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Living up the babymoon, again

in Mum's the Word by

I recall those first days and weeks after having baby as a sort of blur. Life exists as a perpetual rain-drizzle-fog in my brain, in my memory bank. Those first days and weeks are full of hazy emotions of love bursting at the seams mixed with frustration and tears at everything and nothing. Everything was bigger than it was, and the smallest tasks seemed to be insurmountable. But in it all I existed in this delicate loveliness and warmth and giddiness and absolute state of happy. I’m sure that this is what is called a babymoon. Being in love with my new baby. And just like people on their honeymoons, I was both grateful for assistance but happy to just live and exist in my own little bubble.

My babe is a full year and a half now. He is a walking toddling crazy little person. He is truly a person, and we are finding that every task and chore and job takes about ten times longer than normal. Going to the beach for a fire and a bbq is exhausting. We get to the beach, excited and in disbelief that we’re AT THE BEACH. And then, the disbelief wanes and instead we are chasing this little person down the rocks, up the rocks, away from the ocean, away from the fire pit, away from the charcoal, away from everything. Its exhausting. And at the end of the excursion we’re stunned that we were able to cook anything at all. We’re amazed that our other older children survived the trip because we realize we were hardly able to interact with them for chasing the tiny person. And we’re grateful for when he falls asleep, hours later by the fire in my arms, for those at-last moments of quiet and sitting together. Sitting. And yes, I’m rethinking my ideas that camping might be fantastic with toddlers. Maybe not.

At a year and a half, one might think that all the giddiness and happy has faded slightly as one becomes caught up in all the crazy toddler-chasing, crazy toddler-house-proofing. And with a full house of children, there is also the driving and the snack-making and the popsicle-making and the playing and the cooking and the full day of being with children. There is exhaustion. There are tired eyes. They are the tired eyes of a tired mom, never the tired eyes of a tired child.

And amazingly, there is another babymoon.

Visitors need not apply, except for housecleaners and babysitters

I’m not sure how it happened, or when it snuck up on me. I wonder if all parents of toddlers have it. But in the sudden quiet moments in our household, when there might only be one child in the house instead of three, or when I have a moment to just be with my babe, I am suddenly enamoured. And just like when he was a newborn and I craved solitude with him, I am craving solitude with him again. I’m happy to skip phone messages and texts and Facebook messages. I’m happy to not have a play date, or an excursion with other groups and other families. I’d often prefer that people not drop by (unless they are going to take my baby and let me have solo quiet time). I want to have quiet moments, and beautiful snuggles, and yes, even hair-pulling (by my toddler). I want to enjoy this amazing newness of this new growing person. It’s a new kind of newness, a different kind of newness. I’m in love all over again, and I’m happy for the quiet and solitude, as much as it can ever exist.

When he’s asleep, and I’m alone suddenly for a brief hour in the day, I’m happy to not have company. I’m enthralled with summer, and sitting in the sun while my baby sleeps. I want to sip lemonbalm lemonade and plant my garden and feel my hands in the soil. I want to make ice cream from scratch and cut flowers for the table. I relish the quiet, and I’m happy to not have company.

When he’s awake, I don’t want to share him. I have trouble (still) making full conversation with people, and have difficulty focusing on other people’s comments and ideas and questions. I just want to focus on my little person.

It’s another full-out babymoon.

The time will pass, and eventually I’ll come out of my shell, out of hiding. I’ll creep back into the world. I’ll go and have coffee in public. I’ll remember to ask, “How are you?” I’ll recall something that we discussed, likely very long ago, and maybe start a conversation. I hope to not be forgotten by the world, in these months and days and likely early years that I am consumed with my baby. When I return to the world, I imagine it will be wonderful, and that I’ll be grateful for the new reality of other people and other happiness. These days it comes in small spurts and waves, as I perhaps go to a Harbourside concert or to the farmer’s market. For now, I’m so happy to just be here, in my little secluded reality of being. I’ll see you in a while.


 

Editor’s note: If you would like to respond to this or any article on TheIndependent.ca, or if you would like to address an issue we haven’t yet covered, we welcome thoughtful and articulate Letters to the Editor. You can email yours to: justin(at)theindependent(dot)ca. Not all letters will be printed, but all will be read.

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