Seven months and the "incident with the flower"

Yesterday was Russ’s seven-month birthday, which I can hardly believe. But he’s really starting to turn into my little boy and is hurdling towards toddlerhood at warp speed. I’m continuously learning to let go, bit by bit. My old college friend, Sloan, came into town the other day and we met up for coffee, where he met Russ for the first time. Sloan, for all his sophistication and worldliness, is wonderful with kids and Russ took right to him. We discussed a bit of how motherhood has changed me, how the whole experience has been, and this is what I told him.

“It has been wonderful, I wouldn’t change a thing about it, but let’s just say…it’s exposed a kink in the wiring.”

What I mean by that is this: nothing fits in my pretty, painted little picture of how the world should be anymore. Everything I read about or see, my mind immediately skips to analyzing (and over-analyzing) how it affects Russ. Weather patterns? Politics? Social issues? Food shortages? Natural disasters? Thought processes immediately jump to whether this issue – whatever it is – will affect my little boy. And because I have these tendencies to dwell on the negative, to worry excessively, to look at life as this big elephant on my plate that I have to devour all in one set of mental meanderings…it can get a little crazy.

This is the same reason I’m not on synthetic hormonal birth control – as I’ve said before, it doesn’t “expose a kink in the wiring,” it just cuts the whole freakin’ wire. Things go all short-circuity and insane when I’m on that stuff. And, as mentioned here, no other options really exist. So…que sera, sera.

But despite all the craziness in me that (though folks close to me already saw it) was somewhat exposed and perhaps even a bit magnified when Russ was born – I am a happy woman and a joyful mom. It’s just that, for some folks, happiness comes with a little too much introspection and self-examination and you can start to become a bit unhinged by the whole crazy life change. But I’m finding my footing – seven months in.

I just wish I could be a bit more “solid.” I have this friend who I’ve known for more than half of my life. We met at bible camp, back when we were both kids. Her name is Cindy. Cindy is one of those women that is just so…impossible to shake. She’s got it together. She has a strength about her that I admire so much. Cindy and her husband were trying to start a family around the time that I had Russ, and she came to visit me in the hospital the day after he was born. It was at that moment, when she walked through the door, that I knew…Cindy had a secret. An aside: I joke sometimes that I have a built-in EPT test – I can sense when someone I know is pregnant or is going to become pregnant soon. This isn’t to say that I have a 100% success rate – but I’d say it’s about 85% or better. Not too shabby! The only person that this sense doesn’t apply to is…uh, me. But that’s another blog for another day (and possibly, an episode of “I Didn’t Know I Was Pregnant”).

Anyhow, Cindy’s “secret” (I think she said she’d only known for a day or two when she came to visit me that time) was that she was pregnant (yay!) and – as she happily told me the news several weeks later when she was ready to share it – she was expecting TWINS! Now even I didn’t see that coming! I’m happy to announce that her babies – a boy and a girl – were born Wednesday night, and they are all doing wonderfully. The babies were a bit early, but they are strong little angels and will be just fine. But over the past few days, I have absolutely marveled at how rock-solid my friend is. Here she is, a new mother – of TWO, no less – and she seems so unwaveringly calm. I wish I could be more like her. I can’t think of someone more capable of raising twins and doing a bang-up job as a mom. I will definitely be taking notes from her as we both get further into this crazy world called parenthood.

But as we get further away from Russ’s actual birthday and closer to his first birthday, I’m starting to see that parenthood – if nothing else – appeals to an irreverent sense of humor. Like yesterday at the gym daycare.

Our gym is pretty much dead on Fridays, which makes it a favorite day of mine to go. The daycare was somewhat empty because of this, but our favorite nursery worker was there with her two sons and just one or two other children whose parents were fitting in a quick workout. Russ was only in there for 25 minutes or so while I did a super fast interval run. But when I came to get him, the nursery worker ran over to me, laughing her butt off.

“So, your son is hilarious,” she said.
“Why, what happened?” I asked.
“Well, see that little girl over there? The one with the flower on her butt?” she said, pointing to a sweet little girl who looked to be just a few months older than Russ and was able to walk a little bit. She might’ve been just an inch or so taller than Russ, but certainly looked a few months older over all.
“Yeah, aww…she’s cute!” I said.
“Well, apparently Russ agrees with you,” she laughed. “He reached out when she walked by and GRABBED the flower!”

Oh. My. BAHAHAHAHAHA. My son is already chasing the girls! Lord, what is in store for me? Yikes!

She continued on to tell me that after the initial “pinch,” the little girl reached around and grabbed the Mickey Mouse that was on the butt of Russ’s pants (honestly, what is the deal with butt appliques on baby clothes now? Is it a bullseye? A target?)! They then proceeded to sit by each other, where the little girl PUT HER ARM AROUND Russ and essentially claimed him as her own. Absolutely hilarious. Even as we were leaving, this little girl was peering around the edge of the baby gate that blocks off the exit door from the nursery play area, batting her little eyelashes and giggling as Russ gave her his best “Blue Steel” face.

My son, the charmer. Someone’s getting locked in the bonus room as soon as he hits age 14…

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