When you think about being a mom, you picture all the cute moments you'll have with your child(ren). The cute clothes you'll dress them in, and the cuddle sessions you'll receive on cold winter nights. No one ever dreams of the nightmares that motherhood also entails, like having to help your daughter birth a turd the size of a small orange. ಠ_ಠ
The past few days Shelby hasn't quite been herself. She's been quiet, kind of mopey and asking to watch a lot of the boob-tube which isn't at all like her. There were a few periods yesterday where she didn't want to bend her legs or sit on her bottom. My mom mentioned to me that she thought Shelby might be the big C; constipated.
I dread that word because I had a lot of moon-pie issues when I was younger & I was hoping we would skip that phase with Shelby. Well, luck wasn't on our side because baby beau is, or rather was, most-definitely constipated.
Shortly after we got home from MeMaw's house, Shelby burst into big-ole-crocodile tears in the middle of the living room. She was looking up at me, her wittle face turning fire-engine red while her cheeks shook from the effort of pushing so hard. This went on for a few minutes before I just couldn't watch her struggle anymore. I took her in her bedroom, grabbed a q-tip & some coconut oil, there was going to be an epic battle...
At first, she didn't want to cooperate. She laid like a stiff board on the changing table. Eventually, she let me bend her knees. The alien I saw trying to crawl out such a teeny tiny whole was every bit as ugly as the alien from the movie "The Predator." I won't go into detail, just picture a delivery room in a hospital and you'll have a pretty close representation of what took place; lots of pep-talking & some crying.
I don't know how such big turds could manifest themselves in such a tiny person. I think I may have been more traumatized than Shelby."Tank you, mommy," as she got off the changing table and ran to the living room to find Skye & Marshall as if nothing had happened. I, on the other hand, stood in her bedroom trying to recover from the nightmare that just took place.
Of course, I sent MeMaw a picture of the moon-pie because there was blood in it. MeMaw is an RN, and this mommy needed to hear that it was likely just from pushing & nothing to run to the emergency room with.
Needless to say, she was the recipient of extra snuggles last night, as well as a half a cap-full of Miralax per the Peds and a close friend who, sadly, has experience with a little who constantly fights with Mr. Cornholio (reference from my high-school years, look it up if you need to) I'll be starting her on probiotics ASAP, and monitoring her diet a little bit more closely.
These are the things no one talks about when you get pregnant or talk about the possibility of getting pregnant. Motherhood is glorious, I love every second, but there are definitely a few moments that I would gladly do with out. I'll just add last nights adventure to the list of things I never thought I'd do. ツ
So, I had a bit of a rough weekend with my babe. She seems to turn into a post-nap monster lately. Before naps shes her sweet, happy-go-lucky self. We went to a few local parks, played on the playgrounds and hunted for painted rocks. We watched Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, played with her dollies and visited with MeMaw & Papa. After naps, that was a different story. The whiney, attached to mommy's hip monster was born.
For only being roughly 20 months old, she has pretty good dictation and is easy to understand when she asks for something but if you can't figure out what she's asking for you can tell her to show you and she will. This weekend, if I didn't get it right on the first attempt at translation, she LOST HER FREAKIN MIND. The boogers would flood out, as the crocodile tears covered the floor.
"NO, MOMMY!" enter the floor stomping and flailing of the arms, "NO CHEESE!"
"Do you want white Cheese, but not orange?"
"O-TAY!!!!!!" Sniffle, sniffle.
I felt like a big-ole-mommy-failure.
I felt even worse Saturday night when the husband ended up staying overnight at a friends trailer at Lancaster Speedway. I'm having a flare in pain (happens almost routinely with the change of season) so I had taken a muscle relaxer thinking all was going to go smoothly and I'd be able to get some restful sleep. Boy, was I wrong!
Shelby was up at midnight with zero interest in going back to sleep. Our lab, Milo, started singing me the song of his people, asking to go out shortly after Shelby got up. He had stolen a saran wrapped chocolate chip cookie off the kitchen counter earlier in the day. He has Exocrine Pancreatic insufficiency so he can't digest food if we don't first put a digestive enzyme on it. Needless to say, the cookie monster came to visit him in the middle of the night, he wanted his cookie back.
Between trying to get Shelby to go back to "night-night," and getting up several times to let the dog in and back out, again, sleep wasn't on the agenda. Patience was also not easily found that night.
"YES! Shelby, mommy ty-ty, go back to sleep!!!!
"NO! GO TO SLEEP!"
I didn't yell per say, but it wasn't said sweetly either. My patience had run dry probably around the second time I had to get up to let the dog out to visit with the cookie monster.
I try not to lose my patience with Shelby because I know she will only be this little once and one day, probably sooner than I would like, I will crave the days when all she wanted was her mommy. Hence the guilt train that rolled in on Sunday morning.
I was reminded, via a fellow insta-mommy, that we are allowed to feel frustrated. We all have our good days & our bad days, but the goal is to have far more good days than bad. I love my Shell Bell, and she knows it because I show her every day (and tell her probably too many times a day) but thankfully she won't remember the snippiness I spat at her on Saturday night.
Anyways, mom guilt is definitely a thing so I took her to the playground to make for my lack of patience Saturday night.
I can count on one hand the number of close girlfriends I've had in my twenty-nine years. In fact, in my adult years, I've had only one. Most times the friendship ends in a catastrophic disagreement about something trivial or otherwise petty in the grand scheme of things, but it's prevented me from jumping into other deep friendships with women.
I'm the chick that passes the booth collecting donations for those affected by the most recent hurricane and tosses in a twenty dollar bill even though it's excessive. Then I spend the duration of my visit to the store thinking about what the families are going through, and how measly my twenty-dollars seems. I'll buy two bags of dog food and a gift card to a restaurant for the homeless man with two dogs in Williamsville, and I'll fill your gas tank when you approach me in Southgate Plaza in tears because you don't have the money to get yourself home. The point I'm trying to make is that when I befriend someone, I love with my whole heart. I'll drive six hours by myself to help you if you ask me too. I'll come to your house in the wee hours of the morning to take you to school only to turn around and go home because I'm sick. I'll write a letter to your landlord begging them to allow you to have a cat even though your lease says 'no animals' because I know how much you wanted a furry friend. I am by no means perfect, not even close, but I do the best I can.
I'm not bitter. I'm not. I'm just excessively cautious now-and-days. I don't let many people in, not like I used to. I have friends, but I don't have a "person" (Grays Anatomy reference for those that don't understand), and I'm okay with that.
The point of all this rambling: I have an ex-friend who lives in North Carolina. I haven't talked to her in close to a year, but I couldn't help but wonder how she and her husband were fairing with hurricane Florence. I finally gave in and sent a message on Facebook. She replied letting me know they now live in Connecticut and asked how I was doing. My reply was brief, a picture of Shelby and a few words letting her know we're all doing great and I finally got out of the office that was causing me such misery. She informed me that both she and her husband received promotions and that's why they relocated to Connecticut. All I could think was, "here we go with the pissing contest, again." I ended the conversation right there by saying I was happy they were doing well, that I would always care about her but that as friends we are too toxic for each other. No response, which is aye-okay-with me.
I spent the next day or so thinking about our short conversation, and I got to feeling a bit guilty. Whether or not she was trying to make me feel like I was failing at life, or not, I was the one who interpreted her comment as a means to start an "I'm better than you war," and that's on me. She genuinely could have been trying to start fresh, but I'm not at a point where I think that's a good idea. We've had an on-again, off-again friendship since we graduated high school and I'm over the drama. But looking back on our conversation got me thinking about where I am in my life and where she is in hers. We've both reached a point where our goals are more attainable than they were just a few short years ago. She loves the fast-paced, business world whereas I preferred a career that's more relaxed, laid-back and allows me to spend as much time as possible with my daughter. We crave two very different worlds, and that's perfectly okay.
Our interpretation of others success is based, in part, on what our views of success are. Sure, someone who's a CEO of a fortune 500 company is likely considered successful by the majority of people, but that can't be everyone's definition of success. I for sure would not enjoy that life. I envy the well published, well-read author who lives a quiet life working when they please and riding horses whenever they want.
My short, two-minute conversation with an ex-best friend led me to the "ah-ha" moment that I may not be everyone's version of a success story, but I am MY version of success. Do I still have work to do, absolutely, but I'm okay with where I am right now and I feel good about the decision to reach out and make sure she was okay.
So I got a bit annoyed last night putting my daughter to bed. I had just washed her bedding & was changing the case on her pillow. MeMaw had made her a few pillowcases, Paw Patrol themed, but I noticed that Everest & Skye were on one pillowcase & Marshall, Rubble, Chase, Zuma, & Tracker were on the other.
I called my mom, “Hey how come you just didn’t make one pillowcase with material with all the Paw Patrol characters on it?”
“Because I couldn’t find one with all the characters on it. They’re all Skye & Everest, or the boys.”
I did a quick Google search & sure as shit there wasn’t a single fabric choice that had all the characters EXCEPT one that had the whole team in the center with a solid color for the background.
Why? Why does everything have to be segregated boys & girls? Why can’t we just let our kids be kids, like what they like, & let life sort out the rest?
I think it was a “What Would You Do” episode where they put a little girl in a toy store with her mother. The young girl gravitated towards a toy truck which sent her mother into a frenzy. She began trying to persuade her daughter that trucks were boy toys, that she should want a doll or something pink & frilly.
As a parent, I believe it’s my job to encourage my daughter to be herself, whoever that may be, regardless of others opinions. If she wants to play with toy trucks so be it. If she wants to wear camo, go for it girlie! I would never dream of telling her to avoid playing with certain toys or wearing something for fear of what others may think. They can go fly a kite.
In a society where we are fighting for equality for all regardless of gender, race or ethnic diversity I don't understand why we would teach our youngsters that some toys are only for certain people. Nope, just not going to do it.
Being the true nerd that I am, I started doing a little research on kids toys and how they differ between boys and girls. I found this article by Natasha Daly who’s an editor at National Geographic, it's an interesting read for sure.
A 2015 study found that boys are more likely to play with toys that develop spatial (the ability to comprehend three-dimensional images and shapes) intelligence such as K’nex, puzzles, Lego bricks, etc. which build skills that are later utilized in fields like design & engineering. Girls toys were noted to be geared towards playacting (pretending) rather than building. This could help to explain the under-representation of women in fields such as the sciences and technology.
I mean, you walk into a toy store, and it’s blatantly obvious where the “girl” toys are versus the “boys.” There are labels on Legos to make sure you know which are for which gender. They’re Legos for crying out loud, why can’t they just be for everyone!
If Shelby naturally gravitates towards dolls & pink with frills than fine, but if she wants to play with Tonka trucks & action figures, I'm perfectly content to let her. If she wants to go to bed wearing Cinderall pajamas with a Thomas the Train sheets, girls gonna be a princess dreaming of trains. Just sayin.