Saturday, April 22, 2006

Raging post-partum hormonal bitch in da house

I promise I will get to AM's birth story someday, but the whole point of the blog is to get out what's in my head. (It's got to be cheaper than therapy. Plus I can do it at 11 pm.)

After Baby AM arrived, I thought I was doing so well. Despite the c-section, I was feeling much better than I had after Miss M's birth...on fewer pain meds, no less. And this time I had all kinds of annoying little side effects too--swelling in my right ankle from all the IVs I had during labor and the first day after the surgery, a blood clot under my staples that had prevented the incision from closing all the way. (Is this too much info? It is pretty gross. But Taxman, the Rescuer, has taken on the charge of changing my gauze. I refuse to look at the hole in my abdomen. Ew, ew, ewwwwww.)

My head seemed to be ok too, comparatively. With Miss M, I was a mess from the second we got home: a nervous first-time mommy, sobbing at the drop of a hat, freaking out about everything.

I thought I was out of the woods. I was still worried about being close to Miss M, who, in her exuberance, I thought could do some damage to my incision. But overall I thought I was ok.

But then we (finally) came home. Thursday night, we managed to extricate ourselves from Taxman's parents, now a merry band of 4, not 3. Friday morning (after what could only be called a nap, not a night's sleep), our little boy entered the, uh, covenant. Somehow I managed to wear fake hair and pantyhose and heels and a suit, partially motivated because all of my pajama pants were in the laundry. Only kidding!

After sending our parents home, Taxman and I were finally alone with the two kids at about noon. Miss M went down for her nap. I got to thinking about how different the two-kids experience was from what I had expected. And I proceeded to Lose.It. Taxman came across me and said, "What's wrong? You look like you lost your best friend." Thus began the waterworks.

I had been thinking that Baby AM (in his guise as the b2b) would be the interloper, arriving to interrupt the great thing I had going with Miss M. I was so worried about her, how she would deal with my absence during my hospital stay, how she would react to her brother and the changes in the family dynamic. But as it happened, she was incredibly resilient. During my four days away from her--she came to the hospital once--she asked for me only twice. She had plenty of love and was the (exhausting) center of her grandparents' universe. Unfortunately she came away with associating my mother-in-law with "nack!" (snack), but we'll wean her away from that, hopefully.

And I, in my early-onset senility, forgot The Thing about newborn babies. You love them. You can't help it. You smell that sweet head and look at those tiny hands and you love them. You cheer when they latch on to your breast. You instictively want to protect them.

But now where did that leave Miss M? And me? I was afraid to get near her, in my physically precarious state. Every time I nursed her, I had to hold her legs to make sure she didn't knock into my incision. I was trying so hard to make time to be alone with her, to read to her or supervise her drawing, but somehow I would wind up snapping at her or having to tend to Baby AM in the midst of it. So the #1 person in my life was now...what? Number 1a? Number 2? (I seriously don't know if I can blog this without getting teary.)

Then came Shabbat. Taxman's parents came to us. At my invitation. (What the hell was I thinking?) Actually, I had intended it to be a break for my mother-in-law, who I knew would not have time to put away her Pesach dishes. My plan was to buy takeout and eat off paper plates. But then..."Oh, we have all this food left. We'll bring it." And so they did. So now we are even more indebted to them. And this has put me further into a snit. Somehow the same little quirks that make them cute in their house drive me batty in my house.

I overheard the following between Miss M and Taxman's mom:
"Miss M, don't spill your sippy cup on the rug." (Pause.) "Miss M. That's not nice." (Pause.) "Miss M, don't spill your water on the rug." (Rinse, repeat, for about two minutes.) "Do you know what you will have if you spill your water on the rug? A mess." (Me, to myself, "A wet spot." This is one of about a dozen reasons she never drinks juice, only water.)

Frankly, I can't have discussions like that with her. She gets one or two chances and then the offending item gets removed and we go on to another activity. Life's too short. As is her attention span, so....

Then, while she was eating dinner, Taxman's mom fell into the trap that we have been warning them about since Miss M started solid food. Meals are not a time for games. Meal time is for eating, playtime is pretty much all other times. We have sounded so supercilious when we say this, but I think the point was finally made. Why? Because Taxman's mom felt compelled to sing "Pease Porridge" for half an hour to a demanding despot of a toddler. Finally, I just bit the bullet and said, "I've got this. Just ignore her. If she's hungry, she'll eat; if not, she's got two more minutes to smush that banana around her tray before dinner's officially over."

Think I am fried enough? Wait, hang on! Now my mom is coming! Tomorrow! For! a! week! Cripes.

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