What Ollie is doing now
Eric just posted about it on his often neglected blog. So I don't want to be redundant. Suffice to say that Ollie grows ever more fabulous and ever less pliant. He really wants to do what he wants to do and if he doesn't get to do it, well, the tantrum begins. There's a Sandra Boynton song on Dog Train that goes "No no no, I don't wanna. No, no, no, I don't wanna no no. Leave me alone. Leave me alone. DON'T leave me alone. DON'T leave me alone!" And that is our life. He wants into everything, regardless of whether he should be or not, and he gets ANGRY when we set limits. Big fun.
On the other hand, he is talking like crazy. He knows all kinds of words now and uses them all the time. He snuggles up sweetly against your shoulder and makes mmms of contentment. When I was gone this weekend he wandered into all the rooms forlornly saying, "Mama?" He does sentences and knows whole books by heart and sings songs with us and does choreography. It is amazing all he knows now. It's amazing how he changes.
This weekend I went away to a lovely lake house with my departing friends. There was swimming, wine, board games of various kinds, lounging and magazine reading. It was all nice. It was also weird, in that I was the only person with a kid there, and many of the people there are the childfree sort, who like children when they are quiet and when they can go away. They ask me about Ollie, which I appreciate, and I try to tell them the more entertaining new things he's doing (like Butt, Butt, Butt, Baby Butt, or the monkey noises Susanne taught him).
The thing is, the new things he's doing seem so small when you're telling people who have never witnessed the transformation of nothing into a baby into a person and don't know how amazing these changes are. I find it easier to joke about motherhood than I do to express the profound and overwhelming adoration I have for my baby and the great joy I experience seeing him for the first time every morning, the delight I take in seeing him explore the world and come into himself, and the way it feels when your child snuggles up to you and curls an arm around your neck. It seems corny and overly earnest, and I guess on some level I feel like it is something you can't understand unless you've experienced it. But when I joke about motherhood with these friends, without them seeing the truth of the situation, which is my mad all encompassing devotion to my child and the ways that my brain has rewired itself to put him in the middle I feel guilty, like I am betraying him by telling only the difficult or humorous bits. or by downplaying what he means to me. How do you explain when someone asks you if you are going to have separation issues that one night that you ALWAYS have separation issues every minute you are not with your child? That even if you are enjoying yourself, or working hard, it feels wrong, mentally and physically to be apart from your baby. That even if you're exhausted and you need a break, it would be preferable to take it somewhere with him nearby so you can see him again the second you want? The impulse at night to go in and pick him up and snuggle him some more that you have to resist?
Eric describes it as the first flush of a romance, when you want to be with somebody all the time and you can't think of anything else, except permanently. And it's true. And it's not witty, or clever, or new. It's trite, but it's the most honest thing about me. I'm just another parent who thinks the world revolves around their child.