A great many things in life change when you have a baby. You say things and do things you never thought you would do. For example, I find myself talking in “parentese” a lot, which is something I never thought I would do. “Parentese” is that baby talk thing where your voice goes all high pitched and you say things like “Oh, did we spit up?! Yes we did! Oh yes!” I always thought I would talk normally but Jack responds much better I think when I use my irritating high pitched voice.
That’s the other thing. I’m always saying we. We are getting into our carseat. We are getting our diaper changed. We just spit up all over mommy. Suddenly I am not a single person anymore, I am a we. Me and baby, all the time.
Getting ready for an outing takes anywhere between 15 and 40 minutes, depending on what time of day it is and where we’re going. Going to Auntie’s house, not a big deal, throw a couple diapers in the bag and get going. Going for a walk, to any other public place takes a little time. I’m not even sure what takes so long. Really we only have to do for Jack the same basic things adults do. We change him, get him dressed, strap him in his seat and go, but that seems to take a while. And if his diaper bag isn’t ready to go then we’re in for an even longer preparation time.
Sundays have become a bit challenging. Mostly because dear husband works those days, so it’s just Jack and me. I must get him fed by a time that will guarantee he won’t become hungry again during church, get myself fed, get the kid dressed and changed, get myself dressed and get everyone in the car by 10am to make it to the 10:15 service. Once in the service I have to make sure my full but grunty little one doesn’t get too loud and bother those around me. All in all Sunday mornings feel a bit hectic and rushed to me.
And the biggest change that I must get used to is the amount of time spent caring for the little bugger. Don’t misunderstand. I love being a mom, I adore my son, but there are so many things that fall through the cracks. Especially since this is my first shot at motherhood, I don’t really have the whole balance thing down yet. Housework is neglected, my writing suffers, laundry just sits on the washer and the dishes pile up in the sink while my son cries for no apparent reason other than he feels he should.
Anytime I want to play with him and entertain him with songs, and stories and toys, he falls asleep. And when he should be sleeping he’s wide awake screaming in my face. It sometimes makes me wonder what made me want to have a baby.
Then he does something cute like look me in the eye and smile. Not just a little crooked smile, but one of those huge toothless grins, and suddenly the dishes aren’t so pressing and it doesn’t matter that I haven’t written anything all week. I just got a smile.