Well, it’s that time of year. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, just get on your Instagram feed and look at the 50,000 Flipgram recaps of everyone’s year. (If you haven’t checked out Flipgram yet, you should–it actually is pretty cool.) It’s that annual post-Christmas, full of sugary goodness and nostalgia, coupled with a stirring determination to make a fresh start thanks to this upcoming season. It’s the approaching of the New Year. 2014.
We’ve been going through the flu for the second time in our house. The first round hit us at Thanksgiving, but luckily Judah didn’t get it. And, it was staggered so Kyle and I weren’t worthless piles of skin shlepped on the couch at the same time. But not this time. This time it got all three of us, all at once, and right at Christmas. And it’s one of those lingering types. Ugh.
Anyway, all this to say, Judah woke up last night right as Kyle and I were ready to hit the sack. He obviously wasn’t feeling well, he was congested and just didn’t want to be put down. So, we had him come and lay in our bed for a bit until he was ready to return to his crib. This is what got me thinking about the last year, give or take, and all the things I did as a mom that I never thought I would. And, all the things I thought I knew FOR SURE before I actually became a mom and lived the life day to day.
1. “My child will never, never sleep in my bed.” Ha! Who would ever think that was possible? I know who–me, pre-motherhood, when I still thought that I’d wake up with this new motherly glow every morning and be greeted by the chirps of sweet birds as they draped my bathrobe around my perfectly pressed pajamas that fit over my “skinnier-than-I-used-to-be” post-baby body every morning. My bed was my place. And the crib was for the baby. End of story.
Well, Judah sleeps in our bed sometimes. And I love it. Most of the time. The rib jabs can get a bit old, lets be honest.
We were not co-sleepers when he was a baby, mostly because of my fear of crushing the small child, but now he can definitely hold his own. In fact, while I gingerly lay next to him, he thrashes all around, punches Kyle and I in the face frequently, and usually ends up leaving one or both of us sleeping on about an inch of mattress space. But how can you reject your child who just wants to be comforted by his parents when he’s not feeling well? Lesson learned pre-mom me, lesson learned.
2. “My child will not use a pacifier past a year.” Well, he’s 18 months and going strong! He only uses it to sleep and for car rides, and I was just saying that we were going to nip this habit following Christmas, but now he has the flu, and I just don’t think I can do it. So, we’re pushing that one back to after his second birthday. We’ll see how it goes. And to pre-mom me, learned which battles to choose.
3. “My child will be done breastfeeding by age one. I won’t do it a day later.” We made it to 13 months, and didn’t stop on my account. In fact, I still miss it. I fought hard to keep my ability to nurse Judah and was so happy that we made it that far, and that we could have kept going if he was interested. Now, to me, there is a certain time that I think a baby is a bit too old to be latching on…When your child can run up to you and coherently say, “Mom, I’d like some milk please,” it’s time to forego the boobs and tell the kid to grab a cup and the carton from the fridge. But, to pre-mom me, I learned that my baby’s natural instincts know best, and he knew when he was done, not me.
4. “My child won’t watch TV or play the iPad.” Hahahaha. Good one. Judah watches TV, and it’s totally fine. He also plays the iPad on occasion and is pretty freaking awesome at it. The kid learned to swipe, hit the home button, and choose his own apps in about five minutes. Kids today are amazing with technology. Judah doesn’t watch TV all day long or play the iPad for as long as he wants at any time. But he does get screen time. And no, I don’t think it’s melting his brain away.
He watches a show in the morning because mommy and daddy aren’t morning people and can’t function properly until they’ve had time to drink their morning coffee. He also watches a show at night as part of his bedtime routine. If any of you know my son, you know he will continue moving at top speed, running laps around the kitchen and living room until there are holes in the floor, no matter how tired he is. So, we transition to a more mellow time with a show. It works for us.
And, sometimes when you have the flu and can’t find the energy, you watch a whole lot of Elmo in one day. And that’s okay, you do what you have to do and you’ll make up for it with extra library books in a few days. Pre-mom me, your child will be just as smart as the next kid, even if he does watch some cartoons.
5. “My child will only eat organic, locally grown foods and no sweets.” Well, that’s really nice, isn’t it? I would love to have more organics in our life and be better with what we eat as a family. But, I also realized quickly that once Judah was done with me, and ready for the world of solids, he doesn’t always want to try things other than peanut butter and jelly. And some days, getting anything down the hatch is a victory.
Judah is great about eating fruits, he loves milk and yogurt, and does fairly well to eat when it’s time for meals. But veggies are not his strong point. He will devour peas and loves edamame. So, he eats those a lot. Yes, I try to get him to eat different things and even meat, but that doesn’t always work, and sometimes he has peach yogurt for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, with a side of applesauce. And yes, he has eaten McDonald’s, he has had chicken noodle soup from a can, and you betchya he’s gotten mac n’ cheese from a box. Pre-mom me has learned. Some days, as long as he gets something to eat, it’s a win.
All these little realities got me thinking. You can say one thing, but life often turns out another way. So, you roll with the punches. You fight only the battles worth fighting, and let some of the others work themselves out naturally.
To 2014: here’s for some more unexpected twists and some wild turns. Here’s to waiting, learning, and finding out what is to come. Here’s to living life one day at a time. And here’s to not making any resolutions.
Cheers, and Happy New Year everyone!