a lot, still is demanding, still occasionally likes to be fed like a baby.  But the further we get away from July 1, 2011, the day she took her first breaths outside my body, the further she gets from being that little 7 pound 11.5 ounce football that needed everything from us.
 It'll be okay.  She'll be okay, we'll be okay.  With any luck, the next three years will move at a pace comfortable for all.  But I suspect on the eve of her 6th birthday, I'll be musing over the forever gone years and the too quickly approaching future.  
 No matter what: she will be loved.  And I am proud to be her mother.  
 Happy Birthday, G.  I hope you like your birthday cake!