Thoughts on Motherhood

*HELLO JENIN! First, let me give a shout out to our distant family who are kind enough to read this blog from time to time in Jenin! Sufyan is a proud Palestinian-American.

*I think Arabic is a contender for first word. His baba speaks mostly arabic to him at home, and I speak what Arabic I can–which is not too shabby since I have been working on it and studied it in school (the Levantine dialect from a Jordanian professor). Today we got in the car and I asked him, in Arabic, “Where is the light?” meaning the car interior light. In Arabic, this sounds something like, “Habibi, wain eh dow? Wain eh dow, Habibi?” to which Sufyan responded by looking around and then up to the ceiling and making the sign for “light”! He was grinning a big, proud grin. I was, too!

*This is what my yoga space looks like now:

*2 days ago, at the park where Sufyan and I stayed for 2 hours, I had the opportunity to overhear lots of kids interacting. One little boy was carrying a stick and pointing it at other kids and yelling, “I’m CONTROLLING YOU! I’m CONTROLLING YOU!” Harry Potter wand reference maybe? Or a TV remote? It was pretty funny.

*Also overheard after one kid hit another, “Well, sorry, I think they learn empathy at a later age.” Which is probably true, and I was struck for the millionth time how hard this parenting thing is. What to do/how to assuage the hurt feelings of both mom and other kid while not making your kid out to be the bully he is not? He was just being kids testing the bounds of social interaction…and found that hitting is not usually ok.

*My friend and I spoke about rejecting the idea of judging other moms. Even the backhanded compliment/judgmental statement seems inadmissible. For example, “Well it sure it nice to see some moms carrying their babies. Most babies are put in strollers…”
Shoot, this mom stuff is hard enough without us ganging up on one another. And yes, I have been the judgmental one at times. And it seems that each time I get the slapdown soon enough. Like when I said, “Why don’t more moms co-sleep? It’s so natural! It’s what’s best for the baby.” I said this while dying of sleep deprivation and have now had to put S in his own bed. That kind of slapdown/the cosmic slapdown.

*Today we went to a park where fully half the moms present were in heels. That’s right, heels. On wood chips. I was impressed, and had to admit a little pride when one of them complimented “Sufyan’s” taste in clothing. Also I admit I felt a little inappropriately dressed because, come ON, it’s a park and doesn’t everyone just go in their pajamas?
here is a pic of today’s outing:

*Lately, and it feels good to say this finally, S has been difficult. He is having what appear to be tantrums but his age, say most “experts”, is too young for tantrums. His tantrums are exclusively about walking. He. Wants. To. Walk. Now. And. Always. Do not put him on his bum to sit—or else. Do not let go of his hand and let him hold the couch or else. I love him. I really do.

*Time and again lately I am struck by how much I recognize S’s need for independence and retreat. He gets overwhelmed by too much baby craziness in his space. Like when we play with older babies who are exuberant and lovely…it gets to be too much for S after a little bit and he starts to be cranky. I understand that. I really do. And I figured out that if I take him out to the grass he will pull individual pieces out and sort sticks or rocks and be feeling good as new in about 5 minutes or less. The earth beneath our feet and a little quiet time puts us back to rights again. I totally get that.

*A recent fantasy while lying in bed nursing S to sleep (which is when I let my mind wander and relax): I am 60. I am the coolest 60 year old at the disco. I still have the moves. The young crowd knows me and loves my eccentricity, my classic 80s style. A radio station comes to interview me. I become a town legend.


4 thoughts on “Thoughts on Motherhood

  1. Sounds like little S is really making some strides–lots of understanding…and STANDING, of course. I have never worn heels to a park but I must say that since I am always barefoot or in some ugly “comfort” shoe, I undertand the want to put on a pair of kick-butt heels, prop up my calves and tushy, and paint the town. This want is short lived–soon to be squashed by the fact that I have a 18-19lb. co-pilot on my right hip at all times πŸ™‚ xoxo-gobble, gobble

  2. I have to admit that I struggle with self-judgment because my girl screams herself to sleep (with me at her side or even in my arms). I feel like I should be able to ‘fix’ that, but is seems to be her method unless she is bound up in her carrier. A pacifier also triggers her gag reflex, so I envy the moms with the quiet little babies drifting off to sleep with a pacifier in their mouth in the stroller. I have taken to finding a strategic place away from large numbers of people to sooth her while she cries for a few minutes before drifting off. Once she is asleep or wide awake, she is an angel. I always hated going to sleep as a baby too, so I guess that is a genetic trait! My mom thinks it’s payback.It sounds like they all have their individual quirks – Sufyan must be a hiker in the making. Maybe he’ll walk the world when he grows up. Maybe he knows this and feels an urgency to start practicing now!PS – I love your yoga space. I am still trying to define mine in the new place.

  3. AS for the co-sleeping (or co-not-sleeping). As I understood the approach to co-sleeping, the child will let you know when s/he is ready to move into their own bed. Sufyan was just ready very early (like Clair). Maybe we were so good at it that they just needed the one week and then they felt secure enough for their own rooms!!

  4. I truly believe that different parenting is part of what makes us all different – and how boring would it be if we weren’t?! I’ve tried to let go of judging other parenting styles – I do still have beliefs about what I feel is best practice in childrearing and education, but no way is the right way! At this point, if you are not feeding your child koolaid everyday in a bottle, or running a meth house,or something equally obnoxious, you are probably doing an adequate job and your child will likely become a happy, productive member of society. So, yes we need, as a collective mothering whole, to be more supportive of one another and save our righteous indignation for the parents who are truly abusive!!!P.S. I find PJ’s to be acceptable wear for most occasions and certainly for a park adventure! πŸ™‚

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