I didn't really know if this belonged on one of my other blogs, but since I have been slacking on writing on this one, I can put it here:
I noticed something very distinct today, as me and the children spent the afternoon at a local community center's open play-room, a place we have spent many , many rainy afternoons over the oast few years together, a place which bowls me over with "remember when? Remember when?" milestones: Casey crawling here, Mickey potty training here and using the potty himself, Greta reading to me, being pregnant, Casey putting the little toys in his mouth, etc....but so here is what I was struck with today : The panic is gone. Now, if you are pregnant or currently have a little baby with you, you will know exactly what I mean...but if you are not, you forget...
The panic is this: When I was pregnant at this place, there were so many things that could go bad so quickly: of course, there was the omnipresent having to go pee. There was blood-sugar crashes, leg cramps, sweating attacks, feeling that I was going to throw up, feeling that I was going to suffocate, intense suffering due to the wierd smells of any and everything: other people's detergents, other people's kids' lunches, diaper smells, perfumes, lack of cross breeze even in winter.....the kids wanting me to sit on the floor and how badly that hurt my bones, fears of my back "locking up", dreading the long (200 feet?) walk out to the car, wondering if I will go into labor (we visited this place when I was 8 days overdue with Charlie)
Then the panic of being there with a little baby: Nurse the baby. He stopped crying. The others want you. Help mommy help. Im stuck mommy. Get my ball mommy. Come see my drawing, come see my castle, come see my display (MOMMYS TRYING TO KEEP HER BOOBIE SOMEWHAT WITHIN THE SHIRT HONEY QUIT FRICKIN TALKING TO ME FOR A SEC) then the baby has poo. Where to change him. On the floor? Will people be offended? Off in the bathroom? who will watch the 2 year old? Greta kind of can but then will that look like I am some wierd bad mom? Bring 2 year old into the bathroom with me and the screaming baby, trying to wrastle the baby wipes and diaper and smearing poo while he is touching the toilet and chitter chattering to me and blasting the water and pressing the SOAP-SOAP-SOAPY all up his sleeves...baby stopped crying. Maybe i'll lay him in the infant carseat for one sec so I can finally eat my lunch (my blood sugar swings lasted well into the early months of nursing) WAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH baby is screaming again, time to nurse again...
The panic. The blood pressure. The mommy-jitters. In public!
The Golden years of being pregnant or providing infant care without other little kids to care for were obviously a one time thing. In 1996-1997 with Greta. I rested when I was tired, I ate when I was hungry, I puked in my own bathroom, and my legs were elevated. When she was a newborn, her and I sat in the nursey chair forever and a day, slept together all night, sometimes stayed in bed till noon, with me guzzling fluids and all was pretty chill.
Even though baby Charlie is only 18 months old, today, I had 4 kids. Charlie played and sat in a chair. They all ate their grapes and cheez-its and drank juice boxes. I was an able bodied person more than capable of sitting on the floor, jumping up to lookit-lookit-lookit, I built a "zoo" out of blocks, we did plastic-food banquet, and cleaning up the whole room did not cause any heart attack or contraction if any kind!
I traveled today with my 4 children to a place where I have traveled many times before. But this time we were without health or hygiene crises of any sort and it was really, really neat.