A list of thoughts from my ninth month of being a mother.
We left Leo with strangers for the first time. I mean, it was childcare at the YMCA. But they were still strangers. She hated it. I hated it. I haven’t taken her back since. I can’t even leave her in the nursery at church. I think we both (well mainly me) have PTSD from it. I’ll leave her for a week with someone I know, but leaving her with strangers is surprisingly difficult.
Leo had the biggest poop explosion I’ve ever seen. Like, throw out the outfit and the changing table and the carpet and just start over. While I was trying to get her onesie off I got a huge handful of poop. In my hand. Poop. It was horrible. I’m fairly certain I would not have had kids if I knew that was a possibility.
During the poop explosion nightmare I freaked out (because poop) and accidentally left Leo on the changing table all by herself while I ran around trying to figure out how to get it off (I mean, what do you do with a handful of poop? Dump it in the toilet? Tub? Trash then bleach your hands? What do you do!?) I didn’t even realize I’d left her until I came back and she was still just lying there (thankfully) looking super confused. This is parent fail #32. I expect there will be many more.
Side note about aforementioned poop explosion: Everyone was wrong. They said I wouldn’t be grossed out by my own child’s bodily functions. False. I am SO grossed out.
I spent some time cleaning out tubs of old clothes that I have given up hope of fitting into again. I had this one pair of jeans, they were legendary. I had them for over 15 years. They had tons of holes and rips (all worn naturally!) that were patched up (thanks to my Mom) with really cool fabric. I loved those jeans. But I realized 1. I’ll never fit into them again (which is fine- I don’t ever need to weigh 115 pounds again. I mean, no one does. That’s not enough pounds) and 2. They’re not very practical at this point. So I decided to get rid of them. But as I was throwing them out I had a miniature existential crisis because I realized now I’m someone’s mom and I’ll never again be as cool as I was when I wore those jeans. Even if I AM that cool again, there will always be a tiny embarrassed person rolling her eyes at me saying “Mooooooom that’s SO lame!” or whatever the kids will say by then.
I still hate spit up. But like, way more than before. Thankfully Leo only spits up very occasionally now, but when she does it’s way worse than it ever was because she eats real food so now it’s basically just vomit and it’s horrific.
Again: STILL SO grossed out, even if it comes from my own child.
I spent my first night away a few weeks ago. Before I left a bunch of people told me how much I was going to miss her and how hard it would be, so I was kind of freaked out. Turns out, it was super fun and I really, really, really loved being away from her. I missed her, sure. But I also enjoyed sitting in a car and not worrying that she was going to start crying, I didn’t have to think about when she needed to eat next or when nap time was, I didn’t have to change one single diaper. I got to just be a real person and it was fantastic and I’d like to do it again soon.
Another sidenote: I don’t feel guilty about not missing her terribly and enjoying my time away from her. I don’t feel like that makes me a bad mom, wanting to be a real person sometimes. I wholeheartedly refuse to participate in mom guilt.
Leo is becoming a real person and it's so weird. Like, she has preferences and she does things on purpose and she thinks things are funny. It's so strange to think that she's a real person now when I feel like she was just a tiny squish!
It turns out, having a baby has given me an amazing (and quite useless) superpower. I can now hear any baby cry within a 3 mile radius. It’s this weird mom radar I didn’t know existed. Any crying on tv, in a movie, at a neighbor’s house, down the street, I hear it and immediately think “What’s wrong!?” even if Leo is sitting beside me perfectly content.
I lost Leo for the first time. I mean, not really. But kind of. She was laying on the floor and I walked into the kitchen for a second and when I looked back she was gone. It turns out, she is VERY good at sneaky rolling and had rolled herself right behind a chair. I did not enjoy it. She thought it was hilarious.
One year ago I was in the hospital overnight being monitored for preeclampsia (among other things). It was not fun and was fairly terrifying but it has reminded me how fortunate we are that Leo stayed inside for 3 more months.
I don't set lots of health or fitness goals for myself. I'd like to fit into my old pants, if possible. Maybe have one very defined chin. But last week I set a very specific goal that I'm now working toward achieving: I want to be able to get off the ground while holding Leo without grunting like an arthritic elderly man. All of my workouts and food choices are now based around that one goal.
At least once a week I have dreams about Leo talking, like full conversations. Or standing up and walking around. Or doing some other thing she definitely doesn’t do yet. Is that a normal thing? It really freaks me out when I wake up.
It's hard to believe Leo only has 3 more months but she's a year old. I still feel pregnant half the time. How can she already be a year old? Is this how time works now?
I really like this baby. And I like that I get to be her mom. But it's still really weird when anyone calls me "Mom." I still watch Saved by the Bell reruns and eat tacos for breakfast. How can I be someone's mom?!