Tag Archives: toddler rejection

Running Away

imgres-1When someone pisses me off, it is my natural inclination to gather as much space between us and to not talk to them until I am not angry anymore.  Being in a relationship of 16+ years, I learned along the way to sometimes make allowances, especially if your partner gets clingy when you are mad at her.  Still, I like to run away and hide.

Since M was born, I have fought against that part of my nature.  I want to be able to show M that you can talk about your feelings and that you don’t have to run away from a confrontation.  Tonight, however, really tested me.  M told me he doesn’t love me. He followed that up with telling me I should go live in another house.  It wasn’t just once, but several times over the period of an hour.  I told him he was hurting my feelings and that it wasn’t nice to say that to me.  He didn’t care.  He decided he loves Ima and not me.

I understand that he is a kid with very little reasoning ability, but the stay-at-home mom part of me was pretty furious about this statement.  If it wasn’t for me, my kid would be naked and so full of carbs (S can make toast and cereal) and his sheets would never be changed.  This is not ragging on S.  She does lots of things to make our family work, but she doesn’t do those things.

I think it is really only when you become a parent that you truly appreciate the people who raised you.  They didn’t always get it right, as we won’t.  We will probably tell our kids they can’t go to a concert or date that guy or ride a bike without a helmet.  There will be days when our kids can’t stand us and we, them.  But when the day comes that they are able to truly appreciate all that we have done for them, that will be a marvelous day.

Until then, I will continue to bathe and feed and clothe my child, regardless of where he tells me I should live.  I will try to not run away and will try to understand his developmental stage.  But when he goes to bed, like tonight, I might take some of the sting of his comments away with a big glass of wine or some chocolate, even if I have to run to the store to get it.

-Betsy

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Big Brother

M is going to be a big brother…just not around January 10th like we thought.  This has been a very long few days.  We found out on Wednesday that there was no longer a baby growing in S’s womb, just tissue and sadness.

I chose to not write about our conception process or the fact that S was pregnant.  Blogging sometimes makes me feel wide-open and I just wanted to keep a little for me, for us.

She was 10 weeks when she had to have surgery last Friday for the second time. The first time we lost a pregnancy was devastating.  We were both so emotionally fragile and spent.  This time, we knew exactly what we were getting into.  We know the sweet smell of a tiny person who only has eyes for you.  We know the joy that we each feel when he laughs or gives us hugs or wants us to read him bedtime stories.  So this time, the loss feels more tangible than visceral, if that makes any sense.

It has been fascinating to watch M this last week.  He has been particularly clingy to S, wanting her and not me.  He wants to nurse or snuggle on her more frequently.  He wants to just be touching her.

We haven’t hidden any of this from him.  We worked with a fertility specialist so we had early ultrasound monitoring.  They released us to a midwife’s care and explained that the chances of miscarriage were around 5%.  So we told M.  We talked all about the baby.  He even had a nickname for it.  It was quite painful to explain to him that the baby chose to go live somewhere else.

He has seen both of us crying and we have been honest with him about why we are sad.  The other night, when S was crying, he snuggled up on her shoulder, arms around her neck and said, “It’s ok, Ima.”  Then he put his hand on her face and just held it there.  One of the sweetest moments I have ever witnessed.

His affection for me is not the same.  He wants very little to do with me including not wanting to hug me most days, even if I am upset.  That has been really hard.  I am hoping he will grow into a boy who loves to love on his mama.  We’ll see.

I did waiver about whether or not to write about this.  These last few weeks have been a challenge to find something authentic to write about when I couldn’t write about the most exciting thing.  Today, I am choosing to write because I remember how alone we felt when we lost the first pregnancy.  I am writing because this is just a part of life.  A shitty, heartbreaking part of life.

We have escaped to the beach for a week with some friends.  I am sitting on the 3rd floor balcony listening to the rain and watching the clouds roll over the marsh.  I feel hopeful in this moment.  I feel hopeful that S and I will be able to create the family that we crave.  Hopeful that these losses will just be blips on the radar or our lives.  Hopeful that one day, it will all make sense.

-Betsy

The Nanny

Sometimes, I feel like the nanny.  After S returned from being out of town for a few days, M can’t get enough of her.  He wants to nurse and snuggle on her to no end.  Right now, he is sick.  He came down with an instant cold after playing in the rain for an hour yesterday.  All he wants is S.  He woke up from his nap every twenty minutes today, sobbing for Ima. He would flail his arms about and squeak out through the ears, “No Mama.  Go away.  Ima!  Ima!”  He knew full well that she was at work.  He just knew he wanted her more than me.

This is the part of being a non-gestational parent that is tough.  He gets something from her that he can never get from me and I can’t help but think that came from being in her womb.  He gets a lot from me.  I know that.  But there are just some intangibles that I can’t replicate.  It is hardest when he is sick or hurts himself and wants her and not me.  In those moments, it doesn’t matter that I am home with him day after day, wiping his butt, making him food, teaching him fun things.  He just wants her.

When I think about the important people in my life, I know that I get things from each of them that the others might not be able to give me.  I love them all just the same.  I am hoping this is what goes on with M.  He loves me deeply, but sometimes he just wants her.  I get it.  And it still hurts.

-Betsy

In Reality

Today I am grateful for reality television shows.  The world is a fucked-up place.  Bad things happen.  So I turn to reality t.v., which is, in reality, not reality.  And that is what I like about it. I like the competition shows, especially Survivor and The Amazing Race.  I like that people put their ordinary lives on hold for these incredible, contrived scenarios that include great adventure and possibly eating really gross things.

At the end of a long day, after toddlerness has drained every last morsel of energy, I can settle down with my on-screen friends and a glass of wine and forget that some people suck.  On these shows, there is a predictable formula that I find comfort in.  There will be interpersonal tension, someone will be the scapegoat, there will be triumph.  I like this rhythm.  It is like watching a waterfall, water hits the same rocks every time.

So today, I am grateful for a t.v. show that helps me forget.

-Betsy

Flying Solo: Day Two

And…he’s asleep.  Day Two down.  As we were leaving gymnastics this morning, one of M’s friend’s mothers shouted, “Good luck!”  And then it hit me: flying solo works GREAT for my control issues.   I don’t have to share any of the decision making!  I had my kid in bed by 7:20, asleep by 7:45.  Teeth flossed (yes) and brushed. Books read.  My boy is faring pretty well.  He has had a couple episodes of being upset she isn’t here:  Up at 4:47 a.m., a little flailing, some tears.  But I get it.  The three of us are home, wherever we are.  One piece missing is disequilibrium.  I must confess: S and I just celebrated 16 years together.  We have been a couple since I was 19.  Before M, we traveled often apart.  Home to see our families or overseas on solo adventures, we have both always been ok with being apart.  Since M was born, it feels different.  Like the physical distance between us takes on a life of its own.  I haven’t quite figured out what that is about.  Is it being the sole caregiver without breaks?  Is it missing the companionship? Is it the quiet?  Still teasing it out.
Right now, my house is full of our night-time sounds: white-noise machine, dryer, dog licking his balls, cat purring almost louder than everything.  Incredibly loud, incredibly quite.  Hoping for a good night’s sleep.

-Betsy

Time Will Tell

I am being abandoned by my other half next week.  Well, not exactly.  However, it will be the first time either of us has spent a night away from M.  She has a work trip and will be gone for 5 days and 4 nights.  This is impending new territory.   It might be the end of nursing all together.  It might be hard.  But it might be great, also.  M and I can have adventures and eat whatever I want to fix for dinner and snuggle in the big bed.  We will both miss S for sure, but I am kind of excited to be the one and only for a few nights.  Wish me luck!  Updates next week.

-Betsy

The Dawning of a New Era (or not at all)

Here is what I have decided: sleep will never come for my brilliant, lovely, creative, beautiful boy.  I know I have talked about this before, but now I really mean it.  We are in his third year of life and the illusive slumber continues.  Last night, for example, he only woke up four times before his bunny clock tells him he can get up at 6:15a.m.  And THAT was a good night, folks.  As his non-nursing mother, it has somehow become my job (and mine alone) to tend to his night time needs.  This is for fear he will melt down when denied access to the golden nectar that flows from his other mother’s breasts.  I am, once again, exhausted.

We have a space heater in his room because it is impossible to control the temperature any other way.  This means that we must remove all obstacles within a three foot radius of the heater.  So, we have taken to folding his rug back over itself to create a void for the heater.  What I discovered this morning is that this doubled over rug with rug pad makes a suitable cot for me.  All curled up on his floor, like our over-sized cat Chicken, I was almost able to drift off to sleep.  Once more I turned over hoping I could be a little more comfortable, only to snap to attention as the sticky pad used to keep the rug in place tore away from my pajamas loud enough to wake the dead.  Shocked was I when my boy remained silent in his crib.  Using his little stuffed chair as a pillow, I got cozy and grateful for this one free-pass.  “Mama.  Pat you.” I hear as I am seconds away from dreamland myself.  (Pardon my language here…)   “MOTHER FUCKER!” I screamed inside my head vowing to get rid of the sticky pad and allow the rug to go lawless and untamed.

So, I did.  Pat you, as he says.  Once I could be assured he was fully asleep again, I went back to our bedroom.  Denying the urge to slam the door and wake up my snoring other half, I eased it shut and slid back into bed.  S turned over, never leaving the rhythmic breathing: in-two-three, out-two-three.

The last few days when my son has gotten up for the day, he will tell his other mother that Mama came in and helped him in the night.  He will say, “Mama be there.  Pat you and M be quiet.”  I kind of love it, being the savior if only for a few minutes.  In the middle of the night, I want to be asleep and nothing more.  But in the daylight, I’ll take being the one he counts on when the sun goes down.

-Betsy